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Correct disk formatting for replacement iPod hard drive?

I’m upgrading my iPod video 5th generation to a larger hard drive. I’ll be using it with a Mac.

What is the correct formatting for a hard drive before it’s installed into the iPod? I’ve seen conflicting information about whether it should be MAC OS Extended (Journaled)/FAT/other options.

FWIW, I can’t connect the iPod to my computer to reformat the drive currently. So I want to make sure I have the right formatting before I put the new hard drive/flash drive.

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What size of hard drive will you be using? Why can't you connect the iPod to the computer currently?


@andrewsawesome It's a 1TB Samsung drive.

Why I can't attach it to the computer: maybe the full story will help...

I have a 60GB iPod & its battery was dying. I purchased a battery from ifixit, adapter card from iflash for the HD, and a 1TB HD.

Battery replacement was successful. The hard drive upgrade is less successful.

Turning the iPod on while not plugged in, gives me: Apple logo > sad iPod > then turns off.

Plugging it into the wall or computer, I get Apple Logo > sad iPod > battery charged screens that keep rotating. Battery is 100%.

Put the original hard drive back in—it starts up and mounts just fine.

I checked the purchased hard drive w/disk utility—no issues. Reformatted it twice, using different formats (can't recall which right now), but when I put the new 1TB drive back into the iPod, I get the same issues.

SO...am I formatting the drive incorrectly, which is why the iPod can't find it?

Getting to disk mode hasn't worked yet. It always goes to the sick iPod screen.

Basically, I'm stuck.


Hello @must_we and @oldturkey03

Having a similar problem. I'm on iFlash Quad & iPod 5.5 (Video) which has worked fine until now. Suddenly: Freezing, not finishing syncs, sometimes after syncing absolutely no music shows up on iPod menus even though disk shows as full, then next time I plug it in all the music will suddenly appear out of nowhere...etc etc..

Resetting does nothing. Been trying to do a restore on iTunes all week. Getting a repeated note on iTunes saying iPod won't restore, error 1432.

I'd like to erase via Disk Utility but I don't know which one to select? Old Turkey mentioned MAC OS Extended (Journaled), but when I select that another three options then come up.

Which one out of: GUID, Master Boot Record and Apple Partition Map, should I select?

I'm on a MacBook Pro mid 2015 with Mojave installed FWIW.


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Gewählte Lösung

For internet adventurers in the future (& @oldturkey03 ) here's how I solved it:

  1. I bought a new replacement hard drive to see if that was the issue. After installing the new drive, I no longer got the sad Mac face.
  2. Using @oldturkey03's steps above, I reformatted the drive.
  3. I zeroed everything out - which you may not need to do, but it was only after that I was able to get a working iPod.
  4. Rebooting the machine may have helped here, too. M1 Macs don't have SMC/PRAM/VRAM resetting options - rebooting does that automatically for you, so don't waste your time with key commands.
  5. The iPod, in disk mode, said to plug it in. I did. Trying to load the firmware using a downloaded .ipsw file in Disk Utility won't work, because it doesn't recognize .ipsw as a valid file format. The next step is where the firmware is reinstalled.
  6. A finder window will ask if you want to download & restore the software for your iPod. Tap yes.
  7. Patience...
  8. Once the software is installed, the iPod screen is in color, with the blinking "Do Not Disconnect" notice.
  9. Open "Music" - you should see your restored iPod, ready for tunes.

Thanks, everyone, for the input along the way!

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@must_we for a Mac OS I would do the following

First put your iPod into disk mode. Then...

For Mac OSX:

  1. Open the disk utility, find your iPod (left hand side) and highlight it
  2. Go to Tab Partition, click either Delete or Partition, if fails, skip this step and go to 3.
  3. Go to Tab Erase , choose Volume Format as MAC OS Extended (Journaled), and click Erase again if this fails, skip it and go to 4.
  4. Same as step 3. but open the Security Options.... and choose Zero Out Data before clicking Erase. It will take 1 to 2 hours to complete or more, depending on your iPod capacity.

This from here should erase the data on your drive and should get you to restore it. You also want to see if you can install the firmware which will definitely help with this. Get your iPod version from here and install as directed.

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Hey @oldturkey03! See my comment: Correct disk formatting for replacement iPod hard drive?

I've tried putting it into disk mode, but it always goes to the sad iPod.

firmware: this would be helpful. Is that site trustworthy?


@must_we over the years I have download multiple version of firmware from there without ever having had any issues. So the problems does not happen with your original HDD but whenever you use the adapter....those are tough since I have multiple different versions to convert and some work right away while others never seem to work.


@oldturkey03 Correct! I got the iflash-sata connector from the iflash site—I can't post a link because the last time I did my comment was deleted as spam. It's possible it could be the replacement hard drive. That's why I'm tying to eliminate as many possibilities as I can.


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OK. I previously added my problem to the comments section above not (you might have to toggle the section open to see it).

I found the answer for me was to reformat the iPod via Mac's Disk Utility using the following settings:

Name: [does not matter]

Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

Scheme: Apple Partition Map <- Not default GUID

I then restored iPod via iTunes and now everything is finally working perfectly at last - no more freezing and resetting after sync!! No more slow syncing! Very happy.

iPod Classic 5.5 Video
iFlash Quad with Sandisk Ultra cards
Macbook Pro running Mojave

I got the answer from a post over on iFixit by user Kenichi Watanabe

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o___k wird auf ewig dankbar sein.

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