Recently, I took it upon myself to completely refurbish an iPod Video (5.5th generation). For a
time I have wanted to fully refurbish an iPod on my own. This summer, I did just that.
My goal was to have a usable iPod with flash storage that I could install Linux on.
The 5th generation iPod was released in 2005, however, a module nicknamed the "5.5" generation
was released in 2006 with an upgraded DAC (digital to analog converter) that produced a higher quality
For this reason, I wanted to use the 5.5th generation iPod for my project.
I started by buying a normal iPod Video from Goodwill. It was working properly, but in poor cosmetic
condition. Next, I bought parts. I purchased a battery replacement kit from iFixit, an iFlash-Solo
HDD to SD card adapter, a 128GB microSD card with an SD card adapter to put into the iFlash,
a new front bezel, a new back plate, a new click wheel, and a new slide switch.
This was the first major repair project I have worked on. For help, I used
iFixit's free repair guides.
After moving the motherboard and screen to the new case and installing the new battery, I installed the
iFlash adapter. It was a very simple process and worked perfectly with my microSD card.
Once everything was properly attached, I snapped the iPod back together and connected it to iTunes.
At this point, I needed to install the primary OS onto the new SD card. To do so, I put the iPod into
recovery mode and connected it to iTunes. After several failed attempts to restore the iPod, I was finally
able to install the OS onto the new storage.
Next, came software. I decided to install Rockbox
and iPodLinux. I also installed a custom firmware over the
main OS using iPodWizzard.
And here are some pictures of the final product: