iPOD and SDHC – SDXC cards

iPOD and SDHC – SDXC cards


For some time many people have wanted to use my iFlash iPod CF adapter with the new generation of large format SD memory cards. SDHC and SDXC are the new generation of SD cards which are cheaper and have capacities of upto 256Gb and growing.

SDXC 7g and 256Gb PNY

SDXC Installation


7g 256Gb About Screen

7g and 256Gb PNY

Installation is simple, the iFlash is first installed – then install the SD card in to your SD-CF Adapter – finally insert the whole thing in to the iFlash, ready to restore the iPod.

SDHC and SDXC which cards to get

So far all the SDHC and SDXC cards I tested worked ok, so it is looking likely that majority of the SD cards out there will work ok.

In terms of card speed, one user has reported issues playing FLACS with a Class 4 card. I would suggest you want a minimum of a Class 6 card with Class 10 the prefered option.

So far… working and tested in 5g / 6g / 7g iPods

iPod 5g with 256Gb PNY

iPod 5g with 256Gb PNY

The current compatibility list has been moved to the iFlash-Solo product page.


399 thoughts on “iPOD and SDHC – SDXC cards

  1. Peter Mayhew

    Hi Tarkan, on ebay I have found some 128GB SDHC cards for sale by ‘wave-gadgets’ at £16.99 each. On the card it appears to be a class 10 card but in the notes it says it’s class 6! If these cards were ‘genuinely 128GB they would be a cheap way of making an 256GB ipod with your Dual SD card adapter. I had thought that large capacity cards were all SDXC so my question is am I right about the size of the SDHC cards being too great and if I’m wrong do you think that this type of card would work in your adapter successfully?
    I have successfully fitted a dual iflash adapter in a 30GB 5th gen ipod, and after following your recommendations downloaded less than 20,000 songs all works well apart from the 2nd replacement battery that runs down within hours of it being fully charged without the ipod being used at all. Any ideas what may be the cause of massive battery drain whilst the ipod sits doing nothing. Thanks for any help and ideas that anyone may be able to send my way.

    1. Support

      @Peter – They would be fake of course, the fact they are marked as SDHC which can only be for cards 32GB or below, anything above 64GB has to be SDXC by definition.

      You probably got a faulty battery, but it could also be the fact your library is too large for the 30Gb iPod which can causes these models not to switch off properly. Try removing tracks, say down to 10,000 tracks and see if the battery standby time improves.

    2. Peter Mayhew

      Hi, thanks for the advice about the 128GB SDHC cards that I’ve seen on ebay. You have confirmed my original thought that they were fake. I recently purchased 2 x 256GB micro SDXC cards on ebay and one only had 8GB on board after testing and the other had slightly more but I fortunately got a refund after a bit of convincing the seller how the ebay rules work!! There was no warnings in the advert as there is on some sites where the small print tells you to expect anything from 8GB to the amount advertised. I don’t know how people have the gall to con buyers so blatantly.
      I could lower the track count and make use of higher quality recordings on my 30GB / 256Gb I pod but it seems such a waste having idle memory and lots more songs available in my iTunes library that I could download. Fortunately I now have 2 x 80gb, 5th gen I pods to play with so I will need to buy another adapter from you whilst using my original iFlash dual adapter to get me started. I can then modify the 30GB with a smaller memory card and sell it on.
      Thank you for your helpful advice.

  2. Peter Mayhew

    Thanks for the comment on the amount of tracks I can download on the 30GB 5th Gen ipod. I have downloaded just below the 20,000 figure and all seems well although it’s frustrating having a lot of space left and just under 10,000 tracks left on i tunes. With this in mind I found an 80gb 5th gen on ebay for £29.00 which arrived yesterday with a duff battery but with a very good front and very reasonable rear covers so I can swop the hard drive to the 30gb and fit the Dual iFlash and a new battery into it. my ebay find also turns out to be a 5.5 ‘search’ iPod. I think that I might take the 256gb SDXC card out of my iPod Mini and swop it for one of the 128gb cards from the dual adapter to give me 384gb to give me greater flexibility. The 1st Gen Mini that I converted doesn’t seem to have any difficulty with the nearly 30,000 tracks on it so it appears that isn’t there a track limit on the 1st gen Mini.

  3. brian

    this may seem basic but I do not see the answer…looks like the flat cable is too wide for a 6th gen with a thick hdd….is there a different flatcable needed?

  4. Isaak Welch

    I just wanted to let Peter and anyone else interested know that ipod 5.5 gen motherboards with 64mb of ram run for between $40 and $60, making them a better price than buying another ipod for just the motherboard. After you’ve got the ipod apart, a motherboard swap isn’t all that difficult if you have a steady hand.

  5. Peter Mayhew

    Thanks for the information. I’ll need to lower the number of tracks and use uncompressed format and see how that goes. I obviously need to find a 60 or 80 GB 5th gen ipod although the really good ones are selling for silly money!!
    I will report back on how I get on.

  6. Peter Mayhew

    Hi, I have used an iFlash dual SD adapter with 2 128GB SDXC cards fitted in a 30gb 5th generation video ipod. The ipod went through the restore process and I have almost filled the ipod from my itunes library. Then things started to go wrong. I had to use the windows eject to stop and disconnect the ipod and I now only have the Apple logo lit by the backlight. I have tried to reset with the menu and centre button with no success, then I went into disc mode and reconnected to itunes with a dual cable and all the downloaded tunes are still there but when I disconnect the ipod returns to the backlit apple logo. The adapter and cards are all obviously working so has anyone any suggestions on how to drag the ipod back to normality. Will running AOMEII (How do I do this, is it via the website and follow the instructions?) Would running the ipod on Rockbox help or is the low amount of ram causing the problem. Any ideas would be greatfully received.
    Thanks in advance.

  7. Pete


    Hmmm, to my great surprise AOMEII actually seemed to be able to fix the corruption. Took a long time but it seemed to work. Have to say that completely contradicts what I thought about how this all works, I didn’t think it was possible to use checkdisk on an ipod like that from the PC, as I thought the ipod doesn’t give the PC the required ‘honest’ access to the media? (I thought it only presented the PC with a kind of emulated disk structure?)

    Anyway, once done, rockbox was able to build its database. Still have to finish the rest of the sync though.

    This does seem to imply the corruption was due to some problem with my PC/USB and the sync process rather than the memory cards.

  8. Pete

    Hmmm, if it fills it sequentially that’s useful to know. Unfortunately that makes it even odder that the ‘bad block’ errors (and sync failures) occurred at different points after each restore-and-retry.

    Did 40Gb the first time before the first error, which would be in the slot 1 card, then it got to 140gb the second time (second card), and then 400gb+ the third go (implying third card – really thought it was going to work that time). I have 128gb + 3x200gb cards in there.

    Is it absolutely sequential, or could it at some point go back and use remaining space still on the first slot card, say? It feels as if its hitting the same bad sector but at different times in the sync.

    Of course it could be something else entirely and not a card issue.

    Even after some of the errors I was able to resume and fill the pod, only to find it was left with some corrupt directories at the point of the failures that stopped rockbox building its database, and AOMEII claimed the partition had ‘errors’, if I scanned it after the sync failures occured (but if I scanned it before the sync errors occured it said everything was fine, as I say got up to 400GB with eveyrthing seeming fine the last time).

    Would be nice if Rockbox or iPod OF had their own internal scandisk./checkdisk utility.

  9. Pete

    Got a very frustrating problem here.
    With a quad adaptor and 4xmicro sd cards I find I can’t sync a full library. Tried several times, but at some unpredictable point (first attempt after 40gb, second after 140gb and 3rd restart at 400gb) it fails and windows reports a ‘bad block’ and I get corruption (confirmed by AOMEII, though it can’t fix it within the ipod).
    Now, two of the 4 cards I tested before installing, with h2testw (1 from amazon, one from ebay), but the other two were from what I was sure was a reliable outlet and testing takes so long I didn’t bother with those. The two I tested passed.

    Three were in sealed retail packaging, the last wasn’t, but then that last one is one of the two that passed h2testw.

    The frustrating thing is I have no idea which card has the bad block (someone’s ripped me off, but who?). I don’t believe any of them are actual hacked fakes, because of the way it fails – I can pretty much fill them all and most of the content seems good, but the corruption stops it being useable. One of them appears to have a fault, i,e, bad sectors.

    How do I know which one has the problem? Maybe the reliable shop isn’t so reliable after all, or maybe h2testw isn’t totally reliable as a test?

    I have heard that even h2testw won’t necessarily pick up such a fault (as opposed to an outright fake that grossly lies about its capacity), because a failure might only show up if the card isn’t getting a very good supply of power, so when on the PC it might just about work but then fail in a mobile device.

    The only way to narrow it down is to reopen the ipod (a pain for slim cases) and then try it again with each card isolated, taking half-a-day to try and sync again with each one to see if it fails.

    Any other ideas? Does the quad adaptor fill up cards in any particular order?

    1. Support

      @Pete – The storage space is used sequentially, and iTunes will generally fill free space closest to the start of the disk and outwards. If you know at which point you got the bad sectors, you should be able to make a calculated judgment on which card(s) caused the glitch.

      I have found H2Testw very good to pickup faulty or bad cards, it does a full write/read cycle and compares CRC – so pretty bolts and braces method of testing the card.

      Never heard of the power thing you mention – the only thing I can think of which that could be related to is that SD card standards state that cards should work with 5v and 3.3v – it is possible that some PC card readers used 5v, while majority of portable devices would use 3.3v to power up the SD card – and non-standard or poor quality cards would cause issues on 3.3v!

  10. Martin

    @Support – It works as long as it isn’t in the iFlash, as soon as I put it in there it gets weird. Can’t be read by my computer (when it’s in the iFlash, it works with an adapter) or by the iPod. Well, sometimes it can be read by the computer but I can’t transfer anything and I can barely install Rockbox (because I can’t write to it). If it goes in to the iFlash, it gets more or less corrupted. I guess it just doesn’t work with that card. I have formatted it to the right format multiple times and it never really works…

    1. Support

      @Martin – Very strange, I own a 512Gb Kingston personally myself installed in my daily 768Gb iPod. You sure you don’t have a silly fault like a bad ribbon causing all your problems, it would explain why you can’t DFU and restore back to the Apple OS.

  11. peter

    In the end I gave up and just went with the 5.5 gen, which works with the full 1Tb (some claim it has better sound with that ‘wolfson dac’, but have to say I’m not convinced!).
    Still wondering if the problem might somehow have something to do with my iTunes installation. Another ipod wouldn’t restore until I used a different computer/iTunes.

    1. Support

      @Martin – is that 512Gb Kingston card working ok? can you test in an external card reader, the 256Gb version of them cards have been experiencing very high failure rates from new or after short period of use.

  12. Peter

    OK, did the secure delete of the first (24mb +120gb) partitions, and STILL it comes out at 459gb!!
    The ipod says it has 977gb, which looks impressive, but as the PC can’t see half of it, I can’t use it.

    Starting to think something is wrong with the new PNY card – though quite exasperatingly I have lost track of which one was the new one.

  13. Peter

    This is a very frustrating mystery. There has to be a way round it, given I’ve mixed various capacity cards in the dual adaptor in the past, including 512+256 (which now won’t work). I just can’t work out what has changed.

    Could iTunes behaviour when restoring have changed due to an update? A driver issue?

    AOMEII sees it as a single partition with the full ~1Tb disk capacity but iTunes only sees 459gb. The full capcity is noted in device manager, but once restored by iTunes windows explorer can only see 459Gb. The iPod itself reports the correct capacity, both in OF and Rockbox.

    What do these differences mean? Seems as if its iTunes behaviour that is the problem.

    Nothing seems to resolve this.

    If I put it into DFU mode, iTunes prepares it for recovery, then it just comes back as it was, with just the first card formatted.

    If I install rockbox on it using the new bootloader it works, but both rockbox and OF can see the full capacity but, again, the PC can’t (though AOMEII still can).

    Deleting the first, 24mb partition ‘securely’ in AOMEII hasn’t helped either, and deleting the second, larger, one that way takes 5 hours so I haven’t attempted it.

    1. Support

      @Peter – I don’t think the issues are with the SD cards or the iFlash-Dual.

      Has iTunes updated for it to be that?

      What happens if you install the 256Gb in to slot SD1 and 512Gb in to SD2, does this still restore to 459Gb?

      I think you should try the secure wipe on AOMEI at least for the first 64Gb maybe to 128Gb – you want to remove data from the start of each of the 3 partitions that the iPod/iTunes creates on the storage device.

      After wiping everything maybe try restoring another computer – it might be possible there is corruption in the registry or iTunes connected to the device id (GUID) of your iPod.

  14. Peter


    Thanks for suggestions.

    I actually started loading up in 5.5 gen (which appeared to be working) before deciding syncing that pod is far too slow, and went back to trying 7 gen again.
    Did the MBR thing on both cards.
    Whatever I do I get the same outcome – explorer/iTunes only sees 469gb, even though the ipod itself reports the full amount in OF or Rockbox, and AOMEII sees the full amount as well.

  15. Peter

    @Support, oh, only just saw your last suggestion. But I did try DFU mode a couple of times, and got same result.
    New card was from Amazon like the first, so doubt it could be fake.

    1. Support

      @Peter – Very unlikely it is to do with the card, as you had one of the cards working in a 768Gb combination – Only the card in slot SD1 has the MBR & Partition data written to it, SD2 card will not have any info related to formatting or partitioning, in fact when you first restore the iPod the second card (SD2) will not have anything changed on it at all as nothing is written to it.

      Have you tried the MBR re-writing?

      Couple more things you can try – using AOMEI do a secure delete of the cards for at least the first 64Gb in case there is some sort of partition table which is causing confusion during the restore process. Lastly maybe switch to Rockbox and partition & format as done in my rockbox new bootloader article, then go back to iTunes via the DFU recovery – in case your external card reader is causing an issue with the card as this method will allow you to partition/MBR/format while the cards are installed in the iPod.

      The fact that you cannot even get your 768Gb combination working again points to some stray data residing on the SD cards which is causing confusion for the restore process.

  16. Peter


    Even tried it in a different 7th gen, same result. Baffled. Have to settle for using a 5.5gen, where at least iTunes, and rockbox, seem to install correctly and it reports the correct size. Have to hope nothing goes wrong when doing a full sync (perhaps it will still fail when exceeding 459gb?).

  17. Peter

    To be clearer – windows _explorer_ shows 459Gb, but windows control panel device manager shows the full size. And windows disk manager shows both – 972gb in the diagram, 459gb in the text list.
    Also I’ve now given up and put it into a 5.5 gen instead – which appears to work (though I’d rather be using the 7th gen).
    Also tried a different dual adapter, with same result. Its as if something has gone weird with the ipod and its become fixated with the figure of 459gb…or there’s something different about the supposedly identical newer PNY card and it isn’t being seen correctly. Its frustrating.

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