Prepare SDXC (ExFat) for use with the iPod

Prepare SDXC (ExFat) for use with the iPod


Some of the factory fresh ExFAT formatted SDXC cards cause problems in the iPod, I have not been able to determine the exact cause but I suspect the iTunes restore process does not write a fresh MBR (Master Boot Record) nor does it create a new partition table – just modifies the existing table.

This only applies to SDXC cards 64Gb and above in capacity, as these are the cards which are ExFAT formatted by default.

The symptoms tend to be slow music transfer, odd syncing errors, song skipping and iPod freezing up.

I have created a walk through on how to get the SDXC card in to a known good state before installing and restoring the iPod.


First you need to get a partition manager software, I use the free AOMEI Partition Assistant, download here!! but only for Windows PC’s, for MAC users any of the popular partition software on MacOS will work. The steps will be slightly different, but the process and concepts should be similar.

You will need a CF card reader, you can also use a SDXC card reader. If you are going to use a SD card reader make sure it is SDXC compatible as you can damage the SDXC card – normal SD or SDHC card readers will not work with SDXC cards.


IMPORTANT: Make sure that the drive you are modifying is the SDXC card and not another Hard Drive installed in your Computer, you have been warned. So before starting double check that you are working on the SDXC card – better safe than sorry!!

Install SDXC card in to SD-CF Adapter, and place it in the CF card reader. In the example below I am using a 256Gb SDXC – It is shown as removeable in the drive list.

Start AOMEI.

In the main window, right click on the SDXC drive and select REBUILD MBR and confirm, leaving the default Windows 7/8. To commit the action you need to APPLY (Top Left Icon).

Rebuild MBR

Rebuild MBR

Apply Action to Commit

Apply Action to Commit








Once that has finished, again right click on the SDXC card and select DELETE ALL PARTITIONS, and Apply to Commit – once that is finished the drive should be totally unallocated.

Delete All Partitions

Delete All Partitions

Unallocated Partition Table

Unallocated Partition Table








Now we can write a fresh FAT32 Partition. Once again right click on the SDXC card, select Create Partition. On the dialog window, click on Advanced and select SSD Parition Alignment – leave the default setting of Optimised. Apply to Commit.

Create Partition

Create Partition

Aligned FAT32 Partition

Aligned FAT32 Partition








Once all the steps have been completed, your partition table should look like this :-

Finished Partition Table

Finished Partition Table








Now you can safely eject / remove the SD-CF Adapter from the CF card reader and install in your iPod, ready for the iTunes restore process.


88 thoughts on “Prepare SDXC (ExFat) for use with the iPod

  1. Eric

    @Tarkan – Well, sir, you’ve hit the nail on the head again! The card popped out; I guess I pressed in to where it springed back. I’m syncing now. Thanks for all your time, I realize that it must be a sacrifice for you. As a Star Wars fan, I wanna call you Grand Moff Tarkan!

  2. Eric

    @Tarkan – I’ll check. I did push the card in there pretty tight, but who knows? Perhaps it dislodged. If the card wasn’t secure, would AEOMI be able to see anything? Right now, the computer recognizes that the ipod is there, but it’s not recognizing the file system.

  3. Tarkan Post author

    @Eric – are you sure the SDXC card was locked in the iFlash securely, what you describe sounds like the iFlash cannot see the SD card.

    Open the iPod and check.

  4. Eric

    If I rebuild the MBR all that, will that pose any issues with the PNY? I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t.

  5. Eric

    @Tarkan – No, it’s not in a card reader, these are the messages I’ve been getting when I connect the ipod to the computer. I’ve yet to have a chance to open the ipod back up to retrieve the card. What happened was that it started skipping songs and wouldn’t play anything so I rebooted the ipod, then it gave me the “restore with itunes” message. I plugged the ipod into the computer and the computer asked to format the card, which I declined. Itunes says it can’t restore the ipod and gives error 1429. I looked at the ipod in AEOMI and it shows that there is only 32MB on the drive and that it needs formatting. I purchased the card yesterday and have had no problems until now. I synced over 200GB on it last night with no hiccups.

  6. Tarkan Post author

    @Eric – So the iPod just reset and booted in to the restore screen?? very strange.

    So you have the SD card in a SDXC card reader on your computer, and you are getting this recognized file system error?

  7. Eric

    Ok, at this point, the volume says that it “does not contain a recognized file system.”

  8. Eric

    Ok, so I tried restoring the ipod, but it won’t restore. I get error 1429. My computer also is asking if I want to format the card. Would it be best to prep the card via the instructions cited on this page?

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