425 drive replacements


New member
Hi Everyone,

I'm working with a 425 system and the performance has been very inconsistent. It seems to play most imported clips without issue, while replays from live capture seem to have issues playing back, stuttering to even freezing then catching up by fading frames at times. It has been used in a broadcast truck since 2014 so I'm leaning towards replacing 1 or both drives. In replacing a hard drive in the 425, does the system have to be restored to factory or can they be swapped out for new ones without too much down time? Do the drives just need to be formatted in Windows to be recognized by the 3play software?



New member
I have no experience with 3Play specifically, but I'm told a 3Play is really just a TriCaster with different software...and no one else has replied, so here goes!

On TriCasters without SSD, the C: and D: partitions are actually on the same physical hard drive. You could check this easily enough in Windows using Disk Management to look at how the drives/partitions are configured.

If you want to replace that System drive (having Windows and Newtek software installed on it), you would need to CLONE that drive via software first. One way to do this is to use the RESTORE/BACKUP function (and again, not sure if 3Play has the same backup option as TC) which allows you to create a USER BACKUP. Then physically replace internal drive with the newly-created backup. Don't quote me, but when creating the USER BACKUP, the new drive MUST be at least as big as the original drive being copied. I don't think it hurts to be larger, but cannot be smaller since both the C: and D: partitions get backed up.

Note that when replacing any 3.5" HDD in a Newtek box, you want something with specs of "7200 RPM, 64 MB cache, and SATA 6 Gb/s". This would include WD Caviar Black and Seagate Barracuda models for instance. Avoid anything with "Green" in the name, which favor power savings over performance.

When replacing a HDD that is video-storage only (not the OS drive) then simply use drive specs above, and format as NTFS using Windows and ready to use.

Again, I have not tried this on a 3Play but am providing this info in good faith that I believe it to be correct, but proceed at your own risk (with the OS drive - I have no reservations about a data drive replacement).




New member
Just wanted to chime in on this older topic as I did this today on a 3Play 425. We were experiencing a C & D partition where it would take 4-5 minutes to boot and video would constantly freeze or jitter on output when played from that drive, but not the E drive. My theory was that the Hard Drive was beginning to fail. I attempted to plug a blank hard drive in a USB enclosure to run the backup procedure as found during the initial load screen. It did not see the external USB drive.

So I popped the content drive (Drive E) out of the built-in tray on the front of the unit and placed the new drive in. I ran the Backup procedure again and sure enough, it recognized the drive and did a 1:1 transfer of both C and D partitions. I did a replacement of a 2TB drive with a 2TB drive so I can't speak to upgrading the size of the drive.

The 3Play 425 is very easy to disassemble - Two screws on each side and a thumbscrew on the back. The SATA and Power cables for the drive, which are on the bottom of a carrier (4 Phillips screws to remove the carrier and 4 Phillips screws holding the hard drive in place) are hot glued. Real easy to peel off so that you can depress the SATA cable's button. Pop the new drive in, reassemble and boot up. It worked instantly for me and boots into 3Play in 1 minute instead of 5. Real test will be a test broadcast before our first hockey games of the season.

Also, be warned that you may need your registration code/serial number if you run into problems. If it's not registered in your NewTek account, it can be found by clicking the button in 3Play settings that says "Register 3Play".


New member
The hard disk itself has a 'bad sector' table and as that fills up the head flies all over the place. Operating system doesn't see this problem and says everything is ok. I replaced all the drives in my 425 with new ones and performance was better than new. I also added an extra SSD drive for good measure. Works great.
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