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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
DIAYOR = Do It At Your Own Risk

The PCM 3.1 has a 100GB hard disk drive (HDD) storing critical information for its function. The HDD has mechanical parts and may be prone to failure. When the hard disk drive fails, it loses information that ties your PCM to your car and options and will render your PCM inoperable. When you take your car to Porsche, they will charge a steep amount to fix the issue, normally replacing the whole PCM (around $4,000).

I was successful in cloning the hard disk drive (HDD) into a solid state drive (SSD).

Before I start, I want to thank @Teddis for all his suggestions and guidance.

It starts with the removal of the PCM 3.1. Fortunately, you don’t have to disconnect it, but slide it forward as you’ll have access to the HHD from the top.

STEP 1: Take out the PCM fuse - In the trunk, fuse bank E, fuse # 2 (10 amps). Consult the manual.

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STEP 2: Remove the driver’s and passenger’s trim. Use a hook. Mark the hook as seen in the photo. It will be useful to know when you are truly hooked to the right part of the vents.

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Here is a video on how to take the trims out (click on image below)…

Taking Porsche Trim Out by santirx macan, on Flickr


STEP 3: Remove the 4 screws holding the PCM in place. Use a T-25 Torx bit.

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STEP 4: It is better if you turn the key to the on position (without turning on the car) and put the shift gear in drive. That will allow you to slide the PCM forward. I recommend you put a towel on the center console so that you can rest the PCM on top. You don’t have to disconnect the PCM quad harness nor any of the wires.

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You’ll get access to the hard disk drive which is on top of the PCM…

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STEP 5: Unscrew the HDD screws (two of them), break the seal and pull the HDD out.

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At this point, you can either remove the 4 screws on the side of the HDD assembly to be able to remove the HDD, or you can remove the ribbon cable by lifting the white holder carefully and pulling the ribbon out.

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This is the PCM with the HDD removed.

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To be continued…
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
STEP 6: Remove the HDD from the HDD assembly by removing the 4 screws - 2 on each side of the assembly:

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Disconnect the HDD from the board that has the ribbon cable. Just pull carefully.

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STEP 7: Clone your HDD. In my case, I used a WEME SATA Drive Cloner.

Amazon.com: WEme USB C 3.0 to SATA External Hard Drive Dock Docking Station, SSD HDD Disk Duplicator Cloner for Dual Bay 2.5 3.5 Inch SATA I II III, Support UASP and Auto Sleep and 2X 12TB, Black : Electronics

This drive cloner allows me to clone SATA drives in a stand-alone setup (no need to connect to a computer).

The cloning process will take about 30 minutes.

Connect the HDD into the A slot (which is the source slot).

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You will need a 2.5” SSD SATA I, II or III. It needs to be of bigger size than the source drive. 120GB will work well. In my case I used a 250GB Samsung SSD drive.

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Insert the SSD drive into the B slot (which is the receiving disk).

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Turn the cloner on. You‘ll see the A and B slot LED turn on amber. Press the “Clone” button for 3 seconds until the 100% LED starts flashing and release, and then quickly press the button again to start cloning process…

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The 25-50-75-100% LED will start flashing, and will only get solid blue when it has reached that percentage…

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STEP 8: Once cloned, the 100% LED will turn solid blue, turn cloner off and remove the SSD drive.

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STEP 9: Connect the SSD to the board with the ribbon cable and install in the PCM HDD assembly (now the SSD assembly). Insert the 4 screws, 2 on each side, to secure it.

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STEP 10: Install the SSD assembly into the PCM by reinserting the ribbon and securing it by pushing the white holder down. Make sure that the ribbon is completely inserted before you push the holder…

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to be continued…
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
STEP 11: Insert the SSD assembly into the PCM slot and reinstall the screws.

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STEP 12: Reinsert the fuse. in my case, the PCM started immediately with no issues. The SSD retained all data, including jukebox content. The clone drive will be formatted to the exact size of the original disk (100GB), even though the SSD is 250GB. The Jukebox will still be 40GB. As stated, the receiver Drive needs to be bigger than the source, hence a 120GB drive will work perfectly.

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In my case, I purchased 2 SSD drives, so, after the successful cloning of the first one, I made another clone as a backup. Both the original disk and the SSD backup are being stored securely in case I experience a failure. This is cheap insurance.

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REFERENCE INFORMATION:

1. PCM 3.1 Hard Drive Upgrade to SSD
2. Upgraded PCM 3.1 Hard Drive to SSD - Rennlist - Porsche Discussion Forums


UPDATING MY PCM FROM V4.73 to V4.76:

My PCM was in V4.73 and I wanted to update to most up to date version V4.76. After installing the SSD, I proceeded with the update.

The firmware update takes about 20 minutes. It is very important that you connect a battery charger for the duration of the update:

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Insert the 4.76 update CD into the CD slot and the update should start automatically. You’ll need to confirm the update and then select proceed.

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Successful update…

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FINAL STEP: Slide the PCM back into its slot and reinstall the 4 screws (bottom screws also hold the CD cover and you’ll need to play with it a little bit to ensure proper fit).

IMPORTANT: Keep the CD cover door open when inserting the trims back. Otherwise, you risk damaging the leather or vynil on top corners of the CD cover door.

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Once you reinstall the trims, you can close the CD cover door.

CONCLUSION:

More testing is required to ascertain the advantages of the SSD over the HDD, but preliminary testing do not show a significant speed advantage of SSD over HDD. The SSD is more robust as it doesn’t have moving parts, hence there is a reliability enhancement of SSD over HDD.

Updating the firmware from 4.73 to 4.76 didn’t have any immediate impact that I noticed, but more testing is required.

In the end, the main advantage is the insurance of having the media source available as backup.

I’m not sure if this procedure will work with PCM 4.0.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks… that is a good data point. The reality is that they both could fail (they can also both provide a number of years without any issues). Hence why is a good idea to have a backup and a backup of the backup…

You could also follow the same cloning process from a HDD to a HDD. As stated above, I still don’t see any perceived advantage in speed on one over the other, so, it doesn’t matter which one is chosen. The important thing for me, as I said, was to have the backup.
 

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Took the time to complete this today.......I have not had the PCM out before because of the trepidation behind the panel pull/removal. The video in Santirx's DIY....is GOLD, thanks for that ! It takes a unbelievable amount of force to get it loose. I added some Synthetic grease ...lightly to pin points......so this is easier if there is a next time :) CP ???

This DIY is really well documented....just follow the steps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Took the time to complete this today.......I had not had the PCM out before because of the trepidation behind the panel pull/removal. The video is Santirx's DIY....is GOLD, thanks for that ! It takes a unbelievable amount of force to get it loose. I added some Synthetic grease ...lightly to pin points......so this is easier if there is a next time :) CP ???

This DIY is really well documented....just follow the steps.
Way to go @Teddis. Well done. I like the tip about adding some grease to the clips.
 

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Both types of hard drives are pretty reliable at this point. That said, SSD is the ideal drive for an application like this where there is basically zero write activity.

Always a good idea to pay attention to operating temperature specs, though... most drives aren't going to be rated for 125C but that's the requirement for automotive-rated components.

The important thing is the fact that you've backed it up. If the replacement drive fails, who cares, just install a new one.
 

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Both types of hard drives are pretty reliable at this point. That said, SSD is the ideal drive for an application like this where there is basically zero write activity.

Always a good idea to pay attention to operating temperature specs, though... most drives aren't going to be rated for 125C but that's the requirement for automotive-rated components.

The important thing is the fact that you've backed it up. If the replacement drive fails, who cares, just install a new one.
I hate to be a luddite here, but how does one back up their PCM? I only use it for cell phone calls. The Nav system is so antiquated compared to what you have on your phone. What do you back it up to? Can it be backed to a sym card? Do you have to have a laptop? Can you back it to your cell phone? Etc.
 

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I hate to be a luddite here, but how does one back up their PCM? I only use it for cell phone calls. The Nav system is so antiquated compared to what you have on your phone. What do you back it up to? Can it be backed to a sym card? Do you have to have a laptop? Can you back it to your cell phone? Etc.
That's basically what Santirx's instructions are for. You will need to get a replacement drive from any of several places, per his/her instructions, and copy your PCM drive to it using either a dedicated disk-cloning device such as the one shown, or using a PC utility program such as Clonezilla.

Either will work, but Clonezilla is not what you'd call user-friendly unless you're already familiar with low-level DOS or Linux utilities. So I would suggest the cloning device.

Once copied, the original drive goes in a drawer, while the new SSD gets installed in its place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Both types of hard drives are pretty reliable at this point. That said, SSD is the ideal drive for an application like this where there is basically zero write activity.

Always a good idea to pay attention to operating temperature specs, though... most drives aren't going to be rated for 125C but that's the requirement for automotive-rated components.

The important thing is the fact that you've backed it up. If the replacement drive fails, who cares, just install a new one.
Yes, temperature is a critical factor.

The Samsung SSDs I purchased is rated at 0 to 70C, which is normal for consumer SSD.

The Toshiba HDD I took out from the PCM (model: MK1060GSC HDD2G32) is rated at -30 to 85C (extended temp range).

So, there is quite a difference, but OEM HDD spec is not as high as 125C.

Extended temperature SSDs are quite expensive and not readily available to the consumer. If someone finds an extended temperature SSD at a relatively inexpensive price, please post here.

I’m in the US North East, so we don’t see a lot of high temperature, but can see low temperature.

I’ll report on long-term durability of the standard SSD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
This INNODISK Industrial SSD seems to have better specs than the one I purchased. But the 256GB s $429 in Amazon though. Trying to find the 128GB version which could be cheaper

Op temp: -40 to 85C (same as OEM on high temp side, but better at low temp)

Non-op temp: -55 to 95C

INNODISK DGS25-B56D82BW3QC 2.5" SATA SSD 3MG2-P_AES w/Toshiba 15nm, High IOPS, Industrial, W/T Grade, -40°C ~ +85°C - 256GB 2.5" SATA SSD 3MG2-P MLC, SATA III 6Gb/s Flash Based Disk. Amazon.com: INNODISK DGS25-B56D82BW3QC 2.5" SATA SSD 3MG2-P_AES w/Toshiba 15nm, High IOPS, Industrial, W/T Grade, -40°C ~ +85°C - 256GB 2.5" SATA SSD 3MG2-P MLC, SATA III 6Gb/s Flash Based Disk. : Electronics


I’ll keep investigating. I may buy one of these and clone again, and leave as tertiary backup…
 

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You may not see speed improvements due to the SATA controller’s max speed (though I’m sure the RAM/CPU aren’t speedy either). I remember upgrading my 2007 MacBook Pro to SSD (before they were “supported”) and didn’t take the controller into consideration. There ended up being no noticeable speed difference in applications (though speed tests did show minor performance gains).

I’d like to think that not having moving parts would help it last longer since the car will be bouncing around. However, as it was mentioned, there’s still plenty of SSD failures. Though as a backup/testing solution, this is great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I found an affordable industrial SSD drive rated at -40 to 85C for automotive applications. The temperature range meets and exceeds the temperature specifications of the OEM HDD. Tested for vibration. Good specs.

I’ll write more about it after I receive and install.
 

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From what I know the PCM O/S runs from embedded firmware. The HDD now SDD ;), is like a repository that holds BT connections history, NAV keys, Musicbox mp3, etc. I don’t believe it launches any Apps. It will not see a lot of write cycles…..more reads.
If you have NAV, and your drive fails…..you cannot get that back functional without a dealer visit, period……..$$$$$$$.

Any speed benefits may be small……boot up time ? BT connection time ? NAV data load.

Anyhow, the day the spinny drives fails, is a real tough repair bill ($4k+) Having a copy on hand is gold insurance….as most spinners develop bad sectors, mechanical break downs in time as we have all seen. One may argue SSD is more robust.

The new find on a industrial SSD is awesome !
 

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That's basically what Santirx's instructions are for. You will need to get a replacement drive from any of several places, per his/her instructions, and copy your PCM drive to it using either a dedicated disk-cloning device such as the one shown, or using a PC utility program such as Clonezilla.

Either will work, but Clonezilla is not what you'd call user-friendly unless you're already familiar with low-level DOS or Linux utilities. So I would suggest the cloning device.

Once copied, the original drive goes in a drawer, while the new SSD gets installed in its place.
I was thinking clonezilla as well with a couple of sata 3 to USB adapters. Technically with gpart you should be able to stretch the drive out larger and that PCM unit would be able to use the extra space, because the bios has to read the drive parameters anyways. I’m sure it’s a micro Linux installation, probably Alpine, Similar to what is used in docker containers and as long as your get the clone part right with the bootstrap, gpart will stretch the drive out and rewrite the partition size for a Linux to see.
 

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Mechanical drives or spinners went the way of the dinosaur. Everything is NVME or simply solid state now. I converted all my servers to Kingston DCM series SSD with toshiba chips. These chips are stacked 5 layers high I think, which means If the first layer fails, the 2nd layer takes its place. So a 240 GB drive is really a 960Gb drive when considering redundancy. My friends work for Kingston so I get help from them. I’ve never had one fail on me, but have experienced really long write times on databases like SQL Server. But I solved that with enterprise level SSD like DCM. It’s expensive but worth it.

well great, now I have to upgrade my PCM. I’ll let you know how it goes amd will try for 1TB of storage capacity.
 
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