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Wiki > Main > IpodPort > IpodManualRestore (r9)


How to restore an iPod

These instructions have been tested on Linux. BSD users may find them useful, just change the device names.

  1. Download the MBR for your iPod model from the IpodConversionToFAT32 page.
  2. Put the the MBR onto the iPod:
    dd if=mbr-xxxx.bin of=/dev/sdX
  3. Make Linux reread the MBR:
    hdparm -z /dev/sdX
  4. Download the .ipsw file for your iPod model from
  5. The .ipsw file you just downloaded is actually a ZIP file - unzip it and you should see a file named Firmware-X.Y.Z (where X, Y and Z are numbers).
  6. Put the the Firmware-X.Y.Z file to the first partition on your iPod:
    dd if=Firmware-X.Y.Z of=/dev/sdX1
  7. Format the second partition with FAT32. Make sure it's FAT32, not FAT16 - Rockbox only supports FAT32 on the iPods.
    • For iPods (except the 5.5G) with 512-byte sectors:
      mkfs.vfat -F 32 /dev/sdX2
    • For 5.5G iPods (with 2048-byte sectors):
      mkfs.vfat -S 2048 -F 32 /dev/sdX2
    • An alternative command for 5.5G iPods with 2048-byte sectors storage:
      mformat -S 2048 -M 2048 -F DRIVE_LETTER:


  1. After putting Firmware-X.Y.Z on the iPod, when you first reboot your iPod it will update the contents of its flash ROM. Follow the instructions on your iPod's screen (to insert the charger) and DO NOT interrupt this process. If you interrupt it, then there is a very good chance that your iPod will be unusable.
  2. FOR 5.5G USERS There had been at least one report that mkfs.vfat has issues when dealing with disks with 2048-byte sectors (i.e. the 30GB and 80GB 5.5G iPod videos). But I've successfully used mkfs.vfat with the proper arguments as above, on my iPod Video 5.5G with the original 80GB disk and CF Card mod. YMMV -- WilliamPoetra - 10 Jun 2008
  3. The 5.5G iPod actually has a normal 512-byte sectors disk for the 30 GB model and a 1024-byte sectors disk for the 80 GB model. The 2048-byte sectors mentioned above is the sector size reported by the USB interface. Since it is exported as 2048-byte sectors, if we format the partition with 512-byte sectors the OF might be able to access it just fine but Linux would not be able to mount the filesystem.

[to be expanded...]
r9 - 13 Jun 2008 - 12:13:42 - WilliamPoetra

Parents: IpodPort
Copyright by the contributing authors.