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How to charge a mini ipod

turn your iPod mini into a flash based iPod

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There’s an update/add-on to this project:

. and another update:

. and an addendum:

. and don’t forget to visit my other project:

For me personally, of all the iPods that have been around or still are, the iPod mini is one of the greatest. With its small form factor (compared to the big iPods, not to the later Nano or shuffle or such) and metal scratch-resistant housing it’s a no-nonsense MP3-player with a great interface. I understand Apple needs to keep selling iPods in ever different tastes, but personally and as far as only an MP3-player is concerned. I’d say: look no further.

These iPod minis are discontinued a while ago and are coming of age. The two major issues for these players to stop working are the battery and the internal microdrive.

For batteries there’s a fairly good after market, I’ve just replaced the one in the mini showing on this page and that works great. You can find them fairly cheap on sites like eBay and such. I’ve paid 15 euros for the battery.

The microdrive is a little wonder on its own, it’s a very tiny harddrive but the downside to that is that it’s a mechanical device with moving parts. Sooner or later these will all stop working. From the iPod Nano onwards the small iPods (nano, shuffle) have all been fitted with solid state flash memory instead of these microdrives.

Now with prices of flash memory cards dropping and sizes increasing, the idea was born to replace the microdrive inside my Mini with a 4GB Compact Flash card. I can’t see a reason why a bigger card wouldn’t work but 4GB was the maximum my budget would allow me at this moment. I paid 40 euros for my card. I’m eager to hear of anyone who, after this, tries out 8 or 16GB Compact Flash cards inside his/her iPod Mini and, when time goes on, I guess we could even try out really large CF-cards since the CF-standard is able to support capacities up to 137 GB and again, I can’t think of a reason right now why that wouldn’t work.

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Anyway, I already took apart my Mini to replace the battery and hadn’t put it back together again because I’m planning on doing something to the metal casing as well… *^_^*

So, to get your mini in the

same state I got it in, I’d recommend you follow the steps over at or you can download the guide as a pdf-file. (mirror )


I’m not responsible for any damage you do to your iPod, yourself or others by trying this. Scroll down for useful pointers in the comments before you decide to do this. But still, you’re on your own if your iPod or anything else goes haywire because of this little tutorial.

the how-to

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Here you can clearly see the microdrive. Now even though I’m suggesting you use the guide on for taking apart your mini, I actually didn’t. *^_^* So I now see you can remove the microdrive at the point where it says ‘molex’. I’ve been inspecting that and didn’t dare to try that and have been removing the microdrive with the connector still attached to the motherboard of the mini.

When you work carefully, you can detach the sticker with which the drive is covered.

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Here you can clearly see the two stickers/tape and some protection (the blue bits) for the microdrive. Once you have that removed, you can carefully pry the connector out of the microdrive.

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The connector to the microdrive.

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Make sure you place the Compact Flash card with the right side up because there’s two ways to connect it. Whatever brand Compact Flashcard you end up buying, it will be clear which side is up and which side is down. The upside has to face outwards.

Once you have the Compact Flashcard installed, you can turn on your iPod and it will show you a screen where it says to look for support. Well, I suggest you don’t cause I don’t think Apple-support will help you at this point… *^_^*

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You can simply connect the iPod to your Mac/PC which has iTunes on it and hit restore. This way there will be a fresh firmware written to the iPod. After this you need to connect the iPod to an external powersupply. I’m not sure why that is, but you have to do that. This also works on aftermarket Non-Apple USB-powersupplies by the way.

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And guess what? it works!

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To show you this iPod mini really is operating from a cheap Compact Flashcard, I made this picture with a mirror underneath.

Category: Forex

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