After a new technological device has been around for a few years, hardware parts may become cheap enough that upgrading your original model is a no-brainer. In the Apple iPod world, hard-disk drives from other manufacturers are available either to replace a broken hard drive or upgrade a disk with less storage space. Hard-disk drives manufactured to be compatible with iPod music players are often compatible with a wide range of iPod devices, as well as some other brands of portable music player.
The primary manufacturer of iPod-compatible hard-disk drives is the Japanese-based electronics manufacturer Toshiba. Toshiba manufactures hard-disk drives which are often compatible with multiple devices within the same iPod generation. This means that a 100-gigabyte hard drive can be installed on an iPod that originally held a 30-gigabyte hard drive, although a larger iPod backing may sometimes need to be purchased to secure the hard drive.
Apple iPod mobile devices require a hard-disk drive which measures either 2.5 inches or 1.8 inches, depending on the storage space offered by the MP3 player. Hard-disk drive formats that are compatible with iPod music players include serial advanced technology attachment, or SATA, and parallel advanced technology attachment, or PATA. Toshiba hard drives compatible with iPod devices can hold up to 320 gigabytes of file storage.
Hard-disk drives manufactured for use with iPod music players are often compatible with other types of MP3 players, including Microsoft's Zune. Zune MP3 music players utilize the same hard-disk drive format that iPod mobile devices do, so compatibility is often achieved with minor modifications, such as a larger backing. Hard drives are also compatible across iPod formats; an iPod Photo hard drive will sometimes work in an iPod music-only player.
Replacing the Hard Drive
Many computer parts retailers sell iPod take-apart kits which contain all the tools necessary to dismantle your iPod and replace the hard drive. Take-apart kits will have a plastic tool that can safely pry apart the bezel running along the outside of your iPod. Once pried, use a small razor to remove the ribbon cable connecting the hard drive to the battery. Slide out the hard drive and pop the black retainer clip holding it in place to remove the old hard drive from the iPod casing. Install the new hard drive by reversing these steps.
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