A couple of years ago I cancelled my subscription to BT Vision. Since then the box has been gathering dust in my shed. I started putting together a server for my Xboxes running XBMC and was hunting for a suitable hard drive for the operating system when I came across the BT Vision box. I opened it up and found a 160gb sata hard drive. Ideal!
I first realised this wasn't going to be straightforward when I tried to install an operating system. Linux reported errors writing the partitions. A quick Google search found that BT Vision box hard drives are locked. Bugger! After a bit of research I managed to unlock the drive and install a operating system on it.
This instructable shows how I managed this and hopefully it will be of use to others in the same position.
What you will need:
~BT Vision box (Black version, the older silver/white ones have an IDE hard drive).
~Torx screwdriver (T10).
~Torx security screwdriver (or vise grips).
~Windows PC or laptop (I used Windows 7).
~PC and cables to connect the sata drive.
~USB pen drive (1 Mb is fine)
Step 1: Liberate the Drive
First thing is to get the hard drive out of the BT Vision box. There are three T10 torx screws on the back, some times these are security screws with a post in the middle, that need to be removed. This lets you lift off the top cover. If you don't have a security torx bit, you can get a hold of the screw head with a pair of vice grips and unscrew it. Unplug the connector from the back of the drive and remove the 4 screws that hold it in. Lift out your 160 gig drive.
If you are like me and like collecting bits and bobs for future project, there are also some other goodies in the box. The power supply gives 5 and 12 volt outputs. There is a small 12v fan and some buttons soldered to the front panel under the black plastic cover.
Step 2: Download the Software.
Next you need to download two pieces of software.
This is the software that will be used to unlock and erase the drive
Download from www.hdat2.com select the download link at the left of the page and scroll down to the SINGLE PROGRAMS section and download the HDAT2.EXE for usb dos boot.
Note: You could create a CD image and boot directly from the CD. I didn't use this method but it should be straight forward.
is used to create a dos bootable usb drive.
Download from http://rufus.akeo.ie.
Step 3: Prepare the USB Pen Drive
*Insert the USB pen drive
Note the drive letter Windows assigns to it by checking in MY COMPUTER
You don't need to install Rufus it runs straight from the downloaded exe.
*Format the USB drive as a free dos boot
Make sure the correct drive is selected, and use the default settings, hit START and in a few seconds it's done.
*Create a folder on the USB drive and call it "HDAT2"
*Copy the the HDAT2.EXE file that you downloaded into this folder
Step 4: Connect the New Hard Drive to Your PC and Boot From the USB Pen Drive
Shutdown your PC, remove the cover and install the BT Vision hard drive. I recommend that you disconnect the existing hard drives so you don't accidentally erase the wrong drive.
Note : Before touching static sensitive components inside the case, discharge youself of static by touching the metal case of the PC.
Insert the USB drive you prepared in the previous step. Switch on the PC and it should boot to the dos prompt. If not, you need to change the boot order in the BIOS of the PC.
To run HDAT2 we first change to the HDAT2 directory and run the EXE file.
Step 5: Using HDAT2 to Unlock and Erase the Drive.
The first screen shows the attached storage devices. Item 1 that has the red exclamation mark next to it is the locked drive. Highlight the locked drive with the arrow keys and press enter
From the next menu select the Security menu
Choose Erase Unit. The identifier is user. Press P to enter the password :"PACE FRANCE Master Security PWD2" then enter. The password is case sensitive
Next press I to change the identifier to Master, then S to start the erase. Answer Y to the prompt asking if you are sure you want to run Erase Unit
Almost done, you just need to let it erase the drive.
Last thing is to partition and format the drive using the operating system of you choice.
The next thing I want to do is get a hold of a BT Vision plus box, which has a 500 Gb drive, to see if the same procedure will work.
Would appreciate any feed back, be kind this is my first instructable.