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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > ConnectedDrive / I-Drive / Navigation Related Discussion > 2011 E90 CIC Hard Drive Upgrade Success



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      08-02-2015, 05:20 PM   #1
nux
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Post 2011 E90 CIC Hard Drive Upgrade Success

Hello,

This day in age it seems crazy (as someone in IT) to be stuck with 12.5GB of storage for music on a disk in my car.

I was able to upgrade the stock disk from the 80gb 4200rpm IDE disk to a 120gb SSD disk. The system starts up quicker, and the lag in perspective mode for nav is a lot snappier zooming out.

I found this thread here: http://www.chargerforums.com/forums/...d.php?t=109886 and it looked easy and promising.

The differences between the charger system and ours is the partition type is not qnx4, but qnx6. Instead of the dinit command to format the partition, use the command: mkqnx6fs <disk>

I used this disk to replace the stock one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The basic rundown:
1. Clone the old disk to the new one.

Note: I put my OEM in a anti static bag and taped it shut in a box and stuck it away somewhere safe. From what I hear if your nav unit goes bad under warranty, the whole thing is replaced. If you ever run into an issue that requires warranty work I would recommend putting the OEM disk back in.

2. Somehow resize the music partition (partition 4 of 5 on the disk) to utilize the new space. I'd recommend booting QNX SDP, backing up files from both partitions, and resize them using the Ranish partition manager recommended on the charger forum.

My disk had an extended partition, and then 5 logical partitions. The numbering started at 5 and went to 10.

3. After they're the right size, format with mkqnx6fs command, and copy the old files back. I deleted my current music collection before doing this so copying is very quick. I expect the directory structure is what you need on the music partition. I wouldn't mess with the fifth partition at all, so just restore it fully from the backup.

And that's that. One thing to note. When you look at the free space listed on the car, it says 100% free 12500MB of 12500MB. I am only guessing now, but it will continue to say that exact message until you get under 12.5G of free space.

I was a bit worried it didn't work at first. To test, I copied 40GB of music to the disk without a problem to confirm the space was usable.

I will post a copy of the text at the end of this post from the charger forum in case it disappears.

I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Thanks,
-nux

Quote:
I will try to add notes in here where I can! As far as the information I have copied and pasted from the other website, it looks like they have had success with an 80GB Hitachi drive, and a Western Digital drive. We will want to see if all drives will work, or if certain brands or if there are any limitations. Also, it looks like you can apparently use a larger hard drive than 80GB, however it sounds like it there is a possibility that it will run slower once it starts getting filled. Not sure how much slower, or if getting a solid state drive will work to help correct the slowness. You will be looking for an IDE (aka PATA, ATA. EIDE......NOT SATA)2.5" laptop hard drive

Looks like with the next step, we will be copying the hard drive (sector-by-sector) to the newer, larger hard drive. Other software that may work but we will need to test if it will work is: Norton Ghost, Acronis True Image, as well as other drive imaging software. We need to confirm what works and what doesn't! If there is easier or more familiar software to work with, then we would want to go with that

What Marco describes is correct. Briefly, the steps that worked for me are:

1) Do a sector-by-sector clone of the original disk onto the new disk. There are various tools available to do this. I used G4U (http://www.feyrer.de/g4u/), and I did it by connecting both drives to a single computer using IDE-to-USB cables. G4U also supports the creation of an image, in case you only have one IDE-to-USB cable for instance. This cloning step will recreate the boot sector, the partition table and the 4 partitions of the original disk, but it will NOT fill the new disk completely (assuming you are using a bigger disk than the original).

Now it looks like we will need to increase the partition size of the 4th partition using partition software. We need to get a list of what all will work! Other software I know to try, would be Partition Magic, but if anyone has access to anything else, we can try it and see what else works!

2) Increase the size of the 4th partition to fill the available disk space. Again, various tools are available, but I used the Ranish partition manager that is part of the Clonezilla Sysreccd (http://clonezilla-sysresccd.hellug.gr/). Boot the CD and choose the Tools menu, and then the 'FreeDOS with Ranish Partition Manager' option. Alternatively, the Ranish Partition Manager is available as a separate download here (http://www.ranish.com/part/). You have to move the end of the 4th partition - I stopped at the last sector of the last complete head, so that there was a tiny amount of unused space at the end of the disk.

3) This increased 4th partition now needs to be formatted. For this and the next (4th) step I used the 'QNX Neutrino Lite' Live CD (http://www.qnx.com/download/feature....rogramid=19602). Boot into the Live CD version (F2 I think), and start a terminal session, then issue the command 'dinit -h /dev/xxxx -t50', replacing xxxx with the device name of the 4th partition on your new hard disk. Look in the /dev/ folder to see what it is called.

4) After the above step, your new hard disk will *almost* work - if you put it back in the MyGIG unit you will find that the new 4th partition is recognised, and you should be able to display the size of this partition using the MyGIG 'available space' option (I forget what it is called exactly). However, you will NOT be able to import anything to the new disk at this stage. Marco alluded to the fix - you need to copy and paste the contents of the original 4th partition to the new one. Again, the QNX Neutrino Lite live CD will do this for you - use the Photon graphical file manager, but note that drag-and-drop in this program will *move* files, so they will be deleted from the original disk. That's not what you want, so use copy+paste instead. I'm not sure how much of the copied information is required. It may well be sufficient to recreate the folder structure on the new partition, or it may be necessary to have the database files as well. At least if you copy everything across you know it will work, and you will have the added bonus that all your music will be transferred to the new disk as well. If you want to save time at this step, you could delete all your music while your MyGIG is still in your vehicle. This will minimise the amount that has to be copied in this 4th step.

As usual, there is more than one way to skin a cat - you could probably replace steps 1 and 2 with a manual creation of the different partition types and sizes, and then use the QNX Neutrino Lite live CD to copy the files onto the new disk. The sector-by-sector clone definitely works however.

There was a report from someone else that there may be an artificial limit on the amount of data that can be put on a bigger drive - about the same as the original 30GB drive it seems. It isn't obvious how such a limit would be applied, and I'm of the opinion that this might simply be because the bigger drive wasn't installed properly in that case - in other words, I'll believe it when I see it! I am in the process of converting my entire music library to 'Preset: Medium' MP3s, which should comfortably use more than the 17GB of space that was available on the original disk. If I run up against this hard limit I'll report back. What about you Marco - how much music have you put on your new 80GB drive?

Marco - I'm interested to know if you have actually tried the SSD yourself, or whether you are just reporting the result of a test that someone else did.

Has anyone tried Compact Flash? The addressing interface is the same as IDE, so with one of those CF-to-IDE pin adapters it may be possible to use a slightly cheaper solid state device - 32GB CF cards aren't too bad, but 64GB CF cards are still a bit pricey. Write speeds are not good, but then the MyGIG mostly reads from the drive anyway.

At the moment I have less than a couple of GB of music on my new disk, but the MyGIG reports that I have about 65GB to play with - should do me fine I reckon! I'd post a picture of the screen (I've taken one, ready to post), but I can't see a way to do that - do I need more posts first? Edit: see my next post.
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      08-02-2015, 08:40 PM   #2
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Well done mate at last someone has had success with an ssd. Is there any chance you could write up a more detailed idiots guide to how you did it. Ie what tools you used to clone the drive and the exact commands. I had a go at this using a sandisk msata ssd in an ide adaptor but it didn't work. The CIC didn't see it when I plugged it in and tested it in the car. At the time I thought this was due to the adapter or ssd but now I'm thinking that maybe the cloning process was done wrong as it didn't take very long and there was a few gigs of music on there, plus all the satnav files which are over 20gb.

If you can do a more detailed guide I'd be willing to give this another shot.

Cheers

Jim
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      08-03-2015, 03:11 AM   #3
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Reading this again I do have a couple of specific questions.

1. What did you use to clone the CIC drive?
2. If you cloned the drive in step 1 why did you later format the partitions and copy the data over? Surely if you cloned the drive there is no need to do this.

Apologies if these seem like numpty questions.
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      08-03-2015, 09:34 AM   #4
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I didn't have a ton of time when I wrote it up initially. I don't think I could explain it better than the guy on the charger forum.

I'd like to make some images of the empty 4th partition and the partition table.
Then with the identical disk (the amazon one above) it would be a couple commands to set it up after you cloned your current one.

Not sure when I could get that setup, but if there is demand for it I could get something put together.

I use dd to clone the disk. I booted in Ubuntu live cd and dd if=/dev/sda of=bmw-backup.iso
Edit: I personally made a backup before doing anything. To actually clone vs backup, you can then dd if=bmw-backup.iso of=/dev/sda With dd if is source, and of is destination. Don't mess these up as you may destroy your disk!

The drive is cloned with the current size of the partitions. The total filesystem takes up the exact same space as it did on the smaller disk. I resized the extended partition that contains all the partitions on the disk to take up all the available space.

As far as I know you aren't able to resize the QNX6 filesystem like you would a windows NTFS formatted partition or ext3. So that means resizing the music partition wont be enough, as you need to resize the filesystem as well. Easiest way to handle that is to delete and recreate.

Last edited by nux; 08-03-2015 at 09:46 PM.
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      08-03-2015, 05:22 PM   #5
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Cheers for the reply, that clears up a few things. I'm on vacation ATM but will have another go at this on my return and let you know the result. If it fails again with my current ssd then I'll buy one the same as yours and try with that. Thanks once again.

Jim
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      08-13-2015, 09:07 AM   #6
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good work!
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      08-14-2015, 10:53 PM   #7
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I am intrigued. I am looking to improve response speed of the system. I do not not have much need for expanding HD size, so I would be using same size HD.

I know it is explained in the post, but would you mind providing really Simplified version of these instructions starting with location of HD. I also have 2011.

Thank you!
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      08-23-2015, 12:02 PM   #8
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I plan on doing this. One question, did you not need a pata to sata adapter? Which did you get and how well did it fit?

Also from past experience with in car computers, be careful which ssd you get, I found adata in particular do not work in freezing temperatures. Just straight up stopped working on my last car.
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      08-23-2015, 09:12 PM   #9
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For Mac OS what software for clone do you recommend? Usually I use carbon copy cloner for normal clones.
Thanks
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      08-24-2015, 11:05 AM   #10
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Hey folks,

I'm in the proccess of replacing the hdd with an ssd too. I removed the toshiba hdd from the car with battery disconnected, plugged into my computer at home and cloned the drive. My ssd has not been delivered yet so once I was happy that the oem drive had been cloned, I put the toshiba back into the car as I had to use it for work. Upon reconnecting the car battery and starting the car I now have nothing at all on the cic. No display, radio, sounds, nothing at all. It doesnt seem to power up. I have checked 3 fuses behind glove box and also fuse behind headunit and all are ok. Also made sure no bent pins on toshiba hdd. Cic reset didnt work as well.

I have read about a few people having success in cloning the drives etc, but not come accross anyone with similar issue as me. I am now really worried that my cic is screwed, but cant understand why as all I did was remove hdd and copy it.

Please someone save me

Thanks all
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      09-25-2015, 11:55 PM   #11
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Update: I believe this may not be a reliable solution. From what I've read the max operating temperature is 185F for the toshiba OEM disk. The SSD I put in failed within a week or two. I got a replacement sent out and I was hoping it was a bad disk.

With the replacement installed after an evening of cruising around, the disk was reporting it was operating at a max of 75C - which is 5C over the "max operating temperature". I am going to put the OEM disk back in for now.

A search for possible options for the disk weren't promising. The actual process to replace/upgrade the disk is simple enough. But the disk you put in needs to be comfortable in high temperatures.

Last edited by nux; 10-26-2015 at 11:24 AM.
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      09-28-2015, 08:52 PM   #12
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sorry can you clarify your numbers. You said 185C which can't be right. And then you said 75 was 5 over it. So was the max 70C?

How did you measure the HDD temp?

Some SSD's aren't as good as others. In my last car, with a carpc, I had to return an AData SSD I bought because it would stop responding in freezing temperatures. I bought a more reputable brand and I was fine.
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      09-28-2015, 08:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nux View Post
Update: I believe this may not be a reliable solution...
also can you answer my question about the PATA to SATA adapter?
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      10-01-2015, 11:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nux View Post
Update: I believe this may not be a reliable solution. From what I've read the max operating temperature is 185C for the toshiba OEM disk. The SSD I put in failed within a week or two. I got a replacement sent out and I was hoping it was a bad disk.

With the replacement installed after an evening of cruising around, the disk was reporting it was operating at a max of 75C - which is 5C over the "max operating temperature". I am going to put the OEM disk back in for now.

A search for possible options for the disk weren't promising. The actual process to replace/upgrade the disk is simple enough. But the disk you put in needs to be comfortable in high temperatures.
Do enterprise SSDs have a higher temp rating?
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      10-26-2015, 11:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssshake View Post
sorry can you clarify your numbers. You said 185C which can't be right. And then you said 75 was 5 over it. So was the max 70C?

How did you measure the HDD temp?

Some SSD's aren't as good as others. In my last car, with a carpc, I had to return an AData SSD I bought because it would stop responding in freezing temperatures. I bought a more reputable brand and I was fine.
My bad - I mean 185F, which is 85C. Some MFGs list F and others C for some confusing reason.

I may look into finding a way to do this again in the future here, but for now have shelved it. I don't have an adapter.

I measured the temperature of the replacement disk by putting the disk back in my computer, and checking the SMART data (smartctl -a /dev/sdb in linux for example with smartmontools).
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      03-26-2016, 12:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimborae View Post
Reading this again I do have a couple of specific questions.

1. What did you use to clone the CIC drive?
2. If you cloned the drive in step 1 why did you later format the partitions and copy the data over? Surely if you cloned the drive there is no need to do this.

Apologies if these seem like numpty questions.
I used the HDD Raw Copy tool from HDDGuru to copy sector by sector my HDD into a disk image and then used the same tool to restore the image onto an SSD. The tool is free and easy to use.

Last edited by MSportBMW; 03-26-2016 at 02:30 AM.
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      05-15-2016, 12:55 AM   #17
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I did a dd to a file and a dd back to the new SSD. All the partitions showed up exactly the same as the original. No luck. I had the battery disconnected throughout the whole process, booted it and Navigation tells me "Function not Available" or similar. Same after a forced reboot.

How does one telnet or similar to the CIC unit on an E9x car to get further info?
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      05-30-2016, 03:24 PM   #18
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If you guys are looking for more storage or just a little more speed, take a look at 7200 rpm drives.


I've been running this 7200 rpm Hitachi hard drive for over 3 years without any problems. Hitachi drives are without a doubt the most reliable disk drives made. (now known as HGST after WD bought them)

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      06-06-2016, 07:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoopy Singh View Post
Hey folks,

I'm in the proccess of replacing the hdd with an ssd too. I removed the toshiba hdd from the car with battery disconnected, plugged into my computer at home and cloned the drive. My ssd has not been delivered yet so once I was happy that the oem drive had been cloned, I put the toshiba back into the car as I had to use it for work. Upon reconnecting the car battery and starting the car I now have nothing at all on the cic. No display, radio, sounds, nothing at all. It doesnt seem to power up. I have checked 3 fuses behind glove box and also fuse behind headunit and all are ok. Also made sure no bent pins on toshiba hdd. Cic reset didnt work as well.

I have read about a few people having success in cloning the drives etc, but not come accross anyone with similar issue as me. I am now really worried that my cic is screwed, but cant understand why as all I did was remove hdd and copy it.

Please someone save me

Thanks all
Did you ever get this fixed/work out what caused it?

Thinking of taking the drive out to do a backup now I'm at the end of my warranty (new CIC unit if drive fails will be very expensive!). Also thinking of doing an SSD swap while I'm in there but your post has got me worried - can't see how what you described could have happened unless you somehow gave the drive a large shock or accidentally wiped the disk when trying to do a backup? Even then I'd have expected the CIC to show some signs of life, even if just an error code... Got me worried about doing this now.
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      06-06-2016, 08:47 PM   #20
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Ps I have an E92 and from the looks of it the hard drive location would be right behind the plastic trim panel at the bottom where some people have their heated seat buttons/front parking sensor button. Is there any easy method to remove just that trim panel/any tabs etc to avoid etc - would much rather have a process for removing one small panel to get to the drive than ripping half the car apart and potentially introducing rattles etc when it all goes back together. EDIT: this panel: http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y13...psbuxu7ra5.jpg I don't use the hard drive for music so would just be doing an exact clone of the drive (Probably Acronis clone using their bootable cd).

The old drive in the CIC will not be advanced format and with this being an SSD with IDE interface I'm not sure if Acronis would recognise it and adjust offset correctly. If copied over exactly bit for bit the partition alignment on the SSD would be off leading to degraded performance. Has anyone tried to realign the partitions on the SSD after doing the copy? Or has anyone checked the offset after their working clone and found offset is set OK (if recognised as an SSD many cloning software will align properly during data copy)?

There are utilities to realign partitions on SSDs that are out of alignment that could be used if needed but just curious how others have got on with this or if anyone has even checked?

Last edited by undecided1; 06-07-2016 at 06:56 PM. Reason: add image
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      07-30-2017, 04:36 PM   #21
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Necropost ftw

Well I gave this a try on my E84 (X1, xDrive)...I managed to get an image of the HD. I managed to copy the image to an mSATA drive with an IDE adapter....and kinda/sorta worked.

1. Navigation was greyed out. (I suspect something about the IDE adapter was goofy, it was having difficulties staying connected with the USB->IDE adapter I was using. I ended up mountin the mSATA drive in an old CR-48 chromebook and booting with an external DVD to get the Clonezilla and g4u tools working.

2. It booted right up, so fast that the BMW splash screen didn't even show, so that's promising.

3. That 5th partition at the end of the disk, I couldn't figure out what to do with, I looked and looked and didn't see if people were moving it to the end of the disk and then growing the media partition and reformatting in QNX. Not exactly sure there, so I didn't try to increase the Media partition, thought it'd be a good thing to test it out first to see if it worked first before I started futzing with partition tables.

Anyway, it was both a success and failure, and pulling off the dash was not fun (For future, if someone else wants to try on their X1, you do NOT have to pull off the vents first as with some other models.

1. Pull off the bottom row of buttons (with the backup camera, traction control, and all that...but BE CAREFUL..it's hardwired in into that panel, but disconnects from the climate control panel.

2. Gently work out the bezel around the climate control, pull out clmate control....disconnect (it has nice little camlock connectors, but the connector for the bottom button pod is locked with two tabs on each side.

3. Here's the tricky part. You HAVE to work out the stereo bezel, it's tricky, I had to work it down to the bottom, and then gently but firmly spread it apart so I could pull out the left side then the right side. There's no obvious method to do so otherwise, but it can be done with patience. Putting it back in is more difficult but the same process.

So long story short. I put the old HD back in, and deal with the slow loading issue. A real bummer, but it is what it is.I wish BMW wasn't so dead set on keeping us from what's ours that they'd at least give us a user partition at the end, so that way we could clone the disk and take a look at it/expand it, or even if the QNX install was just programmed to treat all foreign partitions as "media" partitions.

Last edited by DrStoooopid; 07-30-2017 at 09:36 PM.
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