How to get a stubborn old iPod to work. (5.5 Tested)

Discussion in 'Wii - Tutorials & FAQs' started by BobbyMcPrescott, Jul 25, 2012.

Jul 25, 2012
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    BobbyMcPrescott New Member

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    When I got my iPhone my old iPod became obsolete. Audiogalaxy meant all my tunes could take up no space and I'd still have them in my pocket. So naturally when I got into the homebrew scene, I wanted to use my old 30 gig 5.5 as a USB loader, and lucky me every list said it was compatible. Unfortunately, what I learned was that iPods, or at least certain models, are incredibly inconsistent even among a single device. It took me 3 years ending yesterday to figure out the right combo breaker that would let me do it right, and hopefully my "method" might help someone else with a brick turn it into a USB loader.

    Firstly, disable iTunes from popping up when you connect your iPod. This can happen subtlely and you may not notice it everytime, but if iTunes is even looking at your drive it can cause problems. Also, you definitely don't want it restoring after a long format.

    Secondly, the aforementioned format. Ultimately the iPods invincible firmware will always kick it back to the main screen, but this step is necessary to avoid any bad data or old habits from reappearing. You need to do this in disk mode, which is accmplished by hold the Menu and Select (Middle) button for about 6 seconds. To explain a little more so stuff down the road makes more sense, this act simply resets the device. As soon as you see the Apple logo (it will probably not be back lit so have a light handy) hold select and play/pause. This action switches it from booting into the normal mode and instead it will quickly boot into black and white disk mode.

    Now is where my method gets specific. After this point, based on my millions of attempts, I can assure you that WBFS Manger will NEVER work. If you are reading this guide you probably tried just like me a good many times, and as I've found out since succeeding, I never would have if I'd kept using it. My newly formatted and working on Wii drive is STILL impossible to get loaded by WBFS Manager. Instead, connect your iPod to your PC and load up Wii Backup Manager. Even now, you might find that it sees it as an unrecognizable drive. This is where the equivalent of smacking it with a hammer begins. For some reason, the iPod I used (again, 5.5, and perhaps any others with troubles) acts as a Windows compatible drive but does not broadcast itself like a typical drive. My assumption is that since it is still acting as an iPod and has it's menus intact, to maintain normal function it uses specialized drivers to communicate with windows as an HDD, and this is where the inconcistencies arise.

    If the drive is unrecognizeable, first insure it is still in disk mode and connected. Connecting/DCing can cause it to reboot into normal mode. When sure it is connected properly, close Wii Backup Manager and doublecheck that absolutely nothing is even so much as looking at the drive, such as say a My Computer window. Any interference at all will case errors. After that, restart the program and check again. It may pop up, but if not, I have one more suggestion. Withot closing WBFS manager or DCing the iPod, reset and reboot into disk mode. This should cause WBM to lose track of the drive and then regain it once it enters disk mode. I believe that if this second step is necessary, what is happening is that there is for some reason a short window where the iPod doesn't go screwy and it is best captured in the moments after it first hits disk mode. More on that mystery in a second.Hopefully, WBM will now have recognized your drive and format it for you. If so it should be no trouble getting your games loaded either. The work isn't done however, because the problems getting it to format also affect getting your USB Loader to recognize it.

    Firstly, while I don't know enough to recommend any particular loader this was done on USB Loader GX 3.0, so if you want to remove some variables I suggest using that first and getting it to work before trying others. Connect your iPod to the USB port that is to your right if you are looking at the console from the back (If there are variant cIOSes where this isn't true, feel free to correct me and if so, just use the other one). Making sure it is in disk mode, load up USB Loader GX.

    Because this whole problem is inherently odd, I can't guarantee what will happen. Depending on when or how you put it in and into disk mode, it may actually load instantly. Mine has a few times since I got it to work. But occasionnally, including my first attempt. It will see the disk mode drive and simply freeze while trying to mount it. In this case, the reset trick should flawlessly fix that. Reset and reboot right back into disk mode. The loader will lose track of the hardrive and give you something like 10 seconds to find it, but this is enough to reboot. When it does, if the world is just, it will have been smacked in the face and load very quickly, with whatever games you installed accessible and easily playable. My first test was Metroid Prime Trilogy, and despite my concerns (this was my main reason for contining to try and fix my iPod) it appears the current version of GX works perfect with it. The loading was no slower than any backup disc I have encountered, and so you should be on your way to good times.

    I really hope this works for somene like it FINALLY did for me. Most of the info on this topic is either inaccurate or people saying its impossible, despite being listed as officially compatible. As mentioned, I believe that it doesn't natively interact over USB as a normal usb drive, and instead has an off-kilter mode stemming from its constant attachment to iPod, such that even in disk mode it is using specialized drivers to communicate with Windows as opposed to generic USB HDD drivers.

    Good night, and good luck.
    • Member

    jalaneme Female Gamer

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    so you are trying to get a old ipod to work as a usb hard drive? i did that a while back with a old 60gb and loaded wii games from it, was a temporary solution of course till i brought a proper external, your guide could be useful.
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    BobbyMcPrescott New Member

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    Yes, it's a 30 gig iPod 5.5. It's been a while since I did a lot of the research but if I recall the problems encountered were much rarer on the 60 gig 5.5s. That said it still appears and in some newer models as well I believe. It's definitely not a good long term solution given the difficulty (expect to reboot your iPod at least once when you reboot your Wii, and if your battery is old like mine you'll be waiting for it to charge after having the wii off a while), but if one is in my position having about 27 gigs for wii games is great, particularly with WBFS compression. Some people just plugged in their 5.5 30 and it worked right away, whereas people like me had their's sit around useless because no guide ever led them in the right direction.

    I shold clarify that I believe probably the most likely problem people have run into based on the countless unsolved cases I have seen is using WBFS Manager. I only accidentally used WBM, and all it takes if it doesn't recognize the drive is a quick reset (for me at least). Since doing that no manner of tricks will get my iPod (which works on WBM and USB loader GX) to even be read by WBFS Manager. Minus reading the entire history of updates for both working programs, I simply must assume based on the number of updates that both at some point updated to a semi-working state, but the inconsistency of the drive can still make it appear to fail.

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