PC-3000 HDD. Nontypical HDD recovery. iPod Video

There are lot of nontypical devices like media stations, different recorders, cameras, audio players, etc which are based on nontypical drives.

Here is a real case of hard drive (!!!) from iPod Video 30 Gb.


Such players (5th generation) was released in October of 2005.

Here we go…

So, first of all we need to know: – Why is this device in our Lab?

We know that it has been dropped and as a result does not work any more.

Second thing: –Why it might be so important for recovery?

In real life we don’t think that music collection which is storing on iPod will be so important for customer, but this iPod has been released in 2005, and for that time 30GB capacity was really amazing for portable device. Most of people use them not only as digital audio player, but also as a hu-u-u-uge portable storage device for office documents, images, videos and audio files. For example – in 2005 typical capacity of Flash drive was 128-512 Mb. iPod allow to store around 30-80Gb of data! And it was really cool!

Well, let’s open it and check inside.


After opening we dismount 1.8″ hard drive branded by Apple logo.

It’s Toshiba MK3008AL family drive.

As we know there are 2 types of ZIF interface.


But we need to find a correct adapter for connecting this drive to PC-3000 (ACE Lab do not supply such adapters). You can search adapter on eBay, AliExpress or in your local computer shop.

We will use this one:


But this adapter have only 1 IDE port as result need to connect this adapter to PC-2″ adapter (this adapter is in standart kit of PC-3000 boards).

Finally our staff for this work is:


Please note that ZIF interface have a key (on the PCB of drive and on the flexible cable of adapter). Important thing is match this key and connect correctly, or else we can ‘burn’ the PCB.

After all connections we got such a tricky device:


Let’s open PC-3000, switch on the power supply and check drive behavior:


As we can see the drive gets a Ready state but have errors in Log report, at registers and not correct drive ID (but the capacity is OK).

At this state we can think that this drive has a special modified F/W for Apple devices.

Check a sectors access:


It’s available, but there’s some strange data in MBR..

02This is an old Toshiba drive and some old drives show trash in sectors while Techno key is ON. We can try to switch off Techno key.

But after switch off the Techno key situation is the same…




If we take a look this drive in the Data Extractor software – we can see that this drive have a FAT32 partition, but it can’t recognize files and folders in the ROOT directory:



But all sectors are available and read perfectly (green):


We know that this device (and some other old Apple devices) are recognized by the OS like an external drive (flash pen drive with big capacity), as result we can try to search something in the RAW recovery, but after scanning we find nothing.

Encrypted? – it’s an old device which don’t have encryption.

Third party encryption software? – nope, iPod can work only with original data (not encrypted by something other software).

Maybe something problem with the PCB? It’s dirty or have a damaged part?

iqgu-qxatoeAfter cleaning a PCB contact we found that drive doesn’t have 1 little screwer.

1.8″ drives are very small and sensitive to external factors (including geometry of HDA), and as said before this drive has been dropped.





So, we screw in the screwer and re-power the drive:


As we can see now drive get a ready state with the correct capacity, full Drive ID and we see correct MBR in LBA0.

Ok, let’s proceed. This is dropped drive and it can die at any time, so need to work fast.

Create new task with active “copy” option in the Data Extractor software. Leave marked only “Read Drive ID” option:


Then try to open a partition:


All files and folders are available for saving, so, build a Heads map to see the drive behavior when it reads data (maybe one of heads are dead).

So, the next steps is like with any other Toshiba drive:

PC-3000 HDD. Toshiba drives specific diagnostics

Even such rare and old devices like this iPod video can be recovered by PC-3000.

By the way, original folder of player with all music files synchronized by iTunes software you can find in “iPod_Control” folder:


ZIF/LIF drives are very rare that’s why solution is not simple but possible. Please note that donor drives are also rare and expensive. So, important to work very fast, because the drive can die at any time.

But ACE Lab Technical support is always ready to help you 😉


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

This entry was posted in Articles, Data Extractor, PC-3000 HDD and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to PC-3000 HDD. Nontypical HDD recovery. iPod Video

  1. Jinarto says:

    Very good tool

  2. great, very informative content

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *