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iPod Mini Repair
Old 01-25-2006, 06:39 PM   #1
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akuma6099 is offline
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Default iPod Mini Repair

Just wanted to share this little info with some people. Feelin good!!

I had an iPod mini just collecting dust. Everytime I turned it on it showed an iPod with 2 x's on its eyes and would shut off. I stuck it to my ear only to hear the same funky sound over and over until it shut off. So I took it apart because I'm very impatient and hate sending items back to manufacturer's for repair. Anyway I knew it was the micro drive being that it is the only moving part. What I didn't know was that it is a Compact Flash type 2 Micro drive. Well I'm kinda broke and don't feel like paying $120 for another 4 gig Micro Drive. I went to staples and bought a SanDisk 256M Compact Flash for $20.00 Went home attached the adapter and slid it back into its caseing. Instead of the Dead iPod pic, it showd the Folder with an Exclamation pic. Used the iPod updater to restore the OS. Then Itunes wouldn't recognize it, as in it wouldn't show up in the list on the left. Browsed to the Compact flash drive(F: on mine) and tried to open a folder, windows stated that the folder was corrupted. So I formated the drive as FAT32 (Quick). Opened up Itunes and low and behold the folders were replaced and now accessable and Itunes can see my iPod

Everything is working fine now. Kinda sucks that its only 256M but what the heck, I just revived a broken iPod for $20.00. I save alot of battery power now too. Well I thought that maybe this will help someone else with the same problem. Cheap remedy. I will probably buy a 1 Gig Compact Flash card instead of a Micro drive due to power standards. Plus I really only use my iPod for driving. Well Peace Out.
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Old 02-12-2006, 09:39 PM   #2
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flybird74 is offline
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Can you please provide some details? I have the same problem and my IPod Mini HDD just died. I was hoping to replace it with my 512MB CF card.

The thing is that I can not get IPod updater to recognize the ipod.
Tried to format CF card from explorer window, and it tells me that this card can not be formatted.

Did you put yours in Disk mode when you run update? Please provide details. Thanks.
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Old 02-26-2006, 04:38 AM   #3
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tsinghoi is offline
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Is this real? or is it a joke. has anyone else tried this? My friend recently gave me a semi broken (fixable) ipod mini but not without taking away the 4gb hard drive first (it seems to work as a compact flash card, we stuck it in a reader, transfered the music off, stuck some games on there, walked over to anotehr friends house, unloaded the games, everything seemed to work!)
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Old 08-01-2006, 07:54 AM   #4
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speck98 is offline
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I have tried this, with a 1GB sandisk! But I cannot update the firware from 1.2 to 1.4.1!
I still get the "folder/! " error . Still the ipod is recognized by itunes and can save and play files from media player in XP!

What next?
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:09 PM   #5
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smcpartlin is offline
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OK thanks for the details. It smoothed it out the whole process for me.

I had a broken mini Gen 1. given to me. I figured out it was the HD that was gone bad.. (clicking) so I ordered two CF memory cards. I just got the smaller one. *2gig* from Lexar. Platinum II 80x speed. This worked like a charm. 1.4.1 update worked and formatted it back to default. Item works good. I am waiting for the 4gb chip to arrive. Ahh it just showed up. Kingston 4gb 45x Elite pro. I plugged it in and it worked too. I can't tell you if the 80x vs the 45x makes a diffrence. But WE all know we would rather have the 4g of memory. But right now it formatted at 2gb.. I got to look into that.
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Old 01-08-2007, 05:42 PM   #6
Popeye the Sailor Dude
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The mini really isn't designed to use Solid State cards in lieu of MicroDrives. If it was, it wouldn't ship with a microdrive!

That being said, if any of you have problems with upgrading to Solid State, this website is meant to assist people in hacking their iPod, so feel free to post here with any questions. Just remember to state whether your iPod is 1st or 2nd gen, what OS you are using, and the name, type and format of the card you are using.
1g (old school) mini 4 gb
I'm Back

If the updater can't mount the iPod, or displays "iPod service error" go here:
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Old 01-17-2007, 04:36 PM   #7
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Resevdog is offline
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Default Confirmation

I can confirm that this "repair" DOES WORK!! In fact, not only did I install a solid state flash drive, but I went with an 8 gb card!!

Here are the keys to making this work:

1) Type II card.
2) Format 32bit. This is a must! Cards larger than 2gb are already formatted as such, but I suggest reformatting anyways before installing.
3) When taking apart your mini, be VERY mindful of the ribbon connections and the delicate soldering. Don't force anything or pull on the ribbons. I suggest using a very small screwdriver to lightly pry out the connections.
4) Pay attention how the card is attached. Generally, the "front" of the card should face out from the motherboard.
5) While your in there, buy a new battery. They're cheap.
6) After putting it all back together, if you have a new battery, drain it completely first (just turn it on and leave it). Then do a FULL charge.
7) Reinstalling software:
a) In the latest version of iTunes, simply sync your ipod. You should enter "restore mode". It will ask you if you'd like to restore your pod. Yes.
b) It will download the latest update and install.
c) Plug in to the wall to reflash.
d) Sync!!
That should do it.

It appears that gen 2 seem to take to this a bit better than the 1st generation mini. You may have to repeat the restore process (not sure why) but sometimes it takes a couple syncs to get it to work.

I now have an 8gb, extended battery, solid state, lime (yuck) ipod mini. It has the same capacity as a nano, same solid state reliability, and is much more durable. Yes, it's a bit bulkier (comes with durability) and doesn't have color (using my ears, not my eyes.)

The entire process cost less than $100 (card was around $80 off ebay, battery $20) and took about an hour start to finish. I have the same functionality as a $249 nano at less than half the price.
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:10 AM   #8
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NERDMAN is offline
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I've tried the same, I used a 4GB SanDisk type II CF card.

But it failed somewhere between 7b and 7c (or 7d?).

What happens is that I connect the mini to the PC, iTunes activates and finds the mini in "need restore state", so I accept that, and the restore seems to go well, then iTunes suggest the wall socket propcedure to complete, but it seems that there's no time for this because the mini immediately reconnects to the PC and the iTunes detect the mini in "need restore state". So should one be quick as h*** between 7b and 7c or what?

It's a gen 1 mini, the CF card I used is fat32.

In another thread it was suggested that the logic board was busted. But I can still use it as a USB disc, would that be possible if the logic board is busted?

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Been done to dead
Old 02-05-2007, 03:50 PM   #9
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bobb-mini is offline
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Default Been done to dead

Dissapointed about the sophistication of posts here... this IS BEEN DONE B4R only if u search rather than wait to answers to come to you.

iPodmods.com sells u a 8 gig flash drive for the mini for usd$139. If it doesn't work, I dunn think they would sell it to you.
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Old 03-06-2007, 01:55 AM   #10
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ipodrepair is offline
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Using larger CF cards (like 4GB or 8GB and more) is possible. BUT... Not all CF-cards confirm to the generic standards (voltage and pin-spec). You may seriously damage your electronics and/or fry your CF card if you pick the wrong card or brand. We tried this the day the iPod mini surfaced (when CF cards were still very expensive). And we have an exploded 512MB card as proof. We'll put some testing data up on www.ipodrepair.nl later this week. Hint: battery life (iPod 2G/4GB HD to 8GB CF) goes from 9 hours to 18!

N.B. geektechnique.org has put a how-to on their website.
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