Ipod Hard Drive Replacement Fail!
June 23, 2009 5:50 AM   Subscribe

Just put a new hard drive in my 5G Ipod. It's sort of working but sort of not. Should I return the hard drive? Is my Ipod finally toasted?

I've had this Ipod for 4 years now and use it constantly. I've replaced the LCD once (cracked it) and the earphone jack 2x. Recently the earphone jack broke again, and then the hard drive seemed to fry.

I ordered a new earphone jack off ebay, and a new Toshiba hard drive (this is a 60gb Ipod). I put both in last night. Earphone jack sounds great. Hard drive initially was doing good. But I feel a lot of pulsing, angry vibrations from it now. Last night, it was really grindy and then it crashed. I was able to start it right up again. This morning it's hard to add music to...keeps saying "Can't find the file" or something like that.

So I'm wondering, is it probably true that I got a bad replacement hard drive? Should I try to return the hard drive and get a new one? Or is it something that's wrong with my Ipod? I am able to add music to it, play it, make playlists, etc the way it is. It didn't used to pulse and make noise like this with the old drive. If it's working, does that mean that the hard drive is bad? Or could something else screwed up in the Ipod be making the hard drive fail?
posted by sully75 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: So I guess my question is: should I try to replace this hard drive again? Is it probable I just got a bad drive?

It looks like there were 56 hours on this drive already (in diagnostic mode). Does that make sense? I was wondering if they pulled the drive from somewhere but where would they pull it from?
posted by sully75 at 5:51 AM on June 23, 2009

Hard drives shouldn't make grinding sounds. What's the form factor for the drive - is it a microdrive, like the ones used in the old Minis? If so, consider replacing it with a Flash drive instead of a microdrive. You'll lose capacity but gain reliability. (There are apparently cards larger than 32 gb available, but for the price you'll probably feel silly buying a drive that costs more than a new iPod.)
posted by caution live frogs at 6:12 AM on June 23, 2009

It sounds to me as if you've spent, in parts, the approximate eBay/Craigslist value of another iPod at this point. Hard drives shouldn't make those sounds, true, even though my 40GB iPod 4th gen frequently would pulse and hum with the OE drive.

If the drive was a pull it could have come out of another iPod or other music device. Did the seller note that the drive you purchased could be a pull? I'd send it back, get a refund and put it toward another iPod—although you are to be commended for nursing this one along as far as you have. The landfill thanks you!
posted by littlerobothead at 6:26 AM on June 23, 2009

Response by poster: Couple of notes:

caution live frogs: I have a lot of music, so the flash card thing is not ideal. If I can't get this to work I'll think about it, but I had the previous drive filled with 60gb and wanted room for more.

Littlerobothead: The parts are generally cheap. New headphone jacks are like $8 postage paid. And I think if I bought a new ipod, I'd be just as likely to break the jacks off that one and be in the same boat. So I keep on repairing if I can.

Here's the Ebay posting. I guess it doesn't mention it being new. I thought it did.

Another question, while I'm at it. If I put a 120gb drive in my 5g Ipod, would it recognize it?
posted by sully75 at 7:03 AM on June 23, 2009

Response by poster: Oh and I'm a poor student so would be nice not to have to lay out money for a new one if I can avoid it.
posted by sully75 at 7:11 AM on June 23, 2009

Just a thought: those ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) connectors are tricky. You have to make sure that the hard drive's cable is in far enough before you click down the handle thing.
posted by No New Diamonds Please at 9:25 AM on June 23, 2009

Other than reseating it, or mounting it as a hard drive (via Disk Mode) and trying some sustained read and writes, it's likely you got a bum drive. Hard drives should never make grinding noises.

>>Another question, while I'm at it. If I put a 120gb drive in my 5g Ipod, would it recognize it?

Yup. It will. Make sure the physical dimensions match though.
posted by now i'm piste at 10:11 AM on June 23, 2009

Response by poster: Now I'm Piste, any ideas what 120gb drive might fit and not be too expensive? I'd love to get a new drive in this thing. Looks like the oem drives are out of production and real expensive.
posted by sully75 at 1:20 PM on June 23, 2009

Best answer: Can't recommend a specific one, I've only done batteries, screens, and headphone jacks. This enthusiast site lists compatible drives, but it's not fully up to date. It appears that as long as it's got a ZIF connector and is 8mm or less you're OK, but please verify this before proceeding. Some basic prices from the web are here, here, and here. Should you decide to get a new one, Apple will give you a 10% discount for recycling the old one, but there are some other options.
posted by now i'm piste at 7:09 AM on June 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

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