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How to Upgrade Boss BR-8

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The Boss BR-8 Digital Recording Studio, though no longer in production, is still useful for recording tracks and song ideas. You can record up to eight tracks and store them on 100MB zip disks. You can upgrade the unit by replacing the internal drive with a 250MB zip drive. This gives you more than twice the recording time, and your old disks will still work in the new drive.

Things You'll Need:

  • Zip 250 Internal Atapi Drive With Attachment Cable
  • Small Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • 250Mb Zip Disk
  • Large Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Towel

Preparation and Removing the Old Drive

Place the hand towel on a clean tabletop or work surface. Unplug the BR-8 and eject the disk (if any) within it. Place the BR-8 upside down on the towel.

Remove the six largest screws around the perimeter of the BR-8's bottom plate, using the larger Phillips head screwdriver. (These screws are across the top and upper area of the left and right sides of the bottom plate.) Set the screws aside in a safe place.

Remove all remaining screws except the four that are in the upper right corner of the bottom plate. Set them aside, separate from the other six screws.

Remove the four screws in the upper right area of the bottom plate using the smaller Phillips head screwdriver. These hold the zip drive in place. Set these screws in yet another place.

Lift the bottom plate off the BR-8 by holding the rubber foot pads. Set it aside. Locate the zip drive in the upper right area of the upside down BR-8 (same area as where the four screws were located.) For reference, the zip drive resembles an internal laptop hard drive.

Disconnect the power cable connected to the zip drive. Disconnect the ATAPI ribbon cable from the zip drive. Tug gently if it is difficult to remove.

Remove the two screws holding the zip drive in place using the larger Phillips head screwdriver. Lift the drive out of the BR-8, using care not to damage the surrounding circuitry.

Installing the New Drive

Place the jumper cable onto the zip 250 drive's pins in the same configuration as on the zip100 drive. This sets it up as a master drive rather than a slave drive.

Remove the screws on the mounting bracket of the old zip100 drive using the small Phillips screwdriver. Remove the foil shield from the old drive and place it onto the new zip 250 drive in the same manner. Attach the mounting brackets to the new drive as they were on the old drive.

Place the zip 250 drive foil side down into the BR-8. Screw the mounting brackets into place in the BR-8.

Reconnect the power cable and ribbon cable to the new drive. Replace the bottom plate in its proper orientation and replace the screws in the reverse order from how you removed them. Flip the BR-8 right-side up and plug it back in.

Insert a 250MB zip disk into the drive. Power on the BR-8. It will initialize the disk and show more than two hours of recording time.


Your old 100MB zip disks will still work in the 250MB drive.


  • Be sure not to leave loose screws in the BR-8 before reassembling it. Use care when working within the BR-8 so not to damage the circuitry. Opening the BR-8 voids the warranty, so only do so if you are confident you can complete this project.
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