How To: Rockbox installation on iPod Classic (new bootloader)

How To: Rockbox installation on iPod Classic (new bootloader)

Since I wrote my previous article on installing EmCore and Rockbox on to the iPod Classics, there has been some great work done in this area and in effect creating an integrated bootloader installation method for Rockbox.

Currently in Beta, but the new bootloader installation method works really well and with the new DesignWare USB driver introduced in to the code – the USB funtionality is impressive – very fast transfer speeds and (so far) no filesystem corruption or (usb) device dropping.

Anyway the guy who has been doing this great work has posted a link, there is an installation video as well as links to the latest builds and useage documentation.

I think this is a great solution for people who own 6g iPods which have the LBA28 limit of 127Gb. Rockbox and this new bootloader will open up the extra storage available when installed with higher capacity solid state storage.

The following video shows the entire installation process and the extra steps necessary when using with an iFlash board and larger than 128Gb storage …..

Go get the latest build from the link above – I suggest the Designware USB build and the zip file, which you should extract to a suitable location on your computer.

UPDATE: Many people have been asking me, while it is not shown/mentioned in the video this same method can be used for the iFlash-Sata as well as all the other iFlash adapters.

As always this process is messing around with the underlying firmware installed on the iPod, so there is a risk of bricking your device – you have been warned. If you choose to follow this guide you do so at your own risk!!

NOTE: After making the video it occured to me that when you run the Rockbox utility the first time, you can just select the bootloader installation, then re-partition/re-format the storage, then on the second run of the Rockbox utility, install Rockbox and related files. This will save a little time.

32 thoughts on “How To: Rockbox installation on iPod Classic (new bootloader)

  1. GS.

    Thanks very much for the reply.
    To be more specific, the drop down menu (when you choose disabled targets) only shows 6th Gen, there is no 7th option. Do I choose this to install?

  2. Support Post author

    @GS – I am pretty sure that the builds will work with the 6g and 7g’s – and not seen any information to say it would not work.

  3. GS.

    The guide, and the Rockbox classic software only shows up to 6g iPod, does this also include the 7g last version or is that still not supported?

  4. Alex

    The new bootloader seems pretty unstable for me when transferring more than 5 files across unfortunately…. Neither v8 nor designware seem to be any better….

  5. zak


    I have a 160 g thin, I have got a quad and bought two sandisk 200gb microd cards. I have already installed a 256g ssd on a previous ipod with no issues but I am finding it hard to get the microsd card to be formatted correctly.

    I put together the ipod, flash card and sd card, restored it, followed the new instructions and managed to get everything up and running however my computer froze after transfering part of my music collection.

    I am now stuck with the rockbox bootloader in usb mode as it cannot find rockbock.ipod, I have tried formatting it to exfat in a card reader and then remounting it in the ipod however in the ipod as it is reconized as unformmated in aomei. have tried to format it to fat32 while connected via usb and it freezes at 48 %.

    Should I try reformatting it in the card reader again or through the ipod ?


  6. Charlie

    Help please. I’ve been looking all over for an answer, but can’t seem to find one. I’ve done everything as shown and have rockbox up and running on my 6th gen (120GB) ipod classic. I’ve installed the quad adapter with 4x128GB SDXC cards, all of which were formatted (MBR, del partitions, FAT32) as shown in another guide. I have all ~500GB available and properly formatted. Rockbox boots no problem. It plays a number of albums. HOWEVER, I have about 180GB of music that I need to transfer onto the drive (windows 10), and every time I try to do this, something goes wrong. It’s not one thing. I get various transfer errors. Sometimes it’s a single file that won’t copy over. Other times, it’s a whole album. When I copy files over using Ubuntu, it seems to go without a hitch, but then when I try to play the files, there’s skipping, etc. Sometimes rockbox just flat out crashes. Is this a known problem, and is their a solution? Should this not be happening?

  7. canvasfly


    Is there a list of SD cards that have worked well with Rockbox?
    I use PNY 128gb and sandisk 128 and 200gb cards, mostly micro sdxc.
    Using the quad adapter, I had success installing and running rockbox on my 7.5g (160gb slim). I had a couple of kernel panic crashes, but I was mostly fine.
    I also have a much older 4th Gen 20GB model and has to give up on Rockbox. Original firmware works with no issue.

    Thank you

  8. Support Post author

    @Phoebe – I don’t have a MAC, and never attempted the Rockbox installation via a MAC – hopefully someone else who has experience can help.

  9. Phoebe

    Hi, I also have a 6G ipod classic 160gb and I installed the iFlash SATA in mine with a 500gb drive. The installation went well, but getting Rockbox to install just isn’t happening. I’m on a Mac, and when I run the Rockbox utility, the bootloader checkbox is grayed out, so the bootloader never installs. The ipod starts up as normal, with its normal firmware and the 127gb limit still in place. I also have a linux computer and I tried doing it on there with the same result. Any advice? Thanks!

  10. Support Post author

    @Lee – This is covered in the video, you just need to connect the iPod in the Bootloaders diskmode and repartition & format using suitable software (I used AOMEI in the Video to do it).


    How can I get rid of the LBA28 limit on my 80g ipod classic 6g? installed iflash solo with 256g sdxc. I have rockbox installed but it only shows 127g.

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