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Highest possible capacity for a 30gb iPod 5th gen?

Hey i want to get into a upgrade project with my ipod 5th gen.

I have over 200gb of music on my laptop (it's relevant... am a musician -_-)

I really want to upgrade my ipod but the manuals here show the 5th generation turning mostly into a 30 = 60/80 upgrade. And my 30gb is failing so i really need to make this repair/upgrade.

Is it possible to upgrade it to say 160 or 320 gb o.O ??

Thank you for your time :) !!

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Yes you can upgrade the HDD but you will require a few other parts as well. The 60/80 GB are thicker drives. You will require a deeper rear panel, a new head phone jack since the cable has to be longer as well as a new battery for the same reason You will also need the rubber bumpers from the bigger drive as well. The 30 will not fit. I think that is it and should be a complete list. Good Luck to you and your ipod.

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+ Much good information here for this person and the next. If I could up you twice or accept the answer I would.

Thank you. You have given me alot of good information :) !! But the question is will i be able to fit in a drive larger than the 60/80 with a new back panel and etc. ????

thank you for the time :) !!

like my first sentence in the answer says, yes you can. Once place amongst many is here http://www.rapidrepair.com/shop/3119-har...

Thank you :) !!

i am going to hopefully search for all the relevant parts now. hopefully all shall go smoothly ^_^ !!

thank you for accepting my answer and may your quest be successful ;-)

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A few facts have been overlooked. There are two gerenerations of the iPod Video 5th Generation.

1. 30 & 60 GB models. First versions. These have the orginal motherboard 820-1763-A. The ones used in the 30GB 5G had 32MB RAM on them. The 60GB 5G had 64mb RAM on it.

2. Second version also know as Generation 5.5 also known as 5th Generation Late 2006. Motherboard 820-1975-A. The 30GB model had 32MB RAM on it and the 80GB model had 64MB on it.

So there are 4 different versions of the 5th Generation motherboards. To tell the difference between the 32mb and 64mb RAM versions you have to look at the memory chips on the motherboard or know for a fact whic iPod Apple shipped it with.

When loaded with the current release of the iPod software 1.3 the only differenence between the 5 and 5.5 boards is the that the 5.5 boards will have SEARCH and the original motherboards will NOT have SEARCH function.

All 30GB motherboards have 32mb RAM on them.

All 60 & 80 GB motherboards have 64mb RAM on them.

A 32MB motherboard will recognize a 240 GB hard drive under Software 1.3 but will run out of memory at around 7,500 songs. After that you can't load any more songs even though there will plenty of hard drive space left over. So anything beyound about 120GB is wasted with a 30GB 32MB motherboard Gen 5.0 or 5.5.

A 64mb motherboard can handle around 20,000 songs. I have 16,476 on my 240 GB drive and I still have 103 GB free. I have TWO iPods with the 240 GB drive in them. One is an upgraded 60GB iPOd with motherboard 820-1763-A with 64mb RAM. The other is an 80GB iPod with the 820-1975-A 64mb motherboard. Both work well with Software 1.3 but with lots of songs SEARCH is worth having.

The best hard drive for a 30GB iPod 5 or 5.5 gen is the Samsung SpinPoint N3A HS12YHA 120GB. It will fit in the 30GB case with no mods as it it 5mm thick.

The best hard drive for a 60 or 80 GB 5 or 5.5 iPod is the Tosiba 240GB MK2431GAH hard drive. It fits the thicker case with no mods as it is 8mm thick. I bought mine off of eBay.

Good luck!

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Hi Tony, does these differences between the ram (32 vs 64mb) matter if I'm using the iFlash mod? I will be using 128GB SD cards or larger ones in the future. I have the iPod Video 30GB (first gen = no search). Would love your expertise help! Thanks

The claim of a 7,500 song limit is bogus... details in separate comment below...

An update July 2017:

My 80GB iPod 5.5 with the Toshiba 240 GB hard drive is up to 21,397 songs and is still adding songs through iTunes :) . I'm not sure just where the max song capacity is. I still have 65.5 GB free.

I'm building a second 240GB iPod to have as a back up.

Well it seems that all claims of song limits in the 5.5gen iPod are wrong. You can now install a 512GB SSD into a 5.5gen iPod. Empirical tests by eBay seller TSANDREW (Andrew) has determine that the actual limits are:

a. For a 32MB RAM iPod 5.5 (30gb) mobo the indexing song limit is around 20,000 songs

b. For iPod5.5 mobo with 64MB RAM (80GB) the song limit is 40,000 to 50,000 songs.

Andrew sells 5.5 gen iPods with 512GB SSD and he states that users can load far more songs than that. He offers a specially modified version of Rockbox that he will load and there are no song limits other than the physical storage space.

Today the largest SSD "hard drive" that the 80 GB iPod 5.5 gen can hold is 512GB! Cost is around $550 for a completely refurbished 512 GB iPod. Now that's a portable music library!

I have a 5th gen 32MB 30GB with a 240GB HDD in it (and a 7th gen with a quad flash board) - the 5th gen was fine until I tried really loading it up with songs just a week ago (I forget how many but 20k+ sounds about right) - it got to a point that it wouldn't shut down, went flat and would then only go into disk mode and had to be restored. It's back up and working but I'll be caustious as to the number of tracks I put back on it.

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I know this is a bit of an old thread, but just adding this in case its useful to anyone who comes across this by searching.

I have just successfully upgraded my 5th gen 30GB ipod to 120GB. I fitted a Samsung HS12YHA 120GB disk, which you can get very cheaply on eBay. This is the model that Tony mentioned in his earlier post on this thread. It works fine and (as Tony also pointed out) - this disk is only 5mm thick so it can be fitted into the case of the 30GB 5th gen ipod without the need to replace any other parts (many other hard disks are 8mm thick so would not fit the 30GB ipod 5th gen).

Just for completeness, my ipod is a 30GB Gen 5.5 (also known as 5th generation late 2006). After fitting the new hard drive iTunes recognises it as a 120GB iPod - I've copied about 90GB of music on to it and it is working fine so far.

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Did you also replace the battery? I also wonder. . . if you added 120 gb of memory, is the ram and motherboard able to handle it? Does it work more slowly now?


No - I did not replace the battery, I only use the iPod on a dock which provides power to it, so I don't really care about the battery life, but I guess it would have been a good time to do it

RAM & motherboard appears to be able to handle it fine, though I am not using the full 120GB, so I guess its possible it might start having problems if I add lots more music.

No - I haven' noticed it any slower to use when browsing the ipod menus. I does seem maybe a bit slower to copy music onto, but I never really timed it before swapping out the hard disk so I could be imagining that. It is possible though as the hard disk I've put in is 3600RPM, whereas the original 30GB one was 4200RPM.

One other thing - a tip if anyone tries this - I found that cheap 'ipod opening tools' from ebay/amazon were basically useless. I ended up opening mine using to watchmakers screwdrivers. Its not that hard to do - just get it open a tiny amount at a time, get it open the same amount all the way round, then open a bit wider and so on, so that you don't bend the front, which has the screen attached to it.

thank you very much! that was my biggest dilemma to getting replacement parts for my ipod vs. just getting a completely new 7th gen 160/120gb ipod. Saves a lot of money. :D

If you do replace the battery when upgrading a 30Gb hard drive to the 120Gb, do you buy the 30 or 60/80Gb replacement battery?

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I have modded a 5th Gen 30GB iPod to use 128GB SD (Tarkan iFlash). I noticed that the iPod will become corrupt (endless Apple boot logo) if the number of tracks exceeds roughly 17,000 tracks. My other modded 5.5 iPods (formerly 60gb, 80gb) do not have any issues with 20,000+ tracks.

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I have a 30GB 5.5G with an mSATA 256GB SSD, HAVE AROUND 17.5K tracks and works fine. Not as snappy as my 7gen Classic but it works.

I'm also in the middle of doing the conversion from 30gb to a 120gb. Question will a 6th gen 120gb back cover work on my 5th gen front plate? Like to have my gb match.

Yes the back plates are interchangable between the 5,6,7 gens.

Sweet! Thanks for the help.

Thank you for the info on the endless Apple boot logo. Helped me diagnose what was going on with my frankenPod. Thanks!

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inside is a 1.8" ATA (not SATA!)hard drive. The biggest upgrade i´ve ever heard of are 250GB.

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So i can put a 250 gb HD in the 30gb ipod ? Can you link me to one such hard drive ?

Thank you :) !!

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I personally think 128GB would be the highest you can go on the 5g and 5.5g 30GB iPods. Sure you can go to 256GB or even 512GB but you will probably start to have a few problems when you dump 20K songs or over. The reason being is the small memory that these boards have, 32MB.

You want a stable iPod video at 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB, grab a iPod Video that came with 60GB or 80GB. Those have 64MB memory.

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7500 songs limit is present only when using official firmware, if you want to have 240GB on iPod 5/5.5th 30GB, then just install rockbox, it,s straight forward, so you should do it in minutes.

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Hi - I think the 7500 song limit is actually a myth. I believe 7500 songs is actually just what Apple originally advertised the 30GB ipod could hold based on its disk capacaity and assuming an average of about 4MB per song. I have now got just over 12000 songs on my ipod 5.5 gen (with 120GB hard disk installed). Also if you scroll down through the below thread, you will see someone else talks about having 28730 songs on a 5.5 gen ipod:


Yes, the 7,500 song limit is BS, so people should stop repeating it. It comes from Apple's original estimate of how many songs would fit on the 30GB hard drive. It has nothing to do with how many songs it can handle with a larger drive.

With a larger drive, the limit is caused by the 32MB of RAM (vs. 64MB for the 60GB/80GB versions). The amount of RAM determines how many songs can be indexed. Users on headfi have reported getting more than 28,000 but less than 32,000 songs on the 30GB version with a larger drive, so they estimate the limit is somewhere ~30,000 songs.

I have a 5.5 Gen 30GB. Can a thin 60gb be put in with no other changes and work fine? What could I expect with just the 32GB of Ram? I don't play videos..just want alot of songs into it.

There is no ipod 60gb thin hard drive. There is an 80gb thin, but only the thick hard drives will work with the 30gb Logic board 5th gen 32mb RAM. Unless you buy an ssd drive.

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