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Support and General Use => Hardware => Topic started by: GernBlanst0n on September 20, 2017, 01:16:48 AM

Title: iPod Classic v2 120GB - Install/Mount issues
Post by: GernBlanst0n on September 20, 2017, 01:16:48 AM
Hi Folks!

So after a long time doing my homework (and lucking into a free iPod Classic), I decided to try doing a RockBox port onto an iPod Classic 6.5G (aka v2 Classic) 120GB unit. However, after multiple installation runs, I seem to be encountering the same problem (have repeated the process 5-6 times now).

1. I understand this is not a stable build, so let's get that out of the way up front. I also have confidence in the device's hardware reliability, as this was from a previous owner who took great care of the unit.

2. I'm following the installation instructions found here (https://files.freemyipod.org/~user890104/bootloader-ipodclassic.html) to complete the install process. Everything goes ducky, except when attempting to re-mount the volumes at the end of installation close. The drive volume for the unit will hang, and not re-mount until after the installation fails.

3. Once complete, the installation seems to work fine. However, the demons come out after first re-connection to the host machine (Windows 10 x64, I should mention. iPod USB drivers installed). 2 x volumes mount, an E: and F: drive. E: is unformatted and about 1GB or so in size. F: is the remainder of the drive hosting the RockBox platform and music storage. F: is also a FAT32 volume.

4. Upon attempting to move music (FLAC format) to the device, I can usually get about 6-7 folders in before the device hangs and unmounts of its own volition from the host machine. Upon attempting to re-connect, the device seems to hang or tie up the USB storage driver to make it near impossible to transfer files. Spontaneous disconnections also happen from time to time. The disconnected device with it's 5GB or so of music works fine. I just want to get the rest on there!!!

As I mentioned, this has been frustrating and multiple restore-reinstall attempts have not resolved the issue. Any help the devs here can provide would be great.

Thanks!!
Title: Re: iPod Classic v2 120GB - Install/Mount issues
Post by: Frankenpod on September 20, 2017, 03:05:37 AM
Are you copying music in Rockbox mode or in original firmware mode?
As you have used the dualbootloader method you should be able to boot in OF mode.
This is generally more reliable for syncing than is rockbox mode.
Title: Re: iPod Classic v2 120GB - Install/Mount issues
Post by: saratoga on September 20, 2017, 09:16:01 AM
I'm surprised that there are USB problems. Usually peoples only report them when using ssd modded devices.
Title: Re: iPod Classic v2 120GB - Install/Mount issues
Post by: GernBlanst0n on September 20, 2017, 06:08:32 PM
Are you copying music in Rockbox mode or in original firmware mode?
As you have used the dualbootloader method you should be able to boot in OF mode.
This is generally more reliable for syncing than is rockbox mode.

It's probably my decision to do projects like this in the middle of the night, but I didn't realize that this install process allowed for dual-boot. I just switched modes and am loading some music now. Will report back, but this seems like it's working properly. Sensible solution since the Apple USB driver is rock solid, just didn't realize I could do that OR that the storage volume is the same regardless of which firmware is loaded.
Title: Re: iPod Classic v2 120GB - Install/Mount issues
Post by: GernBlanst0n on September 20, 2017, 06:44:35 PM
Are you copying music in Rockbox mode or in original firmware mode?
As you have used the dualbootloader method you should be able to boot in OF mode.
This is generally more reliable for syncing than is rockbox mode.

It's probably my decision to do projects like this in the middle of the night, but I didn't realize that this install process allowed for dual-boot. I just switched modes and am loading some music now. Will report back, but this seems like it's working properly. Sensible solution since the Apple USB driver is rock solid, just didn't realize I could do that OR that the storage volume is the same regardless of which firmware is loaded.

Ooookay update time.

1. I switched to OF mode and loaded a single 300MB folder with 2 x sub folders. I then disconnected, loaded RockBox, and played the music to ensure it works. It did.

2. I switched back to OF mode and re-connected to load more tunes. The system fires a warning that the volume has errors and should be scanned. I skip this, and try to load more music.

3. The drive is unresponsive, and refuses to load files. Folder navigation is sluggish and drags. The drive whirrs like it's active, but isn't doing anything.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: iPod Classic v2 120GB - Install/Mount issues
Post by: Frankenpod on September 21, 2017, 04:57:40 AM
Hate to say it, but it's starting to sound like it might be a failing hard drive (or, remote chance, a bad USB/ipod cable)
This shouldn't really happen with an unmodded hd-based ipod.  Never had any rockbox problems in that case (with flash mods its another story).
Does it say anything interesting in (OF) diagnostic mode?
You could download AOMEI (free windows disk utility) and try and scan/fix the drive, before giving it another go.  Might even be able to scan it from windows itself (not sure if it can cope with ipod disk format or not)

Oh, there is one other possibility - if you didn't restore the ipod completely before starting this sync, it might still have had irretrievable disk corruption from your earlier rockbox-mode effort, hence the problem is nothing to do with the current sync efforts.  AOMEI should probably be able to fix that.

The symptoms you describe now though do sound like hardware problems rather than disk corruption.  If it was a free ipod it might be because the drive is faulty.  If so, I'd suggest doing a flash-mod with a Tarkan adaptor and a 128gb sd card (that model of ipod won't cope with a larger mod, but 128 wouldn't cost a fortune and would be lighter and give longer battery life than the original HD).
Title: Re: iPod Classic v2 120GB - Install/Mount issues
Post by: GernBlanst0n on September 24, 2017, 12:13:10 AM
Hate to say it, but it's starting to sound like it might be a failing hard drive (or, remote chance, a bad USB/ipod cable)
This shouldn't really happen with an unmodded hd-based ipod.  Never had any rockbox problems in that case (with flash mods its another story).
Does it say anything interesting in (OF) diagnostic mode?
You could download AOMEI (free windows disk utility) and try and scan/fix the drive, before giving it another go.  Might even be able to scan it from windows itself (not sure if it can cope with ipod disk format or not)

Oh, there is one other possibility - if you didn't restore the ipod completely before starting this sync, it might still have had irretrievable disk corruption from your earlier rockbox-mode effort, hence the problem is nothing to do with the current sync efforts.  AOMEI should probably be able to fix that.

The symptoms you describe now though do sound like hardware problems rather than disk corruption.  If it was a free ipod it might be because the drive is faulty.  If so, I'd suggest doing a flash-mod with a Tarkan adaptor and a 128gb sd card (that model of ipod won't cope with a larger mod, but 128 wouldn't cost a fortune and would be lighter and give longer battery life than the original HD).

Okay, here's the result from another experiment:

1. I flashed the device back to completely stock, and then attempted to load music. I was able to replicate the same problems as before, which were the ability to load 4-5 albums of FLAC before the device began to hang and stop responding. This for sure means that we're looking at some sort of volume corruption or fatal drive error.

2. As an experiment, I then attempted to copy the same files back from the device to my laptop's HDD to see if we were just looking at write problems or R/W. Turns out, the damn thing reads like a dream when you want to take data out. Writing I could barely push 2mb/s (the drive is rated for 10mb/s via USB), but reading I can pull down roughly 23mb/s speeds. In total, we're looking at about 127 FLAC files over 3GB of data. One anomaly I noticed here as well was that the last folder I loaded would not transfer back, as the file is corrupted.

3. Since this is a repeatable process with different firmwares (OF + RB), my assumption is this: The drive is corrupt at a certain sector, and attempting to write to that bad sector is where I start running into problems. An AOMEI scan of the drive showed un-recoverable errors, and formatting/moving files back in seems to be pretty fruitless.

4. Assuming the drive is toast, and I want to pursue converting this into an iPod FrankenBox with a Tarkan/SDXC adapter, I'm assuming this is the part I want? https://eshop.macsales.com/item/Tarkan/DUALUSD/

5. That also being said, anyone have any tips on doing this mod? To me, it seems the toughest part is getting the halves separated to get to the insides (THANKS APPLE). I have experience in break/fix for stuff with screws & bolts, but this seems like a trickier job since everything is sealed.

Thanks for helping me troubleshoot this issue!
Title: Re: iPod Classic v2 120GB - Install/Mount issues
Post by: Frankenpod on September 24, 2017, 11:03:06 AM
Hate to say it, but it's starting to sound like it might be a failing hard drive (or, remote chance, a bad USB/ipod cable)
This shouldn't really happen with an unmodded hd-based ipod.  Never had any rockbox problems in that case (with flash mods its another story).
Does it say anything interesting in (OF) diagnostic mode?
You could download AOMEI (free windows disk utility) and try and scan/fix the drive, before giving it another go.  Might even be able to scan it from windows itself (not sure if it can cope with ipod disk format or not)

Oh, there is one other possibility - if you didn't restore the ipod completely before starting this sync, it might still have had irretrievable disk corruption from your earlier rockbox-mode effort, hence the problem is nothing to do with the current sync efforts.  AOMEI should probably be able to fix that.

The symptoms you describe now though do sound like hardware problems rather than disk corruption.  If it was a free ipod it might be because the drive is faulty.  If so, I'd suggest doing a flash-mod with a Tarkan adaptor and a 128gb sd card (that model of ipod won't cope with a larger mod, but 128 wouldn't cost a fortune and would be lighter and give longer battery life than the original HD).

Okay, here's the result from another experiment:

1. I flashed the device back to completely stock, and then attempted to load music. I was able to replicate the same problems as before, which were the ability to load 4-5 albums of FLAC before the device began to hang and stop responding. This for sure means that we're looking at some sort of volume corruption or fatal drive error.

2. As an experiment, I then attempted to copy the same files back from the device to my laptop's HDD to see if we were just looking at write problems or R/W. Turns out, the damn thing reads like a dream when you want to take data out. Writing I could barely push 2mb/s (the drive is rated for 10mb/s via USB), but reading I can pull down roughly 23mb/s speeds. In total, we're looking at about 127 FLAC files over 3GB of data. One anomaly I noticed here as well was that the last folder I loaded would not transfer back, as the file is corrupted.

3. Since this is a repeatable process with different firmwares (OF + RB), my assumption is this: The drive is corrupt at a certain sector, and attempting to write to that bad sector is where I start running into problems. An AOMEI scan of the drive showed un-recoverable errors, and formatting/moving files back in seems to be pretty fruitless.

4. Assuming the drive is toast, and I want to pursue converting this into an iPod FrankenBox with a Tarkan/SDXC adapter, I'm assuming this is the part I want? https://eshop.macsales.com/item/Tarkan/DUALUSD/

5. That also being said, anyone have any tips on doing this mod? To me, it seems the toughest part is getting the halves separated to get to the insides (THANKS APPLE). I have experience in break/fix for stuff with screws & bolts, but this seems like a trickier job since everything is sealed.

Thanks for helping me troubleshoot this issue!

Yeah, that's it, though I just got them from Tarkan's own site.  Probably makes no difference though.

There are lots of potential pitfalls though.  The main one being as you have a "6.5gen" model you can only go up to 128gb flash, using original firmware.  Rockbox will avert that limit, but then you run into the problem that rockbox sync doesn't work very reliably, and you can't access the rest of the disk if you dual boot in OF mode to get round that sync problem.  So I'd advise only going with a 128gb card.  Oh yeah, and I am sure you are aware of just how many fake hacked cards there are out there, especially on ebay, h2testw is a must.

The second issue is as you noted, its a tremendous pain to get the case open without breaking something.  Lots of plastic plectrums and, if desperate, a flat putty knife, box cutter, or even razor blade, will eventually do it, and be very very very careful you don't break the battery cable connector off of the logic board when opening and when unplugging the battery, because if you do it's game over.  Also be careful not to cut yourself if resorting to a blade!  (Even the plectrums can hurt!).  Final desperate resort might be to just buy a replacement back panel and just go ahead and mangle the original one in getting it off.

I think Ifixit has an essential guide to opening them and shows what the internals look like.
Title: Re: iPod Classic v2 120GB - Install/Mount issues
Post by: GernBlanst0n on November 08, 2017, 11:20:40 AM
Quick update:

The issues were definitely related to the hard drive. I successfully completed a mod to an iFlash SOLO SD card unit with 128GB UHS-1 SD Card and the unit works great now! There's a few software issues but I'll post over in the appropriate dev thread for that since this is an unsupported platform.

Thanks for all of your help!