The 32Gb Compact Flash Ipod

The 32Gb Compact Flash Ipod


The Concept

A-Data 32Gb Speedy Compact Flash Ever since I developed my iFlash – iPod compact flash adaptor, CF card capacities have not been in the same league as the equivalent hard drives. That has now changed with the introduction by A-Data of their new 32 gb Compact Flash Card.

Not only have they managed to get this card into the shops, but they have also priced it so we mere mortals can afford to buy one. At $64 (£35) (Newegg) this is one affordable card.

It was time for me to find out what it would be like to have a 32gb solid state video iPod!

The good, the bad, and the Ugly….
iPod 32Gb CF Parts
To create this very special Apple Ipod, you need to gather this motley crew of items.

  • A-Data 32Gb Speedy CF Card (you can of course use smaller capacity)
  • Apple Video Ipod (5g or 5.5g)
  • Opening tool
  • iFlash – Compact Flash Adapter

iFlash and opening toolFor this task I managed to pick-up a faulty 30gb 5.5g Video Ipod off Ebay – suffering from the very common click of death hard drive failure.

The Fitting

Installing the Compact Flash card in to the iPod is a pretty simple operation and normally takes less than 5 minutes to complete.

iPod openingThe hardest part of the fitting is opening the iPod. Place the iPod face up in the palm of your right hand, using the back of your thumb pull the front panel back towards your hand. This will hopefully create a small gap between the front and back panel – enough for you to push the thin end of the opening tool in to.

iPod openedPushing the opening tool deep in to the seam, run the tool up and down the side to release the retaining clips. Then keeping the tool buried deep in to the seam, move up and around towards the headphone socket and then down the right side. This should release most of the retaining clips. Using both hands manipulate the front and back till they separate – you may need to use the opening tool to release any stubborn clips.

iPod battery connectionOn separation you need to carefully release the battery connection. This can be done by very gently pulling at the FPC (Flexible Printed Circuit) to get it out of the connector. The safer option is to use a small screwdriver or toothpick to lift and release the lock which allows the FPC to slide out with ease. Place the front and back side by side, so not straining the headphone FPC connection.

iPod dismantledYou can now lift the hard drive away and down to expose the ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) connector. Using your fingernail or screwdriver lift the black bar on the hard drive to release the FPC, and then carefully remove the hard drive.

Take care not to strain the FPC or ZIF Connector on the iPod motherboard.

iPod hard drive betterThe black locking bar on the iFlash ZIF connector needs to be raised before fitting the adaptor in to the iPod. I normally get the hard drive ribbon in to the iFlash connector before pressing the adaptor down in to the iPod. Make sure that the FPC is fully inserted in to the ZIF connector – you can use a small screwdriver or toothpick to gently push in each end of the FPC in to the connector.

Lock the ZIF Connector by pressing down the black bar.

iFlash Cf installedThe CF card can now be installed on to the adaptor and the iPod can be put back together, make sure you re-install the battery connection.

I suggest restoring and checking the iPod works correctly before closing up the case.

On initial power-up you will be greeted by the connect to computer warning screen.

Restore iPod iTunes

On the nextpage I cover the iTunes restore process.


159 thoughts on “The 32Gb Compact Flash Ipod

  1. Auer


    I have an iPod Photo 20GB, and put in a 64 GB Kingston CF/64GB-U2, at first the ipod itself accepts it, but it’s impossible to restore the ipod on it, I tried everything… always stuck at restoring. do u think the card just doesnt work as it is too big with 64 gb?


  2. Donna

    Hi. I went through all the steps to replace the hard drive in my Ipod mini-2 with a Sandisk 8g flash. I left it “naked” and plugged it in and I-tunes recognized it and I did the restore. In the process, it did not ask me to plug it into a wall. I had previously charged it (in the wall), so I presumed that was why. Anyway, when it finished, it was stuck on the language menu. Well heck. I put it back together in the case and now the click wheel doesn’t work. I tried moving the hold back and forth and resetting, but no response, because the click wheel didn’t work. I tried letting the battery go dead. Interestingly, or unfortunately, it would only charge when the Ipod was on hold. When I changed back to off hold, it got stuck on the Apple symbol. Anyway, I put it on hold and it froze on the language menu again but at least it showed charging, switched to the battery symbol charging, and then said “charged.” When I put the hold button back to off, it sticks again on the Apple symbol. If I put it on hold again, it shows a battery with an exclamation point. I went through the process of taking it out of the case again (several times), each time, after jiggling it a little and the screen going blank, and I finally got it recognize and restore with the hold switch off. I thought, ahhhhh, finally, but nope. I even took out the click wheel and plugged it in when unlocked and went through the process again, but after it all, the click wheel still doesn’t work. The Ipod does show and restores in I-tunes, even if it is showing the little lock symbol on the I-pod. I’ve noticed that when trying to put it back in the case after the update, the screen sometimes flickers and goes off and then on again, but nothing I do seems to affect the click wheel. I took it apart and everything seems to be intact. Am I missing something? I’ve searched and searched on the internet but can find nothing addressing this issued AFTER doing an upgrade to compact flash. Please help. Thanks

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  5. John Conibear

    I replace the hdd on a 30gb ipod, with a Komputerbay 32gb card from ebay for £20. Works fine.
    I still have a freeze problem mainly when I am scrolling but sometimes when the music is playing, but that is from before and not as bad. I have bought a new battery to see if that will help.

    Many thanks Tarkan

  6. Tarkan Post author

    I have tested a SDHC to CF adaptor in my iFlash, but sadly iTunes will not restore to it.

    I do not have any SDXC cards to try, if I do get one I will test.

  7. Francisco Rodriguez

    Hi Tarkan,

    Have you or anyone tried to use a CF adapter and inserting an SDXC card (128GB or so)? I am looking to restore my 80 GB 5G iPod and I don’t like to miss any feature, mainly space. As the 128GB CFs are pricy, I found an adaptor which accepts CF Type II greater than 32 GB, so I wonder if anyone has already tested this configuration. My 5G HD is already broken, but I was using all the space… Thanks!

  8. Jens

    Hi Tarkan,

    I got your adaptor. Do you think the Transcend 32 GB Compact Flash Card 400X (Blue) will work or does it have to be a faster card? What speed did the A-Data Card have that you used?


  9. Juan J

    Hey thanks for everything, I installed and everything works fine but I have a panasonic micro system and does not work but if the battery is charging. Could you tell me if it is to have compact flash instead of hard disk

  10. Tarkan Post author

    Do not really have much experience with the mini, but what you describe does sound like either a bad battery or poor battery connection.

    Try a new battery.

  11. wayne z

    hi all
    i recently did the 4gb compact flash upgrade to a 2nd gen ipod mini. it powers up fine and works when connected via the bottom connector to a pc or ac adapter. i can then disconnect the bottom connector and it works, but it will not power up without being connected. the battery is fully chaged. any thought

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  14. Franchesca

    Hi Tarkan!

    Awesome product you have there! I had mine for almost a week, waiting for the CF to arrive from Amazon. It did, and
    all seems to be well (the Kingston Elite Pro 32GB 133X was in one of those infinite boot loops, manually formatting it FAT32 with a USB CF Reader did the trick). Can’t wait to test the battery life, and it’s already lighter & more durable for the gym! Thanks very much! Regards, Rick

    Now if only the 64GB CF cards would come down in price….

  15. EC

    It REALLY WORKS!!!!!. Just finished setting up IPOD Classic 80Gig witha Kingston elite pro 32 GB. It is smooth and nice…. The opening a closing of the casing remains the challenge…. Mine not bad about some dents…. Anyway very happy… Adios stupid lame poor quality APPLE Hard Drive…..

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  17. Andrew

    My iPod starts up and sometimes goes into recovery mode, with the please connect to itunes message,
    But as soon as the usb adapted touches the socket, It restarts and gives a low battery warning,
    I’m using a 32gb Kinston Elite Pro, is this a sign of compatibility problems

  18. Andy

    Installed the adaptor, but after plugging in to the PC, itunes shows “n/a” in the capacity line. Restore runs, but then says ipod in recovery mode, exactly as it did when it started.
    Any ideas what is wrong?
    The ZIF connector seems safely home, and I am using a fuji-2GB card. Is this the effect you get if a card is not compatible?
    Any help greatly appreciated.

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