First Look: iFlash-Sata

First Look: iFlash-Sata

Just a brief look at my new product in my iFlash series.

While the iFlash enables the iPod to work with Compact Flash and SDXC cards, the new iFlash-Sata opens up all Sata based storage devices – mSata and externally powered Sata Hard drives and SSD drives.

The iFlash-Sata will work in the Video iPod (5g, 5.5g) and the newer Classics (6g, 6.5g, 7g).

Be warned the current crop of mSata drives are power hungry, so runtimes are not great compared to CF/SDXC – but still worth while if you must have a 1Tb iPod!

Here is some pictures of the mSata configuration.

iFlash-Sata Front

iFlash-Sata Front

iFlash-Sata side mSata

iFlash-Sata side mSata

iFlash-Sata Angled Shot

iFlash-Sata Angled Shot


240 thoughts on “First Look: iFlash-Sata

  1. Guyzie


    With the 2000mah battery and iFlash-SATA, has anybody needed to add any foam or spacer between the two prior to snapping the backplate shut in order to prevent possible rattling?


  2. Guyzie

    Hi Tarkan,

    I just received your iFlash Sata & installed my 1tb Samsung 840Evo into the iPod 7.5g. Initially, Windows 7 asked me to reformat, but I just let iTunes restore it. Now I keep getting a red X. I even installed another iFlash SDXC that I purchased from you and it worked, but not the iFlash Sata with msata. Is there anything I’m doing wrong?

    Also I’m using firewire/USB Y cable with battery disconnected. The firewire is supplying it with enough power.


    1. Tarkan

      You will need to follow the instructions in the sheet that came with the iFlash-Sata.

      To sync you need a battery attached, while the Firewire will power the iPod up in use, syncing needs a battery.

  3. WildmaN

    @Henry/ You can’t, I maxed out the iTunes database with over 65k songs, and the iPod was stuck in boot mode. And that was on my 7g 160gb classic running a 512gb ssd msata. That is why Rockbox is 100 times better. Plus you can customize it how you want it, and the sound quality is way better. So many more pluses to Rockbox over iTunes.

  4. Henry

    Please pardon me, am new to this. I finally found the DB File size. Right now it is about 6.9MB (I have just a few songs on the iPod now). So my question is what is the significance of this file size in relation to the iPod’s RAM or memory.

    1. Tarkan

      Once that file size gets close to the memory size of the iPod, is when problems start. I would think for the 30gb iPod anything around 27Mb, and for the 60Gb/80Gb/160Gb iPods anything over 58Mb.

    2. Henry

      Thanks Tarkan, given that some folks are now popping 1TB SSDS into their ipod, how or is it possible to maximize the iTunes db file size to take advantage of the huge storage size of the SSDs.

  5. Henry

    My iPod\Control Folder\iTunes size = 260,917,048 bytes (260.9 MB on disk) for 6 items. What does this mean for my 30Gb iPod 5.5 30Gb in terms of RAM\Memory.

    1. Tarkan

      @Henry, the folder size is not important, as some cache files are stored there hence the very large size. What is the actual iTunesDB file size?

  6. Gabriel

    Hi Tarkan,

    I just want to share with you my experience of upgrading my iPod 5g video(30Gb).So I bought an iFlash sata from Tarkan(thank’s by the way) and I install it together with a Samsung 840EVO masata 250Gb.
    Everything went very good I can say,no any problem with installing the iflash together with the samsung evo.I changed the battery also in the mean time.
    iTunes recognise my iPod right away and propose me to reinstall the software.Witch it did very well.I’m not syncing my iPod,I’m doing it manually .I have around 40Gb of music so
    I didn’t have battery issues while getting my music on it.The only thing is that the iPod shows a capacity of 232Gb.So I lost 18Gb.On “Finder” it showing 249,99Gb.
    Altogether I’m very happy with my new iPod .Also a big thanks to iFixit:great tutorial on how to open up the iPod(great pictures too )
    Tarkan ,once again ,chapeau for the iFlash.


  7. Henry

    Awesome man, makes much sense now. I use a mac though and have made all files unhidden. I will sync again and check the size.
    1. So for my 30Gb iPod what is a safe size for the control folder.
    2. So am better of with an 80Gb 5.5 iPod?
    3. So technically, regardless of the size of the drive the key is the iPod’s RAM or memory. right?
    Thanks man for your excellent resources.

    1. Tarkan

      You’re confusing the two things, the iTunes DB is nothing to do with the drive capacity. It is the file that iTunes uses to store all the file information and music metadata – when this DB approaches the size of ram memory in the iPod you start to see issues.

      So as a basic rule – the 30Gb iPods is limited to around 20000 tracks, where as the 60Gb above iPods have a limit of around 50000 tracks <- these actually are the limits Apple publish for the respective iPods specs. When you connect the iPod to the computer, inside the iPod drive letter, you can find it in the following folder :- iPod Drive \ iPod_Control \ iTunes - the iPod_Control Folder is hidden, so you may not see it, so show hidden files in the explorer view options.

  8. Henry

    Am a little bit confused. Regardless of the size of the drive one is still limited by iTunes DB size limit?
    1. If so what are my Choices other than Rockbox? Upgrade the logic board to….
    2. I thought the 5.5 gen iPod does not have the 128GB DB limit?

  9. Bana

    Hi Tarkan,

    Just want to say all is working with my 6G. using your mSata card and Samsung 840EVO 500G.
    I used Drag and Drop to load music.
    I will be back for another board in about two months, but this time I’m going to try a 1TB card.

    Thanks for all your help.

  10. Henry

    Sorry I meant 48GB for photos not 92GB. Is there a way to skirt around ITunes DB limit for 30Gb iPod?
    I have about 13,4000 tracks (92GB) and about 16,000 pic (48GB)

  11. Henry

    Hi Tarkan, I just received your iFlash and installed it on a 5.5 gen iPod video, 30Gb with a Crucial M550 256GB. Formatted drive on a Mac (Mac OS Extended Journaled). Restored in iTunes.
    1. I then synced my entire music library (about 92GB) on a full charge. Everything worked fine, music played well with covert art.
    2. I then synced one of my photo albums (18 photos) and again, everything worked fine. Music played normally with covert art, photo album showed thumbnails.
    3. Then I synced my entire photo library, about 92GB (incl high res photos). That’s when weird things began to happen. Music play no longer show cover art. When I click on a photo album the thumbnails are blank. When I click on a single picture I get a blank screen. But when I click on slideshow for an album it works. The photos display in a slideshow/play.
    What could be happening?

    1. Tarkan

      @Henry, I deleted the message re mix up !!

      Your issue is an interesting one – did you have this collection of music and photo’s sync’d to your iPod before? I ask because I am not sure if the photo metadata is stored in the iTunes DB file, if they are it might explain the weirdness as your hitting the iTunes DB limit for the 30Gb iPod.

      How many tracks in your music collection? What size is your iTunes DB files (can be found on the iPod / iPod_Control folder ? Also syncing 92Gb is quite a feat for iPod 5g’s you happy that your battery power held up?

  12. Henry Moon

    Hi, I’ve ordered your iFlash mSATA few days ago through paypal check out.

    And I have some questions for you. When will be shipped? How long does it take?


    1. Tarkan

      @Henry, Can you check the iTunes DB file size on the iPod. There is no workaround for the iTunes limit as it is a function of the memory of the iPod – The 30Gb iPods have 32Mb of memory while the others have 64Mb, hence why they can deal with much larger iTunes database size.

  13. Bana

    Hi Tarkan,

    I was able to increase the size of the disk to the 465G using AOMEI, which you informed me about back in December.

    Now when I load music using Media Monkey after the three hour completion, the files are not showing up in Rockbox. Frustrating!!! I’m getting old fast!!

    1. Tarkan

      It should be rewritten when you reformat/partition the drive. You need to get the mSata drive formatted back to a plain old 500Gb FAT32 drive, and you it will be good to go back in the iPod.

  14. Keith

    Tarkan, you are correct it is a 6G Ipod. I am using EmCore R859 which is supposed to be the latest. I will try to reformat with Rockbox.
    If I remove the mSata and reformat, will I not have the same problem again?


    1. Tarkan

      No, you are having this problem because Rockbox is working with the MBR and Partition table created by iTunes – and your iPod model is limited to 128Gb, so the iTunes created disk was 128Gb in size.

      Once you have managed to get a new MBR and Partition table written reflecting the full size of the drive, Rockbox will show the full size of the drive.

  15. Keith

    Hi Tarkan, I have your mSata card and Samsung 512g EVO, along with a 2000ma batt. After several attempts and with all kinds of issues, I have it Rockbox, however, it is only showing 127G in Rockbox and Windows.
    What am I missing?


    1. Tarkan

      I am guessing you have a 6g, and you restored with iTunes after installing the mSata drive.

      What is happening is that Rockbox is using the partition table written by the iTunes restore process (which for you model of iPod is limited to 128Gb).

      Couple of things you can try. In the EmCore tools menu, you can try format data partition. I am not sure if that will repartition it or not.

      Not sure what version of EmCore you are using, the version posted on my site has a disk mode with ATA passthrough – this in theory should allow your computer to see the mSata drive in a raw form – which means you can reformat to the full capacity.

      If none of that works, you will have to remove the mSata and connect to the computer to repartition.

  16. Henry

    Hi Tarkan, I just ordered one of your iFlash sata adapter for my 5.5 gen iPod. I hope to use that with a Crucial M550 256gb mSATA card. Any problems here, will this work?

  17. Robert

    I’ve seen some comments about using a larger battery – 1900 maH or more – with this mSATA adapter. Do you have any experience or recommendations?



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