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iRiver H320 conversion

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iRiver H320 conversion

Postby Folderol » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:19 pm

It seems I'm on a bit of a roll now :)

Some time ago I made inquiries here and elsewhere about swapping the hard drive in my iRiver H320 for an SSD. Since then I've been slowly researching the options.

First of all, I bought this when it first came out in 2004/5 and it's been pretty much in daily use ever since. It's also now on its third battery! In recent times I've a few occasions when I've thought the drive did something weird, so the need for a change was becoming more urgent.

Well, it turns out that an SSD is not the best option. Although the drive is powered all the time, the player only actually runs it when it's loading the next file to play, whereas with an SSD it would be drawing significant current all the time, so would actually give a shorter battery life.

All is not lost though as you can get CF to IDE converters fairly cheaply and CF cards draw a fraction of the current. As it's doing almost nothing but reading, one of these should well outlast the player. A bit more research came up with the info that an SD card is even better and very much cheaper than CF ones. Surprise, surprise! You can get SD to CF converters.

Putting it all together, the SD card goes in the SD to CF converter which then goes in the CF to IDE converter which then goes in place of the original drive.

But wait! There's more. The original firmware installed in the H320 can only read 20GB, however not long after I bought mine I discovered Rockbox. This is a great software suit that covers almost every player out there. The iRiver one not only recognises much larger disk sizes (my SD card is 64GB) it also supports flac and wav format files. It installs a bootloader onto the hard drive which then takes over from the firmware.

The significance of this is that an ordinary disk copy transfers everything needed provided the new media has a single FAT32 partition.

Finally, this was all I had to do:
Plug the SD card into my USB multi-card reader and format it.
Plug the H320 into another USB socket.
Open both devices and copy all the files across.
Assemble the card into its adapters.
Open the H320 and remove the IDE disk
Install the card assembly and check it works.
Reassemble the H320.

The card assembly is slightly fatter and a lot shorter than the hard disk, so I couldn't re-use all the original rubber packing, but bits of stuff I've put in seem to keep it all safe and stable. I've also put the old drive and the rubber bits in a 'just in case' bag.
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Re: iRiver H320 conversion

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:35 pm

:thumbup: :clap:
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