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Repair Guide: Replacing a Boss BR-1180 hard drive June 7, 2008

Posted by PJ in : Digital home recording studios, Troubleshooting , trackback

A good friend of mine named Joe has been using a Boss BR-1180CD Digital Recording Studio for about 5 years now to record and mix his own songs. He doesn’t own a computer so this device serves as a central workstation for all of his music endeavors. Having used it extensively myself, I can say it really is a wonderful little device with plenty of inputs and really great sounding effects. The “CD” model has a built in CD-RW drive for burning tracks and also importing .wav files (a drum loop for example) and exporting recordings. Pretty neat and great for someone not willing to take the leap into computer-based recording.

Needless to say, Joe was devastated when he went to record a few weeks ago and the recorder stalled on “Now Checking” followed by a “HDD Read Error” meaning that the 20GB internal hard drive had finally bit the dust. Imagine losing 5 years worth of recordings!! PJ’s Tip of the Day: Do not smoke around any electronic device, especially one containing a hard drive.

So me being the type of person who can’t wait to take apart electronics (I was a Lego kid) and Joe being on a budget and out-of-warranty, I gladly accepted his request to fix the recorder. There’s almost no information on the web about repairing this thing, so I’m posting this guide to replacing a hard drive in the BR-1180. (Note: this procedure will work the same for both the CD and non-CD models)

Let’s get started…

Br-1180CD Top View

Things you will need:

Phillips head screwdriver

IDE Hard Drive (formatted FAT32)

USB-to-IDE adapter (or an open slot for an IDE hard drive in your tower)

I would also recommend a can of duster to clean out any dust while the case is open and a couple of zip-lock bags to separate the different sizes of case screws.

Approx. time of repair: 1 hour

1. Taking apart the case

Unplug everything from the recorder and find some space on a table or desk with plenty of light to set up shop. Turn the recorder over and locate the screws to remove on the bottom panel. The picture below shows each one labeled with the different colors representing the different size screws. Remove all the screws and set them aside by the color groups (this will help keep everything organized and saves time).

BR-1180CD Bottom View

The bottom panel has two parts, one covering the CD-RW drive and one covering the bottom. Lift the CD panel straight up and pull out to remove and then carefully lift the larger bottom panel. Be careful not to pull out the CD drive while doing this.

BR-1180CD CD-RW PanelBR-1180CD Bottom Panel

2. Removing the old hard drive

BR-1180CD Drive Exposed 

Now the culprit is exposed and you can begin removing the old hard drive. The drive is fitted into two brackets and then mounted on the interior casing with 4 longer screws. First, unplug the IDE and power cable from the hard drive and then remove from the case and then remove the brackets from the hard drive.

BR-1180CD HD Screw Removal BR-1180CD HD Cable RemovalBR-1180CD HD Bracket Removal

Now there are a few things you can do with the drive at this point. If you have an IDE to USB adapter you can try plugging it in to you computer and see if anything is recognized. You can also try the infamous “freezer trick.” The trick is to put a dead hard drive in sealed bag and put in your freezer overnight. Then in the morning, quickly hook it back up and retrieve the data you need before it quits again. (Believe me this occasionally does work!) The best case scenario is to copy all the data from the old drive onto the new drive. Essentially, you could do this to simply upgrade your drive or as preventative maintenance.

Unfortunately, the drive in Joe’s recorder had no signs of life at all, not even a click or spin. Luckily, I had a spare 40GB Samsung drive that would work for a suitable replacement. The stock hard drive is a Maxtor 20GB ATA-100 5400rpm. Any FAT32 formatted ATA-100 IDE hard drive should work in this recorder.

3. Preparing and installing the new hard drive

There’s a couple of ways to do this. I have a USB to IDE adapter, but you can also plug this into an empty IDE slot in your tower (make sure to set the jumpers on the back of the hard drive to slave or cable select for this). After Windows (or OSX) recognizes the new drive go to Admin Tools – Computer Management – Disk Management (or Disk Utility in OSX), find the new drive and format it using the FAT32 file system. MAKE SURE that you format the new drive and not your computers! Now unhook the drive and set the jumpers to either Master or Cable Select.

Disk Management - New BR-1180 Drive Formatted

OK, so now you have a new drive freshly formatted ready to install in the recorder (if you were able to recover any data from the old drive, this is where you would copy that onto the new one). Find your screws and hook up the brackets to the sides of the new drive and mount it back in the case the same way you removed the old drive. Hook up the IDE and power cable to the drive and then replace the two bottom panels on the recorder. Almost done!

4. Initializing the new drive

Finally, after everything is screwed in and plugged in press the power switch and cross your fingers. If you did everything right, you should see a message to the effect “New drive, Initialize now?” Select yes and your back in business. With the new 40GB hard drive installed, there is now approximately 67 hours of available recording time to work with.

So now the newly repaired recorder is back in Joe’s hands, with a valuable lessoned learned – always back up your work! Hopefully, it will last him many more years of great music.

Questions or comments? Email me or leave or comment below.



1. paul clifford - July 6, 2008

brilliant essay on trouble shooting The same thing happened to mine yesterday I am not clever with computers and fixing things How much would you charge to do mine ?? Are you in the UK ?? Ilive in Lincs.,I am serious as i want it fixing and if you can do it let me know and how much . Best regards Paul tel 07814618153

2. PJ - July 6, 2008

Hi Paul, welcome to the site! Glad you enjoyed the article. I’m in the U.S. so taking into account the shipping fees it wouldn’t be practical for me to fix. I suggest that you look for someone locally that is tech savvy enough to follow the instructions above. Someone with experience working on / building computer’s should be able to help you no problem. Hope you get it fixed. Keep us updated!

3. Peanut Bergeron Jr - July 23, 2008

Hey PJ, I have the same problem. I will be getting me a hard drive soon. My question is does it have to be an ATA 100 ? And What if all I can find is bigger than 40 gig HD. Let’s say 80 gig ????

4. PJ - July 25, 2008

Hi P-Nut, thanks for reading. While a ATA133 drive may also work, I would stick with the original interface just to be safe. As far as hd size, you can go as large as you want / can partition. Heres an 80 gig from Newegg that would work –


Let us know how the repair turns out and good luck!

5. Paul Frazier - August 4, 2008

I had the same problem and I paid a service center to fix it.(about $200) Then a couple of months later I was in a car wreck and had it in the trunk. Now they say the cpu is shot. Boss tells me they no longer sell the chip by itself. I can buy a whole new motherboard for $332.70. Do you know of anyway to get just the chip? (part # 02900434 ic)
If not, how involved would replacing the motherboard be? I have replaced many parts in computers, but my soldering skills are lacking.

p.s. I think you did a great job with explaining things here. I wish I had come across this before I took it to the repair shop.

6. PJ - August 5, 2008

Hi Paul! Glad you enjoyed the article.

If Boss does not sell the chip, its very unlikely you will find it elsewhere. Replacing the motherboard would involve removing the optical drive, hard drive and disconnecting the two daughter boards for the power supply and master volume controls. I didn’t remove the motherboard, so I’m not sure how all the buttons and sliders are connected, but I’m guessing they are either connected to the case and press down to make contact or they are soldered into the board. If the latter is true, this would require a LOT of soldering due to the amount of buttons, sliders etc. I will know more about this soon as the chorus and reverb buttons are now shot in the unit I worked on above.

However, your best option may be to procure a functional unit on eBay since the going rate is cheaper than a replacement motherboard from Boss (working units go for around $200-$250) and then drop in your old hard drive, assuming that it still works.

Let us know what you decide on and keep checking back for more updates!

7. Stephen - August 9, 2008

Thanks for the great article. I just replace the internal 20GB drive with a 250GB drive.

Two observations:

1. The internal drive that I was replacing was in fact an ATA133 drive (the 20GB), so the ATA133 (250GB) I installed worked beautifully.

2. It should be noted that with ANY drive that is installed and initialized, the OS will automatically split this into 20GB partitions. Thus, though you reported above that you now had 67 hours of recording time, that isn’t exactly right. You previously had 67 hours. Now you have 2x 67 hours, but in order to access the additional partitions you have to go to the Drive Info and load the second (or other) partitions. My 250GB was thus partitioned into 6x 20GB partitions and 1x 8GB partition, so my total recording time now is roughly 420 hours.

So if you do install a new drive and don’t see any increase in your recording time, this is why.

Just some info that might help!

8. Stephen - August 9, 2008

Okay, sorry, a quick follow up.

In looking at my post I realized that the math did not add up. With my drive I would have expected to get something like 600 hours (67 hours x 10x size of the original drive). However, see that the partitioning of the drive equals 6x 20GB (120GB) and 1x 8GB, it shows that there is a cap of drive space at 128GB. Purple series Mac users will remember this problem with the IDE controllers on their machines, as the 128GB barrier couldn’t be broken on them unless you utilized a PCI ATA card to address the balance of the drives.

SO, it is essentially useless to install anything over a 120GB drive into the 1180. (I have one of those too, so no big deal in my case). But keep that in mind if you are purchasing a new drive for replacement.

Sorry I didn’t catch this before I hit “Say It!”

9. Trey - August 13, 2008


Thanks for your posting, it has been very helpful. After a couple years of my friend having my recorder, I finally recieved it back and was ready to start recording again…come to find out it says HDD Reader Error! I’m assuming it’s your tip of the day that did it!
Anyways, I am very unfamiliar with computers and am not sure how to even go about getting a new hard drive. I am not really interested in increasing the GB necessarily but would like to have my recorder up and working again. Can you please refer to me to a place to buy a hard drive. I locally have stores such as Fry’s, Best Buy, Circut City, etc. or I am able to purchase something online. Also, I am unfamiliar with the USB to IDE adaptor. Please advise.



10. PJ - August 14, 2008

Hi Trey, I’m glad you liked the article. There is a link to a suitable hard drive (ATA 100) above in comment 4. As Stephen pointed out you can also use an ATA 133 drive as well. Here is the USB to IDE adapter you will need –


If you are uncomfortable with doing this yourself, ask a friend or call some local computer repair shops and get a quote. Let me know if you have anymore questions!

@Stephen (Comments 7 & 8 )
You may be onto something here… I’m leaving for Canada in a few hours but when I get back I will update the article with this info. Thanks so much for the tip!!

11. BUTCH WILSON - August 19, 2008


12. Casey - August 27, 2008

PJ…please help. I’ve never even used mine before and I went to start it up today…same problem. Now, I’ve opened it up and I’ve got the old drive out? This may sound moranic…but can I just take it to Best Buy and say “I need one of these?” All this formatting stuff is really confusing me. Is there a hard drive I can just buy, put it in and start it up? :) HELP!!! Thanks so much


13. PJ - August 27, 2008

Hi Casey, you may be able to buy the hard drive at Best Buy and ask them to format it (FAT32). It’s worth a shot, otherwise grab one from newegg (link in comment 4 above) and try to follow the guide. Let me know how it works out.

14. Casey - August 27, 2008

Thanks so much! I’m sure those boogers will charge me and arm and a leg to do that…so I’m going to try myself. I’ll let you know how it goes!

15. gary - September 2, 2008

Isn’t the drive that came out of the recorder slimmer than most drives? I mean I compared it to a few drives I had laying around after computer upgrades and whatever. And this ones seems way slimmer than regular one. Dont think the spares I have will fit in the case.

16. PJ - September 3, 2008

Hi Gary, you are correct the original drive is thinner than your standard (by about 1/4″-1/2″). However, I had no problem fitting in the replacement drive. The screws lined up and the casing went on without issue. Give it a try and let us know.

17. gary - September 3, 2008

OK! Thanks! I got to get this thing back working so I can trade it for a couple of guitars! ;) Thanks again! I really like the information on this site.

18. Jon from Newfoudland - October 6, 2008

yo! dude… the article and the pix… excellent work man! very helpful. I’ve had one of these BR 1180 Recording consoles for the last 5 or 6 years. since pretty much when it came out. I recorded so much music. filled the 20G completely. a couple of times… when that happens I’m sure some you know, you can’t even burn your songs off to create more space to continue recording. I’ve resulted to taping off (yes with cassette tapes using a cassette tape recorder) so I could save all the music. I now have an old school tape collection of tunes I recorded and go figure they were recorded using a digital recorder…

so pretty much after investigating and all I relalized “oh yea why not get a bigger hard drive!?” so after tedious researching and anylizing the machine I finally just bought (for 70$ canadian… yea I’m in Newfoundland) a new 160 G hard drive that physically fits into the provided space and has the same IDE connection. it’s cool cause I’m totally learning about the machine as I pick threw it… infact I have an old story about this recorder when I almost lost all my music when the little sign said “hard drive Error” …After running my boxers threw the wash 100 times my computer savvy friend (cool flippin’ guy) said yes we can just pull out the hard drive and plug it in to a computer and transfer everything… recover it you know… like a mother in a hospital waiting room with her baby in the ICU I paced the room while my Dr. friend saved everything… then I learned… cool you can just flippin’ take the bloddy thing out and transfer data and infact upgrade and that’s what I’m doing now… that’s why I’ve found your article… I think I can figure out the formatting and the cloning process… it’s the thing that that guy stephen (august 9,2008 post) said about how it recognizes 20G partitions only… it’s cool that I wont be flippin’ out once I finally get my new 160G hard drive in and it still says a low number of recording hours… cause I could record for ever … an infinate number of recording time would be nice. any infinate hard drives out there? lol?

so yea if some one could make that one more clear… the partitioning thing… I’ll probably figure it out too though. all the same this thread rules. electronics man!

19. POPA - November 18, 2008

if the data on the hard drive is important send it to eman data recovery and they will be able to recover all your data
they did a great job for me
this my help same one like me
425 347 3732

20. Glenn - December 10, 2008

I bought a BR 1180 without the CD burner and now I don’t know how to get my music on a CD. I’ve tried looking for the CD burn kit, but no luck, yet.
Can you connect an external CD/RW drive (like Sony) to the BR 1180 besides the one that Boss makes for the BR 1180? Can you provide instructions and pics on how to connect and how to burn CD’s? Are there other ways to get music from the BR 1180 to CD, cassettes,etc.?
If this is not possible, do you know where to puchase the CD burn kit for the BR 1180?

21. PJ - December 10, 2008

Hi Glenn, welcome to the Studio Files. The BR-1180 has line out jacks (red and white phono jacks) on the back for connecting recording equipment such as MD, tape or CD recorders. Also you could use an interface like the M-Audio FastTrack (http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/FastTrackUSB.html) which has matching line in jacks to connect the recorder to your computer. You could then record tracks using a free program like Audacity.

The CD-RW kit for the BR-1180 is Roland part number CDI-BR1. These are available online from $150-$400 and occasionally pop up on eBay. A google search turned this one up:
http://www.prairiepress.net/cdr_br1180.html . From what I’ve read these are pretty easy to install.

As for connecting an external CD-RW drive… it wouldn’t be that simple. You would have to modify a laptop CD-RW drive to fit into the case and accept the connections (the IDE cable is standard but the power cable looks pretty unique) or make a frankenstein with cables coming out of the recorder connected to an external drive, connected to an external power source. Would it work? Not sure and since I don’t own one I can’t try it out. Also now that I typed all that, this is probably the least desirable solution so go with one above.

Let us know how it works out and hit me up if you have any more questions!


22. Glenn - December 13, 2008

I have a Boss BR 1180 without a CD/RW drive. Is it possible to connect a different or another external CD/RW drive (like a Sony) to the BR 1180? What kind of connectors do I need to accomlish this? Are there other ways to burn a CD off of the BR 1180?


23. PJ - December 13, 2008

Hi Glenn see comment #21 above for my answer. Thanks

24. norm - December 17, 2008

Hi PJ:

Is there any way to put a USB slot in?

25. bob k - December 23, 2008

the headphone jack is loose and sound is lost at times. how can i get a tighter fit?

26. rodwalkey - December 26, 2008

Thanks for the info. Great info. People like you are what make the internet so powerful. I have a different issue with the BR-1180.
The device does not power up. It just blinks for a split second. Any suggestions? Thank you.

27. PJ - December 26, 2008

Hey guys thanks for checking out the site

@Bob K – For this problem you can use the guide above to remove the case and locate the headphone jack. Grab a solder gun and re-solder where the jack connects to the circuit board. OR de-solder the jack, take it to Radioshack and get a new jack and solder that one in. Good as new!


Thanks! Sounds like a problem with the power supply (either internal or external with the adapter). First I would try using a different AC adapter – you can pick up a new one for about $12 from Radioshack. If that doesn’t work you may have a problem with the internal power supply. I would call Boss and see if they have a solution, even if you are out of warranty. If you look above at the picture for “#2 Removing the old drive” the top right board in the picture is the internal power supply. It actually disconnects pretty easily from the main board, so you may be able to purchase just that component from Boss, or if you are technically inclined, grab a multimeter and start checking for dead parts. I did this with a Sega Saturn video game system once and after a trip to the Shack and a $2 capacitor, I was back in business.

Hope this helps guys, let us know how it works out!

28. George - January 8, 2009

Hi I have a problem with the hard drive when I switch it on it comes up hard drive error. I have tried two different hard drives in My BR-1180
it goes through the checking part then ” drive error” comes up. I try to initialize the hard drive but “HDD Write Error” comes up and they will not initialize. The hard drives work perfect in my PC, even the original 20g hard drive shows up on my PC

29. George - January 8, 2009

Sorry, Thanks in advance

30. Keith Brandemihl - January 10, 2009

Hi there Mate, Good stuff you’re doing here, well done. Now, my question. I just got a used Boss BR 1600 with the HDD almost full. I did the backup procedure on the few songs I had on it. Do I now Initialize the the one and only Partition,( to give me some space on the HDD ), and if I do, will I delete all the factory settings and loops? I know I’ll lose the factory demos, but no problem with that. Would appreciate advice you can throw my way. I’m here in England looking for answers :O) Kindest Regards, Keith

31. Niall - January 16, 2009

Hi Pj

My BR1180 went a little funny the other day and on the screen read
Not anitialized, initalize HDD ?
Does this mean I have lost all my recorded tracks, Just like your friend I’m sick,

Kind regards


32. dmaltese - January 22, 2009

In case anyone needs it, here is the number to call for Roland replacement parts:

(800) 386-7575

This was the only way for me to get a new CD drive for the BR1180CD, as the part is no longer sold outside of the roland sales office.

33. greg - January 24, 2009

my boss br-1600 just flashes all lights when powerd up. It sounds bad is it the hard drive and if not are there any quick fix steps to do?

34. Johnny Navarro - January 25, 2009

how i can my br1180 (no CD build-in) with a c0mputer or external cd burner. than you

35. Gary Davis - January 25, 2009

Hi Folks,

Great to see some informative info on repairing the BR 1180. As PJ early noted there are few items on the net relating to repairing this little jewel. I am presently in the midst of repairing mine, the CD version, one of the buttons quit working and that required a complete disassembly of the machine to get to this five cent button. Well…..Could never get the button to work properly after putting it back together, soooo….disassemble again, left the broken button itself out, reassembled, settled on using a wooden match stick to operate that button. All went well for several months until I just decided there had to be a way soooo…..I ventured back inside, complete disassembly. FIXED the button, reassembled the machine, no display! Everything else works however without the display what good is it? I sispect the little, and I mean, “little” ribbon that connects the display to the board couldn’t handle all of the plugging and unplugging and I probably pinched it or whatever. Presently looking for that ribbon and/or display unit. Point being to all of this, I’ve become, not by choice, a somewhat “shade-tree” expert on assemblying and disassemblying this particular machine so if anyone out there needs a pointer on or has a question about taking one of these babies apart or putting one back together again, I’d be glad to help out on that end. Peace…

36. Gary Davis - January 25, 2009

Hi again, sorry but I forgot to check the little box at the bottom that says, “Notify me of followup comments” in case anyone wants to reach me and as I don’t want to include my email address in the post because I HATE BOTS! Peace…

37. Jon - January 26, 2009

does anyone know how to simply makes click tracks with the BR1180? I want to make tempo and signature changes. I went in to the rythem screen and tried a few things… can’t get what I need tho …

38. Brendan - January 26, 2009

One of my track volumes doesn’t work. When I go to the track slider display, track 8 moves with the master volume. I can manually put the volume down but it will stay wherever the master volume is. Has anyone else had this problem or know how to fix it?


39. Dale - January 29, 2009

This is probably a dumb question(s), but I’m not really electronics savvy.

1. Is there any other reason an HDD drive error would appear on the recorder (wishful thinking.)

2. Your essay was extremly informative, I was pretty lost on reformatting the new drive. which brings me to another dumb question, are you saying I can put any hard drive in there as long as it isn’t over 80 gigs.

looking forward to your response thank you.

40. PJ - January 29, 2009

Wow.. Ok so I got a little behind on these comments!

Let’s start with George (Comment #28) – Make sure you formatted the drives using the FAT32 file system. If you are sure that the drives are working, you may have a problem with the internal connections for the drive (pinched wire, solder point knocked loose, etc).

@Keith – You could do that but may I suggest simply deleting some projects (after double checking they are backed up elsewhere) and free up space that way you can preserve the factory loops and settings.

@Niell – Yes, sadly it seems you have suffered a similar fate. Try going through some of the steps in the article and comments before throwing it out the window!

@dmaltese – Thanks for the info! I will add it to the original article.

@Greg – Usually if the hard drive goes out you will see and HDD Error message. The flashing lights you describe may be a troubleshooting code. Check the manual and let us know.

@Johnny – You can bounce the tracks out to your computer using Audacity or any DAW then burn to CD.

@Gary – Thanks for sharing your experience. My friends delay and reverb button has the same problem so if I can’t fix it, I may use your solution. Thanks!

To be continued…

41. andrew parsonelli - February 4, 2009

hey p.j
i got a boss br 1600 and the ‘yes’ button has packed up which means i cant use the recorder properly…its well out of the warranty so ive taken it apart hoping it just needed a good clean,but on inspection all seems ok and im guessing i just need a new button and diode???i think thats what it is???(the component thats linked on the circuit board from the button to the power switch)……any ideas where i can get them from and what are the proper names for the parts i need.
would appreciate any help or suggestions
many thanks

42. Alex - February 8, 2009

Hi, I have this device as well. A couple of months ago I heard a very fuzzy/whirring sound, and checked my hdd and to my dismay eveything was gone. Since then, I have still been able to record and save. But it seems now that the CD burner is ‘kickin the bucket’. I get a CD Write ERROR, I was just wondering if you have any info as to repairs for a BR 1180 CD disc drive or replacing the drive as a whole. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

43. Avian - February 8, 2009

I have another way to fix the BR-1180 when the HDD error pops up.

My Cd drive went before the Hard drive. And since I did this the CD drive is back in order as well.

I’m assuming all BR-1180′s have a 20 gig maxtor hard drive. To do this you will need software called Maxtor blast, so you either have to buy it, or if you pirate software you do need to burn it to disc, it won’t work any other way.

So you now have Maxtor Blast, no matter how you got it you have it.

Take the hard drive out of your BR-1180 and take put it in place of your computers hard drive. ( you need maxtor blast in the disc drive before you start the computer with the BR-1180 hard drive in it.

Connect everything properly,and make sure your computer detects the hard drive. if not there will be a button that takes you to the set up menu (your computer will tell which button) go in to “master settings” and you can change it to be detected.

At any rate, so you get to the maxtor blast menu, click run maxtor blast, it’ll take you and tell you the reprecussions of what your doing (The reprecussion is your hard drive is wiped clean, this is why it’s only your BR-1180′s hard drive in your computer. Your computers hard drive needs to totally be disconnected form the computer so when you put it back in your computer the hard drive is still the same way it was.)

So you agree to not get all mad at maxtor for the end result of running this disc.

It will clear the hard drive and ask you what Operating system you want it formatted for, Click Windows 95/98

It will do that than take you the main menu, you shut off your computer and put the hard drive back in the BR-1180. (Make sure the BR-1180 is unplugged while taking the hard drive out and putting it in).

So you plug it in, turn it on it’ll take a few minutes to check. The BR-1180 says “HDD not initialized, would you like to initialize?” You say yes, the BR-1180 asks “Sure?” again you say yes, it initializes and your good to go. You should also record and save a guitar riff or something before you shut it off, just to check everything out.

I did this because I had no money and I had nothing to lose by trying it. Just something to try before you spend 60 bucks on a hard drive.

44. David - February 10, 2009

What is the difference between EIDE and SATA hard drives? Which one should I use to replace hards drive on BR-1180?

45. Jon - February 17, 2009

Problem: CD Burner

I tried to burn a few songs to a cd and the process seems to go smooth… write 8X? yes… write sure? yes… now loading… now writing… red lights on tracks … But!

my cd burner says it’s burning but obviously isn’t because the light on the cd drive doesn’t come on…. the cd doesn’t pop out when it’s finished… and when I take out the cd and try to play it, it’s still blank…

what’s up with that!?

46. Jon - February 19, 2009

I also recently replaced my hard drive with a 160 gig. it partitioned into like 6 partitions and a half. it’s been working out fine. but could that have anything to do with the CD burner coppin’ out ?

47. Jara Matthews - March 18, 2009

thank you

ya know… my cd burner copped out a while ago
i question the quality of these machines.

When I nearly filled the memory the whole thing crashed and erased everything. I started over. Then the burner. This time it jammed and I had to replace the hard drive. Didn’t bother fixing the cd burner cuz i have abelton, but i do use this machine still

48. Frank - March 21, 2009

Hey PJ. Thanks for the info. I just bought one of these units off of ebay without the cd burner and I had a million questions. This thread pretty much answered all of them. If you are ever in Rhode Island I owe you a beer!

49. lawrence stacy - March 22, 2009


50. Ed - March 26, 2009

My CD burner on the BR1180 won’t burn but can read and play disc’s. Question is, where do I get another one.? I am in the UK, any help/direction much appreciated.



51. E- - March 29, 2009

if u still have trouble installing or diy ,. i offer help over the phone , warranty on hard drives cd replacements ,. and even full blown custom br 1180′s


52. peter osborne - March 30, 2009

please can someone help me…….my name is peter.my beloved boss1180cd has malfunctioned………..gutted….it appears to have frozen.it just keeps saying NOW LOADING but does not load.If you press the off switch it says waiting response…time over! force shutdown.thanks….

53. Brad - April 12, 2009

To some this maybe a silly question, but to others like me may learn something.
I own a br1180cdrw. I have tried to write the mastered song onto blank cd. says error. these Blank cd’s are new. I found some older looking blank cd’s and it writes the song onto it. Have the cd’s over the years changed and this is why the Br1180 wont write on them?

If so, what is the best cd rewritable disk to use?

Great site and thanks for your answer/s

54. Casey - April 26, 2009

If I ever have to replace the HD, I feel sure these instructions would do the trick, so thanks… but… do you have the same sort of information about finding and installing the CDI-BR-1 burner? I mean… I can’t find one for sale and was told that any “thin” or “notebook” cd r/rw element from the similar period (2002) would do. Is that right?

Any ideas, anyone? Enlightenment really appreciated. I have a BR 1180 without the burner and cannot figure out how to get info to my computer from it without installing a burner of some sort.

55. Mark Lambert - May 9, 2009

I have a 1180cd I replaced the cd drive it will read everything but it will only write to cd/rw and not cdr I have tried 3 different makes of cd it shows cd write error I have tried writtting track at once and all at once different write speeds still the same ,I have formatted the hard drive still the same.

56. Casey - May 9, 2009

where did you find a CD burner to work in the 1180? I cannot find one that doesn’t cost more than a new multitrack recorder!

Care to share the make and model numbers of the burner and connectors? It would be GREATLY appreciated!

57. Mark Lambert - May 9, 2009

I purchased the cd burner from Roland UK after searching the net extensively and not finding one ,it was very expensive over £200. Next time I think I will master the songs and use optical out into my mini disc recorder and convert back on my PC.

58. Casey - May 9, 2009

I have the optical out, but don’t know how to access that via a computer… any suggestions? Do I simply find it as a sound source and set that as the incoming source for my computer’s built-in CD burner to listen to when recording?

Do you know how I could get to that file using a program like Cubase on my Windows XP computer? Or should I simply master the tracks and output that via the audio jacks to my computer?

Does the optical connection provide better or more data?

Sorry for all the questions, but this is the first real information I’ve gotten from anyone. It’s very appreciated and you could simply contact me directly using bugl3t AT gmail DOT com (do the obvious)…

Thanks, Mark, for your helpful advice!

59. Damon Sink - May 9, 2009

Hi Casey,

I think the Boss has TosLink optical out, so you would need a soundcard with that to input to a DAW. Minidisc players usually have this standard, so that is what Mark is doing. You can also convert to Coaxial (RCA plug optical or S/PDIF) with a little box like a Hosa ODL-276A Optical Data Link, which is more common on audio interfaces and soundcards, but not standard on PCs.

200 quid sounds like a bundle for a CD-RW–Maybe PJ knows of something more readily available and correctly priced!~

The Studio Files

60. Casey - May 9, 2009

I decided to invest in a USB to SATA/IDE connection kit that includes the power portion, too. It supposedly works with CD burners… and in any case, I have a Vista POC that has “issues” recently that won’t start up so I can connect to that drive and get data off it… a wise investment for the $30 or so I am spending.
I have the spdif / optical connection working on my win xp laptop — but that comes in as a sound input source… I don’t know much about it all. I am guessing that I choose that as the default “recording” input and record whatever comes over with the computer burner? DAW… that’s Digital Audio Workstation or something like that, right? Is that like using Cubase?

61. roy lin - May 31, 2009

my 1180 wont turn on , when i hit the on button i see a quick flash an thats it ?? any suggestions thanks roy

62. Mark Robinson - June 6, 2009

ive had my BR1180 for six years now, it’s now broken! ive had three new hard drives and two power packs. firstly, the screen started to flicker when powering up, then i got an error message saying ‘HDD ERROR’. after that it just wouldn’t turn on, but the power cable is fine. i have tried different kettle leads, and even a new hard drive and its still not powering up. once the power pack made a loud cracking sound and became very hot, could this be the problem, and how long are Boss units supposed to last for? any help welcome, thanks, Mark.

63. Noah - June 8, 2009

I have the same problem as Ed from the Uk. It will upload new cds, but it will no longer burn properly.

Is it possible to install a new cd drive/burner or whatever.

I really want to burn these songs

64. John tyrrell - June 10, 2009

Hi my br1600 is flickering when i power it up?I tried to fix it the other night and worked then the following day. When i went to record with my band the following day same problem arose.I disconnected the hard drive and the cd-rom to see if that might be the problem.I looked at one of the previous post and someone said it might be a troubleshooting problem. I checked in the manual and their is nothing on this topic.I need a solution asap. if anybody knows how to fix this problem or experienced it i would really appriciate the help.Thanks John.

65. matthew ayers - June 11, 2009

hi name is matthew , i have the br1180 never had a problem untill now ,it starts and plays all the music on there but will not record or erase or save , when i try it locks up ,is my hard drive shot ? or is it something else ? is there a cd or repair patch ? if it is the drive what kind do i buy ? what format ? what gig ? thanx so much 4 your help !! mda/2dl

66. PJ - June 11, 2009

Ok now I’m REALLY behind on these comments.. Let’s continue where I left off at #37. First a note to everyone – Thank you for visiting the Studio Files!

@Jon – Should be a metronome option in the menu along with tempo and time signature.

@Brendan – I believe there is an option that groups sliders together, so you may have the track 8 slider grouped with the master volume. Check the manual on grouping tracks.

@Dale – The drive error means it is no longer reading information from the hard disk, whether it has simply gone bad or is corrupted. Read through the post and comments to see a few options for suitable replacement hard drives.

@Andrew P – Yes, you can replace the button. As far as parts your local RadioShack should have the parts you need, just take in the recorder or parts (many diodes / resistors / capacitors have numbers or letters on them that can be used to identify a replacement) or google the markings and buy online.

@Alex – There is a link in the comments on where you can buy a replacement CD drive – the bad part is it costs around $200. I’ve heard that some laptop CD drives can be used and I’m very interested in seeing if I can “mod” a cheaper drive to use instead, only problem is I do not own a BR 1180 so I’m not sure how to get my hands one to try..

@Avian – Thanks for the info! I think I did mention this in the article (not particularly the Maxtor Blast app), but if not I will add it.

@David – SATA drives will not work in this recorder, it is an entirely different connector.

@Jon – Sounds like your writer has failed.. you can order a replacement drive for $200 or stay tuned for alternatives once I figure it out.

67. PJ - June 11, 2009

OK just got off the phone with my friend Joe (the owner of the BR 1180 in the article) and his CD drive has failed too… which means I get to fix it!! When I get a chance I may post a follow up to this article on how to replace the CD drive (without spending $200 on the replacement fromm Boss) .

More to come soon

68. g - June 14, 2009

id LOVE to see an articale on how to replace the cd drive or if i can hook up an external ..i just bought this thing for 100$ and it had a broken cd drive i have to fix..

69. Glendon Gross - June 15, 2009

I just replaced my BR-1180 hard drive last week before finding this article. Here’s what I did: I dismantled the BR-1180, installed the drive in my PC as a second drive, and then used WinImage to image the drive to an external USB drive, telling the software to ignore bad sectors. The imaging worked, with the message “2 bad sectors detected”. I then cannibalized a thrift-store Tivo box, from which I removed an 80 Gig Drive. I then installed the drive obtained from the Tivo in my PC and wrote the 20 Gig image to the drive using the WinImage software. After installing the “new” drive, the BR-1180 booted up with all my songs on it! Needless to say, I’m thrilled because now I can write the image to other drives as needed. Hope this helps somebody. (I’m still looking for a replacement CD drive as mine quit working years ago.) Local Thrift Stores have been a great source of used Tivo boxes, which often sell for less than 20 dollars here in Tucson, Arizona.

70. Andy Owen - July 4, 2009

Hi PJ.
Did you ever get round to repairing your friend’s CD/RW drive as I’m having the same problem. If so How?
Many thanks for all your help.

71. velocetteman - July 12, 2009

Hi folks … I recently purchased a faulty BR-1180 on ebay, advertised as power led illuminating briefly at switch-on, otherwise dead. Having since repaired it, would like to give you some of my observations on this unit which some of you may find of interest.

An internal visual inspection of the unit revealed a small flaw on the surface of one of the disk drive ICs, which previous experience of PC repair told me that the device had broken down and blown up internally.

Sure enough, temporarily connecting another disk drive allowed the unit to power up and start normally, after initiallising the new disk.

I then spent some time studying the internals of the system. One thing I soon discovered was that the 5V power rail, produced on the small 5V DC-DC power card was sitting pretty high at 5.56V. This is well out of the maximum allowed 5.25V, and quite possibly contributed to the eventual overload and failure of the disk drive electronics.

This voltage is set by the potential divider network R138 / R140, and by shunting R138 with an 82K resistor I got the supply down to about 5.2V … I am wondering if there is the possibility of a common tendency on this unit for the 5V rail to drift with age, so this might be something worthwhile for others to check and confirm. The other thing that could be contributing to the chronic disk problems on this unit is the total absence of ventilation slots. Drilling some holes in the metal base plate around the disk might help. (Please remove the plate first !!!!).

Further study of my unit (which does not have the CD writer option fitted), reveals some other points of interest. In particular it should be a very simple matter to run standard IDE disk drives and CD or DVD writers externally, since the odd 50 way connector for the inbuilt CD drive actually shares the 40 pins of the internal disk drive connector. The remaining ten pins carry mainly 5V switched power and ground. The tenth pin is probably digital audio out.

Anyway, what this means is that the 50 way connector is NOT a secondary IDE channel, simply a second tap on the primary channel.
In other words, just like in your PC, the arrangement of disk drive and CD writer is as Master/Slave on the primary IDE.

So you don’t really need to access the non-standard 50 way connector to fit an EXTERNAL CD writer, all you require is a standard 40 pin IDE cable with three connectors fitted … one plugs into the motherboard, one to the disk drive and one to a standard 5.25″ CD/DVD writer.

So there are a number of permutations you could go through, eg:-

1) If your disk drive has failed, and you cannot find a replacement to physically fit internally, run an IDE cable out of the back of the box and fit any suitable drive in an external drive caddy. Even better, fit a second caddy to your PC and you can periodically disconnect the drive from your 1180 and plug it into to your PC for backup without any need for a CD writer.

2) If your disk drive is OK and you want to leave it inside the 1180, but do not have an internal writer, use the 3-connector IDE cable to connect the disk drive internally to the Mobo and run the free end out to an external 5.25″ writer.

3) The other option is to have both an external hard disk caddy and writer, connecting the 3-connector IDE cable to the Mobo and leading out the two remaining connectors…. this will probably be the most reliable setup, since your disk drive will run cooler out of the 1180 case.

Please note that you will of course have to supply 5V and 12V power to your external devices. If only using an external disk drive, it should be possible to simply extend the internal power harness of the 1180 disk, however if also using an external writer, you will probably be best advised to use an external power source to feed both the disk and writer.

Also, remember to configure your hard drive as master, and CD writer as slave.

Finally, for those who simply want to replace a faulty drive and keep it internal, but cannot find a physically suitable replacement, it is possible to buy cheaply an adaptor that allows a standard laptop drive to be mounted and connected in lieu of a full sized drive. It should also be more reliable, due to its lower power consumption.

In the coming days, if I have time, I will try out some of these ideas and let you know how I got on.

72. velocetteman - July 18, 2009

Well things did not go as smoothly as I hoped.

Although the good news is that there is no problem in running a hard disk external to the unit,(and my caddy idea is therefore still valid), I cannot get the BR-1180 to recognise an external CD writer configured as slave. The system boots and works OK, but the CD drive remains stubbornly invisible. I have tried this in both Master/ Slave and Cable Select configurations, with similar negative results.

Now. I have exhaustively checked the 50 way connecter in the BR-1180, and it is definitely wired to accept a Slave CD writer … there is one-to-one correspondence with the 40 way disk drive connector. Of the remaining ten pins, only one is a signal pin, the remining pins connecting directly to 5V and 0V. I have tried alternately tying this pin High or Low in case it is used to signal the physical presence of the CD drive, but still no result.

So it looks to me that what might be happening is that during boot, the BR-1180 firmware is interrogating the CD drive in some way and looking for a particular model of drive. If it does not get the answer it is looking for, it ignores the drive.

Since there is no real technical reason to do this, I can only assume this has been done deliberately by Roland/Boss to ensure they could not be robbed of their exorbitant profit on their own offering. Of course now it is not even possible to buy the correct CD writer from them any more …. they are hoping people will scrap tho old machine for one of their latest offerings!

73. Casey - July 22, 2009

Roland/Boss could care less, from my perspective. Isn’t that just great?

I DEFINITELY won’t be buying another product from them for ANYTHING.

I hope they monitor this thread, but honestly, I doubt it.

74. Gib perkin - September 6, 2009

My BR 1600 is saying I only have 20 mins. of memory left. Is there any way to recover memory Gib

75. Bill Bartolomeo - September 6, 2009

Good Evening:

I have a BossBR1600 and I am experinceing wild fluctuations in volume on channel 5 when playing back that particular track after recording. I keep my input levels all the same, I just get the variations in playback voulme on track 5. This just happaned and I don’t know of any authorized Boss repair shops in Northern New Jersey. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

76. Ron Owens - September 8, 2009

Hi Pj,

Wow, what a cool article!!!!

I am wondering if you think replacing the HDD on the Boss BR1600CD would be close to the same procedure as you have outlined here?

How do I tell if it is an ATA133 drive or something different?

Also, the tech rep at Boss/Roland told me I had to use ONLY an 80gb drive, is this true?

Thanks to any and all who can help me out…


77. Vinnie - September 25, 2009

Hi…Great thread man. I want to hook up my working Boss Br-1180 to a PC and upload some stuff into current compatible software (if compatible software exists) to edit and burn. Hours of searching threads and Roland’s site have gotten me nowhere. Do you know how I might be able to do this and what software I should purchase?

78. velocetteman - September 25, 2009

Vinnie … I no longer have my BR-1180,and have never actually done this, but I think the way to transfer your files to a PC is to use the SPDIF output of the BR-1180 and connect it to your PC’s sound card (which would require to have a matching SPDIF input).

Simply prime your PC to record the BR-1180 as it plays back your file. Since you are using digital transfer there will be no quality loss, although the transfer rate will be slow due to the real-time playback speed.

Perhaps others reading this post will have actually done this and can give you more detailed info.

79. velocetteman - September 25, 2009

Bill Bartolomeo …. I suspect the wild fluctuations in volume are due to a faulty or noisy slide potentiometer on Chan 5. If you are lucky, a modest squirt of switch-cleaning fluid might suffice, but if not the whole potentiometer would need to be changed. If you are not competent to do this yourself, your local TV repair shop should be able to have a look and see if a standard replacement potentiometer could be fitted. Hope this helps.

80. Mark A Corradetti - September 30, 2009


I power up my BR1180 unit and it wont Load! it simply just almost loads but doesnt…the little black line goes almost to the end but it just stops during “now loading” at initial power up…I have already replaced the hard drive in this thing several months back….does anybody have any suggestions? have I lost all my precious work?

81. Mark A Corradetti - October 2, 2009


82. Mark A Corradetti - October 2, 2009

oh…my email address is mscorradetti@comcat.net…thanks!

83. Pierra - October 8, 2009

Hi !
Problem : hdd error/damage on br-1200.
We are importing guitartrack from a cd,wav-file into the recorder.Can this cause the trouble ? The producer is talking about possibly corrupted files/communication between br-1200 and the host used for recording guitar etc..
After turning the Br-1200 on/off several times it does start up,though.Do you think the imported tracks is the cause ?

84. Aleccs Thompson - October 8, 2009

Hey, I would’ve liked to register so I could post a new thread with pics but instead I let tweakheadz.com host my thread. I just wrote a write-up for a br-1600 following this one for the br-1180. they are a little different. the br-16 is a seagate barracuda 7200.9 40gb drive and is ntfs format. I saw some people were a little worried about doing the repair themselves but hey- my warranty is up. the worst that could happen is i break it and send it in for repair by someone else. it’s not that hard though. Now I know I could replace the hd if it still gives me problems in the future.
I’m in the US and would feel confident doing repairs on others BRs cds and harddrives. It’s easy. Give it a shot!

85. Aleccs Thompson - October 8, 2009

Mark- does it just sit there unloaded or does it give an HDD error?
you could try to hook the HD up to your computer and backup the data but after my results it’s probably not worth it, although it might work out.

86. Pete - October 13, 2009

Hi Pj – I have had one of these machines since it came out, & the only upgrade it has had is to version 2 & like you have mentioned there is next to nothing on the web about upgrading the recording studio so this site was a pleasent surprise. I bought a 160gb HDD 7200rpm ata-100 (so I can get the full 128Gb on this machine) works great.

My tips for anyone else wanting to read the marvelous! step by step guide by PJ. 1. in windows right click the drive and make 6 partition sizes 22000Mb & 1 partion 10000Mb (for a 160gb drive) this way you will get the full 20gb on each partition on the BR-1180 & 8Gb on the last partition (128Gb) then format it FAT32. 2. when you have done the rest of the guide & switch on the machine it may be quite a dim screen – don’t panic & go into the display settings & increase the contrast.

once again thanks PJ for the guide :)

87. john shield - October 16, 2009

Hi PJ, I’m hoping you may have come across the problem that’s afflicting my Boss 1180 CD; I bought the unit in 2004 (in Japan-just in case this is relevant) and have had no problems recording onto it. However, now is the first time I have tried to write my recordings onto CD-R, and when I get to the stage ‘audio CD : write’ and enter ‘GO’ the error message ‘CD full’ comes up. At this point I am expecting to see ‘select write speed’ (no.6, p.103 in my manual). I have tried 3 different makes of CD-R, and cleaned the lens with a reputable product. I have never bumped the unit to my knowledge. I contacted Roland UK, who suggested the CD drive may be at fault-though it seems to spin okay when a CD is inserted. Any thoughts? Regards, John.

88. Mark Lambert - October 16, 2009

Have you tried cd rw as this is the only cd that mine will write to after Roland uk replacing the drive

89. aleccs thompson - October 24, 2009

it should be noted that after i initialized my harddrive and did a surface scan the machine has worked flawlessly. I don’t think i’ll check up on this thread too much anymore. to keep bots from getting my email that’s not posted here. if anyone has any questions about the br-16 insides you can register at the board i have the br16 surgery walkthrough posted on. it’s a great site for those who aren’t familiar with. good resource


90. velocetteman - October 27, 2009

Just came across alecss thomsons excellent new guide for repairing the Boss BR-1600 (post 84, above). Alecss should be thanked for all the hard work he obviously put into its preparation. I notice a tendency for folk on this forum to ask for advice but not respond when it is given, which is rather impolite and discouraging. Folk like Alecss should be encouraged, since at the end of the day we all benefit from feedback. By the way, haven’t heard from PJ for a while … what gives?

91. Ron Owens - October 27, 2009

Yes, thanks to Aleccs for walking us through that process. I did all of the above just prior to his post, but I agree with what he posted. I’m still getting the “Write Error!” message when trying to burn any kind of disc (even using the T.Y. brand recommended by Roland Corp.), so my issue is still open.
Again, thanks to aleccs for the tutorial!

92. john shield - November 10, 2009

Hi PJ, turns out it was user error in my case (no.87), I wasn’t using the ‘song’ facility properly and consequently all the material I’d recorded on the machine was being read-hence ‘cd full’. Very happy with it now, though I think the manual could be a little clearer on this.

93. y l - November 12, 2009

Hi pj,i have an older br-8 unit that i love very much,recently each time that i power up the unit and insert a recorded zip disk to the drive,a “disk is not initialized” pop up. is the zip drive not good?
and another question please,can i replace the zip drive with an 20gb ata one?
thank you

94. richard - November 15, 2009

PJ your the best man.my br1180cd when i turn it on and it starts loadinding it frezzes by reading all the problems.It should be the hard drive right?

95. CONOR CULLEN - November 18, 2009


96. CONOR CULLEN - November 20, 2009


97. Pierre La Ve' - December 7, 2009

Hello PJ, I have a BR 1600CD ver 2 and I pluged in the wrong wall wart and wella, all the lights went out. I assume I burned out the hard drive. I can unplug the smaller connector from the hard drive and lights are back on and I get hard drive error. Do I need a new hard drive? Thank you, Pierre

98. Mark P - December 21, 2009


I barrowed a friends BR-1180, as I am playing back tracks the unit will freeze with a high pitch squeel. Have I broken the unit? Will it damage the unit further if I keep trying to get my file mixed down and burned to CD?
The unit was used when he baught it and I am the first to use it and I feel terible that I may have damaged it some how.

Any help would be greatly welcome.



99. Mark P - December 23, 2009


I barrowed a friends BR-1180, as I am playing back tracks the unit will freeze with a high pitch squeel. Have I broken the unit? Will it damage the unit further if I keep trying to get my file mixed down and burned to CD?
The unit was used when he baught it and I am the first to use it and I feel terible that I may have damaged it some how.

Any help would be greatly welcome.



100. richard - December 29, 2009

Help Help i have a br1180cd where can i buy anther harddrive?what do iask for?I no it has to be formated fat 32.nobody seems to have this harddrive.thanks and happy new year

101. velocetteman - December 30, 2009

The original hard drive is a Maxtor 541DX, (20GB, 5400RPM, Ultra ATA / IDE). You should be able to locate one on ebay at a low price. The drive jumper configuration should be set for “Master” operation.

The BR1180 can handle larger capacity drives, divided into multiple logical drives, each of 20GB, up to a maximum of 8. The thing to look out for when considering fitting a different drive is the form-factor … the drive is physically slimmer than many standard drives … a standard sized drive will NOT fit internally.

102. Gordo - December 30, 2009

I’m having the same problem as a few others have noted. I have a BR-1600 and it will almost load then freeze with the message stuck on “Now Loading”. There must be a back door way out of this, specific buttons to push that will bring it back to the menu or cancel the previous load command????
Any recommendations would be appreciated. I hate the thoughts of having to replace the hard drive. Can’t imagine that’s the problem.

103. Aleccs Thompson - January 8, 2010

as i’m sure you’ve figured out by now, it will have to be shut down by pulling the plug and then might load all the way next time you try it.
If it does you should be thankful, immediately back up everything to your computer and initialize the drive. Once I did this my br16 hasn’t given me any problems since.

104. Tony - January 10, 2010

Hi, I had my hardrive break down a number of years ago. I put my BR1180 away soon after, but I found it a couple of days ago in my attic. The machine doesnt even turn on now. At least before, it would turn on and a message would read “loading” but it would freeze that way. Now that I want to turn it on it doesnt. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you

105. Cj - January 17, 2010

Thank you soooooo much!
Followed your instructions and my unit is functional again.
Even has double the recording time….BONUS!

You ROCK dude!!

106. tyrell - January 23, 2010

my screen on br 1180 lights up but there is no display..
can any one tell me wat the problem may be thanx

107. gib Perkin - February 17, 2010

We deleted all of the files from our BR-1600 without optimizing first now my memory reads 20 mins. Is there any way to fix this or do I have replace my hard drive

108. PJ - February 23, 2010

Hi Everyone I hope that this article and the comments are helping solve some of your Boss recorder issues. I have had many emails of success stories with replacing the BR-1180 hard drive. If you are still having trouble please read through the comments as many questions have been answered.

Also if you have a moment please visit
and vote for Alderwood Ch.2. I did the music for this short film and it was selected as one of the Top 5 in a contest by Canon and Vimeo. If you could take a second and vote it would mean a lot to me!!

Thanks and keep us up to date with your experiences with the BR-1180.

109. Andrew - March 4, 2010

i have a boss br 1600 and my hard drive crashed on me, when i found this i bought me a western digital 160 gb hd but when i formatted it and start up my 1600 it cant intilize whats the problem?

110. Stuart Parks - March 11, 2010

I’ve been looking for a CD burner to install in my Boss-1180 and have not had any success. Would it possible that you would might know where I could buy one. New if possible. Thank ypu

Stuart Parks

111. Loren J - March 29, 2010

Hello. I have a boss 1180 and have had it since it came out. About 6 months ago the harddrive started locking up. But it only does it when I’m recording. The “HD Drive” light flashes and then freezes along with a high pitched squeal. It doesn’t do it all the time, but its such a pain after recording, esp trying to bounce. Is there a way to fix this without losing my music or even a way to record so it doesn’t happen so often?

thanks, loren

112. Tony - April 6, 2010

I just purchased a used Boss Br 1180 and I’m having the same problem that Brendan is having ( The fader on track 6 does nothing but fader 7 controls both) and someone said it could be grouped together.I can not find any info on this in the manual. Can anyone help please!!

113. Cinders - April 19, 2010

I have been using this unit now for a little while and have found every question and answer on this page very helpful to read. So thanks to all of you who help people out.

However, I do have one question that I may have missed somewhere in this very long thread! If so than I’m sorry to repeat it. If all goes well and you have managed to initialise the disk, is there software that needs to be placed back on the HDD or is it stored somewhere else? I build computers and know that the HDD after format needs an OS system to operate, so is this the same with the BOSS BR-1180CD HDD?
Also in response to other people’s questions, I have found that burning all coupled channels and each v-track to 1 CD (they usually fit on 1 CD for me) and then loading them onto a computer using CubaseSX Audio (which you can get for free from torrent sites – not that I’m recommending you do that of course) works really well for mixing and adding sound effects in the final stages of a song. This is only useful if you are wanting to put everything onto your computer such is the case if you can’t get the bouncing process to work as some people above have had trouble with.

When recording old tapes and records onto the computer I use a digital converter, it converts the old school tunes into digital ones. Where as this is not ideal as the sound is being recorded in real time, it is still effective.

Anyway, just to be clear, my questions again is:
Is there software required for the HDD after initialisation or is software automatically installed during initialisation.

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions and I hope my 2cents helps someone else out. :)

P.S. I recently did an entire data backup of the HDD – might be a good idea for those of you worried about losing your data, however it takes a lot of time and used up just over 20 CD’s.
Maybe I could use this to re-install that data once I’ve put the replacement HDD in?

Anyway, looking forward to hearing back from anyone.
Also if you want to check out my myspace page, I have two old versions of songs I recorded using the 1180, I am currently in the process of doing fresh recordings of those two tracks plus several more for a CD I hope to release later this year. :)

114. Pete - May 7, 2010

hi Tony check that you are not on bounce or master mode, and Cinders the HDD will initialize when you switch the machine on with the new HDD installed – it is worth downloading v2 from boss’s website to as it has some nice added features – ok bye for now

115. Rick Mantree - May 12, 2010

1- Is there a way to always record to TWO hard discs at the time? This way if one gives out well bam you have one safe and sound.

2- How do I transfer 8 individual tracks to an external hard disc in one go? If not possible. then how can I transfer the tracks one by one and everything be in sync aferwards.


116. David - May 19, 2010

I’m so impressed with the quality of PJ’s repair guide and this site generally. Recently my machine has failed to retrieve songs that still appear to be there, but when I try to load (select) the song it gives me another (always the song with the lowest number, i.e. the first song). I’ve backed everything up and am going to initialise the HDD since my working hypothesis is that it has something to do with not being able to defrag the data. I’m really surprised I haven’t seen this problem mentioned (I could have missed it) while I haven’t had a hint of any of the problems that seem all too common. People laugh at me for using the Boss, but I think one can be really productive with a machine like this. To PJ once again, thanks for the invaluable advice. It never occured to me to replace the internal HDD with a bigger one, but I’m starting to give it some serious thought.

117. geoff simmons - May 20, 2010

An Br-1180CD oddity: my editing suite is down. I can’t erase or copy …. Machine says it’s done it but no change actually happens. that applies to copy, copy insert and erase – but there’s no protect on.

Now I have (rarely) used these before without probs. but now … zilch … which is a headache since I want to edit rhythm guitar tracks.

I go Track-Copy (or Erase)-detailed area or All-yes. Message comes up – performed. No change on playback though. Um!

Any advice appreciated.


118. Dave Moore - May 23, 2010

Hey PJ,

My 7 year old BR1180CD is giving me the “Driver Busy” error in the middle of recording. I’ve tried to force intiliaze it 4 times and each time it stops and locks up. Your drive replacement process looks simple enough, do you think the Drive is fried? Luckily I back up all fies at the end of each session so retrieval is not an issue, but it does beg another question. Is it possible to attach an external Hard drive to this machine permanently? Your article is very well done, I’m on my way to the dining room table with the machine and tools. My wife looks scared…..Any advice is welcome. Thanks!!

119. Alfred - June 6, 2010

thank you
it works perfectly for me

120. paul - June 10, 2010

My BR1600 is showing a Hard Disk Error. Can I use yr method?

From yr method, it seems I just need to format a new ATA hard disk into FAT32. Then, put it inside the machine is OK. Do I need to install any firmware?

121. Rhiannon Jones - June 12, 2010

I have this recorder too and my c.d burner stopped burning. What kind of c.d burner can I get to replace this one?

122. Aleccs Thompson - June 19, 2010

Paul, scan through these comments until you see other messages by me. In one of them there is a link to a writeup of how to replace the br1600 hard drive. Good luck!

123. Michael J Sinay - July 10, 2010

Thanks for the post. Just repaired my buddy’s BR 1180. Seems to be working fine.

MJ Sinay

124. Jay - July 13, 2010

I too have been looking for a CD-RW drive for my newly purchased BR-1180.

No luck on the sites mentioned in earlier posts.

I got all excited when I read about the 3 way connections, but that thread fizzled out.

Anyone successfully managed to “Frankenstien” an CD burner?


125. Bret - July 24, 2010

I got the br1600, I turned it off while it was copying a song, I had to go to work and didn’t want to leave it on all day just to let it finish copying. I got home from work and turned it back on, it loaded normal. It actually made a copy of the song, even though I turned it off. I was still selected on the original song when I loaded the copy though. I proceeded to select the copy like a dumb ass and try to load that copy up. It only says “loading” now. I know its because I selected a bad file. It can’t load that file, but it is selected and there’s no way I know of to deselect it. There has to be some kind of Control, Alt, delete, button mashing I can do, I think it’s stupid to replace a hard drive for something like this Help please!!

126. jerry meker - July 29, 2010

Users found that removing and reformatting their PS3 hard drive and then … that is better than sending in the system for a repair. many hard drive failures are sudden and cannot be …

127. Brandon - August 13, 2010

Where can I get a hard drive for the BR-1180, also can I install a larger hard drive instead of the 20 gb could I go with a 40 or 60 gb?
Thank you very much.

128. Dusty Ray Vaughn - August 16, 2010

I took the old HDD out, did the freezer thing, used an external box to download the drive onto the computer, formatted an 80GB HDD Fat32 then moved the previous drives files back onto the 80GB drive. I installed it into the BR1180-CD and turned it on. It cam on, loaded, checked and I got a normal screen, pushed the utility button, tried to select a song and got HDD ERROR. I tried to initialize the HDD and got HDD WRITE ERROR. The drive read and worked fine in my PC. I’m going to take it back out, reformat it and leave it blank and try reinstalling it on the BR 1180-CD. I don’t know what else to do. My CD burner works fine unless it’s saving that for a nasty little surprise after I get the HDD working. Anyone have an idea of what’s going on? Am I doing something wrong and the Boss imps are enjoying a joke at my expense? Any thought, suggestions etc. are welcomed. PJ, this article was very good for the initial task of changing the hard drive. Now if I can just get it to actually use it, I’ll be a happy camper…but I’m starting to look longingly back at my old Tascam 4 track Cassette Studio at this point. I’ve also got a Fostex MR-8 and a Yamaha MD-8 that are looking accusingly at me with an “I told you so” leer. I got to make this work…too poor to buy new toys. Help me guys…please.

129. Kevin Ryan - August 18, 2010

I haven’t had this error before but now my BR 1180 shows “error” says that the new blank cd is full – what is the best work around for this? What are the best recordable cd’s to use for these units? Thank you, Kevin

130. Dusty Ray Vaughn - August 25, 2010

I formatted an 80 GB HDD FAT32, replaced the 20GB that had gone south in my unit and it comes up “drive error”. When I try to initialize it it comes up “HDD write error”. I called Boss Tech Support and they say it sounds like another bad hard drive, and that you’re not supposed to put larger than a 40GB hard drive in it. I’m wondering if it’s something else and if I’ll be wasting my money buying a new hard drive for it. Any suggestions? I just passed up another Boss 1180CD for $50 doing the same thing on ebay.Any help would be appreciated…I can’t afford to buy another unit right now.

131. Bobby in the Lou - September 4, 2010

Hi PJ, I really appreciate the instructions and posts above. I just had my mechine give me a HD error message. My mechine 8yr old , BR-1180cd has worked well for me so I want to use your instructions and try to replace the hard drive. I looked at the site you suggested in Post #4. They are no longer available. What are folks using that fit in the mechine? Thanks in advance for any suggestions from anyone.
Peace, Bobby

132. JOSE - September 22, 2010


133. john - October 22, 2010

can I use an ATA 100 in place of the ATA 133 in by BR 1200 CD?

134. Rudy - October 27, 2010

I purchased a BR-1180 and am now adding a compatible cd/dvd drive. The unit arrived without connections. What do Ineed to connect the now free floating drive to my 1180?

135. Alex - November 3, 2010

Great write up!

My BR-1180CD tends to freeze up when recoding a track, been going on for a while. I just hit “yes” and I’m fine to start recording again and have to re-do the rest of the track.
Now isn’t there a way to clean out and re-boot the HD, make it new again?
Hate to loose all the raw tracks/music but but having if freeze up and ruin the mojo is no good.

Thanks in advance!

136. Saxsamatic - November 3, 2010

I Have the Br1200. Today my Br 1200 gave me HDD Error!
I got another drive which is Seagate ATA Ultra, 160 Gig.
I then disconnected all the drives in my computer and placed Windows 98 Boot Disk in the A: drive and Rebooted my computer.
Next I chose: Boot computer using CD-Rom support.
Then,wait for the A:\ prompt.
I now removed the Windows 98 Boot Disk from the computer and
put in the IBM WIPE Disk in the floppy drive.
I now typed at the A:\ Wipe_0
Press Enter, answere Y, then watch the drive get wiped
This is called a Low Level Format..
Now the drive is back to It’s original factory settings, like when it was NEW!
I placed the 160 Gig drive in the BR1200 and intitialized in the Normal mode…..IT”s DONE!! Worked Great!


137. matt - November 8, 2010

does anyone know how to get the loops out of the BR1600 and into a computer? I would have thought it was a simple USB transfer like with the audio tracks but it won’t export the loops, only the recorded tracks.

138. Paul Stierle - November 13, 2010

the CD burner os harddrive does not work anymore. I was told they do’t have the part. What do I do. Help

139. Jay - December 10, 2010

I’m following your guide and i was wondering if this would work? It says it is a maxtor genuine 80 gig. Just lookin for a good drive to install for a good price? Any ideas would be great. I have it apart right now. Thanks for any help.

140. sammy night - December 11, 2010

@Paul 138 (and anyone else)…mine acts today like it’s burning a CD, appears to ‘complete’ the burn, but then it doesn’t eject the ‘burned’ CD. When I attempt to play it, the CD is blank…is my burner gone? Uh oh…if it is.

141. Br1600 hard drive problem - Home Recording forums - December 12, 2010

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142. Bob Walters - January 20, 2011

I have a BR 1180, it powers up but frezes on “MESSAGE” now checking.
Any suggestions for a fix?

143. Glenn - January 27, 2011

I have been looking for a CD-RW kit for the Boss BR-1180 since 2008 with no luck. I went to an audio repair shop for a guitar pedal fix and asked the tech if he knew where I could get the CD-RW kit (CDI-BR1). He called back and gave me a website called eSAITECH and said I could install a Toshiba SLIM CDRW, part # UJDA340.
Will this drive work with the BR-1180? Are the connectors compatible? I’m a musician not a tech guy so I don’t know what to ask the company to ensure the drive will work. I really just want to plug the sucker in and start recording. What can I do or what questions should I ask?

144. Glenn - February 5, 2011

I found this on Ebay, will it work?



145. Glenn - February 9, 2011

Where did you pruchase your cd/dvd drive for your BR-1180? How much did it cost?


146. Dani @ computer repair Ventura - March 1, 2011

Oh nice, thanks for the repair tutorial… I was wondering if this recording device has the ability to connect to a computer, or sync with one?

147. Graemie - March 3, 2011

im wandering the same as dani, i contacted roland uk but to be honest got next to little help.There’s not much i can do as i can’t connect it to my pc or burn a disk so whats the point? been searching this thread to see if i can find any idea on how to upload the tracks onto my pc to master with audacity or something. Any idea if using a midi out cable could help export the tracks?

148. leslie gabriel - April 1, 2011

Thank you so much for the tutorial. I have never attempted anything remotely connected to repairing electronics and/or computers. Thanks – I have successfully replaced my hard drive in my machine.
The next thing I have to do – i need to try and retrieve my data from the old hard drive . Any suggestions ?

149. pachara bindusmita - April 7, 2011

i have a BR-1180. i don’t have a built in CD burner. if i use an ATA-133 CD burner(80 gb), will it work?

150. ZAIBATSU - April 26, 2011

Very nice tutorial!
I have one since 2003. Used it a lot at the beginning to record my songs, and today only for the COSM effect in it. Today i made a few test with the scrub fonction (it reads a short loop of a few Millisecond like GZZZZZIIIIIIT!!! or vrrrrrtttt!! until you stop the scrub) I just forgot to stop it and i left my house to catch a kebab. I guess it fried the HD because when i get back home a few hour laters the screen was like ***********…MT1.
I guess the scrub fonction is reading the same part of the drive over and over until death…
When i turned it on again it was locked on “now checking”
I opened it and mounted the drive on a pc.
I am lucky the file are still in it and only the last song is corrupted.
The issue is: when turned on, the br 1180 use an index file and check the date of the last project you opened and automatically boot it. And what happens if the last file is corrupted? the machine never turn on.
I guess i ll have to modify the fucking index file but this shit is corrupted too. I will see if the device can create a new index and the i will modify one… Anyway it’s my job :D
TTYS for the results and nice tutorial mate!

151. ZAIBATSU - April 26, 2011

It worked with chkdsk. The system file is fat32.
I was lucky! looks like the intensive corrupted screwed the running file.


152. david palm - June 3, 2011

Hey PJ your article is awesome. But I have the same problem as the pete guy! I turn it on and it checks the system but than as it loads it stops. Than its frozen saying loaded. It doesn’t go to the main menu.

153. juho-eric - June 16, 2011

I just managed to replace a drive to a BR-1180, and wrote a blog post in the process. There’s some corrections from this article, check it out if you’re planning to do the same thing!


You don’t really need to format anything yourself, the BR-1180 can do it for you…

There’s also some hints if you want to update the BR-1180 firmware to version 2.01.

154. Peter O'Kelly - August 10, 2011


Hi I have a Boss 1180 Digital recorder and when I turn it on all the recording tracks’ lights come on in red and so does the HDD Access light.Does that mean the hard drive is damaged? Thank you Peter

155. John H - August 19, 2011

Amazing threads. My question is on faulty buttons. I acquired used Br1600cd & the “Zero” and ” Enter” buttons are not functioning. Any advice on how tonged again?

156. David VB - August 28, 2011

HI Pj. I just found this thread this afternoon and cannot believe that the 1180 comes so many inherent flaws. I’ve had mine since Nov. 2003, and have not attempted to use it until this last July. My problem is not with the hard drive (yet), but is with the bounce function. After recording tracks for my song and balancing everything to my liking, I bounce all tracks to tracks 9/10. There, I find that one or two tracks are louder than I wanted. So, I undo it and go back to the original tracks to find that data is missing. I’ve been re-recording and re-recording tracks where I find missing data and find I am in a cycle where I cannot finish my material. I was finally, after 6 wks, able trecord one song. I began another song believing I had overcome this issue and right away, I found myself in the same situation. When I bounced my material, I found once again one guitar loader that what I had expected, I again hit the “undo” feature. When I went to listen to re-balance my tracks, I had lost a lot of my bass track material on another track. Can you please tell me what is going on with this? What can I do to fix it, if there is a way? Thank you, PJ.

157. David VB - August 31, 2011

Has anyone experienced anything like as I’ve discussed in my previous text? I’d sure like to find if anyone has and how it was addressed. Thank you.

158. CB - August 31, 2011

To David VB
It could be a faulty hard drive, have you tried replacing the hard drive with a new one? You can replace it with any size but the BR-1180 only uses 20GB at any one time of the hard drive, you can switch partitions when one becomes full I believe but I haven’t had to do that yet, I have replaced the hard drive in my 1180 and have had no problems with it yet. No problems with missing data or any other issues have presented themselves but will let you know if they do.
P.S. Be sure to back up all individual tracks of course before you replace the hard drive, I have had issues with getting the old hard drive recognised by my computer.

159. Peter O'Kelly - September 1, 2011


I plugged my 1180 into a mains adapter with output of 19 volts and now it won’t come on at all. When I turn it on the screen flashes slightly but that’s it. Have I blown the motherborad? How can I repair this if it is indeed possible. Thanks

160. David VB - September 1, 2011

Thank you, CB. I haven’t yet changed out my hard drive, but that sounds like it’s time. I’ll get that a go. Thanks again. DV.

161. Vincent - October 12, 2011

Hey, just writing to ask for your suggestion on a new hard drive to use. I’m looking for a 40 to 80 gig hard drive to install on my BR-1180. What hard drive do you suggest?

162. Jeffrey Lieberman - October 21, 2011

Dude, there is a simple solution, you just have to reboot the hard drive by pressing certain buttons. You will lose everything on the hard drive, but you will save the system itself and be able to go on another day. Does anyone remember that sequence of buttons though? I remember having to hold down track 5.

163. karen - November 11, 2011

i recorded some people talking on a digital recorder but, i can not hear it can someone help me?

164. Gunther - November 15, 2011

HD access Is constant In a red modus aswell Is all the 10 tracks buttons.How can I deal with this problem? Is there a chance to recover the data? I have had It for 7 years an never thought this would happen..!

165. garrymoore - November 25, 2011

hi to all thestudiofiles.comers this is my first post and thought i would say a big hello to yous –
thank yous speak soon
garry moore

166. enrique - December 6, 2011

Hi ,
My Br1180 stop to work with red light in the hard disk, after read this article, I just remove the hard disk of a older pc ( ATA/IDE 7200rpm) with data but not necessary (new format was not necessary), installed in the BR1180 , the BR ask if i want to initilize , my answer was yes and the BR start to work perfectly.. Easy .

167. Pat - January 1, 2012

Thank you very much, I took your advice on a BR1200 and it worked out just fine and saved me a fortune!

168. Bluer Sun - January 18, 2012

The HD drive in my BR11-80 is dead so obviously i need to replace it… Will this do the trick


and is it a simple case of just plugging it in and going? Please help!!

169. AXXXMAN - January 18, 2012

My BR1180 was unplugged before it could shut down. If I replace the hard drive will it work again or is my problem different? When I turn my unit on the Led logo comes on but nothjnmg else works no sound from HD. Is this the same problem?

170. Lewie - February 18, 2012

Hi There

I wonder if anyone could help me with a problem I have with the Boss BR-1600.

I am finding that when I record say onto track 7, Track 8 will control the volume of it. If I put the volume fader up a bit on track 8 the volume on track 7 will get louder.

I have taken off every track file and HDD it and also I have initialise the machine but it’s still happening any ideas.


171. Andrew - March 11, 2012

I replaced the hard drive in my boss br 1600 and now my guitar effects don’t work any one know how to get them back on my hard drive? I really need to fix it this week

172. James Patrick - April 28, 2012

I bought a BOSS BR-1600 Digital Recording Studio in December 2009. I had intermittant problems with the Hard Disk. Then earlier this year I got the message “HDD Full”. So I tried Optimising and deleting unwanted songs. The result was the dreaded “HDD Read Error!”. I lost more than 2 years of work. The unit was still under guarantee and Roland replaced the Hard Drive. I had backed up most of my recording on to CD but I was unable to recover all of that. RoIand has since offered to try to help recover the lost recordings from the CDs. I wouldnt buy another of these units.

173. Nick - July 19, 2012

I have a unique problem with my br-1180cd. Audio from track 5 is bleeding onto track 4 even when the slider level for track 5 is all the way down. I’ll probably have to take it somewhere to be repaired, but if anyone could help me avoid that costly trip I would be more than grateful.

174. Chad Elliott - August 22, 2012

I just accidentally deleted a song from my BR-1180cd and was wondering if there was any way of retrieving it.
I’m such a bonehead.
Any help is appreciated!

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176. Paul Marangoni - October 8, 2012

I tried to replace the hard drive in my BR-1600CD, but it wouldn’t initialize. It would start initializing, but after a few seconds I kept getting a “HDD Error!”.

This was a new drive. Any idea what it might be?

177. velocetteman - October 9, 2012

Have you remembered to set the drive link configuration to “master”?

178. Paul Marangoni - October 9, 2012

Yes, I set it to master.

179. Paul Marangoni - October 9, 2012

It was a Seagate, 80GB drive. No, I didn’t test it. In fact, I just returned it. I brought my recorder into Roland today to have them perform the upgrade.

Oh well, I gave it a shot. The drive was probably bad though. If I do it again, I’ll get a USB to ATA adapter so that I can test the drive with my computer.

180. Paul Marangoni - October 9, 2012

By the way, if anyone is interested, I recorded my last CD with the BR-1600 and will be releasing a new CD recorded on it later this year.

Some samples here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/trioofstridence

181. Jerry_gdl - October 24, 2012

Hello. I
recently bought the Boss BR 1180, upgraded with cd burner. When turned on, amessage appears that says cheking …. when this process ends. Another alertappears with the legend of hdd error.i tried to initialize the hard drive by pressing the menu button number 5 and undo / redo, power button. Option 23initialize hdd. and the progress bar does not advance.

I also tried changing the hard drive. because a technician informed me that the hard drive from the factory was damaged and no longer worked. I gave the new hard disk formatted with FAT32 system files and still get the same error as if I had not changed the hard drive .the new hard disk set is a WD (Western Digital) model
WD800BB. I hope this information is sufficient to determine the problem. andfind a solution. Help me please. Thanks in advance.

182. Paul Marangoni - October 24, 2012

Roland suggests using either Maxtor or Seagate. They seem to think that WD drives have problems. You should be able to install the new drive without pre-formatting it. The BOSS unit will take care of everything. First it will detect the new drive, and then ask it you want to initialize it.

I suggest you take your recorder to a Roland authorized service center.

183. Jerry_gdl - October 24, 2012

Now i install a maxtor 3.5 ATA/133 and when it starting the hdd over heat and start to smell like burn circuit :S and here in mexico its hard to find a roland service center what can you suguest me to do? drop it in the trash can jajaj :(

184. Paul Marangoni - October 24, 2012

Try asking them in an email: http://www.bossus.com/backstage/email_support/

185. Hugh Brothers - November 15, 2012

PJ I just replaced the HD in my BR-1600CD with a Seagate Ultra ATA/100 80 GB and it works great. Didn’t have to format. Just hooked it up and initialized. Your instructions were very helpful. Bought the HD from ITpartsdepot(Jack Seigel) 877-506-1584. I put the purchase info on here because it is hard to find a brand new 80 GB HD. The pin setting on the HD is confusing, I ended up putting the pin on Limited Capacity.
Thanks Hugh

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188. Jim - December 31, 2012

Is there a way to reboot a 1600? Mine is stuck on loading and I cannot figure it out. Thanks!

189. Paul Marangoni - December 31, 2012

You can initialize the machine, but if your machine is stuck before you are able to switch to that screen I don’t know if there’s anything you can do. Might have to take it in for service.

190. Michael Schachtel - January 12, 2013

Can you tell me where I can buy a new hard drive for my br1180

191. Paul Marangoni - January 12, 2013

There are a few for sale on eBay. You can also try Amazon.com.

192. Karl Topping - January 18, 2013

Can anybody tell me why i can only access 20gig of my 80gig hard drive? The Boss BR-1600 makes me manually initialize the hard drive before i can use it, and then i have ONLY ONE partition of 20gig. There are no others i can select in the hard drive menu. The recording time says i’ve got 80gig but i can only import 20gig of songs and then we’re full. Nobody else seems to have had this problem!!!!??? Please help me…..

193. Paul Marangoni - January 18, 2013

Have you tried initializing the whole machine as well as the hard drive?

194. Karl Topping - January 18, 2013

I’ve initialized ALL global settings too.

195. Paul Marangoni - January 18, 2013

I suggest contacting BOSS support through their website. Problem is, they’ll probably just tell you to send it in. It may be simpler to just install a new hard drive.

Did you look at the partition options of the drive? I know you can’t have a partition larger than 40 GB, so an 80 GB drive would end up having two partitions minimum.

196. Paul Marangoni - January 21, 2013


197. greg - February 11, 2013

trying to burn a 77:00 min. mixtape track… keeps saying cd full?… i know for a fact its under 20 min…. how do i get me track on blank disc or onto my computer?

198. greg - February 11, 2013

80 min. not 20 min….sorry

199. Andre Kimble - March 19, 2013

What’s good PJ’..I have the Boss 1180 also and my drive went out’..I ordered a drive off eBay. 20 GB GIG HARD DRIVE HDD UPGRADE ROLAND BOSS BR-1180 BR1180 RECORDER. When it came to the house it didn’t look the same, it was a lot thinner and the pins didn’t match’.. Its a 5400rpm ATA100/IDE Travelstar brand by Hitachi..Can I use this drive?? If so..How?

200. David Riddering - June 3, 2013

Hey anybody!
MyHDD on BR 1600 failed, but I removed the disc and connected it to my desktop via an IDE to USB connector and was able to see and copy all my recordings and EVERYTHING onto my PC by COPY PASTE method. I put all this in a folder. I took a long time, but I got it all. I then replaced the damaged HDD with a new one I formatted using the process explained above, and installed it into my BR1600CD. I initialized the new HDD in the BR, and connected the BR to the PC via the USB connection on the back of the unit. Following the instructions on page 245 of the Manual (Reading backup data back into the BR1600CD (Recover)) I was able to recover all of my recordings from years of work! Hallelujah! This also takes a long time, but hey, net loss = 0 lost recordings. I hope this helps anybody who has had to replace thei HDD. I hope you didn’t throw the old HDD away!

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206. Aaron Smith - September 9, 2013

Hi, just wanted to add a solution to fader volume controls and buttons issues for non working buttons, faders and turn knobs.

You can take the BR-1180 apart to more easily clean everything inside, but if it is just fader issues then use a compressor and air blower tip to blow out any dust and dirt inside all fader tracks, then use a product called Caig De-Ox-It D5 spray can cleaner and spray inside all moving fader tracks and move each fader up & down as you go to work it in, after it dries out, about an hour, then use Caig Fader Lube F100L dropper bottle and put a few drops in each fader track and work it in by moving each fader up & down, you should then have perfect working static free fader controls.

The same applies to all push buttons, you need to work in the Caig product into the contacts to make all the button(s) work again, but with rotary control potentiometers you need to use just the Caig Fader Lube a few drops on the base of shaft or on the control base hole itself and then work it in by turning the knob(s) back and forth until it sounds clean and static free, on tough jobs you may need to clean it first with the Caig D5 spray and then Fader Lube it after on really bad static noisy turn knobs.

Plus if I were you I would additionally put Fader Lube a small drop on all plug in connectors especially the ribbon cable for the LCD screen, and make sure there are no bent pins when reinserting any connector wire plugs. Be careful when unplugging and re-plugging any wire connector back in to the motherboard, you can easily bend the connectors and then you will have problems. Go easy and make sure you can see what you are doing, do it under good lighting.

Hope that helps, my two cents for what it is worth ?

I have fixed many analog mixers and many multi-track recorders, and remote buttons as well using just these procedures I mentioned above.

207. Blue Aarow - September 17, 2013

I currently installed a 40 gb hard drive in my Boss BR-1180CD and formatted it in my PC using NTFS instead of FAT32, XP does not give a choice other than the NTFS file format for formatting a hard drive. And you also have to make sure you also do 20 gb partitions up to 128 gb. The highest capacity drive you can use is 160 gb. Although keep in mind that the Boss’s old IDE hard drive interface only recognizes up to 128 gb total, even though you may be using a higher capacity drive it will only use up to 128 gb.

Well it works now even when I formatted the new hard drive in NTFS format mode, so you do not need to use FAT32 format mode for the Boss to recognize the hard drive. Just initialize the hard drive when you first install it in your Boss. And to access the other 20 gb partitions you will need to go into the hard drive info menu on the Boss to load up different 20 gb partitions to use them separately each time.

I hope this helps out some that still use this very versatile portable music demo writing recording machine.

And to record all your separate tracks to a PC you can use the analog outs and or digital optical out and just mute the tracks you don’t want recorded, since you can only playback 2 tracks at a time panned hard left and other track panned hard right until you get all the tracks recorded in your computer DAW.

Just remember to get the audio volume levels maxed without clipping and mute all other tracks, remember you can only send two tracks at a time at once. And turn off any reverb effects and EQ on all tracks, unless you want that sound effect permanently recorded to the DAW.

208. Jade - October 24, 2013

Boss br 1600 – when I initialize the hdd is says hdd error? Brand new hard drive formatted and very thing. I have a makeshift power supply – could this be causing the problem?

209. Paul Marangoni - October 24, 2013

Same happened to me. You probably have a bad hard drive.

210. Gerald Edzerza Box 333 Watson Lake y.t. YOA ICO CANADA - November 11, 2013

Please little help i would like instal a burner in my BOSS BR1180
not sure how old this unit is how many gig do i need? and where can
i purches one?

211. Gear Tech - January 22, 2014

Does anyone know if you can use a standard laptop type CD-ROM in the BR-1600CD? Or does have to be a model UJDA340 drive? I just tried a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive but the unit hangs on “NO LOADING”. Thanks for your time.

212. John Jenkins - January 25, 2014

Hello I love using my Br-1180, recently my cd drive has went out and I went on a search of its model number, which is UJDA340, does that mean any laptop cd drive with that same model will work?

213. Damon Sink - March 12, 2014

Check out Blue Aarow’s post above. Very good info on formatting and partitioning a raw drive.

214. Rich - May 28, 2014

Just wondering if anyone has thought about or attempted installing a SSD in their BR-1180?

215. John Jenkins - July 15, 2014

@Rich you mean like a Sd card slot? If so, I’ve thought about it but wouldn’t know where to begin, I’m thinking that you would have to do some tyler of software change since there’s not an option for sd on the menu.

216. Rich - July 15, 2014

No, i was referring to a SSD hard drive.

217. Derek - July 23, 2014

Hi PJ and to other contributors to this thread- thanks for excellent article. I actually have had the BR-1180 for
over 10 years and it is still going
strong after many many hours of use. But I want to be ready to replace the
hard drive.

(Additionally, I am looking into buying a used BR-1600 and am thinking
about the eventual replacement
of the hard disc in that machine if I get it also. If you have any insights
about BR1600 hard disc replacemnt
let me know!)

One thing I did not see in your article (or I missed!) is this: where is
the operating system stored?
Don’t you need to re-install the operating system when you replace the hard

Or is the operating system “built in” to the unit itself somehow – ie
hardwired? I don’t get how you
can just install a new hard drive and it will just start working. Maybe I
missed something!

Thanks -


Derek in Santa Barbara

218. Smithb627 - August 20, 2014

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219. Mark Thyme - November 27, 2014

The Utility button on my BR1600CD recorder unresponsive over the past few months. I have to keep pressing it 10/15 times before it reacts. Does anyone know where I can have it repaired. I’m located in Dublin.

220. Steve - January 7, 2015

I have a old Boss BR-8 recorder want to change out the internal zip drive for a hard drive can it be down?

221. Steve - January 7, 2015

Can a Boss BR-8 have a external hard drive connected instead of a zip drive?
Sorry forgot to select my email.

222. Aaron Smith - January 7, 2015

People who are having unresponsive button problems on their Boss BR audio recording gear and many other brands can use a product to clean the button contacts. You can spray Caig De-Ox-It D-5 contact cleaner then follow up with Caig lubricant oil. Best to take machine apart but you can try spraying a little through button holes on faceplate of your recorder. Let solution dry before turning on your machine.

Also I am certain you can use a compact flash conversion on any Boss BR model. Look on EBay for the conversion kits for your model.

hope this helps…..

223. Aaron Smith - January 7, 2015

Also forgot to mention to make sure when spraying or dropping solution into button contacts on your machine, make sure to press the button while you are cleaning them with Caig product. This will get rid of built up corrosion and wear particles in the button contacts so they will function again like new. Caig carries a more concentrated formula than D-5 called D-100 and also be sure to buy their fader lube F-100 concentrate. You should also clean then lube your sliding volume faders too with Caig product.

Note: Don’t use Caig on potentiometers unless you have to, you may lose the factory lube and the turn knob will not have the same feel stiffness when stock. Also be careful using Caig on rubber button contacts like on Roland VS recorders transport buttons, you should not clean those rubber contacts because it ruins the rubber and make it swell then the button will not make contact. All other metal contact buttons and metal contacts and plastic contacts will work and are safe to use with Caig products.

224. Steve - January 15, 2015

Hi guys great stuff on The BR-1180 but I have a old BR-8 everything thus far works but I am looking to change out the zip drive and put in a SD card reader. Any suggestions would be great.


225. gary - January 24, 2015

I have a boss br1200 and my play button along with the left cursor and a couple others seem to work only when they want to . Have you encountered anything like that and if so how can I get this problem fixed .

226. Doug - February 3, 2015

In case this helps someone:
I replaced the original 20 GB Maxtor HD with a 80 GB Seagate Barracuda today. I’d already wiped the Seagate, and had no problems with the installation. The only mod was slicing half the height off a rubber foam pad that cushions the drive near the connectors. I used the cut off piece of foam to cushion the other end of the drive. This adjustment was necessary because the Seagate is thicker than the Maxtor. Fits great though, and is MUCH quieter. Now HD drive partitions show 67 | 67 | 67 | 48 hours. I copied the existing data off the Maxtor onto my desktop HD using an External HD Docking station (USB). Tried to use the Roland BR WAV Converter to move the proprietary files to WAV, but it doesn’t work for the BR1180. So, figured out that Audacity can be used to convert the “.TR8″ files to WAV. Although tedious, the following worked (once for each track in song):
• Open Audacity
• Import | Raw Data the “.VR8″ file(s) — the largest file(s) in folder
• Pan to FULL Right to eliminate “hissy track”
• Tracks | Mix and Render to New Track
• Delete original stereo tracks
• Tracks | Stereo Track to Mono
• Normalise
• Export as WAV (mono)

I then discarded all the rest of the BR1180 files (non .VR8), since I’m getting this unit ready to sell and don’t plan on using this data in the BR1180 again. Elsewhere I read the proprietary data can be copied into one of the new HD partitions if you want to bring your songs back in. Of course, that would requite pulling the new HD out again after initializing it. This is simple with an External HD docking station though.

227. Billy garner - February 12, 2015

I definatley am no expert when it comes to music as you guys are and in no comparisson regarding the financial capapilities it takes and i wish i had to invest.. however i have a heart that is totally committed to music, i do have a talent for music and making my own. Infact im a pretty good keyboard player using just an old fashioned piece of equipment compared to you professional equipment.But i play on a casio 1800 4.5 floppy disc drive.thats how ive managed to record the music ive written. Howevr for years ive been using an old school analog simple tacam,4 track 8 channell recorder That ive mixed down my music.it has always been my life long dream and a deep,passion in my heart of being able to record , mix this style of music along with another style, i guess you would call that sampling.? and make music of my own that i would enjoy to listen to. But most importantly bringing not only the sounds i,would like to hear thru sampling, but my own music aswell on cd..this has been my lifelong dream, and in my heart for years. Just being able to hear my music on c.d. i could die a peacefully happily old man..But family life, and kids kind of put that on hold.well i felt alive again and the desire to fullfill this lifelong dream that once i had in my heart and soul were almost given up until i seen this boss 1180 with a built in cd r recorder.Im not tech savy but thats where you can burn your own dics right, and add this sound to a sound and that sound to a other to create something you enjoy.? I thought i was in heaven!!! And god actually heard my prayers and they were answered However, my wife didnt find it to impressive but after all these years i put my foot down,and said you know i quit writing becase of you.but she said financial reason and costly family expenses have always prevented that. Im some ways thats been true, but mostly it was her. Honey this and honey that. Ugggh!!! but the heck with that, my love for my music and rcording my music on c.d that i have already stored on my old 4.5 floppy drive i wish to place on c.d. has been my life long goal before i die,so she will just get over it. i have bored you long enough with my no sense. So i bought this boss 1180 built in cd r. Problem is i cant get no sound after hooking it up to my midi ports on my casio. Im going from my casio outputs and into midi input on the boss. It came with no manual and im,in,need of buying one of them. Could you tell,me why im not getting any sound after hooking this up. And god forbid shes to ever find out i spent this money and bought this equipment at a pawn shop and it never work.ill never hear the end of it. But as of now i can,only get it to play the music the previous owners stored in the song memory. I cant get nothing. Can you please help me and what ever i need to do.? I,am,at your mecey. The gentleman,at the pawn shop wasnt to generous neirher he give me 24 hrs. To see if everything worked. I said how can one possiblly detemine all that especially after going to sleep for 6 to 8 hours. Ive. bored you enough. I only hope you take pitty on me and respond back. Im. im going to return the boss 1180,unless i hear othewise from you. Any information would be greatfull,and with compensation on my behalf would be offered if you considered. C i dont know if the cd r, even works. And after 24 hrs he said i cant return it. Please get back with,me a.s.ap. desperate to complete what i once set out to achieve in life . Respe tfully Submitted and my upmost grearfullness billy garner. Also,i,have a computer could i hook this boss, my casio and computer up together.? I could make some good sound if so huh?? Sorry.!! Lol please get intouvh with me . Thank you so,much.

228. Doug - February 13, 2015

Billy Garner:
I don’t anything about MIDI, but you can download the BR1180CD User Manual at the following link: http://roland.com/support/article/?q=manuals&p=BR-1180CD&id=1811552
or just Google “BR1180 user manual download” to find it.

229. Data Recovery: Hard Drive Repairs. ~ tophddrecoveryservices.gosid.com - February 13, 2015

[…] june 7, 2008 posted pj : digital home recording studios, troubleshooting, trackback. good friend . The Studio Files » Repair Guide: Replacing a Boss BR-1180 …Western digital hard drives, network drives, media players, Wd® long-time leader hard drive […]

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