iPod Mini reborn!

mgipe

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
Oct 6, 2009
671
143
CA
I had a nice iPod Mini which served for many years, but the battery was dead, and 4G just doesn't cut it for a 25 GB music library.

I bought a battery replacement kit from iFixit and a 32 GB Transcend compact flash card, and with a great deal of trepidation sat down to perform surgery. It took a lot less time than I thought it would. After I plugged it into iTunes and re-initialized it, I loaded my whole library of music and it works great!

The current iPod Nano maxes out at 16GB. My reborn Mini doubles that.

There's still a lot of life left in the old machines.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 601
Sep 8, 2011
4,863
11,284
New England
That's awesome. I plan on buying an iPod mini on ebay and doing the same thing when my current nano dies.

Did you try it with a 64GB or a 128GB CF card? I saw in a different forum one person was able to get the 64GB to work, but no word on 128GB.
 

mgipe

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
Oct 6, 2009
671
143
CA
No. I read reports of success with 32, but no info about 64, so I went with the most likely to succeed path.
 

.Asa

macrumors regular
Jan 8, 2013
245
1
RIGHT BEHIND YOU!!!
Sounds awesome. I have thought about getting an old mini to work on, but I don't really need it cause I already have 2 iPod touches.

Btw the battery life on this thing must be great with flash memory and a new battery.
 

mgipe

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
Oct 6, 2009
671
143
CA
how do you get the apple files on the drive?
Piece of cake. I connected it to my Mac and iTunes immediately recognized it and the CF card type. I did a restore (click 'restore'). When this finished, iTunes said to connect it to a charger and charge the battery, which I did. I plugged it back into iTunes, synced, and it was ready to go, with all my music installed.
 

xbpr

macrumors member
Dec 8, 2008
61
2
I recently did the same thing with my 4th Gen iPod Photo. Although the process was a little more complicated because I had to add a IDE to CF adaptor. I also successfully used a 64 GB CF Card.
 

YanniDepp

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2008
487
34
I've bought several old Minis on eBay and done this. iPod minis are really easy to work inside. You just have to watch out for that springy metal clip in the bottom. It'll take somebody's eye out if you don't remove it carefully.

There's a fantastic tutorial on GeekTechnique where the guy takes an iPod mini to bits, replaces the hard drive with a CompactFlash card, then spraypaints the mini black. Sadly the guy behind the blog died suddenly a few years ago.
 

JaySoul

macrumors 68030
Jan 30, 2008
2,605
2,698
Great idea.

I might attempt the same so there's one to leave in the car.
 

mgipe

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
Oct 6, 2009
671
143
CA
Great idea.

I might attempt the same so there's one to leave in the car.
That's where mine will probably end up. The mini is much easier to navigate without looking at the screen than the newer iPods.
 

Shanghaichica

macrumors G4
Apr 8, 2013
11,193
7,568
UK
I gave my mini to my boyfriend's sister a few years ago. I loved my mini it was only 2gb but that seemed like loads of space back then. I got it in 2005 for my birthday and I was my first Apple product.
 

SkyBell

macrumors 604
Sep 7, 2006
6,564
131
Texas, unfortunately.
I'll be attempting the battery/storage upgrade myself when I find the spare funds to do so; purchased my 2nd gen mini for $15 at a Hastings earlier this year. The battery is pretty much toast, and the 4 GB microdrive is only enough for about half my music library; replace both, and I'll have the best darn portable music device on the planet. :D
 

OldLadywithiPod

macrumors member
Sep 17, 2008
48
0
I'm so on-board with this idea! I used to work in an electronics factory so on a good day I probably can manage this. :D

My question: What USB cable did the iPod mini use?

Thanks!
 

MrXiro

macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2007
3,845
596
Los Angeles
I'm so on-board with this idea! I used to work in an electronics factory so on a good day I probably can manage this. :D

My question: What USB cable did the iPod mini use?

Thanks!
Careful when unhooking the scroll wheel. I killed two of them swapping out parts. Mini is pretty awesome after putting a new battery and a CF card. I only stuck an 8gb I had laying aroundin. Biggest benefit is that there is less of a lag on start up now. Near instant!!!
 

OldLadywithiPod

macrumors member
Sep 17, 2008
48
0
Careful when unhooking the scroll wheel. I killed two of them swapping out parts. Mini is pretty awesome after putting a new battery and a CF card. I only stuck an 8gb I had laying aroundin. Biggest benefit is that there is less of a lag on start up now. Near instant!!!
Thanks for the tip, MrXiro!
 

caseyfriday

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2011
93
20
SAT
I've started a new business not only refurbishing these minis to look just as good as they did when they were new, but I'm also adding audiophile capacitors to bypass the stock capacitors in them. Take a look!







 

OldLadywithiPod

macrumors member
Sep 17, 2008
48
0
Wow! Congratulations on a fabulous website and business!

If I were a little heavier in the wallet, I'd be holding one of your green minis!

Will you setting up an e-mail newsletter or Facebook / Twitter accounts?

:D
 

caseyfriday

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2011
93
20
SAT
Wow! Congratulations on a fabulous website and business!

If I were a little heavier in the wallet, I'd be holding one of your green minis!

Will you setting up an e-mail newsletter or Facebook / Twitter accounts?

:D
I do have a newsletter! You can sign up for it in the sidebar of the site on this page. I don't do Facebook or Twitter, but I might set up a Google Plus page for it. At a minimum, I'll be keeping up the newsletter!

Oh wow, those look nice!
Thanks!
 

yateseyd1991

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2011
190
8
UK
Just a little project with a spare iPod Mini I had lying around, pretty rough but it does stand out! Just needs a 16GB CF card and its good to go :)
 

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