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

42 thoughts on “Troubleshooting Guide

  1. Monty

    I had an issue when upgrading an Ipod 5.5 When the new SDHC 512G card is inserted and Ipod is reset to Disk Mode, the next screen says “OK to Disconnect”. After deleting partition/reformatting/checking SD card again….I still got same “OK to Disconnect” and Ipod will not continue restore process. After further investigation, I found that iTunes was not recognizing the iPod automatically — the “usbaapl64.inf” driver (located in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers) had been disabled. Reinstalled the driver and restore process completed just as described in the guide.

  2. Ian O

    I have a 3rd gen iPod A1040 , I swear its cursed :/
    I have the ipod4g adapter and iflash solo, have tried different cards …always same result. the iPod is recognized by the Mac (Mojave) or Windows 10 virtual machine..but +really really+ slow to format/restore, and in the end it falls over.
    No matter what… I can wait hours and it always fails.
    Anyone had this problem with a 3g iPod? thanks for your help!!!!

  3. Crispin

    Hopefully this will help people as well: I wanted to warn people to make sure the battery is at least partly charged when upgrading an old ipod.
    I have just installed the iFlash-ATA1 into a 4th Gen ipod Photo after a whole day of struggle – itunes just wouldn’t recognise it. I tried all sorts of things but the problem turned out to be that the device had been unused for so long that the battery was completely dead and there was not enough charge in the system to allow it to charge itself. This is despite it showing the battery charging icon on the screen and holding some (tiny) charge – google problems with charging very low battery ipods for more details.
    The solution is to get it into disk mode (which allows charging) and leave it plugged in to a mains charger for several hours. After that it was very straightforward to connect up to itunes and restore.

  4. Jesse Spencer

    Hopefully this will help someone else out. I spent many hours fooling around with my iPod 160gb and a SanDisk Extreme 256gb SD card. Could not get it to work tried replacing ribbon cables – everything. Put the project down for some months, then tried again using a 5th gen 30gb iPod classic. Same problems. Did not work. So then I purchased a Samsung EVO Blue 512gb card, followed the same formatting instructions and it worked perfectly, as documented. Haven’t swapped back to the 160gb ipod, but I assume it would work too (as long as it isn’t a 7th gen… not sure but will probably try anyway after I purchase another iflash kit and Samsung SD card.

  5. Matthew K

    I’m ready to give up. My iPod 5th gen 60gb has been giving me so much issues. I got a new SD from Lexar that is supposed to work. Still had song skipping issues. Bought a new iFlash ribbon cable…. Still skipping/freezing. Even in the HDD diagnostic screen, it shows corrupted text. What is going on here? I’ve tried converting the songs through itunes to 256… and no luck. Most of my songs just do not want to play passed 3:38 and I have no idea why. Is my iPod mainboard a dud or something?

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