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Model M8541 / 5 or 10 GB hard drive / scroll wheel physically turns

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Wish to replace hard drive with CF Card


My very original 5GB first generation iPod is finally giving out. My wife worked for an Apple company years ago when these came out and she got it as a perk for working for Apple. Well, it has been a helluva great toy, but the hard drive is wearing out (bearing I would assume) and the battery isn't quite what it used to be. So, I want to fix it. I saw this video online and thought that might work, but not sure.

Can you advise? If the compact flash card isn't compatible, can I get a new drive? Preferably larger than 5GB I hope..

Many thanks..


Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Greetings again,

Thank you for your quick responses. After doing some more research, I have found that the upgrade to CF Card isn't going to work. The adapter is for 5g video iPod.

I also read somewhere, lost track of where now, that the firmware in the iPod won't allow the use of another hard drive? Is this true? I have also been finding it difficult to find any kind of replacement hard drive at all. Just one site that wanted $89 for a 5gb.

So, I am getting a little worried that actually upgrading this isn't going to work. If I can only replace the 5G HD with the same, I really don't think it is gonna be worth the expense. Please, if you can, offer me some encouragement!? I haven't found anything stating that someone has actually upgraded one of these.

Thanks again



So nobody has tried to replace the HDD with an 50pin 1.8'' IDE SSD?


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Here is the URL for the adapter in the video. It looks like a doable project to me. Just go slow and be gentle and you should be fine. Also including a URL for flash cards. There are many suppliers of flash cards--this is just a sample. Ralph

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Those adapters will not work: they are for the ZIF/LIF interfac HD's used in the 5G and later iPods; earlier iPods use 50pin 1.8"drives.

However, SSD's with this particular interface are rather plentiful on eBay. Just search (worldwide) for "kingspec ssd 50 pin" and a number of choices should pop up at very reasonable prices.

These SSD's are 5mm thick, and will therefore work in the thinner iPods generations 1 thru 4:

5 or 10 GB 1st Generation iPods

10 GB 2nd Generation iPods

10, 15 or 20 GB 3rd Generation iPods

20 GB 4th Generation iPods

20 or 30 GB iPod Photos

I don't know if they'll fit in the fat models; there should be plenty of room inside, but there's the issue of fitting the HD mounting rubbers onto the SSD, too.


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There are adapters that you can get for about $5-$15 online. However, CF cards are fairly expensive. 8GB's go for $20-$50 and a 32GB (Largest Available) goes for anywhere from $85 to $300

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Although I don't have any links to products for you, if you simply want to upgrade to another hard drive, use this guide. To replace the battery (which you say you need to do), use this guide.

iPod 1st Generation Battery Image


iPod 1st Generation Battery Replacement



15 - 40 minutes

iPod 1st Generation Hard Drive Image


iPod 1st Generation Hard Drive Replacement



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Randall will be eternally grateful.
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