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iPod iPod Classic 4th Gen SSD Upgrade Adventure

Slix

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 24, 2010
1,174
1,398
Hey guys!

A few months ago, my previously trusty 4th gen 20 GB iPod photo's (with the color screen) hard drive died on me, so I've been waiting for a good time to buy the necessary equipment to replace the hard drive with a flash card or SSD. Today, I ordered from Amazon, a 1.8" iPod to Compact Flash Adapter, a Compact Flash to SD Card Adapter, and a 64 GB class 10 Micro SD with a Micro-to-SD Adapter!

When it arrives, I'll be sure to post photos of the upgrade, and I hope all goes well! I'm excited to be able to use that iPod again, because I love the 4th gen iPod's feel and the ability to hold all my music, plus the increased speed (and probably battery life) will be awesome as well!
 
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Slix

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 24, 2010
1,174
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I'm still waiting on the 1.8" to CF adapter... It's estimated to come within the next week sometime. :/
 

parabola117

macrumors newbie
Jan 26, 2016
5
17
Have just done this myself on a faulty hard drive 60GB A1099 iPod 4G.
Was surprisingly easy to open up.

I just used an old 2GB Compact Flash card to test it. So happy it fired up perfect straight away!

Am now about to buy a 128GB Compact Flash card for it and replace the battery.
 

Slix

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 24, 2010
1,174
1,398
After getting the final adapter I ordered yesterday, today I went ahead and tried the upgrade!

After some fumbling to get the iPod open, I finally got each of the edges open, and disconnected the back plate and headphone/hold switch connector, and took the hard drive out. The adapters actually were a little more confusing to work with than the iPod itself: The 1.8" to CF adapter wouldn't fit without shaving off a little bit of the plastic piece, but after that, everything connected nicely.

Before putting the iPod back together, I tried plugging it into my Mac to restore it, and at first iTunes didn't recognize it, but the Finder saw the 64 GB SD card, so I used Disk Utility to erase the SD card and format it as a Mac OS Journaled drive, and then iTunes saw it. I restored it, synced a small test playlist, and after unplugging it from iTunes the iPod had the wall charger icon on the screen, which I'd seen before, when I first got this iPod, so I simply plugged it into an Apple iPod wall charger, and then it worked as promised. I put the case of the iPod all back together, and everything works just great! It's lighter too. ;)


IMG_1991.JPG IMG_1992.JPG IMG_1993.JPG IMG_1994.JPG IMG_1997_2.jpg
 
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Slix

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 24, 2010
1,174
1,398
Lovely! Do you think I could do the same with a 3rd Generation Classic ?
I believe so! I just helped my dad take apart my sister's 3rd gen classic to replace her battery. I think the hard drive is around the same size, though I'm not sure if the same connectors I used for the 4th gen would work in the 3rd or not, that's something you'd have to look up to verify. :)
 

rgarjr

macrumors 603
Apr 2, 2009
6,498
365
Southern California
I've read that some have done the same for the 3G, so yeah it's the same process and parts.

What plastic on the adapter did you shave off? Also, did you bend down the jumper pins?
 

Slix

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 24, 2010
1,174
1,398
I've read that some have done the same for the 3G, so yeah it's the same process and parts.

What plastic on the adapter did you shave off? Also, did you bend down the jumper pins?
I saw it was done on this guide here (in the comments), so I shaved off a little bit of the piece on this photo that says "cut plastic edge".

I did not bend down the jumper pins. Should I have?

 
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Johnny365

macrumors 6502a
Nov 30, 2015
792
355
Why is the serial number blacked out? This is a 10+ year old device, so I doubt anyone has anything to gain from seeing it LOL
 
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Orizence

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2014
288
74
I did the same thing to my old iPod 4th gen, and also replaced the battery while I was at it. It is now my main portable audio player, and I paid only $80 CAD in total. What an amazing device especially when you consider its over 10 years old now.
 
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fuchsdh

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2014
1,634
1,015
I did the same thing to my old iPod 4th gen, and also replaced the battery while I was at it. It is now my main portable audio player, and I paid only $80 CAD in total. What an amazing device especially when you consider its over 10 years old now.

Yep, it's bizarre to think my Classic is now coming up on 8 years old and is actually a better product (lighter, faster, more storage, and more durable) than when I originally bought it. Hoping it'll last as long with the upgrade, and hope y'alls mods do too.

(At this point I'm half-expecting iTunes to drop support long before they stop functioning.)
 
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Slix

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 24, 2010
1,174
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OP, what did you put on the bottom of the adapter? I've seen some people put a cardboard or a piece of foam.
You mean to hold the adapter in place? I didn't put anything. It seemed to fit just fine without adding anything else in there.
 

Orizence

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2014
288
74
Oh man this is awesome, is the battery life any better? Assuming it is since one less part is moving.
The battery on mine seems to last easily a few days (3-4) of listening to music while walking or on the city bus, keep in mind I can spend over 2 hours on a bus a day
 

Slix

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 24, 2010
1,174
1,398
No I mean to isolate the bottom of the adapter making contact with the iPod's components and possibly shorting something out.
That I did not do. That's probably something I should do, isn't it? :p

Oh man this is awesome, is the battery life any better? Assuming it is since one less part is moving.
So far at least, the battery does seem to be better! The battery was pretty good to begin with, but I've noticed an increase, for sure. :)
 

rgarjr

macrumors 603
Apr 2, 2009
6,498
365
Southern California
Bought a iPod 3rd Generation 30GB with a broken HD and modded to 128GB using the same Compact Flash to 50-pin adapter. Also put a new battery in since the original one was from 2003.
 

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