Troubleshooting Guide

Troubleshooting Guide

Installation Problems

Red X / Sad iPod screen on power up

This normally indicates the iPod cannot read or detect the Hard Drive, in our case the iFlash board.

Possible causes of this are :

  • iFlash board not installed the right way.
  • HDD ribbon not fully inserted in the iFlash board or iPod end.
  • Faulty HDD ribbon.
  • Bad SD card – try removing any SD card(s) to see if that changes anything.

Each iFlash product page has an Installation tab, which has a photo guide with instructions on how to install the board.

I get the Restore Screen/Folder icon on the iPod but error when trying to restore

Errors trying to restore the iPod can be caused by several things. These can include hardware related problems, software drivers, and iTunes related.

First thing to check is that iPod and the iFlash board are communicating ok. We do this by entering the iPod diagnostics and checking the hard drive parameters are correct.

5g/6g/7g iPod Videos / Classics

Hold down Menu+Select until the iPod resets

Quickly hold down Left+Select until the iPod enters the diagnostics mode

Navigate : Manual Tests / IO / Harddrive / HDSpecs

4g iPod Color / Photos

Hold down Menu+Select until the iPod resets

Quickly hold down Left+Select until the iPod enters the diagnostics mode

Navigate : IO / Harddrive / HDSpecs

3rd Gen iPod

Hold down Menu+Play/Pause to reset iPod

Quickly switch to holding down Backward+Forward+Select for several seconds, then release – iPod should beep and enter diagnostics

Press Forward button till you get to HDD Scan and press Select – this should say PASS if everything is installed ok.

If everything is connected correctly the HDSpecs screen will show you the iFlash platform information for SD based boards or the mSATA/M2 drive model, and the size of storage (in 512 byte sectors LBA) and the serial number of the drive.

If the screen shows any corruption like missing or corrupt characters more than likely there is a problem with the HDD ribbon – so inspect or replace that.

HDspecs data and diagnostics look ok

Once we have confirmed the iPod is connected to the iFlash and storage devices correctly, we can now check that the computer can read and write to the iPod.

Place the iPod in to diskmode by doing the following:

4g/5g/6g/7g iPod Videos / Classics / Photo / Color

Hold down Menu+Select until the iPod resets

Switch to holding down Play+Select until iPod enters diskmode

Connect USB lead to iPod and computer

3rd Gen iPod

Hold down Menu+Play/Pause to reset iPod

Quickly switch to holding down Forward+Play/Pause until iPod enters diskmode

Connect USB lead to iPod and computer

The iPod ‘drive’ should appear on the computer. Close iTunes if it automatically starts.

On Windows machines, the iPod will appear in the file explorer – if it does not it is possible that no drive letter has been assigned to it. Locate Disk Management, and assign driver letter to the iPod device.

Now you can format the iPod ‘drive’ and check you can read/write to it correctly. You may need to use an 3rd party disk formatter if windows is not able to format to full capacity of the iPod.

On MACs the iPod drive can be found in the disk utility. Here you can delete/partition/erase and reformat the iPod – you can either format to FAT32 or MAC OS extended (Journaled).

Check that you can read/write to the iPod drive. Open iTunes and attempt restore, if this does not work – eject the iPod, disconnect from the computer, and reset the iPod – then reconnect to the computer and try again.

Post Install Problems

After restoring iPod only shows 127GB / 128GB or 137GB

This is due to having an 6th Gen iPod Classic. These are the metal faced units which came in 80GB / 120GB and a thicker 160GB capacity.

The Apple OS on these devices operates LBA28 addressing which limits access to 127GiB total storage.

Check your model number here :

After restoring iTunes does not sync anything to the iPod

The latest version of iTunes by default do not sync anything to a newly restored iPod.

You need to click on the iPod icon on the main iTunes screen. Under the larger iPod icon is menu of various media types – enter each one and select what you want synced to the iPod.

Finally click on Apply and Sync. iTunes will apply these settings every time that iPod is connected.

After syncing and ejecting, the iPod shows no music OR needs restoring again

This can have two causes. Fake / Bad SD cards or your iTunes is too large for the iPod.

Most common cause will be bad or fake SD cards. Using an external card reader test each SD card using a program like H2Testw (or F3 on MACs). Confirm that SD card performance matches manufacturer specs and there are no read/write crc errors.

Syncing 1000 tracks works ok but when I sync 4000/5000/7000/XXX tracks everything goes wrong

This is the same problem as the question above, fake or bad SD cards are the most common cause of this. Test cards as described above.

My iPod 5g / 5.5g Video just hangs on the lit Apple logo forever!

The iTunes library is too large for the iPod, you will need to remove some tracks for the iPod to be able to boot.

All is not lost follow the advice above to put the iPod in to diskmode, and once connected to the computer – iTunes will access the iPod normally, where you can remove some tracks to reduce the library size on the iPod.

Other symptoms of iTunes library too large for the iPod

Several strange and random symptoms can occur if your library is too large for the iPod to handle, these will include :

  • (5g Video models) Will not sleep, power drain while off
  • Crashes when playing large playlists
  • Sluggish track selection
  • Track skipping during playlist play
  • Sudden reboots

14 thoughts on “Troubleshooting Guide

  1. Christopher

    Further to my last post, my PC now recognises the iPod under “Disc Drives” as “Apple Ipod USB device” and it looks like it is also recognised as a “portable device”, listed as a “WPD FileSystem Volume Driver”.

    Can anyone help?

  2. Chris

    I’ve managed to get the ipod into disc mode and connect it to my PC.
    I’ve also looked at the diagnostic mode – under Manual Tests / IO / Harddrive / HDSpecs…. there is nothing displayed.

    Would that then indicate there is an issue with the HDD ribbon?

  3. Mariusz

    I have just installed iFlash-Quad with one Sandisk 256GB micro SDXC card into my iPod and it recognizes only 127GB. I’ve checked iPod version in the service mode menu and it is MA448 (iPod 5.5th gen), so addressing issue (LBA28) is not the case. Shall I suspect SD card (fake?), or could it be something else? Card was prepared according to your guidelines (in AOMEI soft) and it was reported as 256GB after process completion.
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Mariusz

      I can answer to myself now 🙂 I had to be sure before I post this information. My problem was connected to battery. It looks like I could not start iPod due to a dead battery. It was able to start in disc mode and also in service mode, but only when it was connected to power supply. It was impossible to start iPod in normal mode. It was going in constant rebooting state. I have ordered 3000mAh battery and I was waiting for its arrival patiently. I got it and everything works fine now 🙂 Also putting iPod in disc mode and then connecting to PC helped to recognize it in proper capacity. Now I need to order three more microSD cards and enjoy my monster iPod. Big thanks to iFlash for giving second life to an old friend!

  4. Bob

    Has anyone had issues with the headphone jack not working after install? I have installed 2 drives and the jack has ceased to function in each ipod.

    1. Support

      @Bob – The iFlash board has no impact on the headphone jack – your issue is going to be failed audio ribbon to the headphone jack/hold switch, or the ribbon is not fully mated in the zif connection, you may have dislodged it while the iPod was open.

    2. Bob

      Thanks. I believe you are correct in that I did some type of damage to the jack. I’m going to take a look at it.

  5. Bill Boucher

    Hopefully some clever soul on this forum can help me.

    It’s my first attempt at upgrading an iPod, and am trying to use an ATA1 in a 4th generation 30Gb photo/colour…but it’s all gone dreadfully wrong.

    Following the instructions on the iFlash website, I’ve removed the original hard-drive, and installed the ATA1, with a 256Gb SDXC UHS-I (U1) 633x Lexar card, which is one of those listed as suitable. I’ve formatted the card fo Fat32.

    However, all I get is the “sad iPod” icon. I can access the diagnostic menu, and everything except the hard-drive seems normal. It’s almost as if the device can’t see the new drive. The hard-drive specs option of the diagnostic menu just gives me the words “Model number:” and nothing else. The R/W test comes back as “FAIL”. For what it’s worth, the hard-drive Smart Scan comes back as “PASS”. I tried replacing the original drive, but that no longer works either.

    I fear that I’ve messed this up somehow. A replacement hard-drive connector cable hasn’t solved the problem, and neither has a different SD card. The ribbon cable seems to be in the ZIF connector as far as it will go.

    As a fan of the original iPods, i was very enthusiastic to try an upgrade, and all the guides and YouTube videos made it look so easy. But it’s just getting me frustrated now.

    Can somebody advise me on how to proceed? Failing that, is there another forum for blundering amateurs like myself?

    I chose the 4th generation as it’s very easy to open, an the ultimate plan was to build upon my experience and upgrade a 5th generation to 512Gb. But as I’ve fallen at the first fence this seems an impossible dream.

    Any ideas as to how I’ve buggered this up?

  6. Ryan

    >After syncing and ejecting, the iPod shows no music OR needs restoring again
    >This can have two causes. Fake / Bad SD cards or your iTunes is too large for the iPod.

    I have hit this problem on a 2nd generation mini and ~210GB of music. < 10,000 songs, using a 512GB SD card. The same iPod had taken the same music library with a 256GB SD card just fine. After some troubleshooting I found it was because I'd reformatted my FAT32 partition to have 64KB clusters (for the added sync speed), instead of 16KB as the default.

    After restoring with iTunes and resyncing, the mini 2nd gen could see the Music again. It can even shuffle the entire library.

    This makes me think that there is a more complicated relationship between the iPod failing and the size of the iTunes database, which potentially includes the and the FAT32 cluster size. Perhaps a larger cluster size uses more memory and leaves less room for the music database? (although a 64KB cluster size should make the FAT table much *smaller*, so not sure why it actually has any effect). Furthermore, my 1st generation mini fails at far fewer songs, yet it has the exact same amount of RAM as the 2nd gen. It cannot utilize a 256GB SD card, while the 2nd generation mini can. This means there is something weirder going on to cause the failure than simply too many songs.

    I would suggest that anyone having issues with the iPod's ability to see music check the cluster size that iTunes chose for the drive, and maybe reformat their FAT32 partition with smaller clusters (like 4KB) and see if that helps.

  7. Anuj

    I have a 5.5 gen (80 GB) thick ipod in which I have installed 4x64GB micro SD cards using iflash quad. It is working fine. I want to move it to 6/7th gen thin case. I think I would need the following:
    A 6th/7th gen metal front face
    A 6th/7th gen metal back housing thin
    A 6th/7th gen middle metal frame
    A 6th/7th gen bottom USB dock bezel (for thin version)
    A 6th/7th gen headphone jack hold switch with flex ribbon cable (for thin version)
    A 6th/7th gen clickwheel center button
    A 5th gen clickwheel with ribbon
    A 5th gen thin battery 2000mAH (compatible with the above mentioned thin case with iFlash quad card)

    Do you think this list is complete? Am I missing anything? Is it even possible to move 5.5 thick to 6/7th thin housing?
    Please help. I would really appreciate any help or feedback on this.

  8. Olly

    Hi, thank you for a very helpful guide. I am experiencing an issue you briefly mentioned – track skipping. My iPod has successfully synced, music playback is fine when it works, but when shuffling through the library sometimes it’ll get to a track and won’t play, it’ll then eventually skip to the next track and keep repeating this behaviour. So far I’ve just reshuffled and this seems to fix it.

    My library is 127gb and the SD card is 128gb, my iPod supports SD cards of this size, but you mentioned the library might be too large. What exactly does this mean/what can I do? And is there anything else to rule out?

    Thank you

    1. Support Post author

      @Olly – First thing to determine, if it is certain type of track causing the skipping. Certain iPods are sensitive to how tracks have been encoded. Next you can reduce the library size on the iPod to see if that cures the issue.

    2. Olly

      Thanks for your response. From what I’ve seen (will verify) it’s not to do with specific songs, it more appears to be an issue with it having played a certain number of songs. Having said this, is there any sort of encoding type I could scan iTunes for? I will try reducing the library size now. Another interesting thing I observed was – it did this a few times, where it would stop playing, and either a reshuffle or a reset, and it the issue would be gone. However in one instance, I reset the iPod and it refused to boot, giving me the ‘this ipod is corrupt, please restore’ error. Does this give any clues? I’m assuming encoding errors probably wouldn’t cause this kind of corruption?


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