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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

iPod 20GB to 60GB Upgrade Guide - Step-by-Step

Recently, I have been further exceeding the 20GB storage limit on my 4th Generation iPod (Model A1099). Each time I purchase a new CD the problem gets worse as you might imagine -- each time I have to add new artists or albums to my exclude list which somewhat defeats that point. I was at the point where over 2GB of music was excluded from my iPod. Not to mention, that I cannot even use the photo capability on it!

Then two weeks ago, I decided to pursue an upgrade. After finally settling on a 60GB MK6006GAH Toshiba hard drive, I was well on my way. Well, on Friday I received the drive and today I finally had the chance to perform the upgrade.

Two thoughts on the upgrade - 1) It is so easy that you can do it in less than 10 minutes with the right tools, 2) It is wonderful to have 55GB+ available for music and photos! This article and guide will take you step-by-step through the tutorial to give you all the information you need to complete a successful hard drive upgrade or replacement in just 10 minutes. While this may not be the first tutorial on an Apple iPod hard drive upgrade, it may be the easiest to follow!

What do I need?
1. First off, you need a replacement drive for your Apple iPod 4th Generation 20GB drive. The original drive models are Toshiba hard drives the MK2004GAL and the MK2006GAL. If you want to upgrade to the 60GB hard drive capacity, then your are looking for the MK6006GAH model, available on eBay for approximately $90 with some warranty. The MK6006GAH is the ATA-50 pin model and is directly compatible with your Apple iPod 4th Generation, as all 4th Gen devices use the ATA-50 pin technology.
2. If you want to avoid scratching up your iPod's case, make sure you have a non-marring pry tool, similar to the one I mention in this article. Alternatively, you can use a small screwdriver if you can stand the nicks and scratches.
3. Your iPod's wall charger and cable. Once the device is reset, you will need it to get it back into working condition.
4. An exacto knife or sharp object to remove foam cushioning from your old hard drive.

Now that you are ready, here is the step-by-step tutorial. Was this guide helpful for you? If so, please let me know with a comment!

1. With your iPod facing up and towards you turn it so the right side is facing you. Slide your non-marring pry tool in between the plastic front of your iPod case and the back metal case. Once inserted as below, pull the bottom part of the case out and downward until the clips release. Moderate force was required with my iPod.
Pry Tool Insertion on Apple iPod 20GB upgrade to 60GB hard drive

2. Once the clips release the entire side of the iPod case is released.
Opened iPod case on Apple iPod 20GB upgrade to 60GB hard drive

3. Rotate the right side slowly and carefully to separate the back case of the iPod from the front. Do not pull apart as the lock and headphone connector from your iPod is still connected between the cases.
Rotate the case to expose the hard drive on Apple iPod 20GB upgrade to 60GB hard drive

4. On the bottom right of the iPod is the battery connector disconnect this before removing any of the electronics in order not to damage your iPod.
Disconnect battery from iPod on Apple iPod 20GB upgrade to 60GB hard drive

5. Now, separate the the ATA 50-pin hard drive connector from your iPod. You should be able to perform this with your fingers, but gently prying and wiggling until it releases. Do not apply too much force or you may bend the pins.
Separate ATA pin connector from iPod hard drive on Apple iPod 20GB upgrade to 60GB hard drive

6. Now remove the old 20GB drive from the iPod. The plastic bumpers around the drive release very easily. To remove the foam cushion material, use an exacto knife or similar tool to cut the foam from the drive where it is glued. Rather than gluing the foam cushioning to my new drive, it stuck pretty well by itself.
Replace the hard drive and transfer bumpers and foam cushion on Apple iPod 20GB upgrade to 60GB hard drive

7. Place the plastic bumpers on the new drive so they fit securely.
Secure the plastic bumpers around the hard drive on Apple iPod 20GB upgrade to 60GB hard drive

8. Reassemble your iPod by placing the new 60GB hard drive back into the case - foam side down, then attached the ata pin connector to the new drive, connect the battery supply back to the iPod, and finally snap the case back together.

9. Turn your 20GB upgraded to 60GB iPod on and connect it via USB to your computer with iTunes running. You receive the message that the iPod is in recovery mode and must be restored. Click 'Ok' to continue.
First connection to iTunes post upgrade on Apple iPod 20GB upgrade to 60GB hard drive

10. Go to the iPod screen on iTunes and click on the button for 'Restore' to start the restore of the iPod system software onto your new hard drive.
Restore iPod Update software from iTunes on Apple iPod 20GB upgrade to 60GB hard drive

11. You will be prompted to confirm that you want to restore the iPod with the message "Are you sure you want to restore the iPod 'iPod' to its fatory settings? All of your songs and other data will be erased." Click on 'Restore' to complete the restore.
Confirm restore on Apple iPod 20GB upgrade to 60GB hard drive

12. In my case, I had to update the software to iPod updater version 1.2.1 Click on 'Next' to continue.
New Apple Updater version 1.2.1 on Apple iPod 20GB upgrade to 60GB hard drive

13. Click on 'Agree' to accept the terms of the license. The restore will now take place on the iPod. iPod now needs to be connected to an AC Adapter to start up.
Accept the terms of the software license on Apple iPod 20GB upgrade to 60GB hard drive

14. Connect the iPod to the AC wall Adapter for start-up.
Plug in iPod to AC Adapter on Apple iPod 20GB upgrade to 60GB hard drive

15. iPod correctly starts up with factory default settings. I choose the English language for my iPod.
Select updated language on Apple iPod 20GB upgrade to 60GB hard drive

16. The iPod shows the available space in the >55GB range, showing the completion of the upgrade from 20GB to 60GB. Now connect your iPod back to your USB connection on your computer.
Hard drive has over 55GB of free space on Apple iPod 20GB upgrade to 60GB hard drive

17. The iPod now connects to iTunes and iTunes recognizes that the iPod now has a 60GB drive and begins to sync information.
iTunes connection complete on Apple iPod 20GB upgrade to 60GB hard drive

Congratulations, your iPod upgrade to 60GB from a 20GB 4th Generation iPod is complete. Enjoy all the new space!


Basil said...

This is an excellent post.

I recently tried this same upgrade on a 20gb 4th gen ipod (black and white, not the photo). The 60gb MK6006GAH proved to be too thick to close the case without putting pressure on the screen. I found a lot of conflicting information online about whether the drive would fit in the original case or not, and I ended up just trying it.

Other than being a few millimeters too thick, the drive is working fine, so I have ordered a deeper back panel which should solve the problem.

Ken Hanscom said...

Pretty interesting, I thought in my previous comparisons that the cases for both the 4th generation and the photo iPod were identical. Surprising that the MK6006GAH would actually not fit!

danka said...

According to the Toshiba site the MK2006GAL: 1.8 " HDD 20.0GB drive is 5mm thick. The MK6006GAH: 1.8 " HDD 60.0GB is 8mm thick, so it will not fit the 20GB iPod Photo. The MK3008GAL: 1.8 " CE HDD 30.0GB is 5mm thick so that might work. You can go to at check it out.

I plan to bargain shop for the 30GB version for my iPod Photo. I don't need a fat pod ;-).

Ken Hanscom said...

Well, all I can tell you and show from the pictures is that the MK6006GAH worked perfectly fine in my iPod Photo (pictured above) regardless if there is a slight different in thickness. The case closed properly and is not bulging.

jasonbar said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I just did the same trick today with my iPod Photo 20GB, but I used a Toshiba MK3006GAL 30GB HDD from Amazon (only $29.95+$5.49 shipping!). Worked great. The hardest part was popping open the iPod case (my plastic opener tools were already a bit dull from opening an iPod Video a few times...).

Note that, upon 1st power-up with the new HDD, before syncing to your PC & iTunes, you'll get an error screen with an support URL & an error showing a folder. As soon as you plug it in to your computer, the error screen goes away & you're on your way with your restore process.


Anonymous said...

I believe my hard drive is corrupt on my 20gb black and white and can't restore it. Would this most likely make my iPod work again?

The Data Hospital said...

The iPod step by step 20GB to 60 GB upgrade is really informative. After upgrade, the restoration of data and image is necessary. The graphical step is really interesting.