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Hard Disk Replacement

Hard drive repairs.
Apple uses laptop hard drives in the iPods they make which use them... That is all iPods have a hard drive except the Nano's both 1st and 2nd generation and the Shuffle.

Think about all the motion you put an iPod through, and in ways all of the things you take for granted as you bounce along with your iPod. You would never do those things with your laptop, because yu would deem it too delicate to take that type of use.

Now think about how you've mis-handled or dropped your iPod and luckily it kept working. At times even I'm amazed at the range or mis-handling to abuse they take and still run faithfully.

A part of the way the iPod survives the jostling is the way the hard drive operates and it's on-board buffer.

The drive gets requests for information from the iPod.... and it's about you start to think of your ipod for what it really is.

The iPod is a hand held computer. It has a micro processor and it runs using a UNIX based operating system called Linux.

The iPod makes requests of the drive for two types of information. It requests instructions and it requests data.

The instructions come in the form of "how do I use this data you've given me"? If it's a song tell me how to play it, if it's a playlist, tell me how to interpret the playlist file first, then let's index the songs to played, go out and get the dong from the drive and tell how to play it, relative to the EQ settings you've set on your iPod.

The drive has a read ahead cache. It tries to interpret what you are likely to want relative to the data request you just make and it minimizes 'drive seeks' by getting you probably will want.

This read ahead caching keeps the drive motion internally minimized and reduces the chances of you damaging it while mis-handling it.

But every now and then something happens. Famous one I've heard about include a woman walks up to the second floor to her apartment listening to her iPod. She sets her purse down with the iPod basically near the top and the purse falls over on it side. The iPod bounces out and down... a flight of concrete steps. LCD smashed and drive destroyed.

A hard drive failure is less rare than a logic board failure and in time after batteries, every iPod will have one. They wear out, but typically last 5 years in regular use without abuse. (Think how long they really last in a laptop.)

The Folder/Exclamation Mark error is what the screen will display in about 90% of the cases when a hard drive needs to be replaced. The Folder/Exclamation Mark Error does not mean your hard drive has failed. It usually means you have disk file corruption. (Please read to learn more about that.) But when a drive does need to be replaced, that's usually what's on the screen.

About 5% of the time the "Starry Eyed Sad Face" error will ultimately lead back to a hard drive failure rather than the Starry errors usual destination which is logic board failure/replacement.

If you need to have your drive replaced these are the costs involved. These drives are all "working pulls". They have been salvaged and tested as working perfectly from a less fortunate cadaver donor iPod for transplant into your iPod. Usually the logic board

The labor charge includes several things. It includes:
  1. Data Recovery - backing up all your data, music and video files in case you don't still have them and placing in safe for access back on the iPod when finished
  2. Run all plays and tricks I know to bring a drive with small problems back into 100% utility
  3. If that doesn't work then I'll sell you a drive if you find it worth while. Then I'll open up your ipod and take the old drive out swap in the drive, and put your iPod back together.
  4. Moving your old files back to the iPod if needed and it was possible to read your old drive. You may not need the backups if you have them all in your iTunes Library
  5. Shipping your finished iPod back to you.

Model Was New cost Labor Total price
includes shipping back to you
iPod Video iPod 30 GB $70 $60 $40$100
iPod Video iPod 60 GB $95 $80 $40 $120
iPod Video iPod 80 GB $140 $100 $40 $140
iPod 4th Gen with Black and White screen 20 GB $30 $20 $40 $60
iPod 4th Gen with Black and White screen 30 GB $55 $35 $40 $75
iPod 4th Gen with Black and White screen 40 GB $65 $35 $40 $75
iPod 4th Gen with Black and White screen 60 GB $100 $45 $40 $85
Photo iPod 4th Gen with color screen 20 GB $30 $20 $40 $60
Photo iPod 4th Gen with color screen 30 GB $55 $35 $40 $75
Photo iPod 4th Gen with color screen 40 GB $65 $35 $40 $75
Photo iPod 4th Gen with color screen 60 GB $100 $45 $40 $85
Mini iPod 1st Generation 4 GB $40 $10 $40 $50
Mini iPod 1st Generation 6 GB $55 $15 $40 $55
Mini iPod 2nd Generation 4 GB $40 $10 $40 $50
Mini iPod 2nd Generation 6 GB $55 $15 $40 $55

Call 707-544-4400


email me at with questions or to set up a repair.


Monday through Friday from 10am to 7pm, and Saturday & Sunday noon to 6pm.

I'm in Sonoma County... Northern California wine country,

    Frank Walburg
    Service Court
    Santa Rosa, Ca 95403-3139

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