Step 4: Replacing the Hard Drive

Picture of 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.

I got everything working but the center button. I test it outside of the case and it works but when its inside it doesn't seem to properly make a connection to the main board. I'm just going to keep playing round with it if one knows how i should approach this problem.
rcontreras13 years ago

Can you recover a 20gb ipod classic with this trick?
jerkcore4 years ago
I'm late to the party, but i love this instructable. I got a sad ipod face over a year ago.

I ordered a 4gb Transcend flash card for $15 shipped from Newegg and a couple weeks later, my mini lives!
Frizb995 years ago

I just got mine upgraded to a 16gb. I first tried with Patriot CF card and it would go into disk mode and then reboot, then show the folder. Acted all weird. Thought maybe the battery was low (would see the low battery charge icon), but 1 hour later, no change. Swapped the CF for one from Centron, and iTunes immediately recognized it. Guess the first card was not ATA compatable.
bluntboy17 years ago
i may sound stupid but whats the different between a norm flash memory card and a ATA compliant the only difference i can see is the cost you could get a new ipod for the price of some of the bigger cards!!!please help
I believe normal flash cards just have metal contacts similar to the ones on a SD card but the ATA flash cards have a receptacle to plug the connector into.
VanGurp VanGurp5 years ago
Damnit i just replied to something that was posted 2 years ago...
VanGurp VanGurp5 years ago
never mind about the first thing i said i was wrong anyway. regular CF cards have a bunch of little holes like IDE, not metal things. I was thinking of something else.
cdubnbird6 years ago
agreed. yeah what is the difference between a normal CF card and an ATA compatible CF card? how do I know what I'm getting is ATA compatible if I want to shop around and not per se use Sandisk or Transcend? What does ATA stand for?