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How to recover from a partitioned iPod System
A friend of mine decided he wanted to partition his 4th gen 40 gig iPod for some reason. After doing it, he was getting the missing OS error image: a flashing folder with an exclamation on it. Despite his excellent skills with Google's advanced searching, he could find no helpful info on the web. All he found were people saying to NEVER do this.

He tried running the iPod Updater and doing a Restore. The first time, it started, then quit with an error message: "05 error". After that, the Updater greyed out the buttons and would no longer recognize his iPod. Further Googling proved fruitless. He sent an email to Apple Support, but got no response other than an RMA box. Fortunately, his wife forgot to tell him about the box until I had a chance to help him.

When you partition a disk in OS X, it creates some very small partitions at the beginning of the drive that are invisible to the user. I discovered this when using a drive that had OS X on it in a PC I was installing Linux onto. At any rate, it dawned on me that the iPod updater was probably trying to put the OS onto the first partition, which would only be 8KB(if memory serves) in this case. Once that partition was full it crashed, then would refuse to do anything else to the iPod since there was no room left on the partition. Now this is a theory based on my prior knowledge and not any knowledge of how the iPod handles partitions and the OS.

If this were true, then we obviously needed to get rid of the current partition table so the iPod could reformat it the way it wanted it to be. So, we opened Disk Utility, highlighted the iPod in the left sidebar, switched to the partition tab, and chose "1 Partition" from the "Volume Scheme" drop-list, then chose "Free Space" from the "Format" drop list, then clicked the partition button.

When it was done repartitioning the iPod, we ejected it, reconnected it, then opened the iPod Updater and chose Restore. About 1 minute later, my friend was putting songs back onto his iPod. You may need to follow this same procedure if you try to replace the hard drive in an iPod as well.
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How to recover from a partitioned iPod
Authored by: cfoster on Mar 11, '05 11:42:26AM

I had a similar problem: my iPod had crashed hard and needed to be restored but restore refused to work (it gave up part way through the process).

It seems that the 'Restore' feature does its best to leave things just as they are, so if you have HFS partitions, it will try to use them, even if they are corrupt some how. I tried to reformat/repartition as HFS but encountered the same problem. SOMETHING was corrupted and sticking around, preventing Restore from working.

I called Apple and was advised that I should take the iPod to a friend's PC and do the restore using the Windows version of the iPod Updater (which will replace HFS with FAT), then bring it back to the Mac and try again.

But instead of doing that I reformatted the iPod as a "UNIX File System" (using Disk Utility) thus completely obliterating any traces of HFS (I figured replacing HFS with UFS would be just as effective as replacing it with FAT -- the point is just to remove HFS).

When the iPod Updater saw it next, it Restored just fine.

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Did you try re-ordering the partitions?
Authored by: sr105 on Mar 11, '05 12:44:38PM

Last time I checked, using mac-fdisk on a Gentoo Linux cd, you can re-order the partitions in the table somehow. I never messed with it, because I couldn't afford to be too reckless. Perhaps, it would have worked for your iPod.

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How to recover from a partitioned iPod
Authored by: ahknight on Mar 11, '05 02:08:19PM
Looks like your friend needs to know how to partition an iPod correctly. :)

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How to recover from a partitioned iPod
Authored by: Loren on Jun 09, '05 08:08:22AM

I followed those instructions and did some testing, and while I was able to partition my iPod, and still have it seem to be an iPod, it never worked. The iPod could never figure out which partition it was supposed to be looking at for the music. An iPod control folder appeared on both partitions, and sometimes iTunes would put music onto one partition and sometimes onto the other, and still when I tried to use the iPod it though that it had no songs on it.

Ended up using the iPod updater to restore it to it's original single partition condition.

This was with a 60 gig iPod photo.

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How to recover from a partitioned iPod
Authored by: kaih on Mar 12, '05 07:49:28PM
dd is your friend =)
In this case, with the iPod plugged in, you could execute the mount command in Terminal to see which device the iPod was mounted on. Then do a (WARNING, this will wipe your iPod COMPLETELY!)
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/rdiskX
where /dev/rdiskX is the device you identified the iPod as being mounted on previously, to write zeroes to the iPod's disk. Let this run for just a couple of seconds. This blows away the partition map and any of the small partitions at the start of the disk, returning it to a clean, totally unformatted state.

Do the same with disks as well.
I've had hard disks, generally external FireWire ones, that sometimes after something going wrong, nothing will want to look at the disk, even Disk Utility, and I've been able to recover the disk in this fashion.


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How to recover from a partitioned iPod
Authored by: goldenja on Mar 23, '05 11:06:16AM

OK, so I managed to completely FUBAR my ipod in Disk Utility...won't show up on my Mac in iTunes, or as a disk on the desktop...

I tried entering that command in terminal using the previous name of my ipod, but it asks me for a password. I tried my user passport, but no go. Any ideas?

Or, alternatively, any idea of how I can get my iPod back to it's original state (even if it erases everything?)

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How to recover from a partitioned iPod
Authored by: pfclark on May 04, '06 05:57:05PM

Hi, any ideas about this if the disk doesn't come up in the terminal? I type in "mount" and I get:

/dev/disk1s3 on / (local, journaled)
devfs on /dev (local)
fdesc on /dev (union)
<volfs> on /.vol
/dev/disk0s3 on /Volumes/Secondo (local, journaled)
automount -nsl [207] on /Network (automounted)
automount -fstab [212] on /automount/Servers (automounted)
automount -static [212] on /automount/static (automounted)

Do how do I know what to do the sudo on?

Thanks in advance.

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