Do It Yourself Instructions:

[image: powerfile jukebox]

How to replace a dead battery on a Powerfile DVD Jukebox.

Occasionally, these old DVD jukeboxes start acting funky, forgetting they have contents, or other bizarre behavior. Turns out there is a battery soldiered to the motherboard to store some data in memory, and after a while, it goes bad, requiring replacement. I've heard stories of thousand-dollar service costs to do this.

With one of my beloved units acting up, I started to try and find what info I could online, only to be deterred by no info. So I took mine apart, several times, from the top and bottom before I found the culprit.

Stuff/Tools You'll Need:

Flip it Over

Unhook the power cord, any firewire cables, etc. Get a large area to work in, and flip the Powerfile on it's top, so the feet point up.

There are a million (24?) black philips head screws, start undoing them. They are machine screws into sheet metal (and plastic). Save them all, no need to mark which came where, as you'll find there are 2 sizes, short and long. Short goes into metal, long goes into plastic.

You can keep the plastic feet on the base, as they do affect removal. The base is a single piece of sheet metal. It can be lifted off, and once you do, you'll see the brains of your Powerfile.


From the left side of the unit, if you lift the IDE cable, you'll see the battery attached to the motherboard that also has the firewire ports on it.


The Battery Revealed!


3vbattery.jpg The battery is a 3V LITHIUM Battery with PC Pins All Electronics supplied me with one for $1.50 each. The Motherboard has 2 soldier points, and requires a battery with one point at each end, unlike the model I linked to above. We simply snip one pin at the double-pin (positive) end, and offset the battery slightly, as seen in my photo above.

Get to Soldiering

Any cheap 25-watt soldiering gun will do the trick. The quick and dirty is thus: Make sure it's hot before you start, tin the tip before you start working, work fast, don't dawdle on any one circuit, as you can burn them by heating them up to high.

Remove any cables that are nearby, as they'll just get in the way. You can safely unattach any IDE or Serial cables. With your hot soldiering iron, Touch quickly at the points where the old battery attaches to the motherboard, while pulling on the battery. They come loose easily. Once free, dispose of the old battery by recycling it at your local Radio Shack or Ikea.

Add a touch of soldier to the old points, filling them with soldier, then pierce the molten soldier with the new battery pin, then remove the iron. Make sure you keep your Positives and Negative right, there are notes on the motherboard, if you forget.

Put It Back Together

All the old funky behavior of the past should be gone now, and your Powerfile will remember it's contents, even through a power failure!

Free Powerfile Drivers for Macintosh OS


Portents Software writes some dope cataloging software for the Mac, and was one of the first to embrace developing for the Powerfile with their DiskTracker software integration. Eventually, Powerfile ended up using them as sole developer for Mac Drivers. But Powerfile Corporate stopped the product line, and stopped paying the bills, so Portents released their now-defunct drivers with 5 serial numbers for you to install and run for free under Mac OS 10.4 and 10.3. I use these drivers and they're great, and finally fix some of the horrible quirks of the older versions of this once pricey software.

(Disclaimer, I am an idiot, and paid $700 for the first Mac OSX Drivers for this device from Powerfile, after having already dropped $2,000 for the hardware. I was f*cked for a software upgrade! Since then, I've purchased more Powerfiles off eBay, and these free drivers and more make these a worthwhile investment for a few more years.)

Powerfile Service Mode Manual in PDF Format

This was a Word Document sent to me from a Tech Support person ages ago. I converted it to PDF to make it easy to read, and now offer it online for you to download to get that extra deep menu options.