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

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Upgrading harddrive on 1st gen 5gb iPod.

Can anyone tell what is the Largest Capacity hard drive that can be fitted to a 1st Gen 5gb iPod?

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Can you convert 1st Gen Classic to a flash drive?


No, it cannot be converted to flash. iPods that connect via FireWire have trouble connecting to a computer when using flash storage. The 1st and 2nd gen iPods can only connect via FireWire, so this is a problem. I have read on a different website that someone gotten it to work by making a disk image of the original hard drive and copying it directly to the flash storage, but information about this is very limited, so I wouldn't get my hopes up. @reckoner


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You'll need to use a single platter drive (despite the size :) ) which are denoted by Toshiba by the GAL or MAL suffix. I just dropped a 20GB drive (either MK2004GAL or MK2006GAL) in mine and it works like a charm. To my knowledge the largest drive easily available (ie eBay) is the 40GB MK4007GAL. You can also get a 30GB one - MK3006GAL.

Well worth it - the first gen is my favorite, although closely followed by the third gen (the original iPod touch!), and it's great to be able to continue to use it with a reasonable hard drive size.

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The Toshiba MK2004GAL (20GB) is the largest hard drive that works with 1st gen iPods. However, not all of them work with the 1st gen iPod. If you want one that’ll work for sure, you have to get it from a 3rd gen 20GB iPod.

I haven’t heard of any such compatibility issues with other models, like the MK1504GAL or MK1003GAL.

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10gb MK1003GAL. did not work for me. Only the 15gb worked


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It appears the 4th generation hard drives aren't compatible with the 1 and 2 gens. The 3rd gens drives are compatible and the largest is 20GB.

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You restore through iTunes. The ipod will not/cannot format the hard drive on its own.


Yeah I used iTunes. Problem is when I connect the 30GB drive and then connect the FW cable, the iPod makes the drive click repeatedly and iTunes does not see the iPod so I can't even restore it.

I'm using a Mac.


Benjy, any input on this? What OS did u use and from where/what drive did u get it?

Really want to increase the capacity on my 5GB


Sorry I missed your previous response!

If you put the 5GB back in does it work/connect to iTunes correctly? If so then my guess would be the problem is the 30GB drive.

It's been a while since it put the 20GB in mine but I did just recently restore a Windows formatted, not updated 2nd gen iPod to the updated iPod OS and Mac formatted with a current version of iTunes on El Capitan (firewire to thunderbolt adapter) so I don't think iTunes/OS version should be an issue.


This is a good resource:

I have never had a problem getting drives on eBay, but again, I haven't actually done this type of thing in several years. Do you have another iPod 1st-4th gen/Photo that you could test the hard drive in? That way you could rule out whether the hard drive is the issue.


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