Replace the Zip Drive in a Roland VS-840

Introduction: Replace the Zip Drive in a Roland VS-840

In this instructable, I will walk you through replacing the Zip drive in a Roland VS-840 Digital Studio Workstation.

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Step 1: Materials

For this instructable, you need the following:

A Roland VS-840 Digital Studio Workstation, presumably with a malfunctioning Zip drive.

A new IDE Zip drive,. Be sure that you have the right capacity drive to replace the bad one. The stock VS-840 came with a 100Mb drive with a black bezel. The was also an upgrade kit offered at one time, so you may have a 250Mb drive instead.

A screwdriver.

Step 2: Remove the Bottom Plate

Flip the unit over, then remove the screws indicated and lift off the bottom plate.

Step 3: Remove and Replace the Zip Drive

The Zip drive is located on the lower left-hand side of the unit, presuming that the bottom of the unit is facing you.

1. Remove the data cable and power cable from the Zip drive. These are standard IDE and Molex connectors like those seen in many computers.

2. Remove the four screws holding the Zip drive in place.

3. Slide the Zip drive to the left and remove it from the case.

4. IMPORTANT: Check to make sure that the jumper on the drive is set to the Master position. If you have the jumper in another position, you will see an error during initialization.

5. Insert the new Zip drive

6. Install the four screws to hold the Zip drive in

7. Install the data and power cables

8. Power it back up and make sure everything is working. If you get any errors, check to make sure both cables are connected properly and the jumper is in the right position. WARNING: Don't touch any of the exposed innards while you have things powered up without the bottom plate on. This will likely have a variety of bad results.

9. Power back down and unplug. Put the bottom plate back in place and reinstall the rest of the screws.


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    6 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Hey, I’m try install a IDE hard disk 3’5 but the roland VS 840 put error 32647, why? Is not compatible? I tryed in mode master, slave, cable select, limits devive to 32 Gbytes...
    the hard disk is a Seagate Barracude 7200.9 80 Gbytes
    Best regard.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Hey there. I tried this out and it seems the zip drive I got was incompatible. It powers up but the screen is blank and buttons do not work. Could you possible give more info on the specs of the EXACT zip drive that works with the VS840? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    @funyhedB: You can have my old zip drive and the disk that goes with it if I can get my SD card adapter to work.
    It's already formatted. Just pay the shipping.
    Give me a week to figure it out.


    Reply 4 years ago

    Do you still have the roland vs-840 zip disc drive and is your offer still good

    to send out for the only the cost to cover shipping? My disk is clicking and can't function. Jim Morgan


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Hey ih8facebook, Thanks, but I think I'm going to try the SD adapter route too. Do you have the new software or do you know where to get it?


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Much of what you need can be found here. I advise yo to digest as much as you can prior to attempting this upgrade.

    my username is JohnnyMac

    You will find that you can create .wav files, use your VS as a sampler, increase your memory, etc. There are even some resources on swapping capacitors in the preamp circuit to improve s/n, etc

    Loading the firmware is a pain. Shoot me an email and I'll attach the files.

    You need to do a couple of things first:

    1. Check your unit's current firmware version. Do this by pressing MONITOR SELECT+SOLO while powering up. If you are lucky, yours is above v1.05, and you'll only need to update to v2.05EX; otherwise, you have a few more intervening updates, in order

    2. Open your VS and measure the voltage from the pins on the motherboard's power supply connection to the zip drive using one of the exposedRCA sleeves as a ground. Make sure you purchase the correct connectors for the job, including a longer ribbon cable, because the one in the VS is way too short to extend the adapter far enough to make a convenient card swap

    3. Don't try to load the update files from anything but a dedicated MIDI device with MIDI out, like a sequencer or keyboard. I have three MIDI programs (MIDI-OX, Anvil, downloadable Roland SMF Player). None of them worked with the cheap USB-MIDI cable I bought.

    4. To put the VS into 'receive' mode, press MODE+INPUT+ENTER while powering up. It will ask if you want to put it into receive mode. Tap YES.

    5. Begin the sequence. The 8 files will load in order. Verify version @ step 1

    6. When you order your IDE-SD card converter, be sure it has compatible specs. You may need to f/f it a few different ways to make it work



    Good luck,