Tascam MX2424 hard drive woes and weird output noise


New Member
Oct 10, 2012
Gear owned
Here's the whole story. I bought an MX2424SE off of ebay that had a Glyph brand jump drive tray. The HD that came with the bay had been reinstalled into the internal socket. I bought a new seagate cheetah scsi drive along with the recorder to use in the Glyph brand jump bay. Upon receiving the recorder I could not get the new drive to work with the jump bay. I only got a "media too slow" along with "media is corrupt" errors when I tried to format and initialize the drive. However the internal drive worked fine and I thought "oh well, at least the internal drive that it came with works, maybe the other hard drive is defective." I proceeded to experiement with the recorder for the next few days and everything seemed great until a few days ago It developed this weird intermittent rumble in all of the analog outputs. I fretted over it for a day or so. Posted on Geaslutz some guy said it could be a dirty connection in the power section etc. Okay. But then today I powered up the machine and a few hours later out of nowhere the Hard Drive made a loud click and seemed to shut off and restat and the whole machine proceeded to freeze. I could not unmount the disc, I couldn't do anything other than watch the drive busy light illuminate for all internity. So I shut the machine off. I restarted the machine and tried to continue to record but eventually I got a "media too slow" error and again the machine froze. I couldn't get it to do anything other than have the busy light on. I have repeated this a few times now and I realize that it is bad to shut the machine off before unmounting the hard drive but I don't seem to have any choice when it is frozen up. I am in the process of trying to back up all of my files via ethernet so I can try formatting the drive. The things that seems a little odd to me is that when the drive starts to have problems or when it is working hard the display screen flickers...like there is some system wide power issue that makes the drive shut down. I don't know. Any thoughts? Glyph drive no worky. Weird noises in the output. Internal drive suddenly shuts down and the system freezes...
I'm sure this must be a power problem. Did you messure the voltage +12V and +5V at drives power plug while the unit was running ?
Hi. Unfortunately, I am not experienced with working on electronics. I don't own a voltmeter and wouldn't even know how to hook one up to the the drives power plug. I think I might have to find a repair person in my area. Is +12v and +5v what the drive should be getting?
Yes ! There are many units with damaged power supply caused by too much heat inside the housing.
Hmm. Maybe I did this. I read on computer forums that SCSI drives should be left on and powered down as little as possible, so I have been leaving the machine on during the day and a few times overnight. Maybe this caused enough heat to damage the power supply? What do you think my next step should be. Does the power supply have to be replaced entirely?
Hi, Sounds like a power supply problem, Tascam revised the power supplies at some point and I would have assumed that because you have an SE which was a later release you would have the later power supply.

The other power supply problem was with the push on connectors, the crimped cables inside the connections became a hot spot due to bad contacts and lost voltage, the fix was to remove the connections and solder the wires direct, however I have never had to do this on my 2 machines. I would try to disconnect the plugs and reset them to see if that fixes the problem.

The other thing that may have happened is that the hard drive itself got too hot and has failed, I have had this happen usually on larger drives 36gig and bigger but they were in an external bay which did not have enough cooling.

I have always recommend that you remove all drives from the MX and have an external tower with the drives in, I have an external tower with rack out bays, by having an external tower you reduce the load on the mx power supply and reduce the heat inside the mx.

Oh and I was getting a distorted signal once from a drive that was about to fail, but I transferred the project to another drive and it recovered all the audio fine.

Don't worry about powering drives on and off I have never heard this with regard to scsi drives, scsi drives are built to run hard they would have always have been spinning up and down in a server situation.

Hi Al,
nice to see you here. I'm still hoping that some of our previous posts will be restored to this new forum.
Hi Strados, some familiar names turning up, I don't have any pages from the old forum but I did save a fair bit of hard copy and pdf's of docs, so I have something to refer to. I don't know where I got to in the old forum, but I am now running 2 x MX2424's in sync, and have replaced the output caps on an analog card, but I am getting off track.

Let us know how you go with the drives mamorumohri, drive issues are the bane of my life, and not only with the mx.

Thanks for the input and advice guys. It's heartening to know that these are issues many users have experienced before and that there are some possible solutions.

Since my last post I was able to finish transferring my data and reformat the drive. I tried recording again and after about a half an hour I received the media too slow error. This time for what it's worth the drive didn't shut off and restart. I shut down the Tascam and opened up the case. I made sure that all the connections were snug and I noticed that the bundle of cords from the main power outlet was resting on the PC board. I don't know if it matters but I moved them off to the side. I put the cover of the case back on but left it a bit off center as to leave an opening on the right with the thought that it might allow more heat to escape the case.

Since then I have not experienced a lock up, however I have not been driving the disc too hard. I finished the track I was recording and converted to tape mode without issue. I transferred the files several times from the machine without issue. I have periodically played back the recording without issue. I have taken to unmounting the drive when I am not doing anything with the drive. However it has been mounted now for a little while and everything is ok.

I still notice that the display screen dims when the drive light is on. So when the drive is working harder it seems the power isn't totally capable of keeping up. Also the display seems to get dimmer overall all at times even when the drive is unmounted. So I am still not confident that the drive will not fail at any moment. I might try using the Tascam to record a band rehearsal tomorrow. I'll see if it can get through several hours of recording.

I have a general hypothesis related to heat about how the issue appeared only after about a week of owning the thing. This might be a stretch but it's fall here in Western Massachusetts USA and the temperature is starting to drop. For the first days that I had the Tascam the house was cold. But around the time that the drive first started crashing we had the heat up higher and the room was a lot warmer. Now our furnace has shut down again (I am having Tascam issues and furnace issues simultaneously) so the room is cooler again. I found an old post on another forum where someone suggested physically reversing the fan so that it blew cool air into the case rather than trying to suck hot air out. I might try something like that but I think the advice of removing the drive to an external case with more robust ventilation and a separate power supply is probably the better solution.

Do you recommend any particular external units? Also, I would appreciate everyone’s input on the best and most readily available hard drives. I know Tascam has a list of approved drives that I saw somewhere but I’d prefer to get input from people with specific experiences.
A scsi to sata adapter could help. (First fix the powersupply).. A SATA disk takes much less power than a old 10.000 RPM SCSI disk. Current inexpensive SATA disks could then be used...
My first external scsi tower was a computer case that I bolted scsi drives into, I got hold of some scsi cables and connected them to an external scsi connector on the case. Then just used a scsi cable to connect to the MX. Don't forget that you have to use an active scsi terminator on the last connection. All of this stuff is as cheap as on ebay now using ex scsi server gear.

My scsi towers now are server rack units with removable bays, another cheap ex server purchase.

As Muziekschuur suggested, the scsi to sata adaption is a good move for the future allowing you to use sata drives. The is a little messing around to set it up but it works fine once it's done, something I am going to do in the future. Muziekschuur, do you have the old documentation on this from the old site?

However you still need to check out the power supply to stop future problems, you may need to fine a tech to have a look for you.

Muziekschuur said:
A scsi to sata adapter could help. (First fix the powersupply).. A SATA disk takes much less power than a old 10.000 RPM SCSI disk. Current inexpensive SATA disks could then be used...
That's why I'm so sad of loosing all posts of the old forum about this mod.
The core is this scsci / sata bridge: "Acard AEC-7730A". Either connect it directly to the internal "sata" drive or replace the scsi rack / bay by a rack / bay for sata drives. It's very comfortable to use diffrent drives for each project. No need to copy / backup separately, cause the removable drives can be connected to your computer via a simple sata / usb interface with separate power supply or built in frame for removable sata bay.
I have been having the same problem. Slight back story I purchased a MX2424 off of ebay to dump all of my HD24 and RadarII files into, so I could sell both of those off. All I can say is that I simply hate the user interface and layout of the MX2424. Very poorly thought out IMO compared to the other two. I filled up my 36GB drive and bought a 72GB drive off ebay and I am getting the very same error codes as the original poster. The 36GB drive works just fine every time.. :evil:
Yes I did! I am going to play around with it again tonight.
It's funny, I have loads of drives from 9gig to 72gig, some work fine all the time and others are temperamental. What I think I have figured out is that larger drives 36gig and bigger that run at faster RPM (above 7500) seem to be more temperamental. I think the power supply requirements are greater and I also think that they generate more heat and overheat if the cooling is not up to scratch.

Recently I record to 18gig and 36 gig slower speed drives and have the 73gigs mounted as well as a back up drive. By recording on the slower smaller drives and then doing a smart copy to the larger drives there does not seem to be the same issues. The 72gig does not have to be pushed as it is only getting copies not recording on the run.

When criticising the MX operating system don't forget that when this machine hit the market around 12 years ago, scsi was the only format available that was fast and reliable enough to keep up. Also the standard drive size was 9gig so the MX was designed around this. 18gig drives turned up and they worked fine, I think the 36gigs worked fine, but to use the 72gigs the operating system was revised so you must have the latest (and last) release installed. 12 years ago, no USB (well just showing up USB1), no firewire, no SATA, no wifi, and I was using windows 2000 and 98se, so it was state of the art with scsi and ethernet.

Just a case point, I have never had a problem with a 9gig drive and the original one that come with my 1st MX, bought new many years ago, still runs fine. Another thing I would recommend is setting up a scsi card in a PC so that you can mount the scsi drive and see all the hidden files, this has saved the day many times for me and recovered projects.

TMT said:
. All I can say is that I simply hate the user interface and layout of the MX2424. Very poorly thought out IMO compared to the other two.

I just re-read this, what interface are you talking about? the front controls, or are you using MX view? If it's MX view what are you having trouble with? If you are not using MX view load and use it, operating from the front panel is the hard way.

witzendoz said:
.... operating from the front panel is the hard way.

@ witzendoz: I agree !
@ TMT: But notice, HD24 and others (I also used many Fostex units) offer much less functionallity.
Just an update, I did get the 72 gig drive to work and it finally wanted to do a low format. Now all is well. As for the user interface. (A little bit of a rant here)...Both of my other machines Radar II and HD 24 are quite simple to work within, using just the front panel/ RE-8II and are also about 12 years old. I am simply talking about the layout of the front panel and its user interface. I mean come on, when using the front dedicated numeric keypad, when interning project name/text the A,B,C etc are dedicated to button (7!) not 1. Its mentioned in the manual that inputting text is like "using a keypad on a phone" well..A,B,C is for digit/button (1). Renaming a project should be easier, I wish it had a return to Zero dedicated button like all other Tascam (Yes I know its really a TimeLine, and you simply double touch FF or RW). And I wish they screen printed some more function assignments, especially for Shift mode. All in all were getting along O.K.. But can someone tell me how to get a project to always start from "0" when creating a new project, that's probably the most annoying.
You know something, I don't even know how to load a project from the front panel, I just use MX view with a computer connected via ethernet. Why have you not set this up?

When I bought the MX new I had a good look at the HD24 but the editing and locking to SMPTE was not good. The Radar was much more money at the time. In fact I bough the MX because of the excellent lock up as I was locking to an analog tape machine, an automated console and midi sequencing.

Projects starting at 0, well projects are not supposed to start at 0 they are supposed to start at 1hr or rather 01:00:00:01 with the last :01 being frame 1 of the time code. The reason you start projects at 1 hr frame 1 is that in the film industry you can't start code before 0 as it would go across 2 different days (24 hours) in code language. So if you started at 0 and you wanted to add a scene before 0 you could not do it. The same thing happens with songs, if the intro started at 0 and then the band decided to add an extra part in front of the intro you could not do it. well in sound only you could move the entire project a few seconds, but not if you are locked to film, locked to another recording device or automation.

How to get all your projects to start at 1 hr frame 1, start a new project, place the curser (play bar) at 1hr frame 1 and record 2 seconds on any track, the project will now start from that position.


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