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: http://www.instructables.com/id/Microdrive-Madness-15-solution-for-your-extra-mi/

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
iPod Mod 001.jpg
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!
nrowe464 years ago
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.
resophonic7 years ago
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!
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)
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.
I'm guessing you're a teenager... And as I am one also, I agree with you completely...
No, you do NOT wish you had a sister! trust me!
led235 ukcuf6 years ago
i bet she was happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD lol
I strapped my sisters barbies to model rockets and launched them
Ooh! Nice one.
Brennn10 (author)  theatre_tech_guru7 years ago
Thats the spirit!
got a mini at a yard sale for 4 bucks now i wanna hack it!
olibelson6 years ago
Absolute genius, worked a treat. Very exciting. 1st generation 4GB mini is now a 1st generation 8GB mini. Brilliant instructable. I love my mini.
Weed1516 years ago
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
alston7 years ago
Is there any other electronic device anyone knows of that carries that is under 30 dollars? and fits the "pins" of a Ipod nano?
now how to replace an LCD screen on an MP4 Player
very ironic solution: buy a new one desolder both screens solder on the new screen trash the new mp4 player
ppatidar077 years ago
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?
Is your siter called Rena? Do I get a prize for picking up on that fact? No? Damn.
Brennn10 (author)  thefunktopus7 years ago
No, I don't have a sister. Why?
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)  thefunktopus7 years ago
Lol, yea I see. You saw my sister's name where it says the name of her iPod.
nicknack1717 years ago
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)  nicknack1717 years ago
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.
Robeast7 years ago
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?
whats wrong with it?
Brennn10 (author)  Robeast7 years ago
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?
my compact flash is connected to my mp3 player it isn't an i pod it is manufactured by a company called mpio {www.mpio.com} 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.
I want to know how to make a nano into a video. heh.
iPod Linux
i got the third generation nano in october and it rocks!!!!
DId you have another ipod before you upgraded? Im looking for a cheap one 2 buy
if u want a cheap iPod i would recomend buying either the shuffle for 79.99 or the ipod nano for 150.00
Heh. I can get an Ipod video for 150 on eBay. Im going for an Ipod video for <100$
Brennn10 (author)  sniper997 years ago
Yea my sister got it too.
Nirjuana7 years ago
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$!
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.
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)  jesusali7 years ago
Wow 99cents! My brother and I have an ebay account, so we will have to buy one. Thanks Jesusali!
It depend from who you buy it, it bought from user named everydaysource.com who has over 600 000 positive feedbacks and my battery works just great!
Reading feedback comment and buying battery is not advisable.
I'm sorry if you bought a bad battery but I bought one and it works great, as simple as that. Yes, there are bad stuff at eBay but remember that there are also good stuff :)
ebay user ipodresq is also a store who does a very good, responsible business outside of ebay. ebay is merely a new angle for them. good prices, good product. I replaced a lcd screen and battery at same from with their supplies and directions.
Brennn10 (author)  Nirjuana7 years ago
Thanks! If I had a new battery, I would definitely replace it!
wow, this is amazing! my friend asked me to do this for her, and i might do it! but she will have to pay.
Does this work with a cf card as well???????????? plz help me as i cannot buy an st1n drive (too expensive for me)
Brennn10 (author)  krishnaiyerrox7 years ago
If your card has a 32-pin input that can connect to the ipod, the same way the drives are attached you should be OK. But if it is just a card, you might not be able to attach it to the iPod.
Suggestion: Instead of a screwdriver for the prying operation, a feeler gauge (available from Sears, or automotive parts stores) tends to gouge the plastic less.
WingDings7 years ago
Hi, I might have missed that bit, but where do you get the microdrive from? I have a broken iRiver I'd like to fix. When I opened it up, it looked a lot like this, so I guess I can replace it?
Forget the microdrive, check out my new instructable on how to upgrade your iPod with flash memory
Jake Turner7 years ago
Awesome job! My friend has the same-colored mini that you have, and she's complaining about how she could use another 4 GB or so. I'll let her know about this. (hero with a soldering iron, i am. :-) Not that it really matters, but your 5 GB has 4.sixtywhatever GB because of the "unit allocation table". This makes the HDD usable, but takes some space. Just something to keep in mind if your girl wants to sue somebody cause her 40GB iPod isn't 40GB.
Brennn10 (author)  Jake Turner7 years ago
Yea, I also realized that it was 4.61, and I an trying to fiddle around to find out why.
And am I correct when I assume the iPod only works with FAT/FAT32 and not NTFS? It'd be really interesting if you could install Windows on the iPod hard drive.
aksiemau7 years ago
That is a great idea! Do you know if it would work with a 60 GB Photo iPod? It is OK if you have never heard of it! Please email me at gdgirl56@gmail.com if you do know! Thank you so much!
beckinacea7 years ago
Great little tutorial. My ipod min died a while back - clickwheel decided to quit - so I pulled it apart and figured all this stuff out. lol Clickwheel still broken, it's now only being used as a mini hard drive. :(
Did you arttempt the busnisness card repair,on your iPod.My Ipod was dead on the instruction' open the ipod case fold a bus card in under the clickiwheel mech.close up and hey it works'.The blue foam that plays an intergral part of mechanics gets compressed over time causing failure.I have since replaced the Bus card with a 3mm thick piece of neopeene.It works great.
Thanks for the tip Steeler! I hadn't heard of this... although, the mini doesn't have this blue foam piece, so I'm still stuck. :( I'm going to buy a new clickwheel and see if that does the trick. :)
andrew937 years ago
this instructable is cool.i should try it! thnx
fstedie7 years ago
OK, I have to say a few things:

Good instructable, but anyone looking to upgrade their iPod Mini should really look into upgrading it with flash instead of another hd - unless of course you already have a HD laying around. You can now get an 4GB card for about $40 and an 8GB for about $70.

2nd, do not use a screwdriver to open your iPod!!! No matter how careful you are, you will leave marks in the plastic cover and/or the metal case.

see my instructable HEREto see how to open it without leaving any marks.
Oh I just read this after asking a question above... I wanted to put some flash memory in my iRiver that failed, but the interface seemed totally different to flash memory and the size of the microdrive was much bigger than the compact flash. Do you know how I'd interface a normal compact flash card (like for a camera) with this kind of interface?
Brennn10 (author)  fstedie7 years ago
Your method is pretty good, I never thought of that. My MINI is pretty trash, so I was not worried about leaving any marks. But thanks for the tips!
Really good instructable. Good ideas! i got an idea to add... i saw you can by ultra compact flash drives up to almost 30 GB(VERY EXPENSIVE, but i know a 2 GB isn't very expensive, and if you could stack em in serious you could hold a good 5 or so and as a plus they don't get broken at all fast
Will this work for a 1st generation Nano? I think thats what it is, it only comes in black or white and its square-ish? This might have been asked by someone already, but I just want to make sure before I begin hacking my Nano.
Brennn10 (author)  Grand Admiral Sushi7 years ago
I do not know, because the size of the drive might be too big. If you can find a smaller drive, it might work for the Nano.
The nano has surface mounted flash memory but yes it can be done. Google surface mount and reflow soldering. Also 1st gen nano has linux hacks.
dime_one7 years ago
top one!! now all i need is an ipod! (preferably a broken one!!) will send this to my mate - he's got probs with his!!
Rosecult7 years ago
I had an Ipod mini but after a year I was getting the same problem with it not charging properly (it was only staying charged for 25 minutes or so.) Luckly it was still under warranty but they couldnt fix it so they had to give me store credit to get a new one. I just upgraded to a 60G video but now I kinda wish I had held onto my mini (It was full of shiny pink goodness.) Wonderful instructable!
shmuley957 years ago
can i do this to my iphone?
No. iPhones are flash memory, most likely embedded right into the PCB. This instructable shows you how to replace microdirves, which are 1 in hard drives. The only current generation iPod that this would work on is the classic.
Brennn10 (author)  MasterQ7 years ago
Thanks for clearing that up. I don't know about the drives of iPhones, so I am not much help. Thanks MasterQ.
Brennn10 (author)  shmuley957 years ago
Possibly, but I would not recommend it.
k thanks. what annoys me is that you can either get 5GB of memory or you get 30.
Brennn10 (author)  shmuley957 years ago
If you are very very careful in opening your iPhone, and you know how to reset the settings once you add the new micro drive, then I guess it is ok. But, since the iPhone is so expensive and valuable, it is probably not the best idea.
Darkshot7 years ago
COOL!!! ive been looking for this kind of step by step process for a while...to bad i upgraded to a 30 gb ipod video 5G :P damn....woulda been a fun project...
sniper997 years ago
Do u run linux or something????\ I run Windows and MAC OSX
Brennn10 (author)  sniper997 years ago
On my PC? No, but I want to add Linux to the Mini.
Anyone know where to get I-pod minis with failed HD's (I have been looking for a while and no one I know has one and I can't find a site)
Brennn10 (author)  TheCheese99217 years ago
try ebay, it is probably pretty hard to find a site that sells broken iPods.
Crap thats exactly what i was gonn say... SSD MINI!!!!