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Model A1059 or A1099 / 20, 40, or 60 GB hard drive / touch sensitive click wheel

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Will a ZIF-to-pins adapter fit in an iPod?

Rather than buy a new iPod Classic, I'd like to resuscitate my old iPod Photo, which has a dead hard drive, with a higher-capacity ZIF drive. I've found an adapter that should do the trick, whose description even mentions the iPod (in broken English), but looking at the iFixit guide for HDD replacement, I can see that things are pretty tight in there. Here is a close-up of the adapter board:

Block Image

(Click to enlarge. Remember that it uses a slim ribbon cable, pictured at the link above, as well.)

It's possible that if it works at all, it would only work to put a 5mm-thick ZIF drive into one of the thicker, higher-capacity iPod models that were made for 8mm-thick drives, which could leave some room for the adapter. Or it could also work for the thinner models (like I have), or it could be there's no way it would fit in either case. Can anyone who is very familiar with these HDD replacements say with certainty whether this would fit, for either the thinner or the thicker iPod models?

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I put a similar adapter into an iPod 5 Video. Everything fits fine. Its an adapter that allows use of a HDD like one would find in an iPod mini, but any similar size adapter should fit no problem. (my iPod is a thin model).


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I do have an iPod Photo that is currently disassembled, and it looks like it wont fit. The problem here is not just the thickness of the drive but the length as well. With an adapter, the smaller ZIF drive will be to long to fit the iPod photo. I do have one that I converted to CF card and that does fit, but the adapters are harder to find. Good Luck.

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Yeah, I know the adapter and the drive wouldn't fit sequentially, lengthwise.

But couldn't the adapter rest on top of or underneath the thinner ZIF drive, with the ZIF cable then running back (or continuing forward) to connect to the drive?


Just measured the drive, 5mm in thickness, that would leave you with 3mm for the adapter. The connectors are on opposite sides which can create another problem in a piggyback formation, you will either need a longer ZIF cable to accommodate the Zif drive or a longer cable for the iPod....


Thank you for your input. I'm not sure what I'm going to do, yet, but if I try this and it works, I'll come back and update this page with my results. Good luck with your own disassembled Photo.

I would go with the CF adapter route, but I could get much more capacity at lower cost with a ZIF drive. (The highest-capacity CF cards are insanely expensive.)


yes you are absolutely right, and I agree, the biggest problem you will encounter is the length and direction of the zif cable, which will have to be longer and rotated by 180 degrees with the configuration you proposed. If you know how to solder try and build an interface cable from the ATA to the adapter. I attached some images to my original answer. They will show you the pinout etc. This way you would know what you need to connect and could built a cable coming from the 4th logic board going to the adapter. My Photo is up and running, back to my 2nd generation and all my other projects...good luck to you.


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Have you considered instead to find a longer ZIF to ZIF cable to replace the cable from the logic board directly to the ZIF hard drive?

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