Page 1 of 1

FYI: AWG 400/500/600/700 Hard Drive Information

Posted: September 19th, 2011, 3:49 pm
by Carl M
There are two IDE drives in the AWG 400/500/600/700. Because this instrument uses an embedded Linux, I wasn't sure what file system it was using.

Just recently, I've learned that the two IDE drives are notebook style (powered via 44 pin IDE cable). The master contains the boot rom and calibration data. This is only about 8 MB total but it is stored in a 16 MB PCMCIA ATA memory card. The PCMCIA card is contained in an PCMCIA to IDE adapter that makes it the mechanical equivalent to a notebook IDE drive. The slave drive is the regular spinning drive and it is used for all user files. Both drives are formatted FAT16. The spinning drive I handled was 10 GB but the FAT16 partition was only 4 GB. This is the maximum allowable partition size for FAT16 so this isn't surprising.

These AWGs are discontinued. In theory you could replace a slave drive with any notebook drive provided it has one FAT16 partition. Furthermore, FAT16 is supported in Windows so recovery of user files should be trivial. I haven't tested this. Not sure about the PCMCIA card. If you replace one with a notebook drive please let us know how it turns out.

Re: FYI: AWG 400/500/600/700 Hard Drive Information

Posted: October 5th, 2011, 6:14 pm
by nctnico
Maybe some usefull additions: on they sell all kinds of IDE converters and compact flash cards pretty cheap. I'm working on replacing all mechanical hard drives in my equipment with compact flash cards.

Re: FYI: AWG 400/500/600/700 Hard Drive Information

Posted: November 28th, 2011, 11:04 am
by Carl M
while you can read the disks in windows or linux without any trouble, all of my recent attempts to clone the system disk have been unsuccessful. Using dd to copy the system drive did not work. the awg would either report no boot device or hang doing the boot loader loading. you have been warned.

Re: FYI: AWG 400/500/600/700 Hard Drive Information

Posted: November 28th, 2011, 12:00 pm
by nctnico
Perhaps it has something to do with the size or sector translation. Maybe there is a hidden partition on the drive as well.

I recently put a compact flash card in a Lecroy PC based waveform generator. That generator uses a boot rom to show a fancy logo, load DOS and start the generator application. After some futile attempts I simply removed the boot rom and let the BIOS boot DOS by itself and use an autoexec.bat file to start the app. Works like charm except the fancy logo is gone (who cares... :D ).

Re: FYI: AWG 400/500/600/700 Hard Drive Information

Posted: December 23rd, 2020, 7:55 am
by radioamator
Hello everybody, I'm resurrecting this necro-thread :mrgreen: just to let you know that finally it is possible to fully replace the AWG 520/510 storage units with CF cards and a cheap adapter, most likely instructions for 610 will be there soon, , the whole discussion could be found on EEVBlog forum, I'm DC1MC and if you have one of this excellent units I can assist you replacing the storage units or revitalizing a dead unit due to storage failure.
Link to the tread: ... -teardown/

Best regards,