*** IMPORTANT – This article is up as an reference, there is no need to do this procedure first as there have been no reports of bad ExFAT or MBR issues with cards since the start of 2015) ***
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.
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).
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.
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.
Once all the steps have been completed, your partition table should look like this :-
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.