Model A1238 / 80, 120, or 160 GB hard drive / black or silver metal front

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HDD connector cable replacement (used a wrong cable?)

My iPod 6th Gen Classic (160GB) did have HDD problems. The problem occurred when i copy several items to the ipod (over 50 albums). After some basic solutions I ended up with two completely dead HDD’s. I post my complete workflow. I would like to learn from this experience. I hope someone can give me more background information what I did wrong.

First steps: I did a normal format (not the fast one). The formatting of the HDD did take a long time (almost 12 hours). In the Diagnostic mode the HDD was recognized (the HDD test and smart read succeeded), the Ipod could go into Disk mode and was recognized in windows 7. It was also possible to restore the ipod but the problem remains. After a few minutes the copying fails (first the copying speed is high and then it takes ages to copy 1 song). I reboot the Ipod, put it into diskmode and win7 says there is problem with the drive. Windows fixes and corrects the errors. After the error correction I open itunes and can copy songs again. Then, you already guessed it, the Ipod fails again.

Second step: I replaced the HDD connector cable. I bought a 160gb connector cable in the Netherlands. After the replacement the Ipod gets the red cross of death. Diagnostic mode was possible but there was no HDD. It gave an error message. The HDD makes no sound at all. After this diagnostics i replaced the HDD connector with the original. But even with my old cable the HDD is completely dead (red cross, error message in diagnostic mode).

I did have second broken HDD (gets smart reading, gets into disk mode but it was not possible to restore or format the HDD in windows). I also tried this HDD with the ‘new’ connector. Now the HDD is also completely dead (no smart reading (error) or anyway to get the ipod into disk mode). Replacing it with the original cable did not work: the HDD stays dead.

Now the question: I obviously used a wrong connector cable (bought the 160gb version but there are 2 versions). So I guess the use of a wrong connector cable kills (already failing) HDD’s. Does anyone know a way to revive these HDD’s and / or explain to me how the use of wrong connector cable could completely kill a HDD?

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just wondering if this is still happening or if this question is to old and has become irrelevant. I would use a USB-to-Zif adapter to check the HDD to make sure you truly have trouble with them. I have not seen physical damage to a drive caused by a wrong cable, but I suppose anything is possible. Check the drives first, and that should get you a step closer. Good luck

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I agree with old turkey. There are a few different ZIF cables used in the iPod Video and Classic, and for the most part all of them are interchangeable without any consequence. The only exception is one particular hard drive for the Classic that slips my mind, but it uses a very unique cable and that cable won't even properly fit in the other drives.

I would say to see if you can get your iPod into diagnostics mode and then go to IO > HARD DRIVE > HD SMART DATA and see how many reallocs and pendings you have. This test refers to the sectors, and you want to hope for a 0 result for each. The higher the number, the more damaged or bad sectors you have.

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de Groot will be eternally grateful.
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