HELP, Stuffedspacedog, or anyone: I've now got a Toshiba MK8009GAH and an adapter like this one http://cgi.ebay.com/1-8-ZIF-Hard-Disk-to-Laptop-1-8-IDE-HD-Adapter-t8_W0QQitemZ190225019729QQihZ009QQcategoryZ90719QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
but I can't assemble it right. I keep getting errors like ATA -11, "check HDD", and such. Once I booted into the iRiver firmware, which (correctly) reported 0 folders, 0 files, but connecting the USB cable at that point didn't work. I don't think I ever heard the hard drive spin up.
The adapter comes with a ribbon cable with a blue end and a white end, and another cable with two blue ends. Both the Rockbox installation guide herehttp://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/ZIFToATAAdapter
and another I found, herehttp://www.digitalintelligence.com/support/zif_hard_drive_enclosure/
show the Toshiba drive taking a blue end. However, I simply can't fit either end of the blue-blue cable into the Toshiba's white socket. The white cable fits, and the black lever secures it, but I still get the problems above -- for the most part the same error messages I get if I don't connect anything at all.
At this point I have no way of telling if the HDD, the adapter, and the cables are proper or defective. At some point I put a fold rather than a gentle S bend into the blue-white cable: how likely is that to have killed it? I'm just hoping I didn't harm the drive.
To answer someone else's question, the Toshiba ZIF socket (mine at least) does have a black locking lever: it looks like a ridge along the center of the white socket. I needed a jewelers loupe to see what it was, but you can get a little out of the pictures at the link just above -- click the 2nd and 3rd pictures to zoom in.
Another ebay auction http://cgi.ebay.com/2-sets-1-8-toshiba-ZIF-Hard-drive-to-2-5-IDE-Adapter_W0QQitemZ290232675597QQcmdZViewItem
for what seems like (2 of) the same item has pictures indicating that the blue-white cable is the one for Toshiba. That suggests I've got everything right, and either the drive or the adapter is bad. Any advice?
SUCCESS. Idiotically, I had the drive, and the adapter, upside down. The right way is to extend the cable straight, put the drive the same way up as the old one, plug in the adapter, then bend the cable into an S curve under the drive and put the drive in place (same side up).
A later problem I had was that when squeezing the case together, the unit would fail. If it was off and you tried to switch it on, it would go into iRiver software, then stop. If it was running Rockbox, it would stop. Leaving the case loose, playing music in Rockbox, and then squeezing the case together, I saw that by squeezing gently I could trigger the disc-access light. I think that an exposed electrical contact area near the end of the ribbon cable was being squeezed against the disc drive, causing Bad Things to happen. I re-bent the cable, and also tucked a bit of insulator between that part of the cable and the HDD case, and the problem went away.
Currently everything is working, reassembled with the lower rubber bumper back in place (there's probably no need to remove it, but I didn't know that), but without the blue rubber cushion that fits around the perimeter of the HDD. Since uncushioned shocks can easily be thousands of Gs, I'll try again to put that back in place, or failing that, improvise some other cushioning.
I don't have the Esskabel adapter, but I think I see what Linus (I think it was Linus) meant about it being a better fit for the iRiver. From the second photo in the Rockbox ZIF-to-ATA thread linked above, it looks like the Esskabel adapter has a sticky-up bit on the top, at the bottom end past where the HDD ends. With my adapter, that bit is on the bottom, pushing up the whole surface of the adapter, and thus the drive (which sits above part of the adapter). Mine is much cheaper and more easily available, though.
I feel that my mistakes should have resulted in the destruction of the new drive and/or the player, and I'm grateful for dumb luck or good engineering. I hope my account will make it easier for someone else!
Tight squeeze, but everything including the blue rubber bumper is back in place. Done.