Hard Drives

charlie hansen

New Member
Jan 21, 2014
Gear owned
I'm sure that this has been covered before but here we go again. What hard drives are compatible with the original 2488. I think mine is getting wonky so I want to replace it.


Generally, any PATA (IDE) drive should work, but the machine will not utilize more than around 130 gigs. Don't format the drive before installation; it must be unallocated, un-formatted. My machine is the neo, so someone may correct my answer and, if I'm wrong, I hope someone does.

For anyone with an early-release Neo (firmware 1.00), here is what I did. I had replaced the original drive with a new Seagate pata drive a while back, but the drive was causing a vibration that would sometimes rattle a couple faders -- it was driving me nuts. I decided to modify the Neo to use SATA drives externally. For a little over 5 bucks, Amazon & other merchants carry these little PATA to SATA interfaces that are just small pc-boards with an IDE socket on one side and a SATA socket on the other; on the IDE side is a molex power connector and on the SATA side the power and data sockets are in-line so that the board itself plugs in to the business end of your SATA drive. My intention was to run a cable with the combination 7-pin and 15-pin socket through a small, grommetted hole I had put on the side of the Neo. This worked. But I didn't like the idea of using a bare drive and having to make sure the bottom side was isolated from any conductive or charged surface.

Since I was using a 2.5" SATA drive, I decided that the vibrations caused by the large PATA drive wouldn't be an issue with this little drive, a WD Scorpio Black, 350GB, 7200rpm, so I went ahead and installed it internally, so the only cable hanging out the side of the machine was my HGR-2488 Prism vga interface. This worked beautifully as far as noise & vibration were concerned, though out of the 350GB on the drive the Neo only formatted around 130 gigs, which was no big deal since the drive was just laying around collecting dust anyway.

One last thing I need to mention here. The 2.5" SATA drive worked right away with the original firmware, but then a few little glitches would occur here & there on certain operations, leading me to conclude that I needed to install the 1.10 firmware Tascam was loading onto their later machines after they changed over to SATA drives. The tech I ended up talking to at Tascam was pretty cool. I had heard other forum members (on the old pay-to-play site that went down soon after I paid my dues) mention how they'd tried, in vain, to get Tascam to send them updated firmware for their machines, so I kept my fingers crossed. But after talking for a few minutes the tech realized I knew what I was talking about and knew my way around the guts of the machine (thus would not be causing any technical-support headaches for them by burning the Neo to the ground or blowing it up or some such rot), so he agreed to email the 1.10 firmware to me right away.

Long story short, I now have a modernized Neo, with a 2.5" SATA drive, 1.10 fw and an HGR-2488 Prism vga interface. If anyone reading this has one of the pre-sata Neos and wants to modify it, I will be happy to give a more detailed step-by-step, with photos, of the changeover. That way I can show how to replace the original drive mounting platform with a 2.5" adapter and a few other things I didn't mention here. Even though the Neo is now an obsolete machine, I'm sure there are many like myself who prefer their home-studios built around one of these units. I often use a DAW along with the Neo, but the Neo is the centerpiece of my studio, from tracking to mixdown at least. I have a lot of analog outboard gear that plays well with the Neo, and I am not ready to sell that gear off and start using VST's -- too much money invested and, damn, I like the sound so much more than the sterilized tracks I seem to get out of Cubase.

I would be happy to do a sticky of the PATA to 2.5" SATA changeover along with the HGR-2488 Prism installation rolled in to one, with photos, if there is any interest in something like that at this point.
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