My 4G 2oG iPod’s hard drive began freezing up and making clicking sounds recently.Â Being that it was almost 4 years old and the amount of times I’ve skipped over tracks in shuffle mode, you would figure it would die eventually.Â These are great iPods if you are strictly into listening to music.Â Though it doesn’t support gapless playback or viewing photos or videos, it still is compatible with Firewire as well as USB 2.0.Â Annie did some extra babysitting gigs to get this for me for Christmas and it was our wedding DJ, so yeah, I guess I do have some emotional attachment to it.Â I originally ordered a new Toshiba mini hard drive for it, but I eventually went even further…
I thought since I was opening it up, I might as well replace the battery.Â So I replaced it with a NewerTechnology one that promised up to 33% more capacity than the stock battery.Â As I was doing my Google searches about further upgrading my iPod, I ran into this…6364964423
“Wow, this is cool!”, I thought.Â If I get this Compact Flash-to-IDE adapter, I can get my old-and-busted iPod up to speed with flash memory!Â There are so many benefits.Â One, the hard drive becomes non-mechanical, i.e. no moving parts, so this decreases the chances of drive failure and data corruption due to bumps and/or rattles.Â Two, since there are no moving parts, battery consumption decreases thus providing longer run times.Â Have you ever noticed the huge 2o hour run times on the newer iPod nanos?Â It’s because they are running on some kind of flash memory. Last but not least, since that tiny chunk of metal known as the hard drive is replaced by an even diminutive plastic rectangular box, the iPod loses some of its heft.
Using this site, I first took apart the iPod’s casing, /joshhighland.com/blog/2005/12/24/replacing-the-hardrive-of-an-ipod/
Since my battery had not arrived yet, I did not have any of those non-marring plastic tools.Â I used one of those cheapo tiny eyeglass repair screwdriver kits from Chinatown as it had the only bit that could fit into the iPod case’s narrow slit.Â Once I pried a bit of it open, I stuck in a nylon probe to finish the job.Â Cosmetically, the iPod did OK.Â There is a tiny outward protruding dent from the right side and the inner lining of the white polycarbonate is a bit gouged out.Â Also, I just realized this morning, I also broke one of the tabs.Â It’s a weird dichotomy. Â Apple makes these beautiful products that scratch and mar easily and once they go into a state of repair, you realize they design them in such a way that you end up destroying something in the process.Â They are just meant to self-destruct and of course, Apple will have new and even prettier products for you to purchase down the road.Â Have you seen the take-apart for the 6G iPod?Â It’s an even scarier proposition.Â Oh well, I’ve done worse on an iBook.
Removing the battery is very painful if you follow the instructions on many sites include NewerTech’s.Â It’s glued down so they suggest you use a blow dryer to weaken the adhesive and then stick a narrow blunt object from the right of the stock battery and pry carefully.Â I’ve got a better tip.Â Unseat the logic board first.Â If you ever try this, I’m going to assume you already have Torx wrenches and it’s something like 6 screws, so it’s not difficult.Â Once the screws are removed, the board and screen are still tethered to the top case with ribbons, so just flip those items aside to the left carefully.Â This is also a good time to air blast those dust mites trapped between the LCD and the screen.Â Once these items are out of the way, you have more leverage to pop the battery out without warming the glue up.Â And it will POP out.
For the CF adaptation, you will need to purchase an adapter.Â I got one on Ebay from this seller:Â /cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&item=250389454330 They are usually sold by someone in Hong Kong for under 5 bucks which includes shipping.Â I don’t know what kind of shipping they use there, but it got to my hands in 5 days whereas the Toshiba drive I ordered from NY a hour before the CF adapter….well, I’m still waiting for it.Â I was a bit skeptical of the CF adapter from HK as it was cheap, but since it didn’t cost much at all, it was worth the risk.Â And it was plus a lot more!
If you read the Instructable how-to, you will notice on the comments on the number of people who have had problems getting this mod to work.Â Bear in mind, this how-to was put out in 2005, so I reckon the technology has gotten better since.Â This adapter I purchased omits the protruding jumper that caused some of their iPods to have a “dark spot” on the LCD and it works perfectly.Â I don’t know how this thing will perform on the color 4G iPod, but as soon as I inserted a CF card and tethered it into my PC, the software was restored instantly and iTunes noticed it right away as “KINGSTON” (the brand of the CF card).
The Instructable article also recommends you adhere the CF adapter to a flat backing to prevent it from rocking around the case.Â I had a difficult time trying to make this as slick as possible.Â I didn’t want to use a piece of cardboard, so I drilled out a plastic business card, but I couldn’t think of a way to secure the adapter onto it.Â I tried those tiny nylon cable straps, but that increased the height of the package, which like that jumper, would cause the LCD to smush into the screen.Â I ended up using an old used iTunes gift card which I cut about half a inch offÂ and used double-sided photo archiving tape to adhere the CF adapter.Â I found some anti-static foam material from the packaging from my motherboard and lined the metal compartment with it to provide some padding for the adapter/CF card.
Keep in mind you need at least a 2G CompactFlash card.Â I tried a 128MB card, and iTunes thought my iPod was a 1G model and kept on erroring out.Â As far as the CompactFlash card I ended up using, I purchased a Kingston 8 gig 133X from Fry’s which I am promptly going to return.It worked fine, but I checked out NewEgg’s selection and found a 16 gig model for almost 3 dollars less!Â I like Fry’s as much as the next guy, but in the high order of brick-and-motar electronic store superiority, it’s only slightly better than Best Buy (but still way better than the deservedly out-of-business CompUSA).Â I kind of regret not getting a 32G card but that’s a bit overkill.Â I can easily fill that 32G with extra fat or have 16G of lean meat.Â In other words, with the limited space, I can be concise with placing music I actually like and will not be constantly skipping over tracks.Â Also, I can upgrade easily if need be.
UPDATE:Â I wrote this up a few months ago actually.Â I wanted to include more pics but I closed up the iPod too soon and I didn’t want to go through the trouble again.Â So far the iPod’s been great.Â I haven’t really used it other than having it my car.Â The sad thing I’ve realized is that Apple doesn’t really support older iPods anymore and the firmware hasn’t had a new revision in quite some time. I had this issue where some songs would just end ten seconds before they should.Â FireWire charging is discontinued on the newer iPods and the older iPods are incompatible with most of the newer in-car iPod controllers