11 March 2007, 21:09 by mark hoekstra

the iPod mini remastered, now with 16GB!

completely remastered, the DIY way…
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Even though I didn’t plan on multiple episodes of this project up front, it’s the way it went. So after:

part one:
how to turn your iPod mini into a flash based iPod

part two:
flash based iPod, now up to 8GB!


battery life on the flash based iPod minis

...and don’t forget to visit my other project:
put flash memory into (almost) ANY iPod! ^_^

...we’re now at part three. Only a couple of days ago I thought I wouldn’t be able to get hold of a 16GB Compact Flash card, simply because the price isn’t right yet for a project like this. At this time these cards trade for $250 and up while a non-flash 30GB iPod 5G (video) costs $249.00… So, I somehow decided when I did part two that 8GB should be it for now.

But… the nice people of PEAK hardware decided I could lend a 16GB-card for testing! After part one, which got blogged all over the place, we got in touch and they seemed to be very pleased with my choice of Compact Flash cards *^_^*

from top to bottom, 4GB microdrive, 4GB CF, 8GB CF and 16GB CF on an iPod mini
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Well, what can I say, it’s been a coincedence I started trying these cards, but they simply work. Over here in Holland, where I live, they are even cheaper (or less expensive) than the more regular brand-cards like Sandisk and the like, but like I said, they simply work and from what I understand from the comments on this site and also from all the forumthreads now dedicated to this modification, that’s not something that can be said of all the cards out there. You can find Trade Distributors of PEAK over here, but I guess they could use a reseller in the US and Canada… *^_^*

the 16GB Compact Flash card made by PEAK
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deciding on a look…

Now with this marvelous 16GB-card all of a sudden on my kitchen table, I also wanted to somehow end this mod for now and have my useful little MP3-player back. The reason I kept it disassembled for a long time was because I needed to make up my mind what I wanted to do to this iPod… Well, even though original plans were way more radical than this, I decided I would just paint it matte black for now. So I started out by using some sandpaper (I used waterproof sandpaper with a grain of 280) and I must say I really like the look actually.

And about getting this card to work? That’s exactly the same as in the original article, nothing more. Like I said before, I still can’t think of a reason why this wouldn’t work up to 128GB Compact Flash cards.

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So even though I like the look, I still decided I would paint it black first. (FYI, there never was a black mini)

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To get it right I needed several layers of paint, in between the painting I used sandpaper and I kept doubting if I would leave it like this… Cause really, I don’t dislike these looks, only thing is that the look isn’t natural. It’s like bleached jeans instead of jeans which grew old naturally. This isn’t something I came up with today or such, I have been looking at all sorts of styles and the style I’m trying to get resembles most of what is called a rat look. If you don’t know what a rat look is, have a look at this (imho) awesome VW-van and you know what I’m talking about. My plan was to use my mini as an experiment in that and when I decide on what I want, move on to my powerbook… So people who really like their Apples spotless maybe should start to remove my site from their bookmarks, cause you’re gonna spill your latte all over the place once I’m finished with my powerbook. *^_^*

When you however like this look (just like me), take a look at the Rat Bike entry on wikipedia. There’s some useful info there. Although, my idea has been influenced by the Mad Max films, the bikes influenced by those films are called survival bikes instead of rat bikes… Well, I already called my iPod mini ‘ratpod’ instead of ‘survivalpod’ and I somehow still don’t get the difference between the two… (and yes, my powerbook already is called ‘ratbook’ since the day I own it…). Or should I call it Mad Mini instead?

But… like I said, the look has to grow on there naturally, so I painted it some sort of spotless… and now I truly hope it grows old in my pocket :D

And now you know why my bike (as in bicycle) looks (and truly is) old & rusty like it is, cause that’s how I like it.

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My iPod mini casing after several paintjobs…

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The ‘glass’ of the display. To reattach it to the casing, I used double sided tape. Next to duct tape, double sided tape is a must have…

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After reattaching the ‘glass’ to the casing, it really started to shine! *^_^*

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To prevent the Compact Flash card from having too much room(!) inside the casing, I attached a slightly cut business card on top of the card. That should do the trick.

By the way, fixing iPods with business cards seems to be all the craze nowadays ^_^

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And here you have a 4G (hard drive based) 20GB iPod next to our souped up mini. The difference isn’t that big in capacity while the difference is quite big in size.

maximizing in more ways than one…

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This week I also got my hands on this iPod accessory. I’ve been looking to maximize the use of my iPod mini, but I wouldn’t/couldn’t have guessed it would become this usable (again)...

It’s a GEAR4 BluEye and I guess it’s a very nice add-on for my mini. This accessory does work with minis, nanos, 5G iPods and of the 4G iPods, it only works with the 4G Photo. So it does work fine with my little (now black) mini but not with the 4G iPod (except the Photo)...

Any way, imho it’s a truly nice add-on. It’s got FM-radio and it’s a bluetooth headset. Installation is pretty easy, FM-radio works right away and pairing the device is pretty straight forward too. One of the things I like about it, is that it’s styled as a normal remote for your iPod. But before this starts to sound like some kind of advertisment (which it’s not, I bought the accessory myself and I thought it complements this mini very well, that’s all), I suggest you take a look around the web for this accessory if you also like it.

I guess now is the time to go out for some after market black headphones as well…

If I can keep this pace up, I guess I’ve got more alternatives to the iPhone at the moment it’s available, than the Nano has colours!

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Ever saw an iPod pair with a mobile phone? Well, now you have…

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tschüss Nano…

It was only after a while that I realized that this DIY flash based iPod can be outfitted with a bigger capacity than they sell at the Apple store themselves! So even though this project, like many of mine, started out as a cheap alternative to something which is sold new, we now end up (for this time) with something of which you could say (it’s still arguable, I know) is better. Now at the time of writing, a 16GB Compact Flash is still very expensive which makes this mod hardly an economical one, but I’m pretty sure that will change pretty quick. For now, the motivation has been one which I use more often and that is: ‘Make something because it’s possible’ and in time, this mod will become a sane one too, in terms of money invested.

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The ‘completely remastered’ iPod Nano remastered again, the DIY-way.

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carry a tune (or 2,000) from the Apple store or make that 4,000 when you decide to do it yourself…

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‘Look like a rock star’ it says on the Apple site. Well, if we want to look like Paris Hilton, I’m sure we don’t have to look any further than a pink 8GB Nano, but if you truly want a unique piece of hardware, I guess a 16GB DIY flash based iPod mini has a lot more rock star quality (make that, a rock star with taste) than anything stock from the Apple store. Cause really, how exclusive is anything from Apple nowadays with the spectacular sales figures they keep on showing? Next to the fact this mini is a flash based iPod, with twice the capacity Apple sells themselves, it also starts to smell like a rock star! Now I’m sure Apple will sell 16GB flash based iPods and up from the moment flash memory is priced right for that, but I hardly doubt they can beat the smell of this mini! *^_^*

If Apple starts selling smelly iPods (a feature Paris Hilton actually would like, I guess) from now on, don’t come complain to me!


I think I found what inspired me for the colour scheme… *^_^*

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P.S. This still isn’t the end of this project. It will take quite some time to get some reliable figures on battery life of this mod. I have been busy with that already, but I need to put a webcam on the mini to really get some figures you can trust… More on that later.

battery life on the flash based iPod minis

previous on this site:
How to turn your iPod into a flash based iPod
flash based iPod, now up to 8GB!

next on this site:
battery life on the flash based iPod minis

...and don’t forget to visit my other project:
put flash memory into (almost) ANY iPod! ^_^

Terms and Conditions of Use
Even though I give away all this info for free, I would like to point out that everything on this website is licensed through a Creative Commons License. It’s free for any non-commercial use, so anybody trying this out for themselves is something I’d like to encourage. Still, if you/your business would like to offer this information/modification on a commercial base, I would appreciate if you’d contact me first and I’m sure we can work something out. Don’t be evil ^_^

DIY trackback


  1. Nadine @ 12 March 2007, 00:27 :

    Since I live in the Netherlands to, I’d love to know where I can buy the PEAK CF cards. I don’t really have the money for a 16 GB one, so I’ll go for the 8 GB with my 4 GB mini =) I’m really excited to try it out. I hope I’ll get my hands on one soon, because 4 GB is just not enough for me =D

  2. ToneDeaf @ 12 March 2007, 00:35 :

    I plan on doing the 16 gig upgrade once I earn 300 (!) US dollars at minimum wage. I figure by then, you will have accurate battery stats. Keep the mods coming!

  3. Manu @ 12 March 2007, 01:23 :

    Mark, do you have an online dutch store which sells those cards ? No way to find them in France. Thanks.

  4. markie @ 12 March 2007, 01:40 :

    Sure, in Holland these cards are sold for instance by NoRRoD computers, I’m not aware of any other shop that sells them. But to get one thing clear, I do work for them (I’ve got a part-time job there). ...and there is a slight problem though, they don’t ship internationally. ;-)

    To get it even more clear, I try to be as transparent as I can be in this but there are some ties between me and that particular shop. And even though I work there, personally I don't care where anyone would buy this particular or any other card for that matter, I just try to be helpful. If anyone knows other places where these cards (or other ones proofed to be working) are sold (at a competing price of course), please post them in the comments.

    But, to answer your question, you can find the particular card I have been using over here and I will ask PEAK for a list of international resellers, in the mean time, try to find a reseller using their list of distributors. If anyone comes across a seller/shop who sells these cards through eBay or such and ships internationally, also please post those in the comments. Next to that, links aren't automatically hyperlinked, but I will hyperlink all these links (as long as it isn't spam) manually.

    So, people from Holland and Belgium could buy these cards overhere: 4GB CF-card, 8GB CF-card, 16GB CF-card.

    I'm aware there is no brand mentioned there, but those cards are the exact same ones I have been using (from PEAK).

  5. sniper1rfa @ 12 March 2007, 03:36 :

    On painting ipods: I went a different route, and reanodized mine, which is the same process which is used for the original finish on the ipod mini and the new nano/shuffle.

    My two mini’s;





  6. Paul Savard @ 12 March 2007, 20:39 :

    Bravo for your interesting work!!
    I lost a password for a .doc (Word) file I wrote, last summer, in Europe, while I was trekking…Anybody knows an easy way to crack a Word file password protect (read and write)?

    You got to be kidding me, spamming all the 'hack-sites' so you can snoop into someone elses document?


  7. spiderwebby @ 13 March 2007, 20:13 :

    this will almost definatly work with all CF cards, i just upgraded my mini to an 8 gig with a transcend card (generic as.) and it works!!!

    now all need is forever to happen faster so i can transfer my music over (winamp ftw!)

  8. Emil Löfman @ 13 March 2007, 23:10 :

    Very nice paint job and modding! Being an audiophile, I’m curious to know if there is something to do to improve the headphone out of the mini? In comparison with my Macbook and the 1G Shuffle, it’s VERY lacking in bass. I know about line out + headphone amplifiers, but I prefer to travel light…

  9. Mike @ 14 March 2007, 02:01 :

    Mark, I am interested in painting my mini case (in hopes that it will one day work) and I was just wondering what kind of paint to use. I was thinking of using an airbrush. What kind of paint did you use and how’d you do it (brush, spray, etc.)?

  10. Achebe @ 14 March 2007, 22:03 :

    Has anyone made a list of the brands of CF cards that will work yet?

  11. Brian Frank @ 16 March 2007, 17:04 :

    Help! I took out my 4th gen ipod’s hard drive to replace the click wheel and now I can’t figure out how to get the plastic IDE ribbon back into the circuit board. it just keeps bending and I’m afraid it’s going to break. Any suggestions?

  12. Mike_e @ 16 March 2007, 17:04 :

    I used a bottom of the rung 2gb sandisk card on a second generation ipod mini with no problems at all. Now I know it works I wish I had of bought the 4gb!

  13. Jon_W @ 17 March 2007, 12:18 :

    Will a CF card work in a big ipod , as the solid state drive is almost up to the 20GB hard drive in the 3G ipod so I am thinking of replacing it… Has anyone had any success?

  14. Jon_W @ 17 March 2007, 12:43 :

    If you had a 128MB CF card and you just wanted to test it ou on the mini, would it work before I open up my mini to try out

  15. Herve @ 20 March 2007, 09:43 :

    Mark and/or spiderwebby:
    Can you please report on battery life improvement?

  16. Lenn G @ 30 March 2007, 02:55 :

    Brilliant work Mark.
    Any idea if you would be able to hook up both the 8GB & 16GB drives together (or even 2×16GB drives :P )
    What about Nano’s? (as that is what I have)
    I have truly enjoyed your site, just spent an afternoon reading it all.

  17. Coastale @ 31 March 2007, 23:31 :

    Much respect! Hey— any ideas on the possibility of putting that a CF card in an old iPod photo for max battery capacity but still the color screen?

  18. Chris @ 1 April 2007, 14:27 :

    I have a stock battery in my Photo and it gets extraordinary battery life. (Also because it’s been hardly purchased since it’s purchase date)

    It may be more economical to pay $24.99 US for the NewerTech Batteries than to pay for a CF card.

    and in response to Lenn, I happen to know that some of the nanos have removable memory chips. As for swapping in higher capacity chips, I’ve no idea.

  19. Scheffler @ 6 April 2007, 04:13 :

    About the question of replacing the HDD in an old iPod photo with CF memory…
    Maybe this adapter from Addonics could work?
    It’s an IDE to CF (also a CFx2 version is available).

  20. derek @ 7 April 2007, 16:38 :

    Hey, totally cool job. Even more can ya tell me what Paint did u use to spray on ur Mini? wanna do that to my gold mini as well. =P

  21. ipod owner @ 7 April 2007, 16:47 :

    I installed a Sandisk Ultra II 1GB cf card and went thru the restore on pc. But when I plugged it into wall socket charger to complete the firmware flashing when prompted, it just didn’t work…tried new chrager also didn’t work..even after 8 hours on charger. Am I doing something wrong here or missed a step? :( anyone can help?

  22. Achebe @ 7 April 2007, 18:19 :

    Could I get some more information on the painting of your mini.
    Like What paint did you use and how many coats were necessary?

  23. triobot @ 8 April 2007, 16:22 :

    Does anyone have a 64 GB flash (think the only providers are samsung)...

    Could they try to see if it works?????

  24. Achebe @ 13 April 2007, 23:16 :

    What is the best way to remove the screen

  25. Maurice @ 17 April 2007, 21:42 :

    Does anyone know anything about painting the clickwheel? I just saw that they do it over at www.colorwarepc.com and I wondered with what kind of paint that would work. Would it last?

  26. Chris @ 24 April 2007, 08:58 :

    I want to know, what kind of paint did you use on the aluminum? I’m going to paint the back of my 4G iPod, and I’d like to know what you used.

  27. Msky42 @ 3 May 2007, 17:45 :


    You can buy them in the uk from Spot on UK, they’ve actually come down in price since I bought mine a week ago :O( £78 +VAT

  28. Edwin @ 22 May 2007, 23:35 :

    does anybody know if the Platinum card works?
    It’s on sale at www.opus.nl:
    2G for €20
    4G for €40
    I just bought a iPod mini 2nd gen. with a broken harddisk so I want to try this too!

  29. Logan @ 23 May 2007, 11:04 :

    Hey, I was also wondering how and what kind of paint you used. Was is just regular spray paint? I’d really like to paint mine while I have it taken apart. Do I have to sand it inbetween layers or was that just for look, and have any helpful tips for the painting process?

  30. Walter Rakoczy @ 23 May 2007, 16:26 :

    I tried putting a 4 gig PQI card in my mini and it will not restore or format the drive. I even tried to restore on ipods itunes says it corupt please do again ?? Any ideas would be apreciated it shows a error file on the front of the ipod —thanks Walt

  31. Edwin @ 26 May 2007, 23:54 :

    I just tried the Highspeed card from Platinum 4GB and it works.
    www.opus.nl sells them for €39,95. In Holland transportation is €5,50 but they ship all over Europe. It’s €20 for 2 GB. So these are cheap, working and easily obtainable throughout Europe.

  32. Ryan @ 28 May 2007, 19:47 :

    I just finished upgrading my wife’s 2G with a Sandisk Extreme III 12GB. Everything when fine. Thanks for the how-tos!

  33. tristan @ 1 June 2007, 14:47 :

    @ edwin
    is it also possible to order cards from www.opus.nl to Switzerland?

  34. jaycee @ 6 June 2007, 06:23 :

    hey mark, nice job figuring all this out. But i was just wondering how you got the glass out of the case. do you just keep pushing on it or is there a special trick?

  35. markie @ 12 June 2007, 23:44 :

    for everybody who asked about the paint I’ve been using, I just put up this blogpost:

    Mac Paint

  36. Phil @ 12 July 2007, 01:10 :

    Swapped a mini hard drive for a Sandisk cf extreme III 4GB, went through the restore process, got through to the point where it said ‘connect to a mains power outlet to finish the process’; but it lied, on clicking OK it simply told me to do a restore again and goes round in a loop ad nauseam. Any ideas?

  37. Chad Young @ 24 July 2007, 06:04 :

    I have a question. Could you fit a color ipod nano screen in a mini? I really like the design of the mini over the super small nano. I was also thinking of using the 16gig flash drive with a nano screen all in the mini case. If you could figure that out and let me know that would be great. Thanks for the awesome mod.

  38. deluxelespaul @ 26 July 2007, 23:40 :

    I’ve had this work with a 16 gb card on a 1G mini and I have another 2G mini with another identical 16 gb card that will not restore (recovery mode loops over and over). Any suggestions would be most appreciated! The 2G mini is a rev. 1826 board.

  39. Ignacio Palacios @ 4 August 2007, 01:43 :

    I put the16 gb card and put it into my 2G mini and followed your directions and had my new 16 gb mini up and running under an hour. I have also noticed an increase in battery life and its still the original battery. Thanks for the great instructions. What a great mod. O, I use an ADATA card and it works great – so far!!

  40. Chris Guidi @ 12 August 2007, 12:43 :

    My daughter’s Ipod 4GB second Gen (Letters on click wheel are the same color as the Ipod) died. After looking at all the wonderful instructions, I ordered a PQI 8GB 100x CF card and installed it. Everything went without a hitch, and she swears the battery is lasting at least twice as long.

    One hint. She had been complaining about poor sound quality. Turns out the headphone/hold switch are on a separate circuit board that connects to the main logic board. It was loose, and simply pressing the connector in cured that problem as well.

    Thanks bunches to all those folks out there for the amazing info!!!!!!

  41. Peter @ 14 August 2007, 20:58 :

    I have the same problem as deluxelespaul (July 26). How can some people have such an easy time putting in a 16gb A-Data card while I have this endless recovery loop. What is different???


  42. Vince @ 26 September 2007, 15:16 :

    After exchanging the 4GB harddrive by a 16GB Sandisk extreme III, i was not able to restore the firmware. Itunes 7 gave a “1418” error and updater 2006 gave a “can’t mount iPod” error.

    The problem was that the iPod mini had firmware 1.1 in it which apparently cannot cope with this compact flash.

    The solution was to put back the 4GB harddrive, update the firmware to 1.4.1 using itunes 7, exchange the 4GB harddrive by the 16GB Sandisk extreme III, and restore the firmware again.

    Now this 16GB mini rules the world !!
    Thanks, Vince.

  43. Chucky @ 17 October 2007, 16:54 :

    I have a 2G mini and I just bought a 16GB CF card for it. I have tried everything to get it to work, but to no avail. The firmware is up to date and the card is formatted, and yet I am stlll getting the 1418 error when I try to restore it. Does anyone know how to get rid of this???? Thanks.

  44. brunitou @ 28 October 2007, 23:14 :

    Great work :-)
    It has been nice to come and visit your webpages.

    Greetz from Belgium

  45. steveh6883 @ 13 November 2007, 17:40 :

    I really like the paint job you did on your Ipod, but can you tell me, what was the best way you found to hold / support the casing whilst spraying? Cheers

  46. Kasper @ 25 November 2007, 10:55 :

    I don’t get why you spend 130-140$ on a 16GB flash card when you can get the iPod Classic 80GB for 250$ which has almost 8 times the capacity, color display, looks better (eventhough i think that you paint job looks good) and a lot more features!

    For me this is a waste of time and money?

  47. Mike @ 28 November 2007, 01:39 :

    What about using a SD to CF adapter in there? I know it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense, considering you can’t change it whenever you want, but for people who may already have large capacity SD cards.

  48. fok @ 30 November 2007, 15:56 :

    Works perfectly with a 2G ipod mini silver and a A-DATA Speedy 16gb CF card (86.- EUR at alternate.de). :-)

    Any success with 32gb cards yet?

  49. charlie @ 7 December 2007, 22:05 :

    I also have a 2G ipod mini. I was able to put in a 4Gb compact flash card and it worked. The 16GB A-Data from Newegg does not work. When I put the CF in with the logo facing up, the ipod shows up in Disk Utility on a Mac as a 288GB external HD. When I do it the other way around, nothing. Itunes does not recognize it either way. Ipod updater 2006 does recognize it when CF is placed logo side up; but when trying to restore gives me a error message after starting.

  50. Sir Velveeta @ 10 December 2007, 05:23 :

    Well, I just slapped a 16gb A-Data CF card in my 6gb 2nd gen Ipod Mini and it works FLAWLESSLY!

    I specially love the fact that there is no lag for the HD to spin up when you turn on the ipod, it’s instant music :) and battery life shot up big time.

    Thanks for a great instructable!

  51. Another Happy iModder @ 20 December 2007, 17:42 :

    Yup. Newegg. 16gb A-Data CF card. Perfect. Faster. Better. Etc.

    I’ve got about 15gb usable on a previously “4gb” iPod.

    Use “snap ring pliers” to get the retaining clip out of the bottom of the iPod Mini. The screw driver will chew stuff up.

    I can’t wait for the 32gb cards to come down in price.

  52. deluxelespaul @ 7 January 2008, 20:48 :

    As an update to my previous post (July 26) it appears that my sucessfull attempt was with the 1.4.1 firmware, while the unsucessfull attempts all have been with earlier revisions of the firmware. Can anyone verify that the older firmware will not work in some cases while the 1.4.1 seems to work most if not all the time?

  53. Olligarski @ 8 January 2008, 21:57 :

    Soon to be a 40 GB mini with 1 inch drive!

    Se link to Engadget above.

  54. ohnoes @ 9 January 2008, 09:26 :

    I just want to thank you for the excellent modding instructions. I added the 16gb A-Data card from Newegg to my old mini tonight and it worked flawlessly. I didn’t even have to reformat it, it just popped up in itunes and asked me to name the “new” ipod. :) As soon as my girlfriend saw it she asked me to do the same to her ipod. :)

  55. Nardo @ 15 January 2008, 03:01 :

    Yup, I can confirm that 16gb A-Data ‘Speedy’ card worked perfectly in my first generation mini. This rig now resides in the trunk of my car, wired in to my volkswagen head unit and I don’t have to worry about it freezing in our Canadian winters, which claimed the hard drive on my mini before this.

  56. Jonatan Rullman @ 26 January 2008, 18:26 :

    I’ve had a 32gb a-data in my 2gen mini now for a few weeks and it works perfectly. Bought it from some seller in hong kong on ebay for about $200 with shipping.

  57. MattWithCats @ 20 February 2008, 22:33 :

    A-Data 32 gig card is a Newtons Egg.

  58. corpocracy @ 24 February 2008, 12:25 :

    Just tried a 16GB Speedy card and it worked great in my 2nd Gen 6GB iPod mini. Make sure you don’t break the IDE cable though (I had to order a new one after I cracked the ribbon cable prying it up from the board).

    Also, some people have been wondering what to do with their leftover ipod mini hard drives. Well, I noticed that it’s set up to be completely compatible with CF card readers. I plugged mine in and used Apple’s Disk Utility to reformat it, and now I have a 6 GB hard drive based CF card. I haven’t tried it in cameras or anything yet, but right now it’s a great alternative to a jump drive.

  59. Atomboy @ 15 March 2008, 02:57 :

    First Speedy A-Data 16G didn’t work. I tried Sandisk Ultra II 4.0 GB and it works. The old battery from my 2 years old ipod mini 1st Gen last over 20 hrs on my $25 sad face (dead HD and battery) 2nd gen ipod mini I got from ebay.
    Today, I returned and replaced the Speedy A-Data 16G. Finally it works on my 2nd gen sad face ipod mini. It is happy syncing now!
    Please make sure your CF card is working before replacing your ipod HD. The A-Data 32G is out, I may try it later

  60. Chris j @ 16 March 2008, 05:44 :


    I’ve just purchesed a 16gb compact flash card and a new battery.

    Followed the instructions ( Which we’re ace!) And I’m now the owner of a 16gb ipod mini, with a brand new battery.

    cheers for all the advice, i couldn’t have done it without finding this site!

    Fankoo muchly, peace.

    Chris j.

  61. Heather G @ 18 March 2008, 20:17 :


    Will this work on a 2nd generation Ipod Mini?

  62. M.G. @ 19 March 2008, 00:26 :

    Will this compact flash card work:

    A-DATA 16GB Compact Flash (CF) Flash Card Model SPEEDY CF 16GB


  63. Atomboy @ 21 March 2008, 02:05 :

    Ans for #61 and #62

    #61 Yes, It will work for 2nd Gen Ipod Mini

    #62 Yes, It will work for A-Data 16 GB Speedy CF Card
    Pls refer to #59

  64. M.G. @ 21 March 2008, 02:50 :

    Atomboy, thanks so much! :]

  65. Lee @ 21 March 2008, 22:09 :

    Hi & Sorry for this, but yes my all time dumb question is… Will this work on a 1st gen as well? I did my 2nd gen with ease thanks to this page (beginners luck?) Thanks so very much! =o)

  66. Mark @ 1 April 2008, 16:16 :

    Great work!
    I upgraded a 1st gen. 4GB mini with a Transcend 16GB (TS16GCF133) and a 2nd gen. 6GB mini with a Transcend 32GB (TS32GCF133).
    Both work fine.

  67. wog @ 11 April 2008, 20:59 :

    Has anyone tried the “A-Data 16GB Turbo 266x” CF? ...and would it really provide a speed advantage compared to the “A-Data 16GB Speedy” version?

  68. vincenzo @ 14 April 2008, 17:31 :

    I was able to replace on a ipod third gen my broken HD with a 4 Giga flash but I have a weird behaviour.
    After I turn off and then on Ipod (third gen) it can’t play any song. It keeps skipping songs. Only if I reset it I’m able to play song again.

    Have u guys seen a behaviour like this.

  69. vincenzo @ 15 April 2008, 12:44 :

    While I was opening the ipod I broke the Hold microswitch. Does anyone know if I can find a place where to buy it.

  70. Viko @ 8 May 2008, 21:58 :

    To answer Kasper (46.)
    1- More battery life
    2- Smaller ipod
    3- No moving parts (CF card is virtually indestructible)
    4- Cheaper (16gb holds more than most people library size)
    5- For the fun of it

    Kasper @ 25 November 2007, 09:55 :

    I don’t get why you spend 130-140$ on a 16GB flash card when you can get the iPod Classic 80GB for 250$ which has almost 8 times the capacity, color display, looks better (eventhough i think that you paint job looks good) and a lot more features!

    For me this is a waste of time and money?

  71. Koen @ 16 May 2008, 20:56 :

    Need some help here.

    I dropped my mini, and got the unhelpful “Screen of death”, so figured my microdrive was dead. I found this website, bought a 16 GB Transcend card, installed it successfully, but now I am stuck.

    Trying to restore the software gives an “unknown error 1408” code. If I try again the iPod keeps appearing and disappearing in Finder. I can see that the iPod now “sses” more memory, as 14.92 GB is available. I just can’t restore my software. Any ideas?

  72. Koen @ 16 May 2008, 22:11 :

    OK, not patient enough.
    I formatted the card, switched off my internet, and unclicked the “sync” selection when you name your iPod, and the restore worked. I am now stuck at the language selection choice on my iPod, but I shall overcome.

  73. jimbo @ 20 May 2008, 23:11 :

    Great project Mark, i just finished updating my girlfriend’s 1st generation Ipod Mini with a 16GB flash card from A-Data (at least it said so on the outside but it was from Hong Kong and cost GBP36). Plus i added a 750 mAh battery at the same time to boost the time between charges. Having got rid of the hard drive too i reckon it should last considerably longer. The update worked like a dream, no problems at all. I took the precaution of updating to the latest version of itunes and the ipod firmware before i started, the whole thing took about 1/2 hour. Currently the ipod is showing 15.2 GB capacity, not sure where the other 0.8 GB went, some for the ipod software i suppose, maybe the rest stayed in Hong Kong. Anyway i am very happy and the mini is syncing with itunes and is currently loading up track 2398 of 3626. Hopefully i will have 1-2 GB spare once it’s complete, the sync seems to be happening much quicker too when compared with the original hard drive. Will update later with some figures on battery life when i have tried it out properly. Cheers

  74. Tommy @ 3 June 2008, 10:48 :

    Hi Folks,
    I updated my 1th Gen with a 750mAh battery and a 150× 16GB non labeled CF-card from ebay.
    The iPod is showing 15GB. Reading speed increased, writing speed decreased.
    Would do it again. Absolutely recommendable.

  75. pablo @ 18 June 2008, 23:18 :

    I just try with a 128MB Compact flash but it doesn’t work … does anyone know why?

  76. Dumah Brazorf @ 19 June 2008, 00:16 :

    Hello from Italy!
    Just arrived an OEM Samsung 16GB Cf card from ebay and it works!
    REMEMBER: update to the new firmware (now 1.4.1) BEFORE remove the microdrive. It did not work with 1.3 fw.

  77. noisis @ 25 July 2008, 14:01 :

    Yesterday did the above, replaced the original micro drive and replaced it with Transcend’s 16GB compactflash (the TS16GCF133 mentioned above).

    Everything is working ok, but it seems a bit slower than before. Like copying music to iPod or even scrolling the menu in iPod froze for a second. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Not really a problem, just curious.

    Also changed the battery to a 750mAh, so I should be ok for a while…

  78. Sammy @ 3 September 2008, 23:40 :

    Ey Ey!
    have been reading the ipod articles on this site for a lil while now. have began to mod an ipod mini. it was prity mashed in the first place. i updated the firmware thru firewire. and now its in pieces.

    I have a 850mAh battery going in. ebay £3

    I have a 32gb samsung compact flash 150x. Ebay £50 eeeep

    and have also been messing around with a compact flash sd card adaptor.

    i will let u alll know how i get on within the next couple of days. Hopefully with sum Pics.

    keep up the good work Fella.

  79. Sammy @ 6 September 2008, 02:30 :

    ey ey!
    i have now finish my ipod. and it works! 30gb is showin up on itunes. i didnt begin 2 mess around with the sd to compact flash card adaptor because the 2gb class 4 sdhc card i have was soooo slow when i had it plugged into a computer that i just thought it wud suck in an ipod.

    all was goin well reconstructing the ipod untill it came to turning it on. the new click wheel wasnt working properly, the menu button was not responding, i had to take it apart agen then canniblise the new and old click wheel for good parts and managed 2 use all the new click wheel parts apart from the pcb in the old 1. bingo!

    all was well and the ipod excepted the card strait away. now just syncing with itunes.

    thanx alot for the inspiration please enjoy some of my photos. p.s. i loved the matt black look i tried it out myself.

    che mon amie


  80. Pakinci @ 9 September 2008, 10:47 :

    Mark, your site and you are absolutely great! You were a great help for updating my dear iPod mini (8 gb microdrive) to a 16 gb CF. Thanks a lot.
    Greetings from Mexico.

  81. Joecoffee @ 25 September 2008, 06:18 :

    Thank you for the wonderful idea. I got ahold of a 16gb card and mine works wonderfully.
    Greetings from America! (our economy sucks…)

  82. FransDHT @ 3 October 2008, 13:33 :

    I have known this site for quite some time now, but started this week on a Ipod mini which I bought second hand with a dead battery for € 22.

    So I looked the site up again and found that Mark has died, which was quite a shock. I would like to express my condolences to family and girlfriend.

    I purchased a Transcend 32 Gb 133x CF card. I changed the battery and put the card in. The restore worked, but it gave only 3,77Gb. I thouht I should format the CF card, but I don’t have a card reader. So I formatted it while in the Ipod. I could only choose 3,77Gb to format (from Explorer). But, after again “restore” the Ipod gave a bit more than 29Gb of space, so it worked after all!

  83. Jim S @ 4 October 2008, 07:29 :

    I just found this today while at school looking for a way to replace my 4gb ipod (to find a place to either fix then battery or recycle it to buy a new ipod)...well not any more i wont be doing that because I grabed an Adata 16GB card and figured what the heck…its already some what screwed and put this in expecting it to die on me and nope…i was wrong its working like a charm and i think its even more stable now…its a 2nd gen but I have given it new life…thanks for this idea!!! highly recommend…and now im gonna suprise my friends with a 15GB ipod that says its a 4…hehe

  84. Bubu @ 7 October 2008, 07:00 :

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. When the drive died on my 6 gig mini the apple store “experts” said all they could do was give me a $20 discount on a new ipod. Im glad I turned them down. The 16 gig a-data speedy card worked great!

  85. Drea @ 12 October 2008, 06:08 :

    Great idea & guide!!
    Has anyone tried this with a Qmemory 16gb. compact flash? I myself am having problems, but I believe I got a faulty card.. the card itself won’t show up on my computer, and a CF-compatible camera can’t format it either.. I’ve googled Qmemory, but it still seems to be a reliable brand. =\ Maybe just bad luck?

  86. Diego V. Miranda @ 28 October 2008, 05:49 :

    I just finished my “blackpod” (yeah, that’s it’s name). Got a 32 gig A-Data card on ebay for 80 bucks, and it works like a charm… It’s just like the one Mark made, but with a bigger cappacity.

    It’s a pity that he’s no longer with us…

  87. sp1tf1r3 @ 9 November 2008, 16:50 :

    I have an iPod mini 2G 6GB, bought a PQI 120× 16GB Compact Flash (55.- CHF), restored through iTunes, works like a charm.

    A few points:

    * disable automatic sync before restore (otherwise iTunes begins the sync even if the iPod has no firmware, if the card was already formatted)

    * stay away from the cheap, big and fast CF cards, you can’t have these 3 qualities at the same time, and often reliability is at stake

    * prefer SLC to MLC type flash, SLC consumes less power and is more reliable.

    Now I’m just waiting the new battery from ipodrepair.nl, before putting the stuff back in the case :-)

  88. Jeffo @ 26 December 2008, 00:03 :

    Just soupped it up with a 32Gb CF card! This capacity rocks for now!

  89. Tim @ 10 January 2009, 13:10 :


    Just put a 16gb Kingston Elite Pro 133x card in my mini and it works fine – currently synching music.

    When I first put it in it showed me the error message, but i put it into disc mode, bunged it into the laptop and i tunes recognised it straight away

    Easy peasy – when 32 gb (or higher) are cheap as chips i’ll pick one up.

    Perfect – dont want a colour/video/pic player – just want a simple mp3 player with good catalogueing and a decent memory, so a CF’d mini is perfect.


  90. ztep @ 24 January 2009, 16:51 :

    Thanks man, now my ipod mini has been updated to the new age! 16gb and works like a dream!

  91. rob @ 26 January 2009, 00:36 :


    I have the KINGSTON CF/16GB-S2 flash.. and can’t get it to work…. Tried everything…. from backing up my mini to XP, then replacing the drive w/ CF and restoring. Also, I was able to update the FW 1.4.1 w/o any problem. I can see the IPOD from XP, and drag-n-drop files on it (so I know it can be READ and WRITTEN)

    Itune recognizes it has a problem, and tries to restore, which it thinks it can (successfully). I get the !-folder.

    Help! and THX,


  92. Mega @ 31 January 2009, 19:10 :

    I tried with a Lexar Premium 16GB on my mini 1G and it don’t work :(

    But there is a mystery :

    - with the microdrive, the firmware detected is 1.4.1

    - with the cf, it is 1.2 !!!!

  93. Mega @ 31 January 2009, 20:17 :

    I found it !!

    1) delete the 2 partitions of microdrive with the pc
    2) restore the ipod with the microdrive
    3) put the cf in the ipod : now the firmware is 1.4.1
    4) restoration and it works!

  94. Julien @ 9 February 2009, 00:21 :

    i also just put an 16gb Kingston Elite Pro 133x card… at the beginning it was directly recogniz by iTunes, and then i restored it, but it didn’t work, it shown only 4GB… so i deleted everything from disk utility, and then, i pluged, puted some music, unpluged, try to listen (without restoring… barbarian way of life), then plug again, restor from iTunes, and it works…

  95. Jonas V. @ 25 February 2009, 22:44 :

    I tried a Kingston Elite Pro 133X 16GB card and it causes the iPod battery to drain completely in less than an hour, even if it’s switched off.
    I checked it with a Sandisk Extreme III 2GB and the original Hitachi Microdrive which both work fine. Does anyone have this problem, too, and how can you explain that? Card defective?
    Thank you very much!

  96. Piers @ 6 March 2009, 18:32 :

    Have got ipod mini 1st generation, installed San Disk 8GB flash memory extreme 111. Ipod now not recognised by PC or itunes. Is this F card compatible?
    Help Thanks

  97. Christopher @ 28 March 2009, 09:17 :

    I’ve used Kingston Elite Pro (133x) CF cards, both 16GB and 32GB. I have upgraded 3 first gen minis, 2 second gen minis as well as 3rd and 4th gen classics using a 1.8 IDE to CF adapter. I have kept some Fat 32 for windows, and used a fire wire CF card reader and MAC disk utilities to change one to HFS. The only glitches I have encountered are the following: Two ipods couldn’t be recognized by itunes to restore. They worked fine once I replaced the hard drive cable (which I probably screwed up getting the old hard drive out). Several of the minis needed to be restored a second time. After the first restore for some reason unknown to me the original 3.7GB capacity is still displayed. Restoring a second time fixed this problem. I have no great love for these cards except they’re cheap ($30 for 16GB and $60 for 32GB), and the seven that I have used have worked just fine.

  98. Brian @ 29 March 2009, 23:57 :

    I did this mod on my second gen Mini with a 32gb Adata card and apart from it being slow, it works great.

    Awesome mod, glad I found your site!

  99. Martin @ 13 April 2009, 21:03 :

    Hi! I used the Kingston 32× 133GB Elite Pro for upgrading my Ipod Mini 2G, and it worked right away! The average transfer rate was about 12 MB/sec when synching the Ipod with iTune. With a new 600mAh I achieved more than 15h playback time. I cannot report on any problems other people observed with the Kingston card here.

    Bought the Ipod on ebay, and together with a new battery and the CF card, I spent no more than 110EUR. Of course, you could also go buying one of these fancy, plastic-like players with video playback for the same money. But the Ipod has an advantage. If the display or another part of the Ipod breaks, I know I’ll be able to replace it.

    With Rockbox, I have now an iTunes-indepented player for mp3 files, housed in a sturdy metal case that will not break easily. Just drag and drop your music on the ipod, and that’s it (it also plays wma files with Rockbox).

    Thank you for this great side!

  100. Pakinci @ 11 May 2009, 22:04 :

    Hey, indeed it was a shocking and surprising news to read about Mark’s leaving. My condolences to his family and friends.

    Well I am back with a problem I don’t know if someone has running into it. The point is that I got a speedy 16gb CF for my 2nd Gen iPod mini. At first it was working very well. I had to update the firmware to version 4, it was detected by iTunes and everything was fine until one day I found that the PC was having problems on recognizing it. Neither the pc nor itunes detected it since then. I tried to reformat but no results. I took the CF out of it in order to format it with a card reader but the same: no result. I thought it was a problem with the card and I bought a new one with which the ipod worked well again. But it was only for some weeks, the same problem got back again with another ipod I had with a 16gb CF. So, my two iPods did the same to the CF cards, I decided to remove the new card from the first iPod (before it spoiled it again) that presented the problem and put it in a Creative Zen Micro in which it has been working fine for months so far.

    The question is: Have any of you guys had this problem too? Have you detected where is the failure? In the ipod mini or in the version 4 of iPod’s firmware? Hope you could help guys because the happiness of having a 16gb iPod mini only lasted some weeks. I’m happy now with a 16gb Zen Micro but indeed I miss my iPod mini. Thanks.

  101. comptiger5000 @ 5 June 2009, 04:51 :

    I’ll be doing this very soon to a 4gb second gen mini. I managed to score a 32gb Kingston Elite Pro CF for $60 with free shipping about 2 months ago. I used it once in a rented camera for a trip, then plan on upgrading the ipod with it.

  102. DR7 @ 28 June 2009, 04:17 :

    Is THIS the iPod Mini on eBay?


  103. brian @ 20 September 2009, 03:34 :

    how did you get the plastic screen cover off?

  104. Samantha @ 29 September 2009, 22:23 :

    Just did this with a Transcend 8GB flash card with and it’s working great. Got it for 27 bucks off newegg with free shipping, not a bad price for twice the room and battery life. Only downside is, I slightly damaged the click wheel connector in the process, and the replacement one I bought on ebay was DOA. Can’t wait to get it up and running again!

  105. mickey diaz @ 18 October 2009, 19:39 :

    please let me know if you have any info on upgrading my ipod touch memory.

  106. Daniel @ 27 January 2010, 00:02 :

    pimp my pod!

    Just done, now my trusted old ipod mini not only has a new battery, but also a 16 GB flash drive. Rock´n´Roll!

  107. Gary @ 7 February 2010, 03:40 :

    I imagine that it is now proven that good posts never die. I recently purchased a new black on black in black Mini Cooper and acquired my daughter’s hand me down Ipod Mini in powder blue that will operate through the car stereo. The battery is Kaput and 4gb, while adequate, forces me to limit my options for drive around music and powder blue stands out like a sore thumb. You can guess my train of thought as I typed in my search. Low and Behold, your fantastic post was at the top of the search list. I had dreamed of replacing the drive and had not thought of a flash drive. My camera bag contains an 8gb CF card purchased for $8.00 and I own a number of cans of black paint and a beach full of sand paper.
    I had no idea that I could upgrade for no cost since it will be powered through the vehicle. I will commence post haste. Thank You for your innovation and insruction. Gary

  108. Conrad @ 8 February 2010, 22:24 :

    Just finished modding a perfect iPod Mini I picked up from a student for $30. It has the wired remote, car charger, house charger with uSB cable, spare firewire and USB dual cable. original box and plastic bag from the Apple Store, and now a new battery and 16GB flash drive. I need a nice case for it, so I don’t scratch up the outside. I did put a small scratch on the base while prying it open—hard to notice. Basically it looks like it was purchased yesterday. I have not times the length of the charge, but is lasts a very long time. In any event, thanks for the how to guide and suggestions.

  109. matthew @ 23 May 2010, 02:51 :

    Bought a Topram 8gb card from ebay, the cheapest i could find but they are made by Samsung, it works because of you! :)

  110. henry @ 21 August 2010, 08:58 :

    did some research, because i’d like to do a little home refurbish, and it appears that possibly 128gb and at least 64gb CF cards are available. do you want to give it a shot before i spend $>50 on one?

  111. Aldi @ 3 January 2011, 21:39 :

    Hey there! Had to change the battery of a 2g iPod Mini. Right after reading your guide, I felt encouraged to change the Micro Drive as well – thanks :-)
    Now I own an iPod Mini having twice the battery capacity (in addition, without memory effects) and four times the original memory.

    In case someone may be interested:
    1) I successfully replaced the original 4GB Micro Drive by a Transcend TS16GCF133 (16GB CF) card (26 Euros last week).
    2) Restoring the original iPod’s system was trivial thanks to dd and fdisk under Linux.
    3) Because http://www.ipodlinux.org/ seems to be down, I struggled through the non-up-to-date http://ipl.derpapst.eu. Since the installer needs to connect to ipodlinux.org, I installed iPodLinux with podzilla manually – which worked after a while (choosing the correct packages seems to be quite tricky…).

As mentioned in the Message from Mark's family this site has been made static. This means that it will be no longer possible to comment on his ideas and projects, but that we all can continue to cherish his creativity.

             you can find all of my projects overhere