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Is there a way to re-initialize a Philips GoGear HDD6330?

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Hi. I recently bought a Philips GoGear HDD6330, to make a change from playing with iPods. It is a nice little device, but restricted by natively only playing mp3 and wma files. So I plan to install Rockbox and ideally replace the 30GB hard drive with flash memory, if that is possible.

Before I do anything, I'd like to ensure I have a way of re-initializing the device, either with a new flash drive, or if I have any problems setting up Rockbox.

I am a Mac user, but have virtual installations of Windows XP and Windows 7, and a 'Bootcamp' installation of Windows 10.

I know that the HDD6330 will not communicate with MacOS, except possibly by MTP mode in 'MacDroid'. I doubt if this would allow me to re-initialize it.

When I connect the HDD6330 to Windows 7, the file system mounts OK. I have tried several versions of 'Philips Device Manager' and 'GoGear Device Manager' in my virtual Windows and the Bootcamp Windows 10, but none see the HDD6330. I haven't found a way to install Windows XP using Bootcamp, I suspect it is too old.

So, I'm wondering how anyone else manages their HDD6330? I haven't found a GoGear forum or anywhere more specific to ask this, a the device is rather old.

Is there a way of copying the entire HDD6330 disk in Windows (or any other OS) that would allow the system files to be installed on a new drive?

An old post on here suggests that copying files in the 'System' directory might be enough, but the Windows filer window shows this as empty...

I'd be grateful for any helpful information!

Thanks, Phil.

Replying to myself with a slight update...

I have borrowed a very old Compaq laptop that runs Windows XP. The files that are still available on the Philips website for the HDD6330 do run and appear to allow reinstallation of firmware, etc. Now I've ordered a second cheap unit to experiment with.

Adding some more results of my experiments...

Unfortunately both disk drives died in my HDD6330s, so surgery was performed. I had hoped that an iFlash Quad might work with some big storage, but it does not. The interface is the same as the early iPods, but there must be a compatibility issue. I tried both the iFlash 4th gen board, and an iQuad with the converter ribbon cable. I had a green compact flash adapter board, and this does work, but only with 32GB of microSD storage. I tried 128GB and that did not work.

I also had an old 40GB disk drive from a 3rd gen iPod, so played with that to take flash storage out of any problems, formatted with a 30GB FAT32 partition. Installing Rockbox via the installer failed, but manually was OK. There is a problem with the HDD6330 version, though, as it expects 'ON' and 'OFF' buttons to be present, which do not exist. This is requested when setting the time, etc.

I cloned the disk drive to the 32GB microSD, and it still works. Usage for me is limited by the 32GB capacity, so I don't really need it to run Rockbox, I'll treat it as a curiosity.

I can load music either via the Windows Media Manager or the Filer, under Windows XP. Oddly, if I copy files under MacOS the player does not find them.

The odd thing is I cannot make the original firmware display the album art. I've tried various embedded file formats, and separate files, checked the settings for the transfer, etc. I assume the player is expecting something that was standard about 16 years ago, but hard to guess now. It is possible to turn off the album art display, or just get an image of a CD case. One nice thing is that all of the artist/song title/album title scroll if they are long, which the Apple OF does not.

There is not much on the web about these players, so I suspect most people gave up on them.

Talking to myself again...

I have discovered that for the original firmware, the album art must be a separate file called 'album art.jpg' in the same directory as the music files. I only have 50% success at displaying this so far, so there must be some jpeg type or file size limitations.

It took a lot of Googling to find that information, maybe this posting will help someone else. There seems to be no documentation for this, I doubt if Windows Media Player would ever create that file. Maybe, when new, there were demonstration files on the player to help users work it out.

I would just like to throw out there, if a jpeg doesn't want to display no matter what, it's probably a "progressive" jpeg - you need to convert it to "regular" type. Gimp or imagemagick or the like can do that for you. I've run into this issue on multiple player firmwares.


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