Introduction: Add More GB to Your IPod Mini

Picture of Add More GB to Your IPod Mini
My sister received the new Nano for her birthday, I was left with the 2nd gen, and her old mini lie in her room collecting dust!

She received a new iPod because her Mini was acting up, not charging, and pretty much not functioning at all. I decided to take matters into my own hands to fix that sucker. At first I thought it was a battery problem, so I tried to replace the battery, but that worked to no avail.

So, I thought up the crazy plan of taking my Dell DJ (broken screen) micro drive , and replace it with the 4GB one that she had in her Mini.

So this Instructable is teaching you how to open your iPod, and replace the micro drive with a better micro drive, and in my case, it added an extra GB to the iPod Mini.

If you finish this Instructable, go to my continuation:

So here we go!

  • One tip, when you take off the top of your iPod, use an adults help like I did, because they can help you pry the top off. I had my dad help me, and it worked great!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Here is what you need to complete this job:

  • iPod Mini
  • Flat-head Screwdriver
  • iTunes
  • Mac/PC
  • Any other micro drive that can fit into the pins that the old micro drive fit in to.

That is it!

Step 2: Opening Up IPod

Picture of Opening Up IPod
Here is the most tricky part of this process. You have to pry open the top, and bottom white pieces of plastic off.

  • Take your screwdriver, and try to put it in between the edge of the metal and the plastic
  • Jiggle it a few times to get it firmly below the plastic and metal casing
  • Pry up the plastic as best you can. Jiggle it some more, but it will eventually come off.
  • There is a little bit of glue, so it will take a few minuted to get this process done.
  • Do this to both the top and bottom white plastic pieces.

Step 3: Pull It Out

Picture of Pull It Out
Now it is time to pull out the guts of the iPod away from the casing.

There are two screws on the top of the iPod. Unscrew them, and save the screws for when you want to put it back together.

On the bottom, push the input jack up, to loosen it. As you are pushing up, it will slowly come apart.

  • There is a small connection on the bottom of the ipod, that connects to the circuit board. As you are pulling the guts out, make sure that gets unhooked. This is the connection between the buttons and the circuit board.

This is not very hard, but make sure you do this very CAREFULLY, as you do not want to break anything, or force anything apart.

Step 4: Take Out the 4GB Micro Drive.

Picture of Take Out the 4GB Micro Drive.
This step is pretty easy.

There is tape that is holding the micro drive to the circuit board, so all you have to do is take the tape off, and the micro drive will be dangling.

It is connected to (I think) 32 pins, so just disconnect the drive from those pins. It is relatively easy, but do it carefully because there is risk of bending the pins, or pulling something out of its socket.

  • In case you do not know the drive I am talking about, it is the big white square, that says "4GB" on it.

Step 5: Add the 5GB Micro Drive

Picture of Add the 5GB Micro Drive

Now it is time to grab your 5GB micro drive.

I salvaged mine from a Dell Pocket DJ that had a broken screen. I never got around to replacing the screen, so I just took the 5GB off of it.

The micro drive that you have, should fit into the 32 pins. The one I used was perfect sized, and fit into the pins perfectly, and also fit into the iPod as well.

It just slides on easily, and should fit into the iPod.

Step 6: Sliding It Back In

Picture of Sliding It Back In
Now slide the iPod back into the metal casing. It should fit pretty well.


  • There is a connection on the bottom, that must fit an input on the circuit board. If you do not have this connection, the scrolling buttons will not work. So slowly slide the circuit board in, guiding it onto this connection on the bottom of the iPod.

It should go in relatively easily because iPods were made to be mass produced, so the men and women making them did not waste time putting this connection in.

Step 7: Plug It in to the Computer

Picture of Plug It in to the Computer
Ok, so if you made it to this step, I am proud of you. It has been a rough ride.

However, since you have been here you should have iTunes downloaded.

When you open up iTunes a box will popup saying that your iPod is corrupted, and needs to be restored.
  • Click OK
  • You will get to the screen like the picture below
  • Click "Restore"

This will clear the heard drive, and it will have you start anew!

You should have close to 5GB capacity. I had 4.61, and that was because the micro drive I used was pretty old.

You should have more GB on your iPod now!


Step 8: Now Add Music

Picture of Now Add Music

Now just add as much music as you like. You have an extra Gigabyte!


Gelfling6 (author)2016-01-15

8 years later, The mods still continue! Even more ironic, seeing an ad from ebay for a SDHD to CF adaptor card I just bought on EBay, popping up in the ads.. The mini's battery can be replaced with more higher capacity batteries (upwards of 2000mAh, I just ordered a 1300.), and CF capacity is already up to 1/2-TB! The memory cards (SDHC, or CF) will draw far less than the mini drive, and the increased battery holding will more than multiply the life (the original, was only 400mAh) So, yes, this mod is still being performed today!

mooters01. (author)Gelfling62016-11-26

Actually used a similar mod to add a 128gb sd card and an upgraded battery.
You can actually get to the internals without using a screwdriver to take off the white cover pieces. Just use a Popsicle stick and some hotglue, white parts come right off and you can use a guitar pick to pry them if they give you any trouble ;)

Eilermoon (author)mooters01.2016-11-30

Wow this is still active! I just replaced my 2nd Gen mini's HDD with a 128GB micro SD using a SDXC to CF adapter. My issue is that, after plugging the Mini into iTunes and attempting to restore, nothing happens for me. It will recognize the ipod and try to restore but does not do anything. Meanwhile, Windows has no problem formatting the ipod for me. Any ideas? I used this adapter with mine:

mooters01. (author)Eilermoon2016-11-30

I used a different adapter, but you want to make sure that youre grounding out the iPod, place it in the case, make it think theres nothing wrong with it but obviously, keep it unscrewed just in case. Try different SD cards and if you have extra parts (I've accidentally bought 2 mini's for the price of one, score!) do some rigorous testing. I formatted it without firewire with no issues what so ever. If you need anymore help, don't hesitate to comment back to me, I just emails about replies sent to my phone.

nrowe46 (author)2011-01-09

My iPod mini will not restore so I'm very interested to do this mod. I ned to know exactly what kind of flash drive I need to get. I have a second generation iPod. I have tried to reset it many times and have rebooted dozens of times.

resophonic (author)2007-11-16

Pretty Sweet! My sister's iPod mini is doing the same stuff, so when she gets her nano, I am totally going to gigafy it!

ukcuf (author)resophonic2007-11-17

Lol it sounds like taking your sister's ipod is the modern equivalent of taking your sister's dolls and attaching paper parachutes to them and throwing them out the window. (I wish I had a sister :S lol)

Doctor What (author)ukcuf2007-11-17

no, you don't wish you had a sister, they are demons. in fact, their true forms live deep within the impossible planet orbiting a black hole. the vases need to be destroyed.

pagangod (author)Doctor What2009-10-07


Modernbenoni (author)Doctor What2008-11-01

I'm guessing you're a teenager... And as I am one also, I agree with you completely...

Austinjb555 (author)ukcuf2008-10-19

No, you do NOT wish you had a sister! trust me!

led235 (author)ukcuf2008-10-03

i bet she was happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD lol

theatre_tech_guru (author)ukcuf2007-11-19

I strapped my sisters barbies to model rockets and launched them


Ooh! Nice one.

Thats the spirit!

struckbyanarrow (author)2009-08-22

got a mini at a yard sale for 4 bucks now i wanna hack it!

olibelson (author)2009-05-07

Absolute genius, worked a treat. Very exciting. 1st generation 4GB mini is now a 1st generation 8GB mini. Brilliant instructable. I love my mini.

evanwehrer (author)2009-03-13

my is a demon also

Weed151 (author)2009-02-01

I have a 2gb Ipod Nano 2nd Generation, and I was wondering if this would work with it, because you're using an Ipod Mini. Thanks, Please Reply

sergentslaughter (author)2008-10-03


alston (author)2008-06-30

Is there any other electronic device anyone knows of that carries that is under 30 dollars? and fits the "pins" of a Ipod nano?

Yerboogieman (author)2008-02-05

now how to replace an LCD screen on an MP4 Player

Derin (author)Yerboogieman2008-06-30

very ironic solution: buy a new one desolder both screens solder on the new screen trash the new mp4 player

ppatidar07 (author)2008-05-19

hey this is a great mod and i have an old dell dj as well. I want to try this out but i have i believe a 2nd or 3rd gen Ipod Nano, one that is thin but rectangular with rounded off edges. Will it still work this type of Ipod?

thefunktopus (author)2008-05-11

Is your siter called Rena? Do I get a prize for picking up on that fact? No? Damn.

Brennn10 (author)thefunktopus2008-05-11

No, I don't have a sister. Why?

thefunktopus (author)Brennn102008-05-12

My sister received the new Nano for her birthday, I was left with the 2nd gen, and her old mini lie in her room collecting dust! Are you sure?

Brennn10 (author)thefunktopus2008-05-12

Lol, yea I see. You saw my sister's name where it says the name of her iPod.

nicknack171 (author)2008-05-10

hey do you know how to change the color of your ipod in itunes? i found a completely working blue ipod that im painting but i don't want it to show us blue thanks

Brennn10 (author)nicknack1712008-05-11

I am really not sure. There are a couple YouTube videos that show you how to get into the files of the ipod, and you can access different backgrounds. However, I do not know how to choose the one I want.

Gjdj3 (author)2008-04-28

Well, a lot of the time the sad face is just because the hard drive has come a little bit loose from the cord that connects it. Try removing the cord all the way from the back, then putting it back in.

Robeast (author)2007-11-25

I've got a broken 30g Zune. i'd like to put the 30 gigs to use as an external hard drive (besides the patch). Keeping the Zune software or previous data is not important to me. Any suggestions?

Yerboogieman (author)Robeast2008-02-05

whats wrong with it?

Robeast (author)Brennn102007-11-26

Yes, i have considered this, but would I need to reformat the 30 gig hard drive to get rid of all of the Zune software? If so, how can I do this?

krishnaiyerrox (author)2007-12-14

my compact flash is connected to my mp3 player it isn't an i pod it is manufactured by a company called mpio {} my model number is hd200 i replaced the st1 drive wid a cf card but my mp3 player firmware got destroyed in the process the mpio utility provided by the manufacturer does not detect my mp3 player {although windows and Linux do so as an external mass storage drive} this is why my mp3 player works only as a thumb drive and does not play any music as a standalone player sumone plz help me out and tell me what to do please help me out

you must have lost the files neccesary for your computer to sense it. You should be able to turn on your mp3 and go to settings. it should say something like 'restore original settings' or something similar. it should restore all the files neccesary for the computer to sense it; however you will need to replace the music that was on it before.

MumblingTuna (author)2007-11-11

I want to know how to make a nano into a video. heh.

iPod Linux

sniper99 (author)MumblingTuna2007-11-11

i got the third generation nano in october and it rocks!!!!

MumblingTuna (author)sniper992007-11-11

DId you have another ipod before you upgraded? Im looking for a cheap one 2 buy

sniper99 (author)MumblingTuna2007-11-11

if u want a cheap iPod i would recomend buying either the shuffle for 79.99 or the ipod nano for 150.00

MumblingTuna (author)sniper992007-11-11

Heh. I can get an Ipod video for 150 on eBay. Im going for an Ipod video for <100$

Brennn10 (author)sniper992007-11-11

Yea my sister got it too.

Nirjuana (author)2007-11-14

Great Instructable but like someone already mentioned, it's better to put a flash drive instead of HD since they're faster and almost totally immune to any shocks and while you're opening the iPod anyway I recommend you to change the battery as well, new batteries that are two times more powerful than original ones can be bought from eBay for 0.99$!

coolcat (author)Nirjuana2007-11-15

Do not buy ipod battery on ebay. I purchased one and it was a bad experience. This was supposed to be 900 mAH. Ipod required 740maH (4th gen 20gb ipod). The charge barely lasted 4 hours. Original battery lasted over 24 hours on one charge. I know that Apple does a rip off on the battery. But the ones on ebay are bad. They do not last long.

jesusali (author)coolcat2007-12-31

I bought a .99¢ replacement battery for my iPod mini from eBay seller "Factoriesonline" and it has been working great for nearly a year.

Brennn10 (author)jesusali2007-12-31

Wow 99cents! My brother and I have an ebay account, so we will have to buy one. Thanks Jesusali!

Nirjuana (author)coolcat2007-11-16

It depend from who you buy it, it bought from user named who has over 600 000 positive feedbacks and my battery works just great!

About This Instructable




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