Thanks for your support. I hadn't any files that I wanted to keep so I just put in a replacement drive and the system did as you say initialised it. Job done. Many thanks!Disk "imaging" usually makes assumptions about the file system - otherwise only a binary image would suffice and that would be a very large file! There's every likelihood the disk is not formatted NTFS or anything you might be familiar with in the Windows world.
Replacing a disk is probably just a case of fitting it and letting the system initialise it, but that does not restore existing content. If you are desperate to keep that, my recommendation is sound-proofing rather than replacement. Simply standing the unit on a rubber mat might be enough.
As a matter of interest, was it quieter? It isn't really the correct type of drive for a PVR but it will be interesting to hear how you get on with whatever hard drive you eventually choose.The noisy drive was a 500GB Seagate Video, 3.5" ST500VM000. I replaced it with a 500GB Western Digital Blue, 2.5" WD5000LPVX.
As you suspected the 500GB Western Digital Blue, 2.5 is not suitable for the PVR. Several times now I turned the unit on from standby and my previous recordings are missing and the recorder doesn't record or pause a recording. Disconnecting the unit from the mains socket and switching back on gives full recording capability. I've been advised that the (WD Blue, laptop drive) is probably switching into standby or hibernation and the PVR isn't designed to re enable it.As a matter of interest, was it quieter? It isn't really the correct type of drive for a PVR but it will be interesting to hear how you get on with whatever hard drive you eventually choose.