How to Convert an iPod Hard Drive to Compact Flash

How to Convert an iPod Hard Drive to Compact Flash

Vivian Kim
Sep 21, 2010

If your iPod's hard drive has reached the end of its life and you'd rather not shell out a couple hundred bucks for a new iPod, here's a neat little hack that will allow you to convert your 5th/5.5 gen iPod's hard drive to compact flash. Not only will you save a few bucks (depending on the size of your compact flash card), but converting your hard drive will also extend your iPod's battery life and make your iPod significantly lighter (also no moving parts, which means your iPod is less likely to break). We'll show you how, after the jump.

Recently my very rare all black iPod started making a dreaded clicking sound. Anyone who has experienced this for themselves would recognize this sound as the dying beating heart of a hard drive. Not wanting to throw away such a rare iPod, this nifty hack ended up being just what I was looking for. You'll need a compact flash card (size is up to you, and can always be upgraded later) and an iFlash mk2 Compact Flash Adapter.

What You Need:

  • iFlash mk2 Adapter
  • Compact Flash Card (up to 64GB)
  • Case Opener Tool (or hard guitar pick)

1. Open up iPod. Take a look at this ifixit tutorial to open up the iPod. I used a hard guitar pick to open mine up. Be careful pulling it apart and make sure you release the battery ribbon cable first before pulling the two halves apart.

2. Remove hard drive. This part is a little tricky. Gently pull the black hinge that holds the hard drive ribbon cable up and the ribbon cable should slide out (when you're done you could use this busted hard drive to make some mini tech art).

3. Insert compact flash into iFlash adapter. Make sure you connect the compact flash to the iFlash adapter before installing. The iFlash adapter should fit snugly.

4. Connect iFlash adapter. Make sure the hinge bar is up on the iFlash adapter and then shimmy in the ribbon cable. Now push down on the hinge on both sides evenly to lock the cable in place.

5. Put back together and restore using iTunes. Now reconnect the battery ribbon cable and snap everything back together. Restore as you would normally with iTunes.

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