The everyday ramblings of an everyday geek.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Well that was a stupid idea

I'm not sure why, but for a few hours, just before Christmas, I was determined to get Ubuntu running off my iPod. I had gotten it into my head that running Ubuntu off a 40GB 1.8" drive was significantly superior than running it off a 10GB 3.5" driver spinning 3 times as fast, that and the thought of being able to umount the iPod, and bring my home desktop to work was pretty appealing.

There were of course several flaws to this plan. Firstly, Ubuntu doesn't boot very well from Firewire. Secondly, my 3rd gen iPod doesn't charge when connected via USB, and finally, my work computer is a dual Xeon and my home x86 is a PIII, but the academic challenge was pretty enticing, and I'd read some success stories of people building custom, generic kernels that could load from firewire. The initial install went pretty well. The install script found and identified the firewire iPod and let me create a couple of reiser partitions on it. In fact, it was all going so well that I was pretty sure I'd get the whole process completed in under an hour. That was right up until the first reboot. Then my iPod died - they are clearly allergic to Reiser.

The remainder of this post is an account of how to fix your 3rd Gen iPod when all it freezes on the Apple at reboot.

  1. Charge your dead iPod.
  2. Unplug it
  3. Flick from hold button to on (red) then off (white)
  4. Immediately press and hold Play and Menu buttons (This should restart your iPod)
  5. When the Apple reappears press and hold the Prev and Next buttons (This will put your iPod into disk mode)
  6. Reconnect your iPod
  7. Run the apple restore software
This simple plan took several hours of research to find, so I figured I'd replicate it and post it here. Of course now I know about this secret "Disk Mode" I'm back onto the idea of booting Ubuntu from it... when will I learn?


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