Introduction

Upgrade your storage with a new hard drive.

Before opening your iPod, ensure that the hold switch is in the locked position.  The orange bar should be visible, indicating hold is active.
  • Before opening your iPod, ensure that the hold switch is in the locked position. The orange bar should be visible, indicating hold is active.

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Opening the case can be challenging. Do not get discouraged if it takes you a few tries before the iPod is opened. Insert a large iPod opening tool into the seam between the plastic front and metal rear panel of the iPod, near the headphone jack. The tool's edge should point toward the metal rear panel to prevent any accidental scratching of the plastic front.
  • Opening the case can be challenging. Do not get discouraged if it takes you a few tries before the iPod is opened.

  • Insert a large iPod opening tool into the seam between the plastic front and metal rear panel of the iPod, near the headphone jack. The tool's edge should point toward the metal rear panel to prevent any accidental scratching of the plastic front.

  • Run the tool along the top seam toward the upper left corner of the iPod.

You want to push the tool against the top of the iPod case. The top will flex inward just enough so that you can push the edge of the tool down and run it along the seam

andylieberman - Reply

Try to start on the right side, not the top, to release the tabs – it worked for me much quicker and easier.

ATATak - Reply

Thank you! I couldn't quite figure out where I was going wrong, and it popped right off when I used the big opener on the left side.

dustinbuse -

I agree with starting to open from the right side instead of the top. I almost wore down my tools trying to open from the top. When I started on the right side, it went so much quicker and easier.

Kate Heinecke - Reply

This step was easily the most difficult of this whole task of changing the battery. It took me forever to try and get the large tool to open up the corner enough to get to step 3 around the left top of the case. I tried pushing it from the sides of the ipod instead of the top as suggested by some other commenters but could not get it to go in enough to create a gap. After going hard and very tired hands and about 30 minutes of effort, the gap finally opened up enough on the side that the tool could pry it open. Once you get the side open enough, you are home free. You have to push very hard to get the gap wide enough at the top so that you can slide the tool around the corner.

Eric Schenkel - Reply

I found it easiest to start on the right side like others suggest, then move to the top, then the bottom. All that’s left then is the side you want to hinge open for step 6. Two opening tools will make life a lot easier.

Nicholas Howe - Reply

Push the large iPod opening tool into the upper left corner of the iPod, creating a small gap along the side seam.
  • Push the large iPod opening tool into the upper left corner of the iPod, creating a small gap along the side seam.

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There are five retaining tabs on each side of the iPod. With the large iPod opening tool still inserted in the top seam, press a small iPod opening tool into the gap you just created.
  • There are five retaining tabs on each side of the iPod.

  • With the large iPod opening tool still inserted in the top seam, press a small iPod opening tool into the gap you just created.

  • Run the iPod opening tool down the side seam, releasing all five tabs.

  • It may be necessary to wiggle the tool while working your way down the seam to free all the tabs.

I wore down my small iPod opener to a nub trying to loosen the tabs on one side of the iPod. After starting the process of wearing down another, I realized that using a second large iPod opener in place of the small one worked better.

jdcasey - Reply

Run the iPod opening tool around the lower left corner of the iPod and along the bottom seam to free the two retaining tabs near the dock connector. Run the tool around the lower right corner of the iPod and along the right side seam to free all five retaining tabs.
  • Run the iPod opening tool around the lower left corner of the iPod and along the bottom seam to free the two retaining tabs near the dock connector.

  • Run the tool around the lower right corner of the iPod and along the right side seam to free all five retaining tabs.

  • The case of the iPod should now easily come loose. Ensure all retaining tabs are free before proceeding.

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The iPod case is now open, but don't separate the two halves just yet. There is still an orange ribbon cable connecting the headphone jack to the logic board.
  • The iPod case is now open, but don't separate the two halves just yet. There is still an orange ribbon cable connecting the headphone jack to the logic board.

  • Open the case like a book with the dock connector at the top, and lay the rear panel next to the front half of the iPod.

Remember to fold the backplate up the correct direction, otherwise you might break this cable.

iTronics Repair - Reply

Use a plastic tool or your fingernails to carefully disconnect the orange headphone jack cable. Be sure to pull  straight up on the connector, not the cable itself. The headphone jack connector is unusually tall. When prying, be careful to not separate the lower, plastic part of the connector from the ribbon cable. Pry between the connector and the socket, not between the two halves of the connector.
  • Use a plastic tool or your fingernails to carefully disconnect the orange headphone jack cable. Be sure to pull straight up on the connector, not the cable itself.

  • The headphone jack connector is unusually tall. When prying, be careful to not separate the lower, plastic part of the connector from the ribbon cable. Pry between the connector and the socket, not between the two halves of the connector.

Be more than careful with the headphone jack, because I thought I was until I broke mine (I still don't figure how I did this). Those are hard to find after and if you do, it may cost you something around 20-30$

Tristan Gauvreau - Reply

Yeah, I just did the same. Oops.

Alex Robinson -

Yikes - yes, be SUPER careful - just damaged mine too (snapped some of the soldered connections between ribbon and plug). I only use my iPod with a dock in my car, so hoping I will get away with this.

Russell Coleridge - Reply

Arrgh...I should have paid closer attention the red warnings above. I ended up pushing up on the ribbon part rather than the actual socket. Thereby completing separating the connector from the ribbon cable. I got way too excited when I finally got the case loose after an hour of trying that I rushed through this part. Now I have to see if I can replace this part.

Eric Schenkel - Reply

Blech - despite these thoughtful warnings I snapped that plug right off the ribbon! So please, be careful. I found a replacement headphone jack (used) on eBay for 20 bucks. What a not-fun way to spend 20 bucks!

Matt Michael - Reply

Lift up the hard drive with one hand and carefully disconnect the hard drive ribbon from the logic board.
  • Lift up the hard drive with one hand and carefully disconnect the hard drive ribbon from the logic board.

  • Lift the hard drive out of the iPod.

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Peel back the metallic tape connecting the hard drive ribbon to the blue mounting bracket.
  • Peel back the metallic tape connecting the hard drive ribbon to the blue mounting bracket.

Also, when reassembling ensure the metallic tab/tape connecting the hard drive ribbon to the blue mounting bracket. As seen in step 9 is still on top of the mounting bracket.

When I reassembled mine the tab became folded down and was touching pins connecting the drive. As a result the iPod worked as a player but had difficulty charging, would not connect to iTunes or show as a mounted drive. After waiting along time it would be detected but would not work with iTunes. iTunes would report the iPod as corrupted or in recovery mode. Removing the tab/tape from the pins restored function.

Dan - Reply

where can replacement hard drive be purchased or other options like a flash card.

JD - Reply

Use a spudger to carefully disconnect the orange ribbon cable from the hard drive.
  • Use a spudger to carefully disconnect the orange ribbon cable from the hard drive.

  • If the cable doesn't come free easily, it may be helpful to gently wiggle the cable from side to side.

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Lift the hard drive mounting bracket and cable off the hard drive.
  • Lift the hard drive mounting bracket and cable off the hard drive.

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Lift the blue and white mounting bracket off the other side of the hard drive.
  • Lift the blue and white mounting bracket off the other side of the hard drive.

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Hard drive remains.
  • Hard drive remains.

Would a Compact Flash card work directly plugged in to the ribbon cable? Like in the iPod mini?

Macuser24 - Reply

The pins are the same, correct.

Cole Feldt -

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

24 other people completed this guide.

iRobot

Member since: 09/24/2009

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726 Guides authored

One Comment

Works with iPod 3rd Generation 10GB also.

Xavier Delapree - Reply

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