Instead of a hard drive, your new upgraded iPod will use flash memory with no moving parts for faster boot up & access times and lower power consumption.
(I ran my iPod continuously for over 20 hours on one charge!).
You will also get enhanced shock-resistance! Thousands of iPods have died an early death because they were dropped and their hard drives were damaged as a result.
So, if you have an iPod Mini with a bad hard drive or just want to hotrod your existing unit this Instructable is for you.
Step 1: Materials & Tools
Ideally, you will need the following items:
Small Phillips Driver
Small Flat Screw Driver
Plastic iPod Opener Tool (optional)
Popsicle stick or other flat wooden stick
Hot Glue Gun
Xacto Knife or Razor Blade
Fully ATA compatible Compact Flash Card (2Gb min)
2nd Generation iPod Mini. If you use an iPod with a bad drive, just make sure that the unit is otherwise fully functional.
Step 2: Opening Your Ipod Mini
Unlike the standard iPods which have two halves, the shell of the Mini is a single piece of aluminum with covers on the top and bottom.
Although you could use the "brute force" method of prying open your iPod with a screw driver, there is a little-known but very elegant way to open your iPod that will leave virtually no signs that it was ever opened!
First, put your iPod on "hold" by sliding the switch. Heat up the glue gun and place a small amount of glue on the top cover and glue the stick to the cover.
Don't worry, the hot glue, when dry will come right off without leaving a mark!
Step 3: Disassembly
Once the top and bottom covers are removed, taking the iPod apart is easy.
Carefully slide the complete assembly out of the case by pushing from the bottom with your finger.
Step 4: Replacing the Hard Drive
Using your iPod tool or other flat instrument, disconnect the hard drive connector from the motherboard by pulling the connector up from the back of the ribbon cable as shown. If you pull from the side, you risk tearing the connector from the ribbon cable!
Take your Xacto knife or razor blade and remove the tape and plastic bumpers from the hard drive. Be careful not to damage the ribbon cable in any way. Now remove the connector from the hard drive pulling slightly from one side and then the other until the pins come out completely.
Now take your ATA compatible CF card and plug into the HD connector "face up" just like the hard drive.
You don't need the rubber bumpers or tape but you will need a small piece of double sided foam tape to attach the card to the motherboard and keep it from rattling around inside your Mini.
Step 5: Restoring the IPod's Firmware
Place the "naked" unit face up on a non-metallic surface and plug into your computer. Either a USB or Firewire connection will work.
Once iTunes is up, allow the program a couple of minutes to recognize the iPod. After recognition, iTunes will ask you if you want to restore the "defective" iPod. Click yes and iTunes will restore the iPod.
Once restored, the iPod will restart and iTunes should recognize the new iPod! Download a couple of songs into the unit and eject the iPod. We're almost done!
Step 6: Finishing Up
Disconnect the iPod from your computer and re assemble the unit by reversing the steps outlined earlier. Be patient, don't force the unit back in its case. Button everything up and test using your headphones.
Plug back into your computer to recharge and enjoy your better-than-new iPod Mini!