Put New Hard Drive in PS3 and Installed New Powerline Networking Solution - Both easy and recommended

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Bill Loguidice
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I was able to sneak in two activities late tonight. One was to upgrade my PlayStation 3 from its stock 2.5" 5400RPM 60GB hard drive (it's the original hardware backwards compatible model) to a 7200RPM 250GB Western Digital Scorpio Blue hard drive. As advertised, the whole process was quite easy. I just plugged in an external USB hard drive to my PS3, chose the backup option and backed up to the drive. I then unplugged the PS3, turned it upside down and removed the hard drive hatch. I then unscrewed the hard drive cage and removed it. Unfortunately I was not able to get all the screws in the cage off (I stripped them - I'll have to try again at a later date,) so I just plugged the new hard drive in directly. Anyway, it worked and is notably peppier than before (I of course had to do a restore from the external hard drive, but it went through without a hitch). To celebrate, I downloaded the DC Universe Online MMORPG beta, something I was hesitant to do before because I was starting to fill up the drive with PlayStation+ games (and necessary installs for games like Gran Turismo 5). In any case, if you have an older PS3 with a smallish hard drive, I highly recommend the upgrade. Just be careful with the screws on the hard drive cage!

The second part of the night was replacing a busted powerline networking solution from Sling Media. I chose the Western Digital Livewire solution, which, for $99, gives you two four port powerline networking boxes. One plugs into your existing router (mine is in the basement) and a dedicated power socket, and the other plugs directly into a power socket somewhere else in the house (in my case on our house's top floor). No configuration, it just worked. So now my bedroom Xbox 360 and Slingbox work perfectly again (the latter particularly useful for watching my home TV remotely via my iPhone) and I no longer need the network switch I used to have there (because the Sling Media powerline solution only had one port). I'll be getting a second WD Livewire set for Christmas, which will allow my OnLive console, main Xbox 360 and PS3 to connect over this more stable powerline connection (and in the OnLive console's case, the only way). I'll then have a spare Livewire box to do with as I please (still undecided on what that will be, but I have a few ideas). Again, the Western Digital Livewire is highly recommended for areas where your wireless-N network either doesn't reach or if you need a more reliable high speed connection (naturally wired Ethernet is still best, but few of us have that option).

Besides setting up the additional Livewire boxes around Christmas time, I hope to receive my mail ordered 250GB Xbox 360 hard drive, which will replace my main 120GB model, which too was getting a little tight (I've downloaded every Xbox Live Arcade demo from day one on there and have tons of purchased games). The 120GB hard drive will then go on the upstairs Xbox 360 with the 20GB drive, then I'll have a spare 20GB drive. Both Xbox 360's are the original white models (both originally were Arcade's). So, assuming I have no hardware failures on either the PS3 or Xbox 360, both having 250GB drives should take me through the remainder of this generation of systems with sufficient storage space. Hopefully.

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Nathaniel Tolbert
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Joined: 11/06/2010
I understand completely

Trust me, I understand. I just wanted everything done to my specific standards and as such was willing to put the time in. I added up the receipts that I keep from all of my electronics and it cost me a whopping 215 dollars with tax to do everything. The problem with HPNA here is that we have problems with bad power on regular occasion. We are on one of the oldest power grids still in use in the US here in Olathe, and as such we get brownouts, surges and everything in between. Before I wired the house I tried everything. Wireless didn't work well because the house was built in the mid 60's and so the construction is reinforced with metal bracket type structures at corners. That plays havoc with wireless signals for some reason. And the HPNA technology never garnered more than about 35Mbps which is slower than my Internet speed. It was problematic. But I had a lot of open space in the basement, so I set up my own MDF and wired the house. The nice thing is since I'm setting up the room I'm working on in the basement to be an old computer room, I've still got 4 drops on my patch panel that I can wire and I've dropped lines and boxes on each wall so there will be network access in the basement as well. This just worked well for me. I would be interested in seeing a good working HPNA set up but I don't know of anyone here who has one set up.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
In an Apt I had everying hard

In an Apt I had everying hard wired as the distances where not great and baseboards are great fro hiding wires under :) New house.. built in 2001 and suprisingly nothing for networking.. But a cable jack in each room (even the master bathroom?) problem is they didnt use cable, but bought DISH.. and did a really crappy job of wiring it in.. used some of the exsiting jacks.. and literly punched holes in wall to run it in others... what people with to much money do.. amazes me, buy a house then start rigging stuff with duct tape? My issue is they installed cable when i wasnt home (mistake on my part) so the router (wireless) is in my den.. no pc's in that room (but envetally the MAME machine will be back on network).. i have a Media PC in livingroom along with a 360 (wired), and a PS3 , wii (both wireless) my room has 2 PC's (which where wired and PS3 wired also to make media transfers bettter).. now everything is wireless.. I was hoping hte power things would slove some of this..

I know its something Im doing wrong.. or some extreme bad luck and I have 3 bad units.. I will be trying some others soon.. I like the mulit jack idea it sounds like you have.. will be looking into those for sure.

Bill Loguidice
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Sorry to hear that, Clok. The

Sorry to hear that, Clok. The Western Digital models I have worked without fuss, but the Zyxel ones required lots of effort to get going until they finally integrated nicely into my admittedly complex powerline network. I think I've definitely reached the limits of these terminals and will be moving to a Linksys EA6500 Smart Wi-Fi Dual-Band AC Router and a few matching Linksys Wireless-AC Universal Media Connectors to ratchet up the speed in a few key spots and take some of the load off the powerline stuff.

The powerline setup at the moment:
Family Room
Bill's Computer - 4 port ZyXEL Powerline AV 500 (500 Mb/s)
Christina's Computer - 4 port Western Digital WD Livewire (200 Mb/s)
TV - 4 port ZyXEL Powerline AV 500 (500 Mb/s)

Play Room
Girls' Computer - 4 port Western Digital WD Livewire (200 Mb/s)

Master Bedroom
TV - 4 port Western Digital WD Livewire (200 Mb/s)
ROAMER - 4 port Western Digital WD Livewire (200 Mb/s)

Basement
Router area - 1 port ZyXEL Powerline AV 500 (500 Mb/s) and 4 port Western Digital WD Livewire (200 Mb/s)
TV - 4 port Western Digital WD Livewire (200 Mb/s)

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
no luck

I picked up some T-link ones power networking connectors (was $20 for a pair of 2, i picked of two sets).. hooked them up.. and nothing I messed with it all night, tried combos'.. nothing.. friggin frustrating. I do networkign all day long for a living and these things are "just work" items. No way to configure or anything so when they dont work there is not much you can do. Great reviews on Amazon and elsewhere. makes me feel a bit stupid. With 4 you would think only one could be bad.. so some combo of 2 should work. Mine by all indications are working just fine. I am stuck with an amazingly crappy router fromt eh cable company (works fine but lights are so crappy i cant tell if they are on or off. light for port 1 lights 2,3 and 4 up..and htey are so weak i cant tell if they are actually lit or not) I tested ports with a laptop.. so I know ports are working.. tested cabels by router to laptop.. so it just leave the actual units. I evn tried them on the same circut.. nothing.. I fail good news is the reason i was doing it: my net connection was BAD.. moved into new house and new provider.. was awsome for about 2 weeks.. and slowly turned ot crap. Was my USB wireless dongel.. reset it and all the suddne im back to awsome.. My pc with a restart leave power in my USB.. so it never restarted (usb).. so simple.. but now i want to know why the T-links dont work :)

Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Got the same powerline solution

We have cables in the house (ISDN) that we could replace with UTP cables and sockets but because it is just a tough thing to do opted for the powerline option. We've got Wireless-N throughout the house and also quite a few Wifi enabled devices in the house.

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Well my WD HPNA solution is

Well my WD HPNA solution is certainly not the fastest (in fact, an optimal Wireless-N connection can at times be faster since this tops out at a theoretical 200 megabits per second), but the fastest possible speed is not necessarily what I'm after, just consistency without drops. I'd love to run ethernet wiring throughout my house, but it's not really practical for me since I'm not particularly handy and I'd rather not pay the money to have it done. For what amounted to just under $200, I got four four port routers creating a total of three different access points. For every $99 I spend, I get two more drops each acting as four port routers. Not a bad investment at all, with the upside that it's portable. As long as I have an outlet, I have a place to put in a four port router.

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Nathaniel Tolbert
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Joined: 11/06/2010
Unless the speed of the HPNA

Unless the speed of the HPNA (Home Phone networking architecture) has gotten much better than it is, I will just wire my own ethernet, thank you. It takes all of about 6 hours to cut the wall, drop the cables, set a demarc, and wire to it for every room. One Saturday and 5 rooms with a total of 12 drops were wired, punched down, and set for 1Gbps throughout the house. The thing is if you do it yourself, you can keep costs to almost a minimal. The things not to skimp on is a very, very nice Gigabit switch, and your router. Granted, we still have wireless in the house, but it's locked down so tight, that if anyone wants to use it, I have to collect their information and input it into the router to allow for their MAC address to have access to the internet or the house network. Total cost for the whole house including 1000 feet of cabling, 12 wall boxes, 12 cover plates, 12 RJ45 keystone jacks, 1 Gigabit punchdown, switch, router and all the tools cost me less the 300 dollars. And as long as you run the wires through areas where there is no EMI, or access for animals to chew the wires, you won't have to re-pull wires anytime soon. Just plan ahead, and make sure you know exactly where you hope to put drops, where the studs are in the walls, and if there are any zoning or construction requirements you have to adhere to in your local area. Oh, and you can only do this if you own the house, I'm sure. Don't wire your apartment, for some reason, they look down on you for that. *shrugs*

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Bill Loguidice
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Networking
Catatonic wrote:

I remember around 10 years ago, around the end of the dot-com bubble, it seemed inevitable that all houses would be built with Ethernet jacks all over the place, but that didn't happen!

That was always my dream to have a house built with Ethernet, but I guess that too was before we knew everything could be wireless. Ironically I have several powerline networking solutions in place to complement my Wireless N network, so I suppose with future technology it could be as simple as plugging your device in to have pretty much Ethernet speeds and reliability, sort of making that original vision a reality...

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Catatonic
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Joined: 05/20/2006
I remember around 10 years

I remember around 10 years ago, around the end of the dot-com bubble, it seemed inevitable that all houses would be built with Ethernet jacks all over the place, but that didn't happen!

forcefield58
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Joined: 05/19/2006
360 HDD Pricing

It is ridiculous how much MS charges for the upgraded HDD for the 360, $100 for the 120GB unit!!!! It's also a pain trying to backup the data from one drive to another. I have a cable to go from anything 60GB and under to the 120GB, but not the other way around. It'd be nice to select what I want to move vice all or nothing.

Have any of you managed to get your Xbox synched up to your PC? Every time I try it I get an error message that the code MS provides isn't valid (I get the code from the 360 once you go through the menu's that you enter on the PC screen).

Cheers

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