This mod has been well documented over the years over hundreds of threads on the VS forums. The problem is you have to read hundreds of threads, comments, mis-information, etc.
After reading through all the B/S, I have done this mod on a few VS1680’s and I figure I would document it with this newly acquired VS1824. On the Roland vs1824 replacing the hard drive with a compact flash is a breeze as the original Roland hard drive caddy and adapter is not needed. I did read through a few post of the past where people were mentioning that every time that they turned on the unit the VS would want to initialize the flash card that was acting as the hard drive. This very well of been user error with setting the drive jumper pins. The adapter that I am using (pictured below) has the first setting on Master/Slave pin 1 &2. This setting kept the drive and my test recording in place without the machine trying to initialize the drive every time I powered up. It acted the same as a normal hard drive.
As this compact flash mod is being done on the VS1824, the hard drive is very easy to gain access to. Whisper sweet nothings as you flip your unit over on something soft and unscrew the screws in red in the picture below. don’t mind the green circles as they are only holding the current hard drive to the plate. Once the four screws are out you can pull the whole plate back in the direction of the blue arrow to disconnect the drive. By lifting up the front of the plate the whole drive can be pulled out. Just set it to the side.
My understanding is that the max drive any VS unit can see is 16gb. So even if you put in 32gb, it will only partition to 8 chucks of 2gb each. Again that is what I read. I used a 4gb card and the one partition shows 4.1gb available. I personally will never use the machine for more than 1gb without running out through digital to a DAW, so I’m not to concerned. And the point at least to me is to be able to easily switch out flash cards as needed.
Anyways, as I would rather be safe than sorry. Below is how I set up my adapter. I used a slim layer of foam padding covered by electrical tape, making sure I didn’t cover the compact flash slot so I could easily replace cards.
With its little pillow of love and 44 pins holding it in place, I think its pretty secure. If you abuse your equipment, maybe add some hot glue. Back to the picture above, you can remove the green screws from your hard drive plate and remove the old hard drive. slide the plate back into the machine and softly screw it down.
Flip the machine over, power on. After it powers up it should give you an error message. Either which way go to shift>Utilities>2nd Page>Initialize Drive. At that point it should all work like a normal drive.
Now that we have a fast silent drive, what to do about that fan!