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Difference: MiniCF (r22 vs. r21)
This article covers replacing the iPod Mini Hitachi Microdrive with a standard flash based Compact Flash Card. The replacement covers both the first and second generation iPod Mini. Replacing the Microdrive with a standard flash based card is an inexpensive way to fix a broken Mini.
Tests have been run on a first generation Mini with a 512 MByte PNY card, a 256 MByte CompUSA generic card, a 64 MByte Lexar card, a 96 MByte Lexar Card, and a 1 GByte SanDisk Ultra II card. Of the cards, only the SanDisk Ultra II card worked. The initial guess why the Ultra II card is the only card that works is the iPod Mini requires the full TrueIDE spec implemented on the card.
Topram 32GB card worked in 2g Mini.
A-Data 16GB "speedy" brand CF worked on a 1g Mini.
Hama High Speed "pro" CF 8 GB card worked on a 1g Mini.
Transcend 32GB 133x CF card worked on a 2g Mini using procedure found in geektechnique.org (see below) for OF; then installing Rockbox using 2g bootloader found in FS#8901 (r18006).
Komputerbay 128GB CF Card 600X worked on a 1g Mini. Detects in iTunes as a 128GB Mini, on the device detects as 120GB. Transfer rate in Windows is ranges from 2MB/s to 6MB/s, takes 3 to 6 seconds to prebuffer/begin playing songs in Rockbox v3.1.3. (6/21/2013) UPDATE: It seems a bit buggy. On boot it shows the Apple Folder error. The way around this is: On reboot hold the select button until the backlight comes on then release. This will boot Rockbox. Hold the Menu button to boot OF. [6/22/2013]
Note: Regardless of which CF card is used, you may first have to upgrade the iPod via iTunes to a firmware more recent than version 1.3 (something in the iPod flash boot that doesn't work with CF in early software).
Additional tests have been run by Primo Kranjec on the second generation Mini. His results are in the email correspondence below.
Tests showed the Apple OS operating as expected. Rockbox froze after about 10 seconds of drive inactivity. When Rockbox sends the ATA sleep command the flash drive stops responding. The patch below resolves this issue by disabling the ATA sleep command as is done on the iPod Nano.
Current SVN should now be compatible with CF cards, and this patch should no longer be required (not tested, let us know) -- PeterDHoye - 19 Mar 2008 (this predates current "stable" 3.6-3.7)
Note that if intense database activity seems to "freeze" Rockbox with stable 3.7.1 and older: the drive icon appears, and the player becomes unresponsive. If this happens to you, a hard reboot should solve it. You may need to trigger a database upgrade, but at this point it should complete successfully. This can be caused by a corrupted file system (FAT32 is notoriously fragile), and also the playback time stats (this bug was solved at the very least in SVN, in 3.8.1 too probably).
In short, a full install for a CF card should be thus:
If it doesn't, ouch: your CF card is incompatible. Stop here, and revert to the other drive (or try another CF card). Otherwise, continue:
If all of this happens without problem:
Congratulations, you now have a Flash-based Mini! Enjoy 3 times more playback time than before!
-- MitchMeyran - 2010-11-13
These Links were dead and have been revived via The Internet Archive:
The information below comes from Primo Kranjec regarding the second generation IPod Mini. I will just post his messages for now (unfortunately I lost my replies, but his emails contain the substance):
r24 - 09 Jan 2015 - 16:59:14 - AlecJWRevision r22 - 23 Jun 2013 - 04:52 - TeddyParks
Revision r21 - 21 Jun 2013 - 17:56 - TeddyParks
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