*** As with all instructables, you are taking your item / health / whatever into your own hands. Be patient and careful and you will be successful ! ***
This is my second instructable.
I bought this player on the internet, hoping that a firmware upgrade and a new battery would solve the 'low battery' message problem.
It was a fight to install the new firmware (since you can't skip the warning message), and when the new battery was installed and charged the warning still wouldn't go away.
The only other major component was the HD, so I picked one online and viola ! It works !
I would recommend reading this entire instructable before starting the project. It's not that long, and could help you avoid breaking something that isn't easy to fix !
Step 1: Disassemble and Replace Battery
The Riot has 4 torx head screws holding it together. I found that a 2mm straight tip screwdriver works well in removing these screws.
After you take the screws out, gently lift the top cover off. The volume control is a single part that is easily removed by lifting it straight up, and the power button removal is the same.
Now gently remove the entire assembly, being careful to grab the battery (on the left side) as soon as possible to keep it from damaging the connector, or breaking a wire (don't let the battery dangle by the wire !)
Gently remove the battery plug from the connector and place it aside.
The battery is 3.7V, 1800mAh - there is more information in the battery.txt file in the download link below.
If you're just replacing the battery, do so, then put it all back together, paying special attention to the battery temp sensor. Be careful not to pinch the wires, or break the connections on the board, or the player will not work !
Here is a link for the Riot with battery recalibration information, firmware updates, manuals, etc.
Here is the Mediafire link: Rio Riot Files.zip *** UPDATED/Checked 3/12/2017 ***
This link has the 1.25 firmware update, Rio Riot Manual, new battery information, battery calibration information, the readme for the 1.25 firmware update, and some PDF files that I pulled from the almost gone Rio website - and the RiotReader beta that lets you pull the drive and use it in Windows!
If you're just replacing the battery, you are finished with the hardware part. Now go to the link above and follow the directions on how to properly calibrate the battery.
If you are going to install the HD as well, head to the next step.
Step 2: Replacing the HD
I tried putting the original HD in a USB enclosure, and I would get a 'device I/O error'.
I know that windows won't directly read the HD, but it should at least see that it's there and offer to format it !
The original drive for this unit is a Fujitsu, made in Thailand.
I looked on the net for one of these drives and I found very few of them. Most of them were in the UK.
I decided to call Fujitsu and see if they could help, and WOW their technical support guy was really helpful (no joke here). I explained that this drive was getting hard to find, and wanted to know if any of the other models, particularly the MHR2020AT, would work.
He said that that drive should work fine, then he gave me a tip about getting a drive.
Look at the part number above, the part after the hyphen.
That is the number that shows if any vendor-specific items have been added to the drive.
Unless you can find that exact drive and part number, you have to get a drive with only 4 digits after the hyphen.
This indicates that it is a generic drive that should work with almost everything.
I found a MHR2020AT online and the part # was: CA06062-B022
This drive should work, according to the guy at Fujitsu.
I bought the drive and when it arrived it was broken. It did the same thing as the original drive. I tried it in the USB enclosure and got the same error as well. I think it wasn't packed good enough and was damaged in transit.
I returned the drive and had another shipped, and that one did the trick !
Now the player works great !
*** End of Backstory ! ***
The drive has 4 screws holding it to the bottom board. Gently remove the heat sensor taped to the top of the drive, then remove the screws. The drive pulls straight out.
The original drive had a piece of plastic glued to the bottom, which must be there to keep it from shorting out anything on the board it's mounted to.
I just cut out a rectangle of paper and put that under the drive.
My power connector was a little shaky, so I added a bit of solder to the three contacts to add some strength.
Then I reinstalled the drive, made sure the heat sensor was in place and not damaged or pinched, and reassembled the unit.
If you want to test the unit before it is fully assembled, that is fine too. You'll know right away if something is wrong. The unit won't clear the warning screen, and will keep restarting.
If that is the case make sure and check all the connections and wires for breaks.
You now have an overhauled Rio Riot !
Hook it up to the line in on your modified boombox and enjoy the music..
(Yes, that's a plug to go and check out my first instructable !)