The hard drive is too small but it’s not hard to upgrade.


X-48 Hard Drive Upgrade

I've just installed a 1TB drive in each of our X-48s.  I couldn't find much information about the process so I thought others may be interested.  In addition I've explained how to add a second SATA data drive and the few issues with doing so. 

These procedures worked for me but I can't emphasize enough - it may fail for you.  Messing around inside could permanently break your machine.  It may give you cooties and won't improve your love life.  I've tried to be complete but I don't bear responsibility for failure caused by things not working, you making mistakes, or mistakes in my list (a distinct possibility).  If you don't feel comfortable, don't do it.

I've detailed items that some folks are familiar with such as formatting a drive.  This is because a number of users will be Mac folks who are used to easier formatting procedures and could use a bit of guidance through the Windows formatting procedure.

Directional points are in reference to looking at the front of the machine.

Things you'll need -

Phillips screwdriver.

X-48 System Restore CD and any updates.

SATA Hard drive - get a good one for audio.  We used Seagate 7200.11 units.

Two-foot SATA Cable - for initializing the drive.

Possibly some tie wraps.

Recommended - a quiet low-power 80mm or so 12v computer fan.

Larger Drive Installation Procedure


Unplug the unit, discharge yourself and the machine.  Use proper anti-static procedures throughout.

Open the top of the unit with the five top screws and the one rear center screw and remove the cover.

Remove the left audio card.

Remove the left audio card support plate, note the two rear screws.

You'll see the bundled power supply cables, extricate a spare SATA power plug.  You only need a couple of inches to temporarily plug in a drive, cut the tie wrap if needed.


On the right side of the machine you'll be able to see where the old SATA drive is plugged into the motherboard.  Plug your temporary SATA cable into the SATA connector adjacent to the old one.

Plug the other end into the new drive and the drive into the extra SATA power plug.  Note that if you flip the drive over so that the non-pcb side is down, you can rest the drive on the power supply bundle temporarily during this procedure.  If you're not comfortable with that then cut the bundle tie wrap and rest the drive where you're comfortable.

Partially insert the left audio card back in temporarily and plug it in (optional).

Plug the power, vga, and key/mouse back in and power up.

After the X-48 boots go to Disk Management.  The usual weird Initialize and Convert Windows Wizard will pop up.  As you go through it the disk will be selected to Initialize and de-selected to Convert to Dynamic.

Once that's done right-click on the disk and select New Partition.  Select NTFS and enter 8000MB in the size field.  Do not select Quick Format because the drive should be slow-formatted at some point, and later on when we're installing the X48 OS we don't want to slow format because if it fails and you have to do it again it takes too long.  Also, slow formatting at the OS install stage will slow format the Data drive which will take hours.  So, I prefer to slow format at this point in the procedure.  You'll see the percent progress go by slowly but it's only 8G so it's not bad.

Once that's done right-click on the second partition and select New Partition.  Keep the size at it's maximum and select Quick Format.  You can slow-format the Data drive later once it's all working.

When that's done pop open the cd tray and insert the System Restore CD and close it.

Exit Disk Management which will shut down the machine.


After it's powered down remove the new drive and temporary SATA cable.  You won't need the temporary SATA cable any longer.

Remove the combo power/SATA plug from the old drive.

Unplug the power and ATA cables from the DVD drive.

Flip the machine over and unscrew the four bottom screws holding the drive tray to the bottom case.

Flip it back upright and slide the drive tray out and back, removing it from the case.

Replace the old drive with the new drive in the drive tray, save the old drive as a spare.

Reinstall the drive tray with it's screws being sure to engage the bottom tray hooks.  Replug the DVD and new SATA drive.

Bundle the power supply cables with a new tie wrap if you cut the old one.

During testing our new drive got a little warmer than I prefer for an active drive so I recommend installing a quiet fan blowing across it.  There's a spare power plug connected to the front panel power cable that's convenient for plugging in a fan - mount the fan so that it blows across the drive.  Make sure it won't rattle against the chassis or obstruct the deep analog cards if you use them.


Power up the machine, it will boot from the CD which takes a long time.

Eventually you'll get to the X48 Installer window.  Select Quick Format, and select the option to do the Data drive also.  If you don't initialize the Data drive it won't boot off the system drive.

After it's done it will recommend you Restart.  Click on Restart.

Once your screen goes dark eject the CD before it boots back up.  If you do it too late it will boot from the CD again.

The machine should boot correctly.  After the BIOS if you get a No System Drive error you'll have to insert the CD and press Enter to start the installation over again.

This first boot often takes longer than normal.  Once it gets to the track window give it a minute - it often installs some Windows components during the first boot that will require a restart and it will take a minute or so to tell you that.


Once all that's done you'll have to go through your settings and change them - Sync, I/O, display resolution, etc.

Power down, remove the left audio card again (if you put it in) and install the left audio card support plate then install the left audio card.

Be sure all the mechanical stuff is ok and close up the machine.

Power up, insert your X-48 update disk and do the update as normal.

At some point before recording do a slow format of the new Data drive.  It will take hours.

Second Hard Drive Install Procedure

If you want to install a second hard drive the X-48 will recognize it but there are a few issues to work around -

File Manager recognizes the second drive but you can't move or copy to it until you create a new folder on it first, then you can copy or move to the second drive.  You can then delete the created dummy folder and the drive is recognized forever after that.  Weird.

I haven't figured out how to create a New project to the second drive - modifier keys don't seem to help.  Opening a project from and recording to the second drive works fine.  So, create a new empty project on the first Data drive, open the Startup project (to free the new project), then move it to the second Data drive and open from there.

It's possible that using the DVD's IDE connection instead of the second SATA port would deal with these issues, but I wanted SATA.

In light of these oddities and because we have several recordists who may not grasp the workarounds, I elected to just install the new OS/Data drive and not a second drive.  However, these are the steps I took to get the second drive installed -


Same as above, except cut the tie wrap around the power supply cable bundle and extricate a SATA power plug.


Follow the same procedure for formatting the new drive but only create one partition of the max size of the drive.  Multiple partitions won't be recognized as a second drive.  Name it something meaningful like DATA2.  You can select Quick Format if you'd like but be sure to slow format it later.

Once done formatting, don't insert the System Restore CD and exit Disk Management which will shut down the machine.


Unplug the new drive and figure out a mounting location.  It fits on it's side under the right side support bar that runs across the machine, directly in front of the motherboard.  You can drill two mounting holes in the support bar to mount the drive so it's hanging from the bar, but be VERY careful about drill filings.  Use an electronics vacuum and be very careful.  You could also fabricate a mount and drill the bottom case.

Definitely mount a small, quiet, low-power fan to blow across the drive.

Route the SATA power cable and the second SATA cable to the newly mounted drive.

Tie-wrap everything nicely.


Boot up, go to File Manager, it should recognize the new drive.

Select the new drive and select New to create a blank folder on the new drive.

Exit File Manager, create and save a New Project to the old data drive (you won’t be able to select the new one).

Open the Startup Project.

Open File Manager, select the new data drive, and move your newly created project to the new data drive.

Exit File Manager, open your newly created project from the new data drive.

At some point before critical recording do a slow format of the new Data drive.  It will take hours.

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