Upgrading the Hard Drive on a Gigabeat X60
Buying a Replacement Hard Drive
The Toshiba Gigabeat X series players uses 1.8" hard disks with a ZIF-40 connector. For more information, see HardDriveReplacement
By default, the X60 comes with a Toshiba MK6008GAH. If you want maximum compatibility, you may want to choose a hard drive in the same family, for example an MK8009GAH (80GB) or MK1011GAH (100GB). I ended up buying an MK1011GAH.
I would also highly recommend that you buy a USB enclosure case for ZIF drives, so that you can attach the drive to your PC and copy all the files currently on your Gigabeat X60 to the new drive prior to replacement. After the replacement, you can store the original drive from the Gigabeat onto this case and use it as a 60GB USB hard drive. You should be able to buy this case at the same place as wherever you are buying the 1.8" drive from.
If you have problems finding a suitable USB case, plenty are available from Ebay (search for something like "USB 2.0 Enclosure Case for 1.8" ZIF LIF Hard Drive").
As for the 1.8" drives themselves, they are quite difficult to find. Good luck searching for them. They are occasionally available on Ebay. I do not recommend www.compuvest.com - I had a very bad experience with them and they ended up wasting my time and my money. I ended up buying my drive in Hong Kong on a business trip from a tiny shop in the Golden Computer Centre.
Preparing the new hard drive
Assuming you have bought a USB enclosure case with the drive, then hook both the Gigabeat X60 and the replacement hard drive into your PC simultaneously on two USB ports. You should see two drives in File Explorer. Using your favourite file copy utility, copy the entire directory structure from the Gigabeat X60 onto the new drive. Make sure you copy everything, including the hidden/system files in GBSYSTEM.
Now remove the hard drive from the USB enclosure. You should see a "naked" drive with a ZIF-40 connector on the top side.
Disassembling the Gigabeat X60
There are six screws:
- one on the back near the top of the player
- one inside the metal bit containing the strap post (if the player is facing you, the strap post is on the left side very near the top)
- two on the bottom side on the player
- two hidden by plastic caps adjacent to the row of buttons on the right side of the player
All screws are easily accessible apart from the two hidden ones. The plastic caps are located at both ends of the row of buttons, but have a tiny notch on the side closest to the buttons creating a hole visible to the naked eye. You need to prise open the plastic caps by inserting a mini screwdriver into the holes, and then using the screwdriver to gently detach the plastic caps. Once detached, they can be glued back on, or left off (I've left them off as the player doesn't look too bad without them, plus my player is encased in a silicone case anyway).
Once the screws are off, you can slide down the back cover around 1cm or so, and then the whole back cover comes off:
To remove the hard disk, gently coax the metal tab (attached to a metal harness cocooning the hard drive) on the top of the player out (it's held by a plastic tab). Now lift the hard disk by this metal tab slightly and slide the hard disk out in the direction towards the top of the player. Be careful not to break the ribbon cable connecting the player mainboard to the hard disk.
At this point, the hard disk plus harness should be free from the player but with the cable still attached. Gently remove the cable from the ZIF40 connector on the hard disk. It's held together purely by friction, so just pulling the cable gently should cause it to disconnect. Be gentle - don't destroy the fragile cable!
Replacing the hard drive
The hard drive in the metal harness looks like this:
You should be able to simply remove the metal harness and silicone shock absorver enclosing the hard drive just by pulling it out gently (starting from the bottom, pull both ends outwards).
Now, make sure the ribbon cable goes THROUGH the metal tab that I mentioned above and gently connect the cable into the new drive. Again, the cable should slide into the ZIF40 connector if you align it just right and apply a bit of force. I find using a pair of pliers helpful.
Once the cable is connected, just fix the metal harness onto the new drive - just make sure the silicone shock absorber material completely surrounds the drive. Now slide the drive and harness back into the player.
At this stage, you should be able to turn on the player and check that it boots from the new drive. If not (ie. you get a System Error) then you probably haven't attached the ribbon cable correctly, so try again (and be very very careful!).
Reassembling the X60 (hopefully now an X80, X100 or even X120!)
If everything works, slide the back cover back into the player. Make sure you position the row of buttons correctly first. Don't worry about the strap post bit just yet. Once the back cover is in
place, you can snap the strap post back in by sliding it into the hole (make sure you orient it correctly).
Just screw the six screws back in (make sure you remember the correct locations of the screws!) Reglue the plastic caps back on if you want. Do not use superglue.
If you did everything right, the player should boot up correctly in Rockbox. You should be able to check the model name and capabilities of your new hard disk by going into System | Debug Menu | Disk Info. Congratulations!
- 23 Feb 2008
Copyright © by the contributing authors.