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Formatting is OK if you know how to restore it
Authored by: macciius on Mar 19, '06 07:24:08AM

Just to clarify what others have pointed out already: it is OK to re-format the iPod's harddisk, even with a "zero all data" option, as long as you can recreate the two partitions, put back the firmware, and initialize the file system. (Perhaps the third step is not necessary, but I believe the first two are).

Why would one reformat the disk? Because that can help recover from some types of disk errors. My iPod had problems writing to certain disk blocks in the file system partition (file copy operation would just hang indefinitely). Disk Utility did not find anything wrong with the drive. I do not have Disk Warrior, but it probably would have reported bad blocks, which it cannot fix. In my case, reformatting with "zero all data" option made the ipod usable again.

I found the "Partitioning the iPod" article on Mac Geekery helpful. In a nutshell, my steps were: find the iPod disk in /dev (with disktool), remember what the partition table looks like (with pdisk), save the firmware partition (with dd), reformat the entire disk with the "zero" option (in Disk Utility), unmount the newly created partition, recreate the old partition table (with pdisk), copy old firmware into the first partition (with dd), create a file system in the second partition (with newfs), disconnect, reconnect and run iPod Updater. (This sequence assumes you do not care about files stored on the iPod and that your firmware partition is not corrupt.)

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Formatting is OK if you know how to restore it
Authored by: scubatankz on Oct 22, '06 08:52:45AM

To a Terminal novice can you walk me through the process you describe above - my iPod is ****ed and I have a nano I can get the firmware off ( I assume the firmware for Nano and iPod Photos is similar - keeps coming up with an error message 1418 when I plug in the iPod Photo - unplugged it during a restore - and have tried formating and starting again but as you describe - it needs the initial partition map and the firmware for me to get any further I think

Please please can you help - Your decription is a little complex to me as I've never used Termainal for anything

Cheers.. Liam

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