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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > ConnectedDrive / I-Drive / Navigation Related Discussion > Where is the hard drive located?



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      11-10-2008, 02:21 AM   #1
Rotary Rasp
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Where is the hard drive located?

Obviously, this would only apply to the 09's with iDrive. I'm thinking about installing a larger hard drive if the system is using a standard computer hard drive.

Depending on the file structure of the drive, it may be possible to extend the 13gb partition allocated for music.
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      11-10-2008, 04:08 AM   #2
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I don't know much about the 09's and I could be wrong but I doubt you can modify anything on the stock HDD.
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      11-10-2008, 01:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90ice View Post
I don't know much about the 09's and I could be wrong but I doubt you can modify anything on the stock HDD.
It depends on if they use a proprietary file system. My guess is that it's a stadard laptop hard drive running VxWorks. That would most likely mean it uses the RT-11 filesystem.
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      11-10-2008, 01:32 PM   #4
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After doing some research it appears that it does use VxWorks and the RT-11 filesystem. That means it might be possible to modify the partition tables.

fyi - VxWorks is closed source.
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      11-10-2008, 01:44 PM   #5
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It is probably a 2.5" SATA disk these days.

If you can get physical access to it, I would get a second similar drive and make using Linux a byte for byte copy. You then have all the time to try to understand the partition and filesystem layout (assuming it is not something custom) without messing with the original disk.

Note that I said Linux and not Windows for a reason. First of all Linux understand many more partition schemes and filesystems then windows does, second windows has the nasty habit of writing to the disk even when you think your just looking at it.
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      11-10-2008, 01:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotary Rasp View Post
After doing some research it appears that it does use VxWorks and the RT-11 filesystem. That means it might be possible to modify the partition tables.

fyi - VxWorks is closed source.
Where did you find that? The old iDrive system was indeed based on VxWorks running on the 32bit SuperSH processor. I had not heard anything about what the new system was based on.
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      11-10-2008, 01:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob72 View Post
It is probably a 2.5" SATA disk these days.

If you can get physical access to it, I would get a second similar drive and make using Linux a byte for byte copy. You then have all the time to try to understand the partition and filesystem layout (assuming it is not something custom) without messing with the original disk.

Note that I said Linux and not Windows for a reason. First of all Linux understand many more partition schemes and filesystems then windows does, second windows has the nasty habit of writing to the disk even when you think your just looking at it.

I planned on imaging the drive using norton ghost. I don't think making an image with ghost would write to the orginal drive. Once I have an image, I can modify it using ghost explorer. Finally, I'd dump the new image on to a new hard drive and try it in the car.
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      11-10-2008, 01:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob72 View Post
Where did you find that? The old iDrive system was indeed based on VxWorks running on the 32bit SuperSH processor. I had not heard anything about what the new system was based on.
Oh, it's possible that the information I was reading was referring to the old iDrive. Even if it was, there is still a very high chance that the new system still uses VxWorks.
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      11-11-2008, 03:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotary Rasp View Post
Oh, it's possible that the information I was reading was referring to the old iDrive. Even if it was, there is still a very high chance that the new system still uses VxWorks.
The new iDrive is said to be from a different vendor then the old system, so it might not be based on the same software stack. Just like they switched from NavTeq to TeleAtlas maps for the new system.
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      11-11-2008, 11:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
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The new iDrive is said to be from a different vendor then the old system, so it might not be based on the same software stack. Just like they switched from NavTeq to TeleAtlas maps for the new system.
True, thats why I posted this thread. Someone must know. Or at least have the shop manual, it should say where the hard drive is located.
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      11-11-2008, 02:09 PM   #11
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When I get a new car, I plan on getting 6FL so I can just use a USB hard drive. I don't want to bother copying everything to the internal hard drive. Upgrading the drive sounds like a pain in the arse, if it is even possible.
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      11-11-2008, 02:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotary Rasp View Post
I planned on imaging the drive using norton ghost. I don't think making an image with ghost would write to the orginal drive. Once I have an image, I can modify it using ghost explorer. Finally, I'd dump the new image on to a new hard drive and try it in the car.
Yeah...that's most likely not gonna work at all. Ghost only supports a few file systems. I'm sure they wouldn't use NTFS. It is slightly possible that they are using FAT32, but I doubt it.
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      11-11-2008, 02:53 PM   #13
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Ghost is filesystem independent. It will make an image of anything. More than likely I won't be able to edit the image, but I can still make a back up of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drwtsn32 View Post
Yeah...that's most likely not gonna work at all. Ghost only supports a few file systems. I'm sure they wouldn't use NTFS. It is slightly possible that they are using FAT32, but I doubt it.
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      11-11-2008, 03:43 PM   #14
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How large is the stock drive in the car? I've been told (shown) that the navigation partition is 65GB. If the music is 13GB then with the other two partitions of 4GB and something like 12GB, this would mean a minimum of about 100GB.
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      11-11-2008, 04:25 PM   #15
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80gb total.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoYank View Post
How large is the stock drive in the car? I've been told (shown) that the navigation partition is 65GB. If the music is 13GB then with the other two partitions of 4GB and something like 12GB, this would mean a minimum of about 100GB.
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      11-11-2008, 04:33 PM   #16
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Interesting math.
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      11-11-2008, 05:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotary Rasp View Post
Ghost is filesystem independent. It will make an image of anything. More than likely I won't be able to edit the image, but I can still make a back up of it.
Well yeah, you can do a byte-level image. But that won't get you anywhere as far as actually modifying or upgrading the drive. If you restored that byte-level image to a larger drive, the partition table would define the partitions the same size as they were before, and the file systems would be the same size as before.
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      11-11-2008, 07:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drwtsn32 View Post
Well yeah, you can do a byte-level image. But that won't get you anywhere as far as actually modifying or upgrading the drive. If you restored that byte-level image to a larger drive, the partition table would define the partitions the same size as they were before, and the file systems would be the same size as before.
Yea, the idea was to make a back up image just in case I screw up.
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      11-12-2008, 03:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotary Rasp View Post
I planned on imaging the drive using norton ghost. I don't think making an image with ghost would write to the orginal drive. Once I have an image, I can modify it using ghost explorer. Finally, I'd dump the new image on to a new hard drive and try it in the car.
It is up to you, but I have been bitten in the past by windows writing to the disk. Connecting it for a moment is enough, and an application like ghost is not going to prevent that from happening.

I would just use something like 'dd if=/dev/sdb of=idrivehdd.img' under linux. Much safer.
If you do not have a Linux system, you could even just boot it from a live CD/DVD image and never even install it on your HDD.
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      11-12-2008, 07:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob72 View Post
It is up to you, but I have been bitten in the past by windows writing to the disk. Connecting it for a moment is enough, and an application like ghost is not going to prevent that from happening.

I would just use something like 'dd if=/dev/sdb of=idrivehdd.img' under linux. Much safer.
If you do not have a Linux system, you could even just boot it from a live CD/DVD image and never even install it on your HDD.
I don't think you understand what I'm talking about. Ghost has it's own OS that you boot in to from a flash drive. You never boot into windows.

I'm talking about Ghost Solution, it's designed for network imaging.

This OS looks similar to this.

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      11-12-2008, 08:10 PM   #21
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The BMW info on the CIC system says the hard drive is "comparable to the hard drive on a home computer or laptop." Its a 2.5" 80 GB drive. In addition, they say the CIC's modular construction make the hard drive independently serviceable - its inside the CIC in the lower half mounted on a slide-in tray. (However, BMW dealers will just replace the CIC as a unit.) If you take the bezel off the front, there is a little rectangular port in which the drive slides out backwards (towards you.) ...see attached
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      11-12-2008, 08:54 PM   #22
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Quote:
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The BMW info on the CIC system says the hard drive is "comparable to the hard drive on a home computer or laptop." Its a 2.5" 80 GB drive. In addition, they say the CIC's modular construction make the hard drive independently serviceable - its inside the CIC in the lower half mounted on a slide-in tray. (However, BMW dealers will just replace the CIC as a unit.) If you take the bezel off the front, there is a little rectangular port in which the drive slides out backwards (towards you.) ...see attached
Oh wow, that's great!

It looks very easy to get to.

Last edited by Rotary Rasp; 12-30-2008 at 07:24 PM.
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