The high current demands of large 3.5" internal discs can put a strain on the E-MU's PSU and may shorten its life so it can be beneficial to replace with a smaller 2.5" disc or even a solid-state one. Smaller discs also tend to be quieter, and SSDs should make no noise at all. Here are 3 options I tried:
I had no success with a compact-flash card and cheap CF-IDE adapter,
but working solid-state systems do exist (albeit expensive) - see the
E-MU forums for discussions on these, e.g. the legacy emusonacid here.
If you can get these to work, the cards can be moved easily from the
E-MU to a PC.
Mount the 2.5" IDE drive into the caddy...
...and insert caddy into docking bay.
The removable caddy has a proprietary connector so if you want to connect
it to a PC you'll need a 2nd docking bay. To connect via USB, e.g. for a
laptop PC, leave the 2nd dock free-standing and connect a separate 5v
power supply and a USB-to-IDE cable.
This is the easiest & cheapest method, but there is no easy access to the outside world. The E-MU can 'see' external SCSI devices so you can push & pull data via SCSI using the E-MU controls, but external SCSI devices cannot 'see' the E-MU's IDE disc.
In emergencies, you could take the lid off and temporarily replace the
3.5" to 2.5" adapter (see below) with a USB-to-IDE cable connected to a
PC. E-MU power must be switched off; the IDE disc will be powered by the
To fit a non-removable drive, you'll need a 40-way IDE ribbon cable
& a special E-MU 4-pin Molex power cable. This is the same as a
standard PC disc power cable but with the 5v & 12v wires (red &
yellow) swapped over. If you're replacing a 3.5" IDE drive, both cables
will already be present.
3.5" to 2.5" adapters can be picked up very cheaply from well known
auction sites, especially direct from the far east if you're not in a
rush for delivery!
Mounting brackets - only one bracket of the pair is needed per disc.
I used nylon washers as a precaution between the disc & bracket,
and a couple of nuts & bolts to fasten the bracket to the existing
holes in the E-MU chassis.
Plug the power & signal cables into the 3.5" side of the adapter,
then carefully push the adapter onto the disc.
There are a few anomalies with the two disc formats. According to the manual, E-MU/EOS format is tuned for fastest access, but FAT32 (available with the latest OS 4.7) allows for 'more efficient use' of large discs plus compatibility with computers.
The 'efficient use' is a strange one, e.g.
the full E-MU factory CD set occupies about 5GB on a FAT-formatted disc,
but if you try & copy them to a 40GB E-MU-formatted disc, you'll get
a 'disc full' error!
The problem appears to be due to E-MU format
using a fixed no. of clusters (1024) regardless of disc size so larger
discs contain larger clusters. Compare this to FAT format which uses a
fixed cluster size so larger discs contain more (smaller) clusters. The
larger the cluster size, the more disc space is wasted. For 'small'
discs up to a few GBs there's not much difference between the two
formats, but the wastage gets worse for larger ones.
The bottom line is if you want to use the
full capacity of discs larger than a few GBs, it's better to format them
There didn't seem to be a huge difference in
read/write access speed on the discs I tried (6GB, 20GB, 40GB), but
FAT-formatted discs always pause before writing
to the disc for the very first time after a power-on or mount operation
(Disc, Utils, Mount). The more files stored on the disc, the longer this
initial pause - even several tens of seconds. Once the first write has
occurred, there are no more pauses until you next power on or mount.
It's not a show-stopper - you just have to be patient - but it can be
disconcerting when editing samples if you have the 'undo' feature
switched on; the very first edit will appear to freeze for a while as it
writes a copy of the original sample to disc.
All four 2nd-hand E-MUs tried have this
problem, but I don't recall having it with my original E-MU (all running
OS 4.7), so maybe there was a h/w issue on older models. Am unable to
confirm this now due to its 43W PSU finally blowing up - it was fitted
with a 2.5" disc and RFX card several years ago and has been working
fine, but have since discovered that RFX cards really need the larger
(this video shows how to replace a broken PSU).
Apart from all that, fitting a 2.5" disc is
well worth the effort, with a bonus of a reduction in noise.