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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Aug 24, 2009
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    MacBook Pro Retina 13", iMac G4, eMac G4, PowerMac G5, iBook G3, Mac Mini G4, iPod Classic, iPadAir2
    iPod Classic (7th?) partition table
    Hi guys,

    So I bought a second hand iPod Classic 160GB. Model is A1238 which I believe is 7th gen 2009 model?

    I connected it up to my MacBook and it caused iTunes to crash. Had a Google and found a few suggestions and I've since determined that I'm pretty sure the supplied cable is not performing correctly. I've got a spare cable from my old iPhone 4S which seems to perform much better so I've been using that, but I think I have inadvertently broken the partition table.

    I followed a guide on how to re-format and restore your iPod Classic using Disk Utility, but the version in the screenshots had no mention of partition table types as it was from an older Mac OS X. I'm running Mac OS X El Capitan 10.11.5. It gave me an option of GUID, MBR or APM. I just accepted the default and been having problems ever since.

    Now my question is, what type of partition table should I be using with the iPod if I wanted to primarily use it with a Windows machine? As much as I'd like to use my MacBook for syncing my iPod, it only has a 256GB SSD and, as you can imagine from my interest in a 160GB iPod, I have a hell of a lot of music. My library is stored primarily on my Windows 10-based desktop PC, so I'd like to use this to sync up ideally.

    Through my many struggles, one thing I did manage to do was using my PC, boot up into a gParted LiveCD and create a new partition table. I select an MBR, and formatted a FAT32 partition. Before hand, I was finding that most of the time the iPod would not read the hard drive. It was just showing 0KB used, 0KB free. After doing this MBR and formatting it FAT32, the iPod was now recognising 148GB which is about the correct formatted capacity... however, when plugging the iPod into the Mac, it just mounted a FAT32 partition as a drive and iTunes (v. 12.4.0.119) wouldn't even flinch. If I plugged it into my PC, it would also mount it as an external drive and it would cause iTunes to crash when I opened it. It essentially has turned it into a crappy portable hard drive.

    A while later I found a post somewhere, can't remember where now, where someone had posted the output of some Terminal command showing that their iPod Nano was partitioned with an APM table... so back into gParted I go. A quick look online I found gParted refers to APM as simply "mac"... so I create a new partition table in "mac" format, format the drive HFS+ and it quite happily does it. Boot it back up, 148GB free. Plug it into my MacBook, "Welcome to your new iPod!"

    Success! I sync some music and off it goes. All working fine... however, if I dare go back into gParted and reformat the HFS+ partition to FAT32... the iPod goes back to having 0KB used, 0KB free again! It just can't seem to read FAT32 on an APM table... but iTunes doesn't recognise it as an iPod if I use MBR with FAT32...

    Is there a specific partition map I need to setup in order to get it working FAT32? Or as I can get it working HFS+, is there a way I can get Windows to read it HFS+ formatted? My only need for it in FAT32 is so that I can sync it with Windows. If I can get Windows to read HFS+, then I'm happy with that.

    Restore on iTunes for some reason doesn't work. Sometimes I get a 1439 error (on Windows) and sometimes I get an error saying the iPod is busy (on Mac).

    Thanks,
    Mike.

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
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    50,794
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Sierra
    Restore on iTunes for some reason doesn't work. Sometimes I get a 1439 error (on Windows) and sometimes I get an error saying the iPod is busy (on Mac).
    Then there is a problem with the hard drive within your Classic. The Classic when attached to a Mac and a reset is done using iTunes will automatically be formatted to the Mac standard and the latest software for that model Classic will be placed on it. The same thing occurs when attaching the Classic to a Windows machine and using the Windows version of iTunes to do the reset. The Classic will be formatted for Windows. I've done that several times so I know it works. However, the hard drive within the Classic is not the best. Keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't fail. If it does, go to www.ifixit.com and find out how to replace it.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location
    SE London, UK
    Posts
    55
    Specs:
    MacBook Pro Retina 13", iMac G4, eMac G4, PowerMac G5, iBook G3, Mac Mini G4, iPod Classic, iPadAir2
    Thanks. It does seem to be a problem with the HDD which is a shame as I did spend a fair bit on it, although it was a bit cheaper than some of the others I've seen... I did find that if I formatted it back to HFS+ again after my last tinkering session, my MBP picked it up, let me sync about 10 tracks to it before it forcibly ejected the drive and it was no longer readable. I had an idea after reading about some bad sectors... if they were reasonably clustered together, I wouldn't be too bothered about losing some disk space for the time being, as long as I could use the device... formatted the second half of the disk as FAT32 on an MBR and booted it up. Fine, it recognises 80GBish... plug it into my Windows PC and hey! It picks it up! So I give it a name and sync some music... there's about 42 tracks on there... Some of them are iTunes Store bought tracks... some aren't. Strangely, the majority of the iTunes Store ones it just ignores. Skips straight past without attempting to play them... one of them it plays the first 3 seconds then gives up... But those tracks it does attempt to play are extremely jumpy and unlistenable. Here is a quick demo video of what it will do...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T0URVN88Ow

    Now is that convincingly hard drive failure, or could it be something more sinister? If it's just the HDD, I'll be annoyed for a bit at spending the money, but I'm not too bothered about replacing it if I can crack it open easy enough. I'm an IT tech by profession so I'm not too phased by fiddling with hardware, although never messed with iPods or mobile devices. More laptops and the like. With this in mind, I'd like to be able to keep at least the 160GB, but more would be preferable. Looking around, a 240GB mSATA SSD appears to be the best option here? Is there anything I need to look out for when selecting a drive? From my understanding I'll need a ZIF mSATA board and the mSATA hard drive.

    Would this do the trick?

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/mSATA-adapt.../dp/B00IA1FNV2

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kingston-24...ords=msata+ssd

    Would I need anything else other than the tools to crack open the iPod?

    Thanks,
    Mike

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    50,794
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Sierra
    The best advice I can give you is to go to the site I linked above and take a look at the procedure for changing out the hard drive. (www.ifixit.com) Since you know what you're doing, it'll be an easy job. I've done it before following their directions. I honestly don't know if your Classic will accept an mSATA SSD but the ifixit site should know. Those Amazon prices for the adapter and SSD are actually pretty good considering an exact replacement hard drive for your Classic will be difficult to find and expensive.

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