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Alesis HD24 hard drive problems (and possibly more)

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Ridingfool, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Ridingfool

    Ridingfool Active Member

    Oct 4, 2012
    kittery point, maine, USA
    Ok, I've been losing sleep, hair and probably tooth enamel (from grinding them) on a similar issue. I've had an HD24 for 7 years. Power went out while I was gone for three days this summer. I had everything on an UPS. Which of course did not last that long. The HD will turn on correctly if the drive caddie is not in it. If the caddie is in, it twitches on and off and on and, well, you get the picture. I turned it off by the hard switch in the back (wouldn't power down). Took the caddie upstairs to the computer room, hooked it up via my Alesis Fireport. Nada. Just a little hissing noise. Any suggestions on these problems would be appreciated. I decided the hard drive was now defective, bought a new Seagate IDE 80 Gig hard drive. Same response in the HD, and Firewire just goes on and then beeps with the red light flashing. Calling all manufacturers was useless and time consuming. Discontinued, why should we care. I see the mention of the "HD24tools ". I also see mentions of conversion caddies/downloads etc. to convert to SATA drives, which are still extant, and not going the way of the dinosaur, three years ago. I'm not super tech. I'm a musician first, and tech by necessity. But I can get things, if explained in detail. I'm seeking advice and info that'll get my heart and soul back on track (no pun intended). My need is how to get it operating again. The new disk drive may very well be defective and a separate problem, since I don't think my Fireport has any problem. It's never left plugged in. Probably should mention the storm responsible for the power outage also made things very moist in the studio (think very hot, very humid, and heavy rains w/air conditoner not functioning due to power outage. How can I utilize the HD2d tools without a hard drive? Reading the posts here suggests there is a way. So... enlighten my ignorance, and set me free to record again?Thanks to all and any for your time invested in a reply.
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Alesis still makes the HD24. There is a users group on the net solely for the HD24....They are very very knowledgeable. Just type in HD24 user group. Even the Alesis staff populates that site. But, as I said, theres nothing about the discontinuation of the HD24 as far as I know. I think you probably need to reboot the machine from the beginning. Update the firmware. Take the cover off and use a hair dryer with NO HEAT and blow dry the motherboards. You probably have some wetness across a trace somewhere. Lots of people on here have HD24's. Some more than one. I have one and have had mine in use since 2002. It has it quirks but still works great. It is VERY picky about the harddrives. A question or a search on the user group will establish the recommended harddrives. There are brands that even though they are shiny and new, and they'll work with a computer, the HD24 wont talk to them or mount them. Also, did you format the drive before trying to mount it? It must be formatted to the Alesis protocol ADAT. Plus if your caddy isnt seated correctly it will not mount. Hopefully others will follow this up here.

    Go to the site and sign up. They'll help a lot. Its also where you can down load the HD24tools program. I think one of the main members there wrote it.
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Distinguished Moderator Resource Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    If you normally keep your HD24 on standby (i.e. mains power on at the rear power switch but unit turned off at the front panel push button), then your present trouble is almost certainly the power supply. They have a habit of keeping working while switched on but failing on the first power-up after being switched fully off or having had mains power removed.

    That said, there are different types of failure, but yours sounds as though it will not provide enough current at +12V for the drive spin-up. If this is the case, it means it should be a relatively easy fix, probably involving re-soldering or replacing the +12V power regulator on the output board in the power supply.

    Before that, it's worth checking the cable connectors on the ends of the leads from the power supply that plug into the main board and the two drive adaptor boards, as the pins can get tarnished or corroded resulting in high-resistance connections. The diagnostic is one or more contact positions of the plastic connector housing appearing brown from heat.

    On older HD24s, there is a further modification you could consider doing to the drive adaptor boards to add a reservoir capacitor on the 12V rail to cope with drives that take large currents on spin-up. The Yahoo HD24 user group has details of this.

    Unless you urgently need to get at recordings on the drive, I would get the HD24 working again and then turn your attention to the FirePort. Drives not spinning up in the FirePort may well be another power supply problem.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    I've had hard drives fail due to very high humidity environments. If the controller has failed on the hard drive and data recovery is required, it can get quite costly. We're talking about the replacement cost of the entire machine to recover the data off of the disk drive that is now permanently and forever defunct. So no hard drive spin up on more than one device would indicate that the drive here is primarily at fault for the HD 24 not otherwise working.

    But then having the thing always powered from the exhausted UPS may have also caused power supply failure in the HD 24? As voltage drops it tries to suck more current until it breaks its butt. Hope you had also made certain that your machine was in a cool dry place for about a week before powering up? There's a reason why not many yachts have recording studios. It's only us and the fish bit like that salt air.

    I'm not enjoying our cold snap down here... I was sweating last week.
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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