iPod iPod Classic 4th Gen SSD Upgrade Adventure

CactusPete23

macrumors newbie
Jan 20, 2018
10
1
Near Philly, PA
Yes, for clarification, I used a normal 30-pin to USB cable with what is normally an iPad charger to charge a 4th gen. iPod during initial setup after a restore without issue.
You may know more than you think! And more than me for sure... A couple things I am trying to figure out... I'm assuming that you did one of these conversions to CF card to Microsd ? Anyway, Though I keep formatting the Card to FAT32, after the Incomplete restore process, my card goes to "unallocated" (As seen in a Partition Manager like AOMEI). Do you know if your player shows as unallocated, or still retains being FAT32 ? It seems "strange" to me that everything I've read calls for the card to be formatted FAT32, but then to be changed to unallocated during the restore process...

Also, I only have 1 partition. Not a second smaller one. Can you confirm whether you have 2 partitions or one on your 4th Gen IPOD?

Thanks for much. Pete
 

somedatabase

macrumors newbie
Feb 8, 2018
3
0
Sadly, I am still being defeated by this 4th gen Ipod Classic microsd upgrade.... I have tried rebuilding the MBR.(at varying times in the sequence) Even reformatted the 64GB SD card while it was inside the 4the Gen. iPod. Ran Diagnostics on the Ipod, and Ram tests OK, the now "60GB HDD" tests OK,, Diagnostics tells me everything is OK. But connect to PC and itunes tells me to restore, And Every time I do, and then get the message to "connect to the Firewire Charger", (While the ipod says do no disconnect after hours of waiting), So When I eventually disconnect from itunes.the PC, and connect to the firewire charger for 10 minutes to hours... I still get the Folder and Astrex(!) And when I connect to computer again, Itunes tells me again that it's corrupted and needs to be restored... Is it possible that the "old" firewire charges is not putting out enough power to complete the restore? Is there any alternative power supply I can try? Again, O am open to any ideas/help ! Thanks ! Pete
I just upgraded my 4th gen last week. When it asked me to plug into the wall, I used a 30-pin USB charger and plugged it into the tiny brick that comes with iPhones. I don't have the firewire charger so I just used the USB. There, I was able to complete the restore process easily. I think it's at least worth trying your USB charger to see if it makes a difference.
 

CactusPete23

macrumors newbie
Jan 20, 2018
10
1
Near Philly, PA
SUCCESS !!! Actually unsure exactly what I did different.
But now have a functioning 4th gen Classic upgraded from 20gb to 60GB!

1) With the ipod connected to the computer with it's usb cable:
2) Deleted all partitions with AOMEI Partition manager.
3) Rebuilt MBR with AOMEI.
4) Created a Partition as Fat32, with "SSD" Checked, and Optimized.
5) Rebuilt MBR with AOMEI.
6) Started restore in Itunes.
7) While Restoring, I went back to AOMEI and set up the MBR Rebuild with 1 button left to confirm actual start.
8) As soon as Itunes restore stopped, I started the MBR Rebuild.
9) Got the "Plug into wall charger: Icon ON the iPOD !
10) Plugged into Wall Charger (the one with the firewire type cable)
11) Immediately saw the iPod screen showing a restore progress.
12) Under 30 seconds later, I have a working 60GB iPod !

I do NOT guarantee that every step above is needed. But it worked for me.

A BIG thank-you to everyone who offered ideas and advice !

Pete
 
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Avenged110

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2010
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I'm assuming that you did one of these conversions to CF card to microSD?...Do you know if your player shows as unallocated, or still remains FAT32?...Can you confirm whether you have 2 partitions or one on your 4th Gen iPod?
Glad you got it working! Tbh I haven't even upgraded mine yet as I'm still waiting for my iFlash adapter to arrive (just microSD, no CF), but when it does, it'll be formatted for a Mac anyway.
 

tkermit

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Feb 20, 2004
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Has anyone successfully converted a 4th gen to 256GB and verified that everything still works after filling up the disk with music ? I'd specifically be interested in storing ~10k lossless tracks on mine if that's possible.
 

Avenged110

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Aug 2, 2010
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Greatest Country on Earth
Has anyone successfully converted a 4th gen to 256GB and verified that everything still works after filling up the disk with music ? I'd specifically be interested in storing ~10k lossless tracks on mine if that's possible.
Not strictly what you were talking about, but there are some pictures of people who have successfully done similar mods at the iFlash website here: https://www.iflash.xyz/store/4th-gen-converter/
 
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tkermit

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Feb 20, 2004
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Not strictly what you were talking about, but there are some pictures of people who have successfully done similar mods at the iFlash website here: https://www.iflash.xyz/store/4th-gen-converter/
thanks, that's helpful! Of course, after seeing this, I'm now seriously tempted to try my luck at putting a 512GB SD card in there for a bit of "future-proofing" ... seems too good to be true for that to work. Now if only the old iPod software understood album artists and I'd be in heaven ... o_O
 

Avenged110

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Aug 2, 2010
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thanks, that's helpful! Of course, after seeing this, I'm now seriously tempted to try my luck at putting a 512GB SD card in there for a bit of "future-proofing" ... seems too good to be true for that to work. Now if only the old iPod software understood album artists and I'd be in heaven ... o_O
Happy to help. I really see no reason why that wouldn't work. It seems like you can pretty much have as much storage as you can afford, it's only the track limits you would have to watch out for. I actually just finished installing a 128GB microSD in mine. It's so nice to finally have an iPod (and a thin 4th gen. at that) which can hold my entire library.

IMG_3600.JPG
 
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tkermit

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Feb 20, 2004
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Happy to help. I really see no reason why that wouldn't work. It seems like you can pretty much have as much storage as you can afford, it's only the track limits you would have to watch out for. I actually just finished installing a 128GB microSD in mine. It's so nice to finally have an iPod (and a thin 4th gen. at that) which can hold my entire library.

View attachment 751903
Very nice! That's my exact model. I just ordered a 400GB SD card and all of the necessary adapter paraphernalia, plus replacement battery while I'm at it. Happily, I also just discovered the wonders of Rockbox which finally lets me select albums by album artist and have gapless playback on my iPod. We'll see how everything goes. I'll be sure to report back here in any case.
 
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togruber

macrumors member
Jan 22, 2018
80
24
Hey guys,
I maybe know what causes the MBR-failure! What kind of CF-to-SD-adptors do you use? I found out that the build with my CF-to-SD-adaptor works great, no MBR issues. But when I'm using my CF-to-microSD-adptor, I get all these reported problems. What do you say?
 

champdds

macrumors newbie
Mar 3, 2018
2
0
As I was cleaning out a drawer I found my beloved White 4th Generation/Grey Screen 20GB....Would someone that has had easy success with conversion to SSD, and uses a PC versus Mac- Please list the exact parts you used for me? I have mechanical skills, but limited software/computer skills, so would love to hear from someone that was able to simple remove/upgrade/plug back in, and have success.. Thanks!
 

Avenged110

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2010
506
373
Greatest Country on Earth
As I was cleaning out a drawer I found my beloved White 4th Generation/Grey Screen 20GB....Would someone that has had easy success with conversion to SSD, and uses a PC versus Mac- Please list the exact parts you used for me? I have mechanical skills, but limited software/computer skills, so would love to hear from someone that was able to simple remove/upgrade/plug back in, and have success.. Thanks!
While I did use a Mac and microSD card, my upgrade went very well and was extremely easy. I used an opening pick (little plastic triangle) to pop the case open, installed the card in an iFlash solo with 4th gen. adapter (per their instructions), and closed it back up. The only stuff I did on the computer was format the SD card (which may not even be necessary if you use Windows) and click Restore in iTunes. Whole process only took about 15 minutes once I had the parts, no issues. Btw, the instructions are here under the installation tab: https://www.iflash.xyz/store/4th-gen-converter/
 

champdds

macrumors newbie
Mar 3, 2018
2
0
While I did use a Mac and microSD card, my upgrade went very well and was extremely easy. I used an opening pick (little plastic triangle) to pop the case open, installed the card in an iFlash solo with 4th gen. adapter (per their instructions), and closed it back up. The only stuff I did on the computer was format the SD card (which may not even be necessary if you use Windows) and click Restore in iTunes. Whole process only took about 15 minutes once I had the parts, no issues. Btw, the instructions are here under the installation tab: https://www.iflash.xyz/store/4th-gen-converter/
Thanks! I have the ipod successfully apart...I will hope a fresh new card will not need to be formatted. What size/brand SD card did you use and speed?
 
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Avenged110

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2010
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Thanks! I have the ipod successfully apart...I will hope a fresh new card will not need to be formatted. What size/brand SD card did you use and speed?
I used a Sandisk 128GB Ultra Plus microSD that gets about 80MB/s read. It was basically the same thing as this one: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/sandisk-ultra-plus-128gb-microsdxc-uhs-i-memory-card/4471009.p?skuId=4471009 (Though I got it price matched to Amazon for $40. Still amazes me that I can get something the size of a fingernail with 128GB of storage for $40.)
 

tkermit

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Feb 20, 2004
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Very nice! That's my exact model. I just ordered a 400GB SD card and all of the necessary adapter paraphernalia, plus replacement battery while I'm at it. Happily, I also just discovered the wonders of Rockbox which finally lets me select albums by album artist and have gapless playback on my iPod. We'll see how everything goes. I'll be sure to report back here in any case.
Small update: Wasn't able to get any of the CF/SD-adapters I've tried to work with Rockbox, so I'm using a 128GB CF card for the time being which works great but costs about twice as much per GB as a comparable SD card. So I now have an iFlash-Solo adapter on order and depending on how well that pairs with Rockbox, I'll either switch back to a 400GB SD card or stick to CF but may upgrade to 256GB now or sometime in the near future (512GB CF cards appear to be unavailable or prohibitively expensive at the moment but hopefully that will change sometime in the future).

In any case, I'm loving the solid state iPod/Rockbox experience – so awesome! Who knew this little thing would not only remain useful and enjoyable 14 years into the future but provide much greater functionality even. :eek:

Shame on Apple, by the way, for never upgrading the original firmware to support gapless playback, sorting by album artist or horizontally scrollable list entries. Rockbox certainly isn't quite as intuitive to use or visually polished in comparison but provides all the features I would have wanted Apple to provide.
 

Avenged110

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2010
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Shame on Apple, by the way, for never upgrading the original firmware to support gapless playback, sorting by album artist...
Honestly. I never understood that one. Even though I prefer the monochrome 4th gen., I look forward to upgrading my 5.5 with an iFlash at some point, partially so I can enjoy gapless when I want it.
 

tkermit

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Feb 20, 2004
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Honestly. I never understood that one. Even though I prefer the monochrome 4th gen., I look forward to upgrading my 5.5 with an iFlash at some point, partially so I can enjoy gapless when I want it.
I don't think you have to be much of a cynic to suspect that this was to entice existing users to buy new devices.

We appear to be on the same wavelength here. The 5.5 would be my third-favorite iPod after the fourth generation one which is my second-favorite. The first-generation iPod remains my all-time favorite mostly for nostalgic and aesthetic reasons but is impractical to use nowadays due to its technical limitations. It also felt like a bit of a brick in your hand and had somewhat sharp edges on the front. In comparison, I don't remember any other current or past Apple device that feels as nice in my hands as the fourth-gen does – like a perfectly smooth but not slippery pebble in exactly the right size.

What I love about the grayscale screen is that it doesn't require a backlight in bright environments and even becomes easier to read in direct sunlight. For some reason, it also has a soothing effect on me in comparison to modern color screens.
 

togruber

macrumors member
Jan 22, 2018
80
24
Hi,
I agree completely! The 4th gen is in a haptic way nearly the best iPod. But the 3rd gen ist my No. One! It has the same round edges, but deeper sitting controlls with sharp edges and red backlit. Perfect!
 

Avenged110

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2010
506
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Greatest Country on Earth
We appear to be on the same wavelength here. The 5.5 would be my third-favorite iPod after the fourth generation one which is my second-favorite... In comparison, I don't remember any other current or past Apple device that feels as nice in my hands as the fourth-gen does – like a perfectly smooth but not slippery pebble in exactly the right size.
I would say the 5.5 sounds the best, although it is nice to have the slightly "duller" sound of the 4 at times. And yes, I agree the 4th gen. feels wonderful to hold...it's so smooth. I also really appreciate the slightly larger clickwheel which fits my hand better. It'd be really cool if it were possible to combine the 4th gen. with just the logic board of the 5.5.

The first-generation iPod remains my all-time favorite mostly for nostalgic and aesthetic reasons but is impractical to use nowadays due to its technical limitations. It also felt like a bit of a brick in your hand and had somewhat sharp edges on the front.
I can understand that. I don't really even like the 3rd gen. iPod touch, but it'll always be special to me because it was my first iPod/Apple device.

What I love about the grayscale screen is that it doesn't require a backlight in bright environments and even becomes easier to read in direct sunlight. For some reason, it also has a soothing effect on me in comparison to modern color screens.
Having never owned or really even used a 'classic' iPod prior to this past December, I got to learn this firsthand after just randomly deciding to buy a 4th gen. off eBay because those ones were cheaper. I later got a 5.5 and realized how hard it is to see anything with the backlight off in almost any lighting. Since it's strictly for music, there's something just so simple and comforting about having a grayscale display (in addition to it being super useful).
 
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tkermit

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Turns out the iFlash Solo is just as incompatible with Rockbox as the other CF/SD-adapters I had tried, at least in combination with my SD cards and the fourth-generation iPod I'm using. So I finally settled on a Transcend 256GB CF card which is enough to store all of my (complete) albums, including every lossless track I own. All in all, I now have about 16k songs on my iPod. Works great, and I can't believe the huge amount of joy this device is still able to bring me. Highly recommended upgrade! :)
 
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R32syd

macrumors newbie
Sep 9, 2018
5
0
Hello all

I too am having problems with getting the cf card conversion to work.

I am trying to do this on a 3rd gen iPod.
I am using a Mac to do this with fire wire plug. I know the restore process works on the Mac as I have tried and tested it with a working un modified iPod.

However when trying the conversion with another iPod it cannot for the life of me get it to restore. It communicates great when connected to usb etc but when trying to connect/communicate over fire wire I can’t get anything to work. This is where I get stuck as it won’t upload the restore over usb.

I even went as far as to buy a 3rd gen iPod that had the same conversion I was trying and was working. I tried to copy the set up but I had no success.

If anyone has any progress on this problem I would appreciate the help.

Thanks.
 

togruber

macrumors member
Jan 22, 2018
80
24
Hi,
the connection to a Computer with a Flash drive is only possible with USB. After the restore via USB you have to connect your iPod to the FireWire power adapter via FireWire. After flashing the firmware to the iPod everything should work. A connection to your Computer is now only possible via USB!
If this won't work, which adapters did you use?

Regards
Torsten
 

R32syd

macrumors newbie
Sep 9, 2018
5
0
Hi,
the connection to a Computer with a Flash drive is only possible with USB. After the restore via USB you have to connect your iPod to the FireWire power adapter via FireWire. After flashing the firmware to the iPod everything should work. A connection to your Computer is now only possible via USB!
If this won't work, which adapters did you use?

Regards
Torsten
Hello

Thanks for your reply I rally appreciate it.

I am currently using the exact same adapter as the very begging of this page. I am using a micro sd card to sd converter then an sd card to cf card converter into the adaptor.

My current set up is 2003 MacBook.
Apple Y connector cable with usb and fire wire to iPod dock.
FireWire charger.

Can this only be done with a Windows pc?

Or can it still be done using a Mac?

Thanks
Andy