Upgrading iPod Hard Drives

A number of people have asked about upgrading iPod hard drives — what to buy, how to prepare, and how to perform the upgrade — so here are all the technical details. If you’ve never worked inside an iPod before, this is certainly an advanced tutorial, but don’t let that scare you. Working slowly and methodically, you too can upgrade your iPod and store even more music, photos, and videos.

What to Buy

Which hard drive to buy depends on your specific iPod model, so like any half-decent attempt at an upgrade, a little research will go a long way towards making a good purchase. The main factors that will affect your decision are the height, or thickness, of both the iPod and hard drive, and the connector style employed by both. Since day one of the iPod launch, Toshiba has produced all the hard drives employed in the full size iPod lineup. While they enjoyed a profitable OEM business arrangement with Apple, the drives are in no way exclusive to the iPod, and they can be found in many other products, including (not surprisingly) some Toshiba laptops and (perhaps more surprisingly) Microsoft’s Zune player. To allow for some flexibility in product lineups, Toshiba’s 1.8″ hard drives come in two thicknesses — the thinner has one physical storage platter inside, and the thicker has two. Doubling-up of the storage surfaces is why you’ll often see a given capacity drive, and the next step up of two times that capacity. As technology advances, the capacity of each surface increases while the dimensions remain fixed for easy interchange-ability. This is good news for iPod upgraders. The longer you wait, the more you can store in the same amount of space.

Apple’s iPods are fairly easy to find a matching replacement/upgrade hard drive for, as you can generally tell which thickness drive you need just by comparing it to the others of its family. If your iPod was the thicker of the series when you purchased it, it takes the thicker, two-platter hard drive (examples include the then-higher capacity models such as 40 GB iPod and 60 GB iPod photo). The thinner models (like the 15 GB iPod and 30 GB iPod photo) take the thinner hard drives.

The 5th generation iPods with video capability are a different beast, as the drive technology and space requirements have demanded smaller internals. With that in mind, Toshiba engineered a new connector on recent drives that is vastly smaller than the previous models. These new drives sport a Zero Insertion Force (ZIF) connector, which, unlike the older iPods, requires no pressure to connect the cable. Simply holding the hair-thin ribbon cable in place and folding down a clamp-like lock will secure all 40 pins in a staggeringly small, fragile connector. The connector on the 5G iPods’ logic boards is now no wider than your thumbnail, and it, too is quite delicate. Such is the way of ever-shrinking consumer electronics.

Tools of the Trade

Before you decide on a hard drive, you’ll also want to purchase a few tools to ensure the job gets done right. While you’re able to pry most iPods apart using a tool as simple as a butter knife, the professionals use the following to make entry, upgrade, and close-up as invisible as possible.

  • Apple’s “black stick”
    This nylon-based pry tool is key to almost any iPod upgrade, as it provides a strong lever to get into the edges of the case, while its plastic properties leave next to no marks or chewed-up looking spots along the edges. Best bought from Stanley Supply & Services.
  • IC puller or hemostats (both available at your local RadioShack)
    Either of these tools will work for undoing the iPod battery cable and handling some of the smaller pieces of the iPod. Not necessary, but highly recommended if you plan on doing more than one upgrade.
  • A straight razor blade (for 5G iPods)
    I was hesitant to include this, as it’s a recipe for injury if you’re not careful. In the interest of completeness, though, it’s here. The latest iPods are sealed very well, and more often than not they require a very thin and flexible bit of metal to make room for Apple’s Black Stick pry tool.
  • HD adapters from Addonics: 1.8″ to 2.5″ IDE and 2.5″ to 3.5″ IDE
    To do testing or erasing on iPod-size hard drives, these adapters will get your 4G-or-earlier drive hooked up to a desktop computer’s IDE bus. (For 5G iPods, see this post) Also not necessary, but again, these are recommended for advanced testing and erasure.

Picking a Hard Drive

Depending on your iPod thickness and model, you can choose from the hard drives in the table below. Note that some of these models are not used in iPods, but should work just fine (for example, the 20 GB ZIF drive, which will only connect to new iPods which start out at 60 GB from Apple — technically a downgrade, but listed for compatibility information).

Brand Model # Capacity Connector Thickness Supported iPods
Toshiba MK1011GAH 100 GB ZIF 8mm Thick 5G, 5.5G
Toshiba MK8007GAH 80 GB Pins 8mm Thick 2G, 3G, 4G, photo
Toshiba MK8009GAH 80 GB ZIF 8mm Thick 5G, 5.5G
Toshiba MK6006GAH 60 GB Pins 8mm Thick 2G, 3G, 4G, photo
Toshiba MK6008GAH 60 GB ZIF 8mm Thick 5G, 5.5G
Toshiba MK4006GAH 40 GB Pins 8mm Thick 2G, 3G, 4G, photo
Toshiba MK4008GAH 40 GB ZIF 8mm Thick 5G, 5.5G
Toshiba MK4007GAL 40 GB Pins 5mm 1G, Thin 2G, 3G, 4G, photo
Toshiba MK4009GAL 40 GB ZIF 5mm Thin 5G, 5.5G
Toshiba MK3006GAL 30 GB Pins 5mm Thin 2G, 3G, 4G, photo
Toshiba MK3008GAL 30 GB ZIF 5mm Thin 5G, 5.5G
Toshiba MK2004GAL 20 GB Pins 5mm 1G, Thin 2G, 3G, 4G, photo
Toshiba MK2006GAL 20 GB Pins 5mm 1G, Thin 2G, 3G, 4G, photo
Toshiba MK2008GAL 20 GB ZIF 5mm Thin 5G, 5.5G
Toshiba MK1504GAL 15 GB Pins 5mm 1G, Thin 2G, 3G, 4G, photo
Toshiba MK1003GAL 10 GB Pins 5mm 1G, Thin 2G, 3G, 4G, photo
Toshiba MK5002MAL 5 GB Pins 5mm 1G, Thin 2G, 3G, 4G, photo
Toshiba MK5004MAL 5 GB Pins 5mm 1G, Thin 2G, 3G, 4G, photo
Seagate ST760211DE 60 GB ZIF 5mm Thin 5G, 5.5G

Update: It appears that the 4G may be firmware limited to no more than a 60 GB drive. Reports indicate that drives above 60 GB in capacity appear as 60 GB despite the additional storage that’s available.

You can find many of the above drives on eBay and online retailers, but the most prevalent ones will be models used in iPods that shipped in the past. I have used many non-Apple-branded Toshiba hard drives without issue, confirming that there is nothing particular about them, except an Apple logo on the sticker. Having a third party manufacturer such as Toshiba re-brand a product is nothing new to the computer industry — other big companies like Dell and IBM work deals like this for many components.

Hard Drive Preparation

Unlike my iPod Super hack, a replacement iPod hard drive does not require any special formatting or filesystem preparation. In fact, I’ve found that working with a completely empty/zeroed hard drive works best. If you decided to purchase the adapters listed above, you can connect them as detailed in my Really Testing iPod Hard Drives post, and completely erase the hard drive using the handy Darik’s Boot and Nuke utility. I’ve found that it works best to have a zeroed hard drive, but it can often be done without. (The iPod sometimes tries to find software on the hard drive, which may be incorrect for its generation or be corrupted).

Opening the iPod

To get at the old hard drive, you’ll need to open the iPod, which is usually the hardest part of the process. 1G through 4G iPods aren’t as tough as the 5G and later iPods, and can be popped open by pushing the metal backing one way while pulling the plastic front the opposite way. In doing so, you create a small gap where you can slide in the nylon pry tool and undo the five plastic clips along one of the two longer sides. The inside top and bottom edges of all iPods are not secured. Other World Computing has some detailed take-apart videos which should help give you a good idea of exactly how to get inside.

To open a 5G or later iPod, try the first technique above, and use a straight razor as a last resort. For the really tough ones, work the sharp edge of a new razor perpendicularly into the side seam where the front plastic and back metal meet. Once wedged between the two halves, tip the dull edge of blade towards the front (towards you), using the iPod’s plastic side as a fulcrum to open a small space to insert the nylon pry tool.

This is extremely dangerous!

Not only are you working with a super-sharp piece of metal, you’re flexing its brittle structure, which may cause it to shatter — so don’t push too hard. I’ve never gotten cut or had a razor shatter while doing this, but only because I took my time and didn’t get my fingers near the sharp edge. Moving slow and thinking smart (as smart as bending a razor can be) are keys to making this technique work. Once the nylon pry tool is in place and has a little room to work, carefully extract the razor and set it aside. Use the pry tool to work the rest of the side clips open. If you feel at all uneasy about this method, it’s probably best to leave it to the professionals — the 5G iPod is a giant leap forward in design and engineering, at the expense of a lot of end-user serviceability.

The Switch

After cracking the side of the iPod open, carefully disconnect any audio jack or battery ribbon cables attached to the back panel. Undoing these connectors often requires the use of the nylon pry tool again, or careful pulling with hemostats. Be sure to pull the connector straight away from the logic board, using only minor side-to-side wiggling as needed. Attempting to pry the connector out of its matching socket without keeping it straight can result in the connector separating from its cable!

With the halves unhooked, the panels can be separated, exposing the hard drive. 1G through 4G iPod hard drives can be unplugged by simply pulling the connector straight off the end of the drive, whereas the 5G and later iPods require you to flip up the narrow lever. It hinges lengthwise along the middle. The lever does not fold flat backwards when open, but simply stands upright, and should not separate from its other retaining half.

Install the new hard drive in the same direction as the old one, making sure all pins and plastic guides line up. 5G iPods are especially tricky due to the ZIF connector. Yet again, some tiny tools may come in handy — just be sure to work gently with its delicate ribbon cable. Move the metal back panel close to the iPod and reconnect all the cables you unhooked to get into the device, and snap the panel back onto the plastic clips.

Restoring in Disk Mode

Pressing any button will power on your iPod, and you should be able to hear the new drive spin up. Unless the drive is preloaded with precisely the correct software, you will get a “sad iPod” face. This is okay! Reset your iPod using the commands detailed here, and immediately hold the Disk Mode keys as soon as the screen blanks for the reboot. This may take a few tries, but as long as your iPod doesn’t have the correct data on the drive, you’ve got all the attempts in the world to get into Disk Mode. When done properly, you’ll see “Disk Mode” at the top of the iPod. You can now plug the freshly upgraded iPod into your computer and launch iTunes. After it’s detected, iTunes may complain about a corrupted iPod. Dismiss any dialogs and browse to the Summary tab for the iPod, and click Restore. iTunes will load the proper software onto your iPod, and it will be as good as new — with more capacity!

Update: I added the Seagate ST760211DE 60 GB 5mm drive following a painless drop-in replacement report from Jerry Wnorowski:

Well it finally arrived, and with just a little hesitation, after all this was entirely new ground for me, I installed the 60GB Seagate hard drive into my broken 30GB iPod Video 5.5 Gen. When I plugged it in to my laptop, iTunes said it needed to be restored. I restored it, and it booted and came up in iTunes! I loaded my music, and now I have the thinnest 60GB iPod Video in the world!

Update: A 240GB iPod modification is now available for those who want TONS of storage space in one portable device.

Upgrading iPod Hard Drives

346 thoughts on “Upgrading iPod Hard Drives

  1. andrew says:

    I saw this question posted a few times without a response – and now it’s my turn to ask…

    I have a 4th gen 40gb iPod that needs a new HD. What is the max size that will work with this model, and that someone has actually installed?

    I called Rapid Response and they state that 60gb is the max. This here site has a 80gb HD listed as compatible. Anyone try it out yet?

    I compared the datasheets for the 40gb Toshiba MK4006GAH & 60gb Toshiba MK6006GAH and electrically they are compatible. The 80gb Toshiba MK8007GAH listed on this site states it will work for this model, however, it has a higher start power consumption rating of 1.8 watts vs 1.2 watts of the other models I mentioned. Is the 1.8 watt rating a deal killer for using the bigger drives on this model?

    And, will the logic board and/or iTunes recognize the higher capacity if I install something bigger than the original 40gb on this model? — Thanks!!


  2. TONY says:

    I can report that it is in my experience impossible to connect a samsung hs161jq 160gb drive to a 5.5g 80gig ipod. it fits inside the ipod, and if you obtain the new zif ribbon connector with the smaller hd size connector, the hd will appear to connect correctly with the board, and will even spin up and enter disc mode, however, some driver incompatibility in the ipod must be interfering with the drive’s proper operation, as disc mode is aborted after some time. when the terminal output from the attempted mounting of the new drive is viewed, some promise is showed, even the size of the drive is correctly reported, but some errors require the drive to be shut down. it can not be formatted.


  3. Yan says:


    I have a little problem here, I just bought a 80gb Toshiba MK8010GAH for my ipod 30gb gen 5. I’m not able to restore it or format it. Everytime I’m trying to restore it with Itunes I get a 1416 error code. Is there a fix to my problem??



  4. Little Nicky says:

    Thanks for all the great info on upgrading.

    I’ve got a 20GB 4th gen iPod that had a bad hard drive (#MK2006GAL) as it was giving me the folder icon and would not be recognized by iTunes even in disk mode. Hard drive was also clicking when trying to spin. After reading your comments, I bought a 30GB hard drive (#MK3006GAL) to replace it. Everything went fine. I booted it up, reset it, put it in disk mode, connected to my computer, and iTunes recognized it as a corrupted iPod that needed to be restored. I canceled out of those messages and clicked the restore button in iTunes. It downloaded the software and installed it.

    The problem is that after installation, the iPod gives me the electrical outlet with the Apple charger icon. I plugged it into the wall outlet, but there was no change as far as the icon. When I tried disconnecting and resetting the iPod, I would just get the same icon. When I tried resetting with iPod plugged into the wall outlet, I get the battery with exclamation point icon. I also tried connecting it the computer again, but neither the computer nor iTunes will recognize it. I left it plugged into the wall overnight, but no change.

    I thought it might be the battery, so I opened it back up, put the old broken 20GB hard drive back in to try charging it, and it showed that it was fully charged.

    The only thing that I could think of was that my wall charger is not the factory Apple charger. It’s one I bought off eBay, but it charged this iPod just fine before I swapped the hard drive. I’m not sure what the problem is, but thought I would post here to see if anyone else had a similar problem.



  5. lotte says:

    hey, i have a 5th gen 30gb ipod, dropped it a few too many times in work and the hard drive went on it, it was a samsung one i thought well i have to buy a new one anyway why not get an 80gb (should have researched it) so i bought the 80gb, its a toshiba one im assuming the one mentioned above.

    basically i put it in the ipod and all that went well
    itunes wouldnt recognise it to start with, now it recognises it and says you need to restore your ipod

    so i do but its meant to reset to finish restoring it, it cannot reset itself, i have tryed doing it manually but then were back to stage one “your ipod needs to be restored”

    also it says “do not disconnect” however this is not as it used to be, it loosk liek the ipod mini in black and white etc, not with the red logo.

    and ideas of how to get it working?
    please help!

    x X x


  6. Gaylen says:


    This may have been answered already, but I have a 5th gen vido and the HD is bad. I want to replace it with another 30 or 60 HD, or can one go bigger, if so is there a reference page that lists the different HD that are the correct dimenstions for the 5th gen video. The Drive in it is Thoshiba MK30008GAL.


  7. Essen says:

    My 4G finally died on me and I bought the appropriate tools and opened the iPod.

    My original drive was the MK4004GAH –
    Is the MK8007GAH? 80 50 Pins 8 the largest that I can upgrade to now?Are the voltage levels suitable for it? I can’t see any obvious differences.

    My other question is – is there any other 1.8″ 50 pins 8mm drive with this voltage that is higher – say around 100 to 160 GB that I can use to upgrade?


  8. country_gurl says:

    in the picture

    it looks like you have a connector with the larger zif (perhaps 40pos) and the smaller on the other side (20?).
    I am replacing a SDD in an hp mini which has the ribbon connector, the new HD is a zif but it is the smaller size. Does anyone know if an adapter or a ribbon connector with both sizes exists? And if so, where I can find one.
    Any help will be greatly appreciated.


  9. Neil says:

    Does anybody know why my 60 GB iPod 5G would inexplicably start reporting its drive size as 16 GB (as reported by the iPod’s diagnostic mode)? I physically verified that the drive is a Toshiba MK6008GAH, but explaining the change of heart is beyond me.


  10. Bohnster says:

    -299 Asked a similar question

    I have a 5th Gen Video 60GB, 240GB would be sweet, too expensive. Would one of the 160GB drives work? Seems like they use different interfaces or connectors, I can’t seen to find the exact info I’m looking for.

    I know the: Toshiba MK8031GAL,MK8031GAL,MK2431GAH drives work.

    Do these: Samsung HS161JB, Toshiba MK1626GCB work???

    Thanks for your help ppls :-)


  11. RRamjet says:

    i’ve learned a lot by snooping around on sites like this so thought i would pass on a recent discovery of mine. After replacing the Logic board in my 5th G Video 60G for an overheating problem when charging that problem was fixed but got the sad face and bad HDD noises,(Click of Death). HDD had been working fine before Logic Board replacement. Slapped it a couple of times and got it into Disk mode and restored it. It lasted about 3 hours then crapped out again. Sad face etc. Played around with the HDD flex connector at the Logic Board 5 different times. Each time I could get it working intermittently. I finally got it perfectly aligned and it’s been working fine for 3 days now. I believe the lesson may be that there are 50 circuits being routed through about a 1/2 inch wide strip at the board end and getting it aligned with the board connector is critical. This could really be the source of many problems reporedly fixed by slapping or banging the IPod. These connections are so close together it would be easy to make intermittent connections that eventually open again. To prevent this problem in the future I would recommend disconnecting the flex from the HDD itself rather than from the Logic Board. There was lots of sticky to keep the Logic Board end of the flex in place that I had to disturb to get it disconnected. The flex at the HDD is much wider than it is at the board and should be much easier to align. Hope this helps someone.


  12. adrian says:

    I can get my mac to detect it as an external harddrive but I cannot for some reason get iTunes to detect it. I bought a 30gb HD for my 3G and can put it in disk mode fine.


  13. Wade says:

    In August, I got a car stereo converter that plugs into the CD-changer hole on the back of my existing car stereo. A cable comes out under the dash and connects to my iPod. When connected, the CD controls (skip, back, FF, REW) control the iPod. I have two iPods – one “white”, 4th generation clickwheel, 3+ years old; the other “black”, 5th generation late 2006, 18 months old. Both connected to the dock and worked okay for a brief period – maybe 2-3 weeks – then both suddenly died within a week of each other. I assumed it a stroke of poorly-timed bad luck, researched, found this awesome site and figured it was the hard drive, then ordered replacement hard drives for each and installed.

    Once the new drive was in, White gave me some headache (wasn’t being recognized by iTunes), but eventually (not sure how) got working. Black (the younger of the 2) never got working. Hitting Menu results in nothing – blank screen. I figured it was bad timing / not the new car stereo adapter, and was grateful to have *one* working iPod back in my life.

    A month later, White returned to its old habits. Freezes during play, requires reboot, then comes up fine – but when I hit “Menu,” all music appears to be gone. When I hook it up to the machine it was formerly synced with, it mounts to the desktop as a hard drive but doesn’t show up in iTunes for sync. So I connect it to another mac and it comes up in iTunes, which tells me it “appears to be corrupted” and prompts me to restore. I do so, the machine thinks, then the dreaded error returns: “The iPod could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (1433).”

    What gives???


    – What’s the likelihood that this problem has nothing to do with the car stereo adapter? It seems to me that the car stereo is just sending *commands* – no real *data* (which would be required to correct the iPod). Plus, too, it seems corruption would happen immediately after connection if it was the car stereo adapter – not after several weeks of working?

    – Are there any common mistakes during install of the newer drives? Any idea why Black won’t even come on since the new drive went in? I remember the cable that connected the drive was much more difficult to remove/insert than the one going into the older drive. Could I have damaged it getting it in and out?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I’ve spent so much money nad time trying to fix the old ones that to have to buy a whole new iPod now is really going to chap my ass…


  14. Harrier says:

    Hi Fernando, Apple has tried to prevent anything greater than a 80G HD to work in it’s 5.5 Gen Video Ipod. The 120G is out because it’s still selling with the classic. If you want to upgrade to a 240 GB, you can by adding a deeper 8mm backplate and Samsung hard drive. Toshiba also makes on MK2431GAH. Make sure you get the right one…The hard drive is a little slower, but it works according to Rapid Repair. There is a way to put the Classic software on and have it work with the hardware you have, but Apple does not permit people to put it on the internet.


  15. Mark says:

    I have an iPod photo 4th Gen with a 60 GB hard drive. The logic board went out. I bought an iPod photo 4th Gen (used) on eBay to get the logic board. The replacement logic board came from an iPod with a 30 GB hard drive, mine is 60 GB, but I thought the difference was only the hard drive, the logic board would not matter.

    However, with the replacement logic board installed, and my 60 GB hard drive, the iPod only recognizes 30 GB of hard drive space. My hard drive space was cut in half!

    I didn’t think the logic board would make a difference, but apparently it does. Technically, I upgraded a larger hard drive, (according to the logic board) but the logic board won’t recognize it.

    What can I do to get the logic board to recognize all 60 GB of hard drive space? I hope I don’t actually need a different logic board…that would suck.

    Either there is a setting I am missing, or a step I didn’t do, or whatever. If I am really limited to ONLY 30 GB due to the logic board, then how can a whole web page be dedicated to upgrading to a larger hard drive? What am I missing?

    Love to get a solution soon…
    Mark in LA


  16. Steve Wiese says:

    My son has a 30 gig 5g (model A1136). He said the drive is clicking. He bought a new one. I thought I would fix this old one. I see you listed in March of 08 that a 60 gig Seagate drive would fit. (Seagate ST760211DE 60 GB 5mm drive). Now in 2010 is there a larger capacity 1.8″ 5mm drive with the proper connector that will fit? I haven’t opened it up yet but I assume it’s a zif. Have I asked the right questions? What are my options? I feel comfortable taking this apart as I have torn apart numerous laptops.


  17. Neil says:

    Now there seems to be a thin 80gb hard drive available, that can be a straight swap for a 30gb drive.
    Samsung HS081HA 80GB hardrive from iPod Classic.

    BUT I have heard that some of the bigger drives are NOT compatible with SOME logic boards from the earlier 5G series.

    So does anyone know about this? and if so how do you identify a logic board that can accept a bigger hard drvie from those that can’t?


  18. Rohit Ojha says:

    I have an ipod video 5g, my hard disk (MK3008GAL) just crashed since it was dropped. Please help me, where do i get a new hard disk, i am searching for a 100gb or a 240gb(MK2431GAH) prefered, where do i get it, and what could be the best cost for it?
    thank you!!


  19. kyle says:

    I bought an original ipod hard drive. The one meant for my model. I went through the necessary steps you said. But when I plug the ipod into my computer after disk mode is started it says I need to connect using firewire. So I connect using firewire but then nothing happens at all and the computer doesn’t recognize it?


  20. carlo says:


    my ipod’s hard disk is broken. its a 30gig made by samsung (HS030GA) with an apple logo on it. is it ok to upgrade to a toshiba MK1011GAH 100gig hard disk? thanks!



  21. Frank says:

    @ justin – The iPod Touch doesn’t have a hard drive. Those have flash based storage.

    @ carlo – The HS030GA is 5mm thick, in order to upgrade to the MK1011GAH you’d need to purchase a larger back panel to accommodate the thicker hard drive.


  22. Terence Griffin says:

    My age old 40 Gb iPod 3G’s HDD died an honorable death after a long life. I’m looking a replacement options. I’ve ruled out going to flash, as tempting as that sounds. I’d like to increase the capacity. I’m looking a going to 80 Gb. The options I’m considering are an MK8007GAH, which looks like it would be a simple swap, or a MK8009GAH with a ZIF to ATA adapter (http://snipurl.com/ulkre [www_amazon_com]). The 8007 cost abou $225 (!!!). The 8009 is about $75 and the adapter is about $25.

    My question is can I fit the 8009 + adapter into my iPod 3G? The length og the 8007 is 3.1 in and the 8009 is 2.8 in. I’m not sure how much space the adapter takes up. Thoughts? THANKS!


  23. Guy says:

    I tried to upgrade my 20gb 4th gen ipod’s HD with a Toshiba MK8025GAL w/ZIF. I bought a ZIF to IDE micro converter http://www.uxsight.com/product/28035/zif-micro-ide-hdd-adapter-converter.html It was a little tight but everything fit. I can’t get it to go into either reset or disc mode. Itunes doesn’t recognize it. It keeps cycling apple logo, blank screen, then unhappy face and finally the charging logo. It will keep doing this until I disconnect it. Does anyone have any ideas as to what I might be doing wrong. The 2 parts are new and I tested the HD and it works fine plugged into my desktop via USB. Thank you


  24. Terence Griffin says:

    Ok… I got an MK8007GAH off eBay for $100. It fit just fine as replacement for the original 40Gb in my 3G, but I can’t get to work properly. It goes into a reset loop with the !File icon. I connect it to my Mac via USB. iTunes recognizes it as an unformatted iPod and asks to restore or update. If I restore, it says I need to connect via Firewire. iTunes doesn’t see it via FW. If I update, it goes through the process and then tells me to unplug it connect it to the charger to complete the update. I let it charge, but it still goes through the reset cycle. If I connect to the USB post, iTunes see it as an unformatted iPod again.

    I managed to format the drive on an XP machine via USB in NTFS. One comment early in this thread got me looking at the spec sheets for the original 4004 hdd and my new 8007. The start up wattage increased from 1.3w to 1.8w. I’m thinking my iPod can’t spin up the 8007. The battery is getting old. I just replaced it with a NOS IP3 battery I picked up before CompUSA closed. After it has a full charge, I’ll give it another go. I wonder if an other, higher capacity battery would help?

    The last shot will be to try to interface it directly with the Mac with an ATA6 adapter/cable or external case, just to make sure the drive is not a dud.

    If this doesn’t work, I might look into a CF or SSD solution…


  25. Terence Griffin says:

    I connected two batteries in parallel, thinking that might provide the power to spin up the MK8007GAH disk. It was only a little better and I’m not sure the extra battery was the reason.

    I was actually able to format it with my Mac as Journaled HFS+. But It still clicks when connected to the FW port, and still won’t allow a Restore if connected to the USB port. Updating seems to be the same: Connected to the USB, it goes through the update, then tells me hook it to the external power supply to complete the upgrade. After I do that then plug it back to the USB port, iTunes updates it again…

    I’m waiting for an adapter to connect the disk by itself direct to the Mac. Then I can make sure the disk is good, which I strongly suspect it is. I hope I have an easier time formatting it, then I reinstall it in the iPod.

    I also have a CF to 50 pin ATA adapter so I can go the FlashPod route. I’m thinking I’ll use an SD card with a SD to CF adapter. I’ve got a couple 8g SDHC cards around.

    Maybe down the road I can find/afford a CF or SD card that has
    comparable capacity as my iPod…

    If anyone has been through this and has any ideas, I’d love to hear about it!



  26. Stocko says:

    Hi There,

    I’ve upgraded the hdd on my 5th gen 80gb ipod for a tosh 120gb disc that is already formatted for ipods. the ipod when turned on comes up with a screen informing me to coneect to itunes and restore.

    heres the problem…. itunes does not see the ipod, or display any messages saying that it is doing anything anyway. the ipod screen once connected to the pc changes to the do not disconnect screen, the battery shows its charging and randomly a sync icon appears in the top left of the ipods display. its been like this now for about 8 hours!!!

    Any suggestions guys would be grately received?

    Many thanks in advance.


  27. Hi!

    I have an old 20gb iPod 3g which gave up a few years back. Can someone confirm if the following HD upgrade would be compatible:
    Toshiba – MK6006GAH – 60 GB – Pins (as per list above)

    If not, what is the highest capacity drive this iPod will take?

    Many thanks in advance,



  28. zinneken says:

    Re-posting, wondering if anyone already tried a +200 GB HDD in an ipod photo?

    Also, can the current ipods contain a HDD larger then 200 GB?

    Thanks for any help!


  29. vajira says:

    What are the compatible HDD for ipod 6th GEN 80GB,

    Can i use the HDD in ipod 5th GEN 80GB Hard Drive on 6th GEN ipod Classic??
    Toshiba MK8022GAA 80GB >>>replasing with Toshiba 80GB MK8010GAH


  30. oldcoconut says:

    I recently purchased MK6006GAH for my iPod 3rd Generation. But when I connected on Mac G4, iTune will pop up but it cannot see this iPod nor to restore it. And I try to format it using disk utility, but app will stock on somewhere…….When I changed back to original HDD, all is fine…

    Pls advise.



  31. DaniFilth says:

    Anyone testet the Toshiba MK8031GAL on thin iPod 5G? I’m looking for a cheap storage upgrade to at least 80GB for my iPod 5G 30GB…


  32. eredwood says:

    I recently bought a 1G iPod, the iPod in which the wheel actually turns, on an auction website without a hard drive. I subsequently bought a Toshiba MK2004GAL after reading this article. I put the hard drive into the iPod and my problem now is that I cannot get the HD formatted correctly. When the iPod is forced into disk mode it is recognized by iTunes, but gives an error 1429 when finished formatting. According to Apple this error is caused by too many USB devices plugged in while formatting. However, I tried the same process with only the keyboard and mouse plugged in for the same result. I just need some advice on formatting the new hard drive to work with the iPod. Thanks in advance.


  33. steven says:

    i have a 80 gig ipod 5G that has a red x on it when you try and turn it on, and rebooting and restoring does nothing. i ran the diagnostics and got a fail on the HDD SPEC saying [can’t open device] ERROR! diag halt. if this is the hard drive that is broken, could i just buy a new had drive and it will work again?? and if yes, what type do you recommend, i only want something over 10gig and under 80gig. thanks.


  34. Jim says:

    The disk failed in my white, 20GB iPod. I think it’s a 4th generation model. Anyway, I found that a wood chisel (3/4 inch blade width) worked very well for opening the case. The chisel is sharp enough to penetrate between the case parts but also stiff enough such that you can twist it and get sufficient torque to get the case to pop open. I started on the left side bottom and it opened up very easily. I had it open in about 30 seconds. I hope this is helpful to others.


  35. Ian says:

    Hi there.

    Great insight to how the Ipods work.

    I have managed to upgrade my Original 5GB Hard Drive iPod to a 10Gb Hard Drive and was wondering if there are any larger hard drives out there can be fitted into the Original iPod please?


  36. Rob G says:

    My 4th gen 40Gb HDD died a death after a complete moron dropped it for me, and I’ve since used the information above to upgrade to a 60Gb HDD. It works just fine as a replacement, but I can’t use any more of the drive than I could with the original.
    I’ve read the ENTIRE page, and tried many of the suggestions included but I’ve had no success.
    Any ideas would be great.


  37. Rob G says:

    You guessed it, the one thing I didn’t try was patience. I’ve managed to get it to recognise the WHOLE of my new drive now. Thanks to everyone whose written on this page, it was all very helpful!!


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