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Possibly fix iPod hard drives via bad block scan System
Here's how you can often recover an iPod that's got a hard drive suffering from bad sectors. It's not a magic bullet, but if your iPod is out of warranty then you've got nothing to lose. I've seen iPods that have been "fixed" in this fashion work for many more months. I've also seen iPods die soon after these tests - however such iPods were well and truly on their way out before these tests were run on them, and running these tests will not kill a healthy iPod.

Firstly, to clear up a misunderstanding about modern drives - all modern hard drives (ATA, SATA, SCSI etc) have a list of bad blocks stored in their firmware. No, you can't access this list. Every drive made has bad sectors. Every drive made has spare capacity so it can automatically remap bad sectors.

What happens is when a drive sees a bad sector, it tries to silently remap that sector to somewhere nearby, in an area reserved for this purpose. This happens without you being told anything. I personally think that the SMART status should indicate that this is happening...

Once you are seeing bad sectors at the higher level, that means that the drive has run out of spare sectors to remap these bad sectors and you're really in trouble. The drive will go pear-shaped in the near future. No, really, it will.

Having said all that, there is a service mode for iPods, which is described on this page. When in diagnostic mode, you can do a hard drive scan, to scan for bad blocks. You can also go one step further and do a full read/write test -- this also has the side-effect of remapping what bad sectors it can, but it will erase the data on your iPod. You have been warned.
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Possibly fix iPod hard drives via bad block scan
Authored by: davidosus on Mar 13, '06 10:07:30AM

I've got a third generation 40 GB iPod whose hard drive spins and clicks and spins and clicks and spins and clicks... its screen says I ought to contact Apple support.

Is the test you're speaking of the HDD scan? So far it hasn't worked for me.

I've even looked at

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=2006021923332755&query=ipod+partition

but I'm completely unfamiliar with the terminal.

Does anyone have a suggestion short of buying a new hard drive or iPod?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Possibly fix iPod hard drives via bad block scan
Authored by: kolt siewerts on Mar 13, '06 02:15:04PM

hi,
sorry, but i don't quite understand if you let the ipod scan itself or if you start a hd-utility while the ipod is in diagnostic mode and connected to your mac?
thanks for your help, kolt



[ Reply to This | # ]
Fixing click-whirr iPods.
Authored by: FiaLisa on Mar 13, '06 02:27:22PM

Open your iPod (there are guides on how to do this all over the web, but simply put you just need to press something thin in between the plastic and the metal on the side, pry the metal out a bit, and snap it off). The cable connecting the harddrive is most likely not sitting tight enough. Push it in and put your iPod together again.



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Possibly fix iPod hard drives via bad block scan
Authored by: manogames on Apr 21, '06 06:13:20AM

If you ipod spins up then "clicks" continuously try hitting it on the top right corner. Don't use a hammer or anything just use your hand and use good force. Repeat this until the clicking stops and then do the HDD scan and finally a reset if that doesn't work.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Possibly fix iPod hard drives via bad block scan
Authored by: kolt siewerts on Mar 13, '06 02:16:00PM

hi,
sorry, but i don't quite understand if you let the ipod scan itself or if you start a hd-utility while the ipod is in diagnostic mode and connected to your mac?
thanks for your help, kolt



[ Reply to This | # ]
Possibly fix iPod hard drives via bad block scan
Authored by: whenders0n on Mar 13, '06 04:27:16PM

anyone know how to accomplish this on older ipods that don't have the 'HDRW' test?



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Actually, the S.M.A.R.T. status DOES tell you...
Authored by: ash7 on Mar 13, '06 04:39:47PM
... that sectors are being remapped. However, you'll have to take the drive out of the iPod to be able to tell. Or, perhaps port the following program to iPod linux.

Use smartctl from smartmontools and check the Reallocated_Sector_Ct attribute.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Actually, the S.M.A.R.T. status DOES tell you...
Authored by: manogames on Apr 21, '06 06:11:51AM

Also, if you ipod spins up then "clicks" continuously try hitting it on the top right corner. Don't use a hammer or anything just use your hand and use good force. Repeat this until the clicking stops and then do the HDD scan and finally a reset if that doesn't work.



[ Reply to This | # ]