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.


382 thoughts on “iPOD and SDHC – SDXC cards

  1. Support

    @Antoine – Removing the HDD will not change the fit of the click wheel, as the motherboard and clickwheel are secured to the front case by the internal metal frame, which the HDD does not excert any pressure on.

    Maybe the screw holes which hold the front panel to the metal frame are broken which would cause movement of the click wheel.

    As long as you used the foam pads to secure the iFlash board within the iPod – then nothing should be loose.

  2. Antoine

    I just upgraded a 5.5th gen iPod classic and everything worked out fine thanks to your website. A question remains though: now that the HDD is out the iPod feels empty and the click wheel is not properly maintained against the top of the case, it’s clicky and loose when I use it. What material do you suggest for stuffing the iPod in order to secure every component?
    Thanks, Antoine

  3. Lauren Glenn


    Alright! 🙂 That’s great news.

    Now, I ran into an issue where I thought my drive became corrupted…. :/ So in a rush, I decided to restore the iPod but I forget the steps exactly…. so after a few minutes I realized the step by step to get it to read 2×400, 2×200 = 1.2TB = usable = 1100GB

    * take out each micro SD card and put in a PC with a flash card reader
    * Use DISKPART to clear the disk but make sure you do the following:
    * SELECT DISK ## (replace ## with the one that’s your micro SD card — very important)
    * LIST DISK (do it again JUST to make sure you have the right drive selected and NOT your Windows hard drive)
    * CLEAN
    * EXIT (to exit out of DISKPART)
    Repeat that for each micro SD card. It may not be required but it avoids a lot of issues (at least for me)

    * After that, put your cards into your iFlash Quad… I usually put the 400GB ones first and then the 200s at the end, but I don’t think it really matters.
    * Connect the battery and it will say “Restore to iTunes”
    * Restore in iTunes (chances are, at least in Windows 10, you will get an error when the progress bar hits 50%)
    * Unplug your 30-pin cable and the machine will restart
    * It may say “Connect to Power” but that is because it wants it when doing the firmware update
    * Hold UP and CENTER to restart but once you see the logo, immediately hold DOWN and CENTER to get into disk mode.
    * Use a program called GUIFORMAT to format the drive *exactly* as FAT32 w/ 16384 (Quick format)
    * When that finishes, eject your iPod and manually reset by holding CENTER and UP.
    * The system will finish its firmware update by creating all the iPod folders it needs for iTunes to read it.
    * After this, you should be able to hover over SETTINGS and see 1100MB free 🙂

    (I figured I’d list point by point because chances are either someone will want this or I’ll forget the exact steps …. don’t want to have to figure out the points all over again)

  4. Zedhed

    Hi Brian
    I had something similar once and it was down to a music file that the iPod couldn’t play even though it was accepted by iTunes. I think it had an odd sample rate or something.

    Also, have you checked the SD cards outside of the iPod? Check for bad sectors and that you can write to the full capacity.

  5. brian

    I have what was originally a 160gb classic now with two SD card replacement….when I listen to over 100 tracks I am in peril of a reboot…this happens at 100…120…112 tracks…any number above 100…any ideas

  6. Pommes

    I just wanted to let you know that I upgraded my 7.5 iPod Iflash Quad to 1.08 tb (2*400 +2*200 grey red Sandisk)
    and I didn’t have any problems restoring it in iTunes.

  7. Pommes

    I am using iPod classic7.5 with quad 800gb
    I am using the red grey sandisc, one iPod with 2x400gb and another iPod with 4x200gb.
    When using more than 40000 songs, it doesn’t work with Apple os because it uses more than 64mb ram. So I use Rockbox with my library of 65000 songs. Works quite well. I had occasional database problems, not anymore since I disabled library cache and load to ram in Rockbox settings

  8. Zedhed

    Good work!
    I’m interested in this kind of stuff, not because I want massive drives but because I have constant problems with iPod Classics (6th & 7th gens) and SDXC cards using either iFlash or cheap Chinese adapters. The iPod plays fine but when connecting to a PC, the PC thinks there’s some problem with the drive and asks to format it. iTunes doesn’t even recognise there’s an iPod attached. There’s nothing wrong with the SDXC cards I’m using (tested outside of an iPod). When I disconnect the iPod, it will reboot by itself and then connects fine.

    The connection problem isn’t consistent. Sometimes it will connect, sometimes it won’t. It’s less likely to connect the longer I’ve been using the iPod.

    I’ve used a variety of SDXC brands and different iFlash adapters (single, dual, quad) and they all have given this error. However, sometimes they DO work which is mystifying. It’s all very random and time consuming to test. I just have to keep playing the iPod, say, for 12 to 24 hours then connect to a PC to see if the error occurs. If it doesn’t then I repeat the test. Testing can take days! However, SanDisk Extreme Pro 256gb cards seem less prone to this error.

    I never have a problem with iPod Videos (5th gens).

    I have actually managed to get a couple of iPods working by doing random things but the solution for one hasn’t worked a second time.

    So, I’m wondering whether there’s some magic formatting I need to do each time I prepare an SDXC card. I know of Tarkan’s method using AOEMI’s Partition Assistant but this has only seemingly solved the problem once for me.

  9. Peter Mayhew

    Hi Lauren, that’s interesting to learn about iTunes not liking over 1 TB modified iPods. My iTunes currently holds 1.2 TB of WMA music files which I had hoped would fit on my iPod using 2 x 256 GB + 1 x 128 GB and, when I can afford it, a 512 GB card which would give me slightly less than your 1,200 GB. From what you are saying I would still have to cull my iTunes library as it seems it will not fit uncompressed. I use 5th gen videos (ex 60 / 80 GB) to modify which would presumably have the same difficulties as yours did as it seems that iTunes is the limiting factor. I wonder if Rockbox would make any difference?

  10. Lauren Glenn

    Had an issue formatting an iPod Classic over 1000GB. When I got it to 1.2TB, iTunes had big issues with it and it wouldn’t restore. Apparently, I took each card out individually and used DISKPART to CLEAN the disks (like I usually do). It would restore the firmware but the drive wouldn’t format.

    So, I attached the iPod Classic, formatted the whole thing to FAT32 using GUI Format (which you can find on the internet)… format always to 16384 per from the dropdown list as that’s how iTunes formats it. From there, iTunes let it restore but it threw an error. You can reboot the iPod Classic and it may boot but not work either. I believe I had to put it into Disk Mode from the reset by holding down and center buttons while it rebooted.

    From there, I could format the drive using GUI FORMAT w/ 16384 bytes per from the dropdown with the Classic attached via USB. After that finished, I rebooted the iPod and then iTunes accepted it as 1.08TB. This is about right as 1000GB shows up as about 918GB. 2x 400GB cards and 2x 200GB cards gives you 1.08TB from within iTunes (as it shows it) and about 1110MB. But just keeping everyone in the loop as to how far it can go as I’m able to try…. hopefully others who push it further will also post to give us a heads up as to what we can do.

  11. Peter Mayhew

    Hi Steve, I would be very careful when buying off eBay. I have successfully purchased several 128gb and 64gb micro SDXC cards and aome 256GB sdxc cards but I also have a collection of fake 512 GB micro sdxc cards that I obtained refunds for through eBay but the sellers are very aggressive when accused of selling fakes. I always send screenshots of the results of the h2testw memory tests that I carry out on the cards and although the test is well known the fakers obviously don’t believe in the test. I have 4 cheap 256GB fake Samsung cards that came packaged just like the real thing but sadly, as usual, they each only had approx 17GB useable memory.
    However, I have purchased 128GB and 256GB micro sdxc cards from My Memory and never had any trouble. My Memory often sell the 128GB cards for around £25.00 and with special offers I recently purchased 2 x 256GB Samsung cards for £149.00. All I need now is a 512GB micro SDXC card to add to the 2 x 256GB Samsungs plus a 128GB card that’s already on board my Iflash quad adapter and I might be able to fit my 1.2 TB itunes library on my iPod uncompressed.
    I suppose buying from e-bay means that you can always get a refund and you might get a cheap non-fake now and again but make sure that you h2testw the cards quickly, get a screenshot of the results (that you can scan and convert to a jpeg image as that’s the only way you can add it to your eBay request for a refund) then start by telling the seller that there’s an issue as they might just send a refund (unlikely) but you’ve at least given them a chance before going for a full refund, including p & p if any, by requesting eBay to step in. It’s a pain in the rear but it works and hopefully if everyone gets refunds it will eventually put the fakers off selling fakes. But don’t hold your breath!

  12. Support

    @Steve – I would not buy MicroSD cards from eBay, they will be fake. Stick to retailers who sell cards supplied directly from the manufacturer.

  13. Steve

    What should I use in terms of micro sd eBay are selling class 10 cards cheap but are they going to be suitable

  14. Pommes

    I just ordered the iflash quad for my iPod 7g 160.
    I read here, that 400gb Micro SD work, but I would like to use 4 of them, so 1.6 tb.
    Anybody tried to use more than a tb in iflash quad / iPod classic 7g?
    Please let me know, thanks

  15. Support

    @ApolloBoy – unlikely to be caused by the SD card.
    It might be an issue with the motherboard, I have seen water damage/corrosion causing this as the charging circuit is on the front face near the scroll wheel, sweat/moisture getting past there will cause this. So worth checking that.

    Also worth checking if your library is not too large the iPod as the 30GB models have very low limits, which can cause very strange problems. Do this by removing say 50% of the tracks from the iPod and checking if the symptoms clear.

  16. ApolloBoy

    I should also clarify that I purchased the SD card directly from Amazon and the iPod passed the internal diagnostics test with flying colors.

  17. ApolloBoy

    I recently refurbed a 5th gen 30 GB using the solo SD adapter and a 128 GB SanDisk microSD card. For the most part it works great, but it seems to have an annoying problem where the iPod thinks that it’s fully charged and connected to power when it’s actually not. I’m beginning to think it’s either an issue with the new battery I installed or the logic board, but I’m not sure if it’s the SD card causing it either. Any thoughts?

  18. Support

    @Alt – I would not use a Class 4 card, they are too slow for this application. If cost is the biggest factor for around $3 more, you can get the Sandisk Ultra series card which are UHS-I U1 class cards.

  19. Peter

    Thanks Zed,
    I was beginning to think that I had a faulty logic board but have seen posts elsewhere that mentioned cleaning cable clamp contacts and some have eventually sorted out the problem and the fact that the scroll wheel will reset the iPod makes you think that it is working. I will have to delve into the connections again to see where it gets me.
    As for the memory loss issue I equate it to asking for 1000 pennies and being given only 930! If you only get 930 GB that’s useable why not advertise a 930 GB card. I know that it’s the same for all memory bur I think that it’s immoral selling something that falls short of what it’s advertised capacity actually is in reality. Car engines are usually a couple of cc’s under the advertised engine size but it’s usually only 2 or 3 cc’s such as the 1 litre Ford Anglia that was regularly known as the 997 cc Anglia and my 1500cc MK1 Ford Cortina log book said it was 1498cc’s. I just think that memory manufacturers have taken it a lot too far and no-one says anything, most peculiar.
    Anyway, if anyone else has a miracle cure for my strangely uncooperative iPod then I would love to hear from them.
    Thanks, Pete Mayhew

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