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November 16, 2004

iPod disk drama

So my iPod has been stuttering a bit lately. In at least two instances, it has started on a song, and then stopped. I could advance to the next song, but it didn't want to fast forward in the current song.

My internal troubleshooter said, "smells like a drive problem," and I kept listening.

Today, I went to plug the iPod into the PowerBook to update my music, and didn't like the result:

The progress bar made it to around 90 percent, before giving up and displaying:

Bad news.

The good news is that the iPod continues to work as well as it had been, but I can't upload new music or use the hard drive until the drive checks out, which it doesn't look like it will.

My iPod is a 1st-gen, built 3 years ago, and it's taken way more than its share of hard knocks.

Fortunately, others before me have wanted extra capacity or needed to swap drives, and there are some resources around the web:

Over at Macworld, Chris Breen shares his experience upgrading a 1st-gen iPod to 15 gigs. Key takeaway: The 1st-gen models require a single-platter drive, as in the lower-capacity model in each generation, so there should be 5-gig, 10-gig, 15-gig, and 20-gig drives that will work, so long as they're 5 mm thick (the 2-platter models are 8 mm). There's nothing special about the drives; the iPod firmware updater apparently installs the proper firmware on whatever drive you attach (iPodMods.com disagrees, claiming that 1st-gen iPods are stuck at 5 gigs).

Surprisingly few online retailers offer the raw drives: ComputerHQ.com carries the 20-gig 5 mm model only for about $150, and a comparison shopping site called AimLower.com lists a few vendors, with prices as low as $125. PDASMart.com offers 5-gig and 10-gig drives only, with 10-gig drives going for $140.

So I'm pondering whether to move up to the iPod Photo, fix the 1st-gen (which has served my needs quite ably), or both (and hand the old iPod down to my daughter). If I do the drive upgrade, I'll document it here.

November 16, 2004 in Apple - iPod | Permalink

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Tracked on Nov 24, 2004 1:45:12 PM

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