Taking apart the iPod mini | iLounge Article

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Taking apart the iPod mini

Apple has crammed a lot of stuff into the anodized aluminum enclosure of the new iPod mini, and taking it apart is no easy task. I’m an industrial designer with lots of experience pulling back the curtain and meeting the wizard in PDAs, Mp3 players, stereos, watches and all sorts of other gear. I am usually pretty good at it, having not broken something in years (lots of bug hunts for tiny parts on the floor though). Except my brand-new iPod mini, where I screwed up big time… twice!

The Procedure:

Tools needed:
(1) Wiha 1.5mm flat head screwdriver
(1) Wiha Philips #000 screwdriver
(1) Needle nose pliers or medical (Kelly type) hemostats
(1) Hair dryer

To help illustrate my disassembly adventure, view the iPod mini autopsy photos and follow along.

To begin with, make sure the ‘Hold’ button is locked into the ON position (showing orange) to prevent the internal components to be turning on while you are taking it apart.

The plastic top and bottom plates are glued into place with a tacky adhesive that will soften considerably when heated so use the hair dryer on a low setting to heat up the top plate. Work the area until it’s very warm to the touch. Now turn the mini around so you’re looking at the Apple logo and squeeze the two rounded edges together at the top, causing the enclosure to bow a little bit in the middle. Insert the flat bladed screwdriver between the plastic and the metal (in line directly above the Apple logo) and gently pry the plate straight up. Work around the edges, leaving the area around the ‘Hold’ button till last. When you finally do get to the ‘Hold’ button area, pry carefully and pull the plate STRAIGHT up. Behind the ‘Hold’ button are two plastic standoffs (sort of like tabs) that extend down into the case and push the real switch on and off. If you pry the thing out at an angle, you will break one of these standoffs. That was mistake #1 for me. The actual ‘Hold’ switch soldiered onto the main board broke, so the ‘Hold’ switch no longer works.

Now perform the same procedure on the plastic bottom plate. When it is removed, you will see a shiny sheet-metal plate held in place under spring tension by 4 tabs inserted into reliefs machined into the enclosure. At the end of each of these tabs, you will see a round hole. Use the Philips #000 in these holes and carefully pry each tab out of its slot. The sheet-metal plate will come right out.

Next, you need to disconnect a ribbon cable that connects the scroll/click wheel assembly to the main baord. This ribbon cable is on the bottom of the mini on the left hand side. It is orange. You can’t miss it. Use the 1.5mm blade screwdriver to pry it apart. If there isn’t enough slack in the ribbon cable, don’t worry, as long as you get the connector loose, you have done your job here.

Turn the mini over, looking back into the top, you will see two tiny philips head screws on either side of another metal plate. Remove these with the #000 screwdriver carefully and put them in a safe place (don’t drop these on the floor, you will never see them again).

Now comes the fun part - gently push on the 30 pin connector at the bottom of the mini and all of the main components (on an assembly I call the component sled) will slide right out the top. It is a bit tight, but if you meet major resistance, back off and INSURE you have the ribbon cable disconnected. This is where I messed up and killed my iPod mini, I forgot to check and I pushed with all my might, ripping the ribbon cable off of the male connector. Oops.

The component sled contains nearly all of the iPod’s internals; the main circuit board, battery, LCD display and hard drive. While the LCD is held onto the ma inboard with 4 plastic tabs, the battery and HD are held in place simply by the tight packing within the enclosure. Feel free to disconnect the battery or remove the HD, they simply unplug from the main board. The LCD disconnects from the board easily, but the electrical connection is EXTREMELY delicate. I wouldn’t mess with it.

Looking through the bottom of the mini, you will see the scroll/click wheel assembly has a long black plastic tab that connects to another machined relief in the aluminum. You will need to use needle nose pliers or the hemostat to pull on this tab while depressing the Play/Pause button on the scroll/click wheel in order to remove the assembly. The problem is that you will probably scratch the scroll/click wheel when you remove and reinsert it. Then again, it IS on the face of the iPod, so it will probably end up getting a few scratches from everyday wear and tear…

Some Parts in Detail:

Enclosure: The enclosure is a single piece of extruded T6-6061 aluminum that has had some finish machining on the top and bottom. It has been Type II Class 1 anodized (for the silver models) and Type II Class 2 anodized for the colored models. This is a really excellent finish, though, having designed and manufactured lots of parts finished in the anodizing process, I can say the silvers will withstand slightly more abuse than the colored models. Also, I would keep the colored ones out of direct sunlight for extended periods of time as the dye used to color them has a tendency to break down over time (it takes a LOT of sunlight though, but I know a lot of iPod mini owners are probably outdoor types, so hence, the caution).

Also, there is a clear plastic window glued into place that protects the LCD screen. I have not been able to remove it as of yet…

Battery: The unit is manufactured by Sanyo and is marked as “Li-lon.” The model number is EC003. The excess wire coming off of it tells me that it is probably a complete off-the-shelf unit, and not something Apple had made just for the mini (if it was custom, there would be no excess wire).

Hard Disk Drive: Manufactured by Hitachi, it’s really very tiny. The model is HMS360404D5CF00. The part number is 13G1768. It is wrapped in electrical tape and when I removed it, there were 3 Delrin bumpers fitted around the corners. I was rather surprised to discover that the drive is actually a CF card! I tried to mount it in my Lexar FireWire CF Card Reader but with no luck. My Canon Digital Rebel didn’t recognize it either.

pic
Click photo for larger version

iPod mini autopsy. Clockwise from top - Hitachi 4GB Microdrive, Li-Ion battery pack, plastic top plate, two tiny screws, LCD display on main board (PortalPlayer chip under white label), anodized aluminum enclosure (Silver) and plastic bottom plate.

Conclusion:

Don’t take apart your new iPod mini. My excuse is that I am looking to start a service where you can have your case re-anodized in the color, colors or even images of your own choosing. I learned a lot taking this apart, and if I can only overcome the problem with the clear plastic window being glued into the enclosure, it might even be possible. We will see!

« iPod mini battery tests

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Comments

9901

Oh my,

this really breaks my heart -:-)

But luck with the start of your service-enterprise.

Posted by Estecado on February 23, 2004 at 3:37 AM (CST)

9902

I took one apart also…  The Hitachi drive works fine in my Sandisk USB reader.  I can delete partitions and reformat it, etc. However, my Digital Rebel just turns the Red CF light on and sits there.

Posted by Kent Marshall on February 23, 2004 at 5:17 AM (CST)

9903

omg you’re so barbaric! =P

oooh… good luck with the re-anodizing business.

Its definitely got potential mate.

Good luck
Redux out

Posted by Redux on February 23, 2004 at 7:44 AM (CST)

9904

Wow, you murderer.

I’m sitting here, waiting with great anticipation for my own iPodmini, (silver of course) and you’re destroying it right in front of me O_o

Heartless bastard.

I can only hope it’s for a common good.

Posted by Brian Andersen on February 23, 2004 at 8:27 AM (CST)

9905

what is the REAL battery use like, i remember all the ipod reviews saying 10 hours, but in reality it wasnt…i’ll wait a while..it took a while for the real reviews to come out on ipod..will the battery die in a few months?, will the battery power run out even when not using it..etc etc..

Posted by wayne on February 23, 2004 at 9:56 AM (CST)

9906

Excellent dissection. If you reformat CF card, will it work? Does it have a standard CF interface? [can’t tell from photos]

Posted by charles on February 23, 2004 at 10:08 AM (CST)

9907

I feel sorry for your iPod mini, but on the other hand I want to thank you because I just wanted to see how such a piece is looking on the inside.

Posted by Cochrane on February 23, 2004 at 10:20 AM (CST)

9908

The CF card really intrigues me.  Hell, for $250 for a 4gb microdrive is a pretty sweet deal if I could get it to work on my canon 1d-s.  Unfortunately I don’t have the guts to dissect my mini to test it out, but if it turns out you can, I’ll be picking up an extra mini or two.

Blake

Posted by bmarvin81 in Dallas on February 23, 2004 at 10:49 AM (CST)

9909

As to the CF card:

- Yes, it has a standard CF card connector. The ribbon cable simply goes from a standard CF card pins into a high density, verticle pin connector on the mainboard. For some silly reason, I didn’t realize it was a CF card when I took the picture, so I didn’t remove the cable.

- Currently, I have no way of reformating the CF card as I can’t even get it to mount. Lexar says their FireWire CF Card Reader won’t read a 4gb card and my Canon Digital Rebel SLR won’t even turn on with it in. The CF read/write light just stays on the whole time.

- Blake: I believe Creative has a $190 player that uses the same Hitaci 4gb Microdrive, but feel free to spend the extra $60 at Apple!

- I figured out how to remove the plastic LCD protector window and reinstall it…

Since many people seem interested, if you know what I could do with the 4gb Microdrive to see if it would work in other applications, please email me to let me know and I will try to get it to work so I can report back to you all.

Posted by GregK on February 23, 2004 at 11:19 AM (CST)

9910

iPod battery life wasn’t exaggerated at all. My first gen iPod, rated at 10 hours, ran for 12.

My second gen iPod was similar, though it’s getting old and only get 6 hours now. I’m going to replace the battery eventually, and I hope to get the full 12 hours again!

Posted by Michael2k on February 23, 2004 at 12:15 PM (CST)

9911

Does the iPod still work (even though it is disassembled)?

If so, can you try putting a flash-based CF card in there and see it it will work with it?

Thanks,
LB

Posted by Leo on February 23, 2004 at 12:38 PM (CST)

9912

i’m quite interested if you can pull the CF card out and use it elsewhere. i just think that would be funny that a 4gb flashcard inside the mini is cheaper than buying one by itself

Posted by Tristan O'Tierney on February 23, 2004 at 1:38 PM (CST)

9913

Y’all think the mini is expensive. Check out the price for the 4gb microdrive: It retails for $599.99 and is on sale for ONLY $488.95. You could make a profit just buying mini’s at retail and selling the drives on ebay. Here’s proof: http://www.flash-memory-store.com/4gbibmiitins.html

Posted by bob atkins on February 23, 2004 at 1:48 PM (CST)

9914

Guys,

If you want to extract a microdrive, just get Creative’s MuVo2 for less than $200.  Its easier to take apart, and ALSO, you can put a normal CF card in there and still have it be an mp3 player.  MANY people have already done this :-)

Hopefully you can do this with the mini, but no one has tried.  If it was not such a hassle to take apart, I would have done it by now.

- Leo

Posted by Leo+ in San Diego, CA on February 23, 2004 at 2:36 PM (CST)

9915

Since the storage is a CF Card, shouldn’t it be basically skip-free, like a flash-based player.  Apple advertises it as a HD player with 25min skip protection (?)

Posted by Jason on February 23, 2004 at 2:42 PM (CST)

9916

It’s actually not a CF card but a Microdrive which has a CF interface. It’s actually a mini (pun not intended) hard drive with moving parts.

Posted by Philbert on February 23, 2004 at 2:46 PM (CST)

9917

Reviewer sez: “I know a lot of iPod mini owners are probably outdoor types”

Well, I’d like to spend more time outsoodrs, but the crappy battery life on my 3G means I have to lunge indoors for the nearest wall socket to recharge.

Anyone know if the Mini gets a longer play time?

Posted by yeah i wish on February 23, 2004 at 2:46 PM (CST)

9918

GregK -

Can you get the MD to mount under Apple’s disk utility? (if you use a Mac that is - sorry new here.)

Posted by Philbert on February 23, 2004 at 2:48 PM (CST)

9919

Leo?

Really? many people have already done that? Interesting because I did a price grabber search and it is not shipping yet. To places are taking pre orders for $210 and $220.

I would guess that in a few months we will see 4 GB CF drives selling for less than $150 and everyone can stop thinking about ripping apart the iPod Mini.

Posted by Doug Petrosky on February 23, 2004 at 3:44 PM (CST)

9920

Doug,

Oh yes, there have been many many people that have done this.  The reason it isn’t “available” is because the MuVo’s are sold out everywhere (from people wanting to do the Microdrive extraction).  I have no clue why places like Amazon state “not yet released”—ESPECIALLY since mine is arriving tomorrow from an order that I placed with Amazon.

Anyway, check here:

http://www.andymack.com/mylog/pivot/entry.php?uid=standard-886#comm

http://www.andymack.com/mylog/pivot/entry.php?uid=standard-881#comm

and for a hell of a lot of info, check:
http://search.dpreview.com/forums/search.asp?query=muvo&forum=all

Enjoy :-)
Leo

Posted by Leo+ in San Diego, CA on February 23, 2004 at 4:51 PM (CST)

9921

See www.fatwallet.com/forums/ -> Hot Deals on the Creative Labs Muvo2 4GB Microdrive thread to find out what these guys are doing to get the Microdrive dirt cheap (<$200) and working in their digital cameras.

Also, here:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1023&message=7308713

Posted by adorable on February 23, 2004 at 5:22 PM (CST)

9922

Wow… so far there is an early report that the MD drive in the iPod mini may not be able to work as a CF card (in digital cameras and CF Card readers).  There looks to be different Part numbers of the Microdrive (the iPod mini is P/N 13G1768, where the muvo’s P/N is 13G1766.  Someone over at dpreview said it might have something to do with the iPod mini’s lack of buffer in the drive (supposedly).

Posted by Leo+ in San Diego, CA on February 23, 2004 at 5:40 PM (CST)

9923

An interesting read hear on false rumors about a revised Muvo2 that cannot have its drives removed, It seems eBay sellers that are ripping them out and selling them are trying to scare away competition.
Quote from http://andymack.com/

“It is now agreed that there is no such thing as a ‘soldered-muvo2’. A certain picture of a so-called-soldered microdrive is a hoax done by Ebay sellers to scare off potential buyers of Muvo2s at online retail merchants. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A SOLDERED MUVO2. IT IS A FALSE RUMOR/HOAX. BUY WITH CONFIDENCE”

The Andymack.com site has 2 forums covering this

http://andymack.com/mylog/pivot/entry.php?uid=standard-885#comm


http://andymack.com/mylog/pivot/entry.php?uid=standard-886#comm

As far as CF compatability is concerned many cameras do not support fat32 format even if they are type II.

“Actually, most serious cameras and pretty much all SLRs support Type 2 - the issue with the 4GB drives is whether the camera’s firmware supports FAT32 format. Kimbro’s camera is a recent model, though, so I assume it should. Should be good grounds for a warranty claim on the iPod too - “but dude, the disk just like, fell out”

From here
http://www.xmldatabases.org/WK/blog/1292?t=item

Posted by Zoraster on February 23, 2004 at 8:25 PM (CST)

9924

What about anodizing PowerBooks?

I’ve seen (stunningly beautiful) painted (http://www.colorwarepc.com) PowerBooks, and they are very slick, but anodizing can really take more abuse. (imagine the first ding on your new car… :(  ouch…)

Colorware takes the machines apart, voiding the warranty, but if you buy direct from them they give a 2 year warranty.

Soooo? When can I get my PB anodized?

Posted by Chris on February 23, 2004 at 9:50 PM (CST)

9925

I bought a mini last night with the hope of pulling the 4gb MD…has anyone tried to reformat the drive in a computer…I could do that with a PC and the PCMCIA reader, but have no idea if it would then work in the D-Rebel. 

The other side of that coin is putting another MD in the mini…can the Apple software on the install disk do a build of the mini’s OS so that a smaller MD would run in it?

Answers to these questions would be really nice to have, but I’m not sure I want to be the test dude to find out.

Posted by Chip on February 24, 2004 at 12:41 PM (CST)

9926

I don’t understand why anyone would buy an iPod Mini only to rip it open to extract the hard drive.

There are cheaper, uglier players with the same hard drive. Why not desecrate them instead?

Posted by don't get it on February 24, 2004 at 1:15 PM (CST)

9927

GregK—

if the iPod is still functioning enough that you can mount the disk, can you re-format it as FAT32 on the mac and then try to put the CF into the rebel? maybe the rebel is getting screwed up by the presense of the mac partion map and HFS filesystem on the card. before taking my iPod mini apart (which i pretty much bought expressly for the purpose of using the disk in the rebel) i’d like to see if you can get this working.

here is what pdisk reports for the mini, by the way.

/dev/rdisk4 map block size=512
  #:            type name           length   base   ( size )
  1:  Apple_partition_map partition map       62 @ 1    
  2:        Apple_MDFW firmware         65536 @ 63     ( 32.0M)
  3:        Apple_HFS disk           7933888 @ 65599   (  3.8G)

Posted by rob on February 24, 2004 at 7:44 PM (CST)

9928

oh… i missed the part where you said you killed the ipod :(

if the poster called Estecado is still around, can you try reformatting the card in your mac with a DOS filesystem and then putting it into the rebel?

Posted by rob on February 24, 2004 at 8:04 PM (CST)

9929

“don’t get it,”

How, exactly, did you get that output from pdisk?  What was the issuing command (also, how did you know your mini was rdisk4)?

thanks
leo

Posted by Leo+ in San Diego, CA on February 24, 2004 at 8:56 PM (CST)

9930

To all those of you asking questions on why destroy the beautiful ipod rather than the ugly and squat ‘other’ players… simple, no matter what, the revenue goes into Apple’s pockets and keeps our favorite company going. What you use the drive for is your business, but ultimately even if you throw out the casing and guts (save the drive) you added some incremental revenue to AAPL’s bottom line.

Keep shredding.

(a shareholder).

Posted by Peet on February 25, 2004 at 9:05 AM (CST)

9931

Leo_B:

i think you are also on the dpreview thread? so am i.

this is all under OSX.

% pdisk

from the shell enters the partition editor.

the command “L” no quotes will list the partition map of all mounted drives. i think “?” will give you a list of commands.

from the shell, “df” will show you all mounted drives and what slice of a particular disk is mounted. in the case of the iPod mini, slice 3 is the actual data partition, with 2 being the firmware (what the ipod boots from) and 1 being the partition map.

Posted by rob on February 25, 2004 at 9:37 AM (CST)

9932

This might be a stupid question, but…  could somebody, instead of ripping out one of these MDs and putting them into a camera or whatnot, just pop them into a CF slot on a laptop or whatnot and use them as a small yet mass-storage device? I mean, if you can just pop one into a CF slot, dump stuff onto it, pop it out, and carry it around with you, that’s be very cool.

Yes, I know that you can dump files onto an iPod. But sometimes it’s easier to find a computer with a CF slot versus a FireWire port, and besides, it’s easier to be super-secret if you’re just carrying around this tiny MD. =^)

Posted by shidoshi on February 25, 2004 at 11:42 AM (CST)

9933

I’m not so sure it’s easier any more to find a machine with a CF slot versus a 1394 *OR* USB port (the newer iPods and minis do USB now, you know).

I’d think it would be easier to be stealthy with an iPod than with a hard drive card. At least if you’re stopped, the guards will think the iPod just has music on it…

Posted by Nick Sayer on February 25, 2004 at 3:01 PM (CST)

9934

Someone with unlimited $$$ might try the experiment of ripping a mini iPod apart, removing the hard drive, and substituting one of the 4 GB flash cards now available.

If it worked, you’d have a skip-proof (although VERY expensive) iPod Mini…

Posted by tom on February 25, 2004 at 3:33 PM (CST)

9935

CF == PC card. so all you need to do is get an adapter shim. these are all over ebay.

it was my intention to put my 1GB flash card into the ipod to make a skip-proof player! but its not looking good.

Posted by rob pfile on February 25, 2004 at 4:28 PM (CST)

9936

ah, rob (pfile),  now I recognize you… I confused you for “i don’t get it” that posted above you.  Cool, yeah I all over dpreview about this issue.

The reason I was having such issues with pdisk before, was because it flat out wasn’t working… reason being - my mini is win-formatted and pdisk don’t like that ;-)  fdisk worked fine… found out some info (4 partitions I think).  Anyway… too bad people are having such bad results.

Posted by Leo+ in San Diego, CA on February 25, 2004 at 4:43 PM (CST)

9937

Regarding the CF disk.. unless apple is formatting it with a non-hfs filesystem, you should be able to mount it using a card reader on a mac (I was assuming you may have tried with a PC? - I’ve had similar problems trying to get EXT2 formatted cards to work with a windows-based reader).  It most likely isn’t working in your camera because most digicams expect CF cards to be formatted as FAT.
Should be doable on a mac or with linux though.. unless they aren’t following CF standards.

Cheers,
Sean

Posted by sean m on February 26, 2004 at 1:21 PM (CST)

9938

stop the inhumane(? :P) massacre of ipods !

Posted by kiddo on February 26, 2004 at 2:30 PM (CST)

9939

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3800341674&category=50519

It has come to our attention that many others selling here on eBay are offering bare 4GB Hitachi Microdrives that were actually removed from OEM equipment such as the Creative 4GB Muvo2, Samsung’s 4GB YEPP or pre-release versions of Apple’s mini-ipod. The version of the Hitachi 4GB Microdrive found in these OEM devices is NOT generic and these modified drives will NOT reliably work in most other CF based equipment despite the claims of these sellers.  The reason for this is that many OEMs using Hitachi 4GB drives in their products are doing so with proprietary firmware written to their specialized OEM hardware implementation . In the case of Creative’s Muvo2 product it not only has proprietary firmware, but it also uses a different CF connector pin out and operating voltage than the CF industry standard supports. Any unknowing buyer who purchases and uses one of these hybrid Muvo2/Hitachi 4G microdrives in their CF equipment for prolonged periods of time will destroy both the Hitachi 4GB drive and their CF based equipment. For other OEMs using proprietary firmware in their Hitachi 4Gb Microdrives, you will experience intermittent read/write problems if you use their hybrid 4GB Microdrive in other CF devices. If buying elsewhere on eBay, please be sure to ask the seller the origin of their 4GB Hitachi Microdrive before buying or you may be making a costly mistake! In contrast, all our Hitachi Microdrives are guaranteed fresh OEM product direct from Hitachi and have not been modified in any way from the Hitachi supplied specifications stated below. If you have any doubts about our special OEM warning statement above feel fee to contact us and we will gladly provide legitimate buyers with our Hitachi OEM reseller ID so you can call Hitachi OEM and verify our statement as well as our reseller status or you can contact Hitachi Storage Technologies OEM directly @ 1-800-801-4618 to verify anything we have stated in our warning statement above. Buying a OEM drive removed from any of the OEM equipment stated with proprietary firmware will ruin your Hitachi Microdrive as well as CF based equipment.

Posted by fds on February 26, 2004 at 2:51 PM (CST)

9940

I have found really good deals on mini ipods here.  Maybe you can get more to continue your great work!

Posted by dealio on February 26, 2004 at 3:28 PM (CST)

9941

And now Ebay sellers are using scare tactics to get people to buy their OEM 4gb mini drives instead of from Muvos and other sources.
However, I hope people don’t listen to them.  Prolonged usage will not damage either the drive or any CF equipment because of ‘proprietary firmware’.  That is pure and simple BS.  From a hardware standpoint, the only problem might be slowdowns, errors in transmissions, etc.  However, seeing as how people have not yet reported these errors, they are most likely never going to appear.
  Let the buyer beware, and get a good price!

Posted by tanaka on February 26, 2004 at 4:40 PM (CST)

9942

Greg,

Reformat the drive with 32KB sectors on XP or some other OS.  At least for MUVO2, that’s what made it work (otherwise, too slow.

Posted by Hong on February 26, 2004 at 5:40 PM (CST)

9943

Well I learned from following one of those eBay links that using an iPod Mini above 10000 feet (3000 metres) unpressurized is not advised:

The Microdrive does need “AIR” to float the heads and typically above 10,000 ft the mass of the air is too low and the drive requires a pressurized environment similar to an aircraft or spacecraft. At high altitude the air bearings begin to loose support from the air molecules needed to provide the “air bearing” for the Negative Air Bearing Surface (NABS) design of the head. If this “air bearing” is removed or lowered (as is the case with low density air at high altitudes) the head damages the media and you could have loss of data. The drive is vented to maintain equal pressure inside and outside to provide the air and to maintain the same pressure. This eliminiates the need for sealed and rigid covers that can tolerate pressure differences.

The OEM Functional specification defines the warranty range for operating altitude as 3,000 M or 9,000 ft (3ft/M). If the customer is mountain climbing with a GPS or digital camera above 9,000 ft the drive might have problems. (Mt Fuji ~ +13,000ft, Mt Raineer ~ +14,000 ft). Please note, this is the operating environment. Non operation at high altitudes, including vacuum, have no ill effects on the microdrive. Within passenger aircraft, the cabin is pressurized to 9-10,000 feet hence the drive would experience no difficulty operating in an aircraft cruising at 35-45,000 ft !

Posted by High Altitude iPods on February 26, 2004 at 5:56 PM (CST)

9944

ENSURE

Posted by Pedantic Pete on February 26, 2004 at 6:16 PM (CST)

9945

I added a 10GB microdrive to the CF slot in LBA boot up but ended with an FPGA mounted socket

Posted by hello on February 26, 2004 at 6:38 PM (CST)

9946

Hello,

I may be able to fix the broken connector for you - please contact me via e-mail if interested (i’d need better photos of it…)

  -Colin

Posted by Colin on February 26, 2004 at 7:09 PM (CST)

9947

I don’t have experience with the iPod but a few of you have mentioned the batteries and their life. Greg mentioned that the battery was marked “Li-Ion” which stands for Lithium Ion. A lot of the time the batteries found in consumer electronic equipment like Palms, PDAs and (maybe) iPods are _very_ similar to the batteries found in a lot of mobile phones. Recently my friend’s Palm battery died and so I replaced it with the battery from my old mobile phone. The specified voltage rating only varied by 0.1 volts and it works great. With the correct battery (go to your local mobile phone shop) you should be able to extend the battery life of your iPod considerably. However the battery probably won’t fit inside the case, so like on my friend’s Palm, you will have a battery taped to the back of the case of your iPod.

Posted by Patrick on February 26, 2004 at 7:16 PM (CST)

9948

To Pedantic Pete: “insure” is a synonym of “ensure.”

Posted by mfnickster on February 26, 2004 at 7:30 PM (CST)

9949

Patrick -

This may only work in the iPod mini, as the regular iPods (2nd gen at least) use very thin li-ion batteries that span the ENTIRE length of the iPod, not just half. From the pictures of the iPod mini, the battery looks more conventional.

I myself had an iPod mishap yesterday. Because of my fiddly nature, I had a hankering to open my 2nd gen 10GB iPod. While attempting to open it, my swiss army knife sliced through ~4-5 of the leads on the miniature hard drive ribon. WAY too small to solder.

So, basically I had a dead iPod. I needed to replace it and conveinantly had the money (which I was saving for an L series lens for my Digital Rebel), so I ran to best buy and picked up the 3rd gen 20GB model. Very very nice. I won’t be opening this one anytime soon.

It’s a PCMCIA hard drive, 10GB (in the 2nd gen), and I am sure would work on any laptop with a PCMCIA slot (Powerbook or other PC). I have a USB 2.0 compact flash reader here (sandisk) and if I were to open it up I am sure I could make the connection between this hard drive and my computer.

So the tale goes like this: If you open your 1st/2nd gen iPod, make damn sure you don’t try to open it from the bottom, and be VERY careful of ripping up the hard drive/data cable.

BTW, after 14 months of owning the 10GB, it held ~5 hours of a charge if used within 4 days of charging.

Back to the iPod mini - That seems cheap cheap for a 4GB microdrive. Now remember folks, microdrives are not flash based, so don’t try to compare the costs of a 4GB compact FLASH card with a 4GB microdrive.

Posted by Andrew - Zakooldude on February 26, 2004 at 8:04 PM (CST)

9950

I wouldn’t give you my ipod to do anything with mate… No offence. :)

Posted by Yoki on February 26, 2004 at 9:59 PM (CST)

9951

best deal on iPod that I can see is for $225 posted on http://www.dealsofamerica.com It is $250 at target.com and there is $25 coupons to take it to $225 level.

Posted by masternerd on February 26, 2004 at 10:12 PM (CST)

9952

The CF card poses a couple interesting questions.

Most importantly, is the core software ( the stuff that decodes and plays the mp3s) on the CF card?

Second is it possible to substitute the microdrive with a CF wireless or Wired ethernet card and some other software that provides the illusion to the ipod that it is a filesystem.  This fake drive could mirror a drive somewhere on a network, and serve as near unlimited storage capacity…

Posted by Michael Rasmussen on February 26, 2004 at 10:37 PM (CST)

9953

Zakooldude, would you happen to want the left over 10gb parts? ^__^

Posted by xyc0n on February 26, 2004 at 11:26 PM (CST)

9954

INSURE means to take out insurance
ENSURE means to make certain

Posted by Mike on February 27, 2004 at 12:53 AM (CST)

9955

whatz the cost of ipod. This guy playing
with it ? Give me one.

karthik bala guru

Posted by karthik bala guru on February 27, 2004 at 1:59 AM (CST)

9956

Yoki, you’re an idiot. Who cares who’d you give your iPod to… No offense. :)

Posted by Yoki Killer on February 27, 2004 at 2:40 AM (CST)

9957

If you get better close up pictures perhaps you can easily show the other boys how Apple makes the wee iPod. :-)

Posted by Norsemann on February 27, 2004 at 2:56 AM (CST)

9958

Greg,

A mini reanodized in a marbled niobium finish (like the jewelry) would be very cool.

Posted by Pedro on February 27, 2004 at 3:11 AM (CST)

9959

>Most importantly, is the core software ( the stuff that >decodes and plays the mp3s) on the CF card?

Well it’s a hardware decoder, but the operating system is on the drive.. it’s a 32mb partition at the beginning of the disk (right after the partition table).

>Second is it possible to substitute the microdrive with a CF
>wireless or Wired ethernet card and some other software
>that provides the illusion to the ipod that it is a filesystem.

Not bloody likely on the mini.  You can replace it with another CF card and get it to boot and play music that’s already on the drive, but not talk to anything (iTunes, the restore app, disk util, etc).. so far.

You would probably have less difficulty replacing a regular iPod’s drive with a 3.5” drive, that will give you upto 128gb.  Or you could buy something actually suitable for the job and not a craptastic hack, like a SliMP3.

Posted by V99 on February 27, 2004 at 5:15 AM (CST)

9960

mfnickster (or anybody with a broken ipod—

You’re probably getting a lot of these requests,
but here I go:

what do you want for the broken ipod?

Posted by Aaron Peterson on February 27, 2004 at 5:38 AM (CST)

9961

er..  Andrew - Zakooldude

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
go ahead and spam me, I won’t buy.

Posted by Aaron Peterson on February 27, 2004 at 5:41 AM (CST)

9962

God I hate pedants, especially when they are wrong:

WordNet:
http://www.cogsci.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/webwn

The verb “insure” has 4 senses in WordNet.

1. see, check, insure, see to it, ensure, control, ascertain, assure—(be careful or certain to do something; make certain of something; “He verified that the valves were closed”; “See that the curtains are closed”; “control the quality of the product”)
2. guarantee, ensure, insure, assure, secure—(make certain of; “This nest egg will ensure a nice retirement for us”; “Preparation will guarantee success!”)
3. cover, insure, underwrite—(protect by insurance; “The insurance won’t cover this”)
4. insure—(take out insurance for)

Posted by ensure insure on February 27, 2004 at 9:21 AM (CST)

9963

I’d guess the microdrive is formatted in HFS+, which is the macOS X filesystem
try to use fdisk on it…

Posted by sxpert on February 27, 2004 at 9:28 AM (CST)

9964

advice: if you want a 4gb microdrive, dont take it out of anything.  it will work at first, but long use of it WILL ruin both the microdrive AND the device its used in.  you can pick them up for about $240~ on ebay new.  i personally use one in my asus PDA for movie and song storage.

Posted by woeltz on February 27, 2004 at 10:43 AM (CST)

9965

this whole idea is great.  i’d love to rip out the drive and put in a cheaper flash to ultimately use the 4 gig elsewhere…  just an fyi, some of you guys trying this on the cannon digitals may want to make sure the cam has the latest firmware.  i’ve heard some will not read fat32 wwithout an update of firmware…

Posted by dee-k-o on February 27, 2004 at 2:24 PM (CST)

9966

http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/mddwnld.htm you ever think of downloading the drivers from hitachi?

Posted by mike on February 28, 2004 at 2:50 PM (CST)

9967

Hi Guys,

I’ve had lots of experience with swapping hard drives (standard, micro, and notebook) with Compact Flash based solutions - I actually do it as a job for General Motors :P. I’m pretty sure its going to be dead simple to replace the card in the iPod mini. Unfortunatly, the iPod mini isn’t released in Australia (AFAIK), and I don’t really have a need for a 4gb microdrive :P. If anyone is interested in following this up, drop me an email - it should be a pretty simple procedure with the proper equipment.

Posted by Kevin Baker on February 29, 2004 at 4:40 AM (CST)

9968

Is there a way that I can use my 5gb ipod hard drive with something else.  Like hook it up to another device.

Posted by Preston on February 29, 2004 at 10:21 PM (CST)

9969

The 4GB microdrive may not work in the canon rebel 300d with the current firmware, as i am not sure it supports cards above 2gb (FAT16).

Posted by e.braun on March 1, 2004 at 4:43 AM (CST)

9970

Surely that Ebay quote must be BS… It would either work or not. If it’s not a CF pin out, then it wouldn’t work. Ever. If it wasn’t a CF pinout, it probably wouldn’t be packaged as a CF drive - after all you’re not supposed to see it, so why would it look the same as the one you can buy as a stand alone drive if it was a custom OEM item..?

Posted by Gadget on March 1, 2004 at 1:12 PM (CST)

9971

Its been noted elsewhere that replacing the battery in standard iPods is something you can do yourself. 
The article above describes how it hard it is to get the iPod mini case open in the first place - let alone replacing the battery.  What is going to happen when the mini’s battery does (eventually) die???

Posted by Daniel on March 1, 2004 at 5:48 PM (CST)

9972

I wonder why the OEM’s don’t put old fashioned custom drives in their units.  Maybe they get better sales from people buying them just to take them apart? ;)

Posted by Dmac on March 2, 2004 at 7:31 PM (CST)

9973

I removed the MD from my iopd mini and it can be read in a usb cf card reader, but it will not be recognized if I put it directly in my XP laptop with a cf to pcmcia adaptor. It also cannot be recognized in my pocketpc. I formatted with fat 32 using the usb cf card reader, but outside of the reader it cant be used.  Any idea why?

Posted by maestro on March 4, 2004 at 7:11 AM (CST)

9974

i bought the ipod mini, but couldn’t bring myself to listen to music out of a makeup compact so needless to say, the drive works happily in my canon 10d.  and i am happy with with my new rio mini and my friend dave is happy with his new ipod mini guts.

the ipod mini is fruity as hell.  they should start giving the old purse looking ibooks out with ipod mini purchase.

Posted by rommie on March 4, 2004 at 4:57 PM (CST)

9975

http://marketwatch-cnet.com.com/2100-1041_3-5164444.html could this be one of the reasons that it is rumored that there will be a soldered/non-removable muvo2? I know this was rumored for the iPod mini on macrumors.com, so will it follow that the muvo will follow this too. It doesn’t sound like something that will be happening soon, just something in development to lowere costs.

Posted by Wing on March 4, 2004 at 8:17 PM (CST)

9976

how many of u guys have an ipod mini are they good? or would u prefer a normal ipod take not 4GB is enough space for me
r there any lil extras?

Posted by ... on March 6, 2004 at 12:54 AM (CST)

9977

how here has an ipod? r they good would u recommned a mini or an normal ipod take not 4GB of space is fine for me r there any features like games and stuff

Posted by ipod on March 6, 2004 at 12:55 AM (CST)

9978

Ensure and insure are synonyms in American English and in old English, but generally in modern English ensure means to make certain, while insure means to protect oneself financially by insurance.

Posted by Guardian of the Grammar on March 7, 2004 at 3:42 PM (CST)

9979

uhh YOU GUYS U CANT CHANGE THE COLOR OR LOGO CUZ IT IS MELTED WITH THE MEATLE   DONT THINK U GOT A SHOT THERE

Posted by james booth on March 11, 2004 at 6:44 PM (CST)

9980

uhh YOU GUYS U CANT CHANGE THE COLOR OR LOGO CUZ IT IS MELTED WITH THE MEATLE   DONT THINK U GOT A SHOT THERE

Posted by james booth on March 11, 2004 at 6:44 PM (CST)

9981

uhh YOU GUYS U CANT CHANGE THE COLOR OR LOGO CUZ IT IS MELTED WITH THE MEATLE   DONT THINK U GOT A SHOT THERE

Posted by james booth on March 11, 2004 at 6:48 PM (CST)

9982

it fucking rules

Posted by james on March 13, 2004 at 3:03 PM (CST)

9983

yoyoyoyoy wait up a second, after the battery dies we gotta open it up and replace the thing right? Hell if you cant how are we going to?!

Posted by worried on March 14, 2004 at 9:48 PM (CST)

9984

Well…I did it!  I opened up my iPod mini and put the drive in a LaCie HexaMedia USB reader.  The 4G drive mounted and I could format it however I wished in my PB 12” G4. 

However, I can’t seem to do a straight install of Panther on it. 
I know the mini wasn’t bootable…what I DON’T know is why.  Is it the coding of the interface or the drive’s firmware? Or ?

Any ideas?  Please email if you have any suggestions.

I did manage to get it out in one piece.  I have an older 340MB Microdrive I’m likely to test in the mini case…but, I fear that drive may get too hot for the enclosure.  It’s DEFINITELY not as cool as the 4G is. :-)

BradM

Posted by brad myers on March 25, 2004 at 8:09 PM (CST)

9985

Well…I did it!  I opened up my iPod mini and put the drive in a LaCie HexaMedia USB reader.  The 4G drive mounted and I could format it however I wished in my PB 12” G4. 

However, I can’t seem to do a straight install of Panther on it. 
I know the mini wasn’t bootable…what I DON’T know is why.  Is it the coding of the interface or the drive’s firmware? Or ?

Any ideas?  Please email if you have any suggestions.

I did manage to get it out in one piece.  I have an older 340MB Microdrive I’m likely to test in the mini case…but, I fear that drive may get too hot for the enclosure.  It’s DEFINITELY not as cool as the 4G is. :-)

BradM

Posted by brad myers on March 25, 2004 at 8:33 PM (CST)

9986

Why would you try to take it apart, it can ruin it. I wouldn’t do that to a $249.99 item because you can ruin it. that was a really big chance you took to see if it could work or you might have lost $249.99.

Posted by Stephanie on March 30, 2004 at 4:35 PM (CST)

9987

photo exploration of a successful harvesting of 4GB Microdrive from a Creative Nomad player

http://www.andymack.com/mylog/pivot/entry.php?uid=standard-868

Posted by Blanton Fortson on April 3, 2004 at 12:09 PM (CST)

9988

ARGH ! how dare you take apart such a beautiful peice of electronics. (As i speak im locking up my ipod mini)

Posted by Robin on April 6, 2004 at 11:29 AM (CDT)

9989

Greg,

If you’re reading this thread, I’d be interested in your continued results.

Being an incorrigible DIY tinkerer, my immediate thought on learning that the iPod mini was anodized aluminum was to get myself one and re-anodize it a cooler color than Apple’s pastels.

Much to my surprise,  I was given a mini for my birthday yesterday.  I won’t mess with this one, what I’d like to do is buy a broken one that somebody’s dropped or something, and use that one to practice taking it apart a few times, then strip/desmut and re-anodize its case.  And only only once that’s done and I’m confident in my ability to disassemble/reassemble, replace the case on my own mini with the newly colored one, keeping the original around as a backup.

So I’d love to hear how your project progresses,  particularly with respect to removing the window.  I’d think if nothing else you could break the old one, remove the bits, and cut a new window to fit after you’re finished anodizing.

Stay cool.
Ev

Posted by IdahoEv on April 10, 2004 at 4:42 AM (CDT)

9990

Greg,

If you’re reading this thread, I’d be interested in your continued results.

Being an incorrigible DIY tinkerer, my immediate thought on learning that the iPod mini was anodized aluminum was to get myself one and re-anodize it a cooler color than Apple’s pastels.

Much to my surprise,  I was given a mini for my birthday yesterday.  I won’t mess with this one, what I’d like to do is buy a broken one that somebody’s dropped or something, and use that one to practice taking it apart a few times, then strip/desmut and re-anodize its case.  And only only once that’s done and I’m confident in my ability to disassemble/reassemble, replace the case on my own mini with the newly colored one, keeping the original around as a backup.

So I’d love to hear how your project progresses,  particularly with respect to removing the window.  I’d think if nothing else you could break the old one, remove the bits, and cut a new window to fit after you’re finished anodizing.

Stay cool.
Ev

Posted by IdahoEv on April 10, 2004 at 11:21 AM (CDT)

9991

Is it possible to buff out the case so it looks like polished aluminum????

Posted by Hector on April 14, 2004 at 8:54 AM (CDT)

9992

I am look an ipod for my birthday. my friends have it and say it good but the newspapers are saying other wise. could you please tell me if it is good or bad…..

Posted by irish lass on April 16, 2004 at 2:22 AM (CDT)

9993

you sir andrew is sad. How the f**k did you do that to a ipod?

More importantly Ipod mini okaY! I ordered one yay for paiser <—claps for paiser!

ANy ways 3-5 weeks. No heck no sir I aint going to wait that long

Posted by Paiser on April 22, 2004 at 9:23 PM (CDT)

9994

Do you know who makes the connector on the bottom of the Ipod and Ipod Mini and its PN?

Do you know where I can buy them?

Posted by Ian on May 7, 2004 at 3:00 PM (CDT)

9995

is there anywhere right now that reanodizes minis??? how does it work, is it like spray coating on car parts? and is there a CF card bigger than 4 gig so you could swap it out with the one in the mini and increase the storage size but keep the neat looks?

Posted by Alex on May 16, 2004 at 6:59 PM (CDT)

9996

thanks alot, i need to take mine apart cuz it fell in a puddle while i was running for my life in a storm, and hasnt been working well since. had to dry it out.

Posted by Andrea on May 25, 2004 at 8:34 PM (CDT)

9997

I can not say that i understand this need for stripping gadgets like you did with the ipod, but i can fancy the childish enthusiasm you people have for these things. So keep up throwing money out of the window. Hello

Posted by Thomas Edison on May 30, 2004 at 5:03 PM (CDT)

9998

I’m going a bit crazy since I see all these pictures of stripped minis when I have one on order that will take 6 more weeks to come and I am trying to get it for my girlfriend’s birthday which is in about 4 weeks.

Posted by David on May 31, 2004 at 12:24 PM (CDT)

9999

Here is a quck link to finding the best deal on an ipod.

Posted by ipod lover on June 1, 2004 at 10:57 AM (CDT)

10000

Here is a handy link for nice deals on ipods and accessories:

http://www.dealsites.net/livedeals+index-mode-search-query-ipod.html

Posted by ipod lover on June 3, 2004 at 7:30 PM (CDT)

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