Monday, April 7, 2008

What do you do with an old 3G 40 Gig IPod?

Well you could turn it into a USB drive like I did.
It was rather simple and easy. You start with one of these...

A 3rd generation IPod with a dead battery and a live 40 Gig hard drive.

Then you add one of these, a 1.8" drive kit. A number are available on the Internet, just Google for "USB drive case".

This USB drive case comes as a kit with; the aluminum case, a case cover, instructions (though not really needed), a software driver disk (also not really needed), a USB cable, a small screw driver and some foam pads.

You next have to open your iPod. I was able to get my thumb nail into the seam between the two case halves and open it up enough to insert a thin-bladed screw driver (not the one included in the package). After sliding it up and down the side of the case while quarter twisting the blade, the case halved popped open.

I would suggest starting on the right side as there is a thin ribbon cable inside the iPod on the left side that connects the two halves together. Once open, you can see the hard drive, connected to the front half of the iPod.

It simply pulls out and there you go, one no longer needed iPod case.

Use the included screw driver open up the USB case. Take off the end that has the USB cable connector on it. Once open, you will see the connector for the hard drive.

Plug the drive into the connector. Do not force it. This connector is such that it will not plug together if you have the drive up side down.

Slide the drive and connector back into the drive case and secure with the screws.

And there you go. All done.

Post Script:

I did not need to use any of the included foam bits and in fact, had to remove the other end of this case to take out the foam spacer that was pre-installed. The drive would not fit otherwise.

I also had some difficulty getting my computers to recognize the drive when I first tried using it. I got it worked out but only after I temporarily put the hard drive back into the iPod and connected the iPod to my computer without running iTunes. I was then able to repartition and format the drive. After that, the USB kit worked perfectly.

Update: 6/30/08

I have been using the drive since this entry was posted with no issues at all. The drive does take a few seconds to come up and be recognized by the PC but it powered completely off of the laptop even when the laptop is running off of battery. I was a little concerned about power when I was ordering the enclosure unit and could have ordered one with a dual USB cable that is designed to supply extra power to the USB device but that fear was ill founded. The drive works good and I have plenty of USB storage.

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