Rockbox firmware for iPod Classic 6G 7G mSATA SSD MOD

mSATA SSD MOD will now work with iPod Classic 6g/7g, by loading the patched up Rockbox Firmware /EmCORE bootloader.


  • iPod Classic 6G/7G. These iPod classics are the iPod released by Apple that had the ‘classic’ name, they are also refereed to as Classic 1g, 2g or 3g, They were originally available in sizes of 80GB, 120GB or 160GB.
  • JM20330 based Zif to mSATA adapter, commonly referred to as “green adapter” that is available on Ebay or Amazon.
    mSATA Zif Adapter
  • Crucial m500 240GB or 480GB mSATA SSD as tested. Well designed SSDs with detailed specs & datasheet. Its stability and consistency have made my firmware patch work possible, Not the top performer on the benchmark list but disk speed benchmark is not important here.
  • Optionally some ESD safe foam & double side tape to secure the mSATA SSD in the iPOD, and thermal GAP filler in between the iPOD back case & SSD.


    Once the SSD is installed, you will need to load the EmCORE Bootloader and Rockbox firmware on this iPOD by following the step by step guide, assuming you are using windows operating system. Instructions here are mostly copied from EmCORE installation guide, for other OS, please refer to FreemyiPodfor details.

      1. Download the following files that is needed for firmware installation:
      2. Connect your iPod to your computer (USB).
      3. Close iTune, cancel iTune’s restore prompt:
      4. Kill “AppleMobileDeviceService.exe” using the task manager
        • Open the task manager (press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC)
        • Click on the “Processes” tab
        • Choose “AppleMobileDeviceService.exe”
        • Press the “End Process” button
        • Press “End Process” to confirm
        • taskmanager1
      5. Do the same for “iTunesHelper.exe”
      6. Make sure the hold switch is not locked.
      7. Press and hold the menu and select buttons for between 10 and 15 seconds. The iPod will show an apple logo after about 5 seconds, keep holding the buttons until it seems to turn off completely The display of your iPod should now stay black, and a new USB device called “Apple Mobile Device USB Driver” should connect to your PC. This can be confirmed in Device Manager:
      8. Run bootstrap_ipodclassic_itunes.exe, Your iPod should now turn on and connect a 64MB drive called “UMSboot”.bootstrap

        Do not panic if your iPod’s LCD display crap out, that’s just normal.
        Minolta DSC

      9. Copy the downloaded “installer-ipodclassic.ubi” file to the 64MB-sized “UMSboot” disk. Right-click on the drive, then select Eject.


      10. Follow the on-screen instructions

        Minolta DSC

        Minolta DSC

        Minolta DSC
        If EmCORE have trouble “formating” the SSD, most likely your zif cable is not seated correctly, check cable connections and retry the firmware loading process.

      11. If everything worked right, you should now see the emCORE boot menu.
      12. Choose the “Rockbox” option, wait for Rockbox to boot (Complaints about the rockbox.ipod file being missing are normal at this point.)
      13. Wait for the iPod’s hard disk drive to connect and become accessible from your PC.
      14. Unzip the downloaded to your rockbox disk root folder, safely eject.
      15. Disconnect your iPod from your PC, wait for Rockbox to return to the main menu, shut down Rockbox by holding the play button for several seconds.
      16. Restart your iPod and boot into Rockbox.Congratulations, you have successfully installed emCORE and Rockbox, copy your music library to Rockbox and enjoy!

4 thoughts on “Rockbox firmware for iPod Classic 6G 7G mSATA SSD MOD

    1. David

      You can just buy this one straight away, I got the exact same one with an mSATA ssd and they fit perfectly. In fact, they are smaller than the original apple HDD used, so you need some form of filler to prevent movement of the adapter and SSD.

  1. Timo


    You’ve got an awesome website!

    Im wondering, does my ipod work with the original apple software if i just replace my hdd with the msata to Zif connector and SSD?


  2. TheSeven

    Can you please make your changes to RockBox/emCORE (if any) available as a patch, and either link them here, or (even better) submit them to RockBox’s patch tracker?
    If these changes could be upstreamed, the affected users could finally use up-to-date RockBox builds again. Right now we’re poking in the dark as to what needs to be changed to fix the issues with some SSDs/Adapters.

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