If you’ve ever had an iPod die on you, there’s a good chance it was due to a hard drive problem. The software may have gotten corrupted or the drive may have had some mechanical issue…all kinds of things can go wrong with your beloved mobile music machine. The good news is, there is hope. With this 1.8″ to 2.5″ IDE adapter, pointed out by a user in the Command-Tab Forums, you can connect your iPod to a laptop IDE bus. With yet another, but more common adapter, you can connect that whole assembly to a regular, rune-of-the-mill desktop IDE bus. In short, you can plug your iPod drive into your desktop and run standard disk repair software on it. My personal favorite is Hitachi’s Drive Fitness Test under Advanced mode, which will run a full scale hardware and disk surface scan test of the drive and allow you to repair any bad sectors. For an easy way to run this test (on PC hardware), download the free Ultimate Boot CD which contains a myriad of utilities. Burn and boot the CD, then hit F2 followed by F1 to launch the program.
So the next time your iPod stops working and all seems to be lost (as far as Apple suggested fixes go), try opening it up and running a test. You might just be able to repair your iPod’s drive with a little work and a handy adapter or two.