How to Perform an iPod Low Level Format


Techically advanced though it may be, the iPod hard disk can become stuck and resist booting up. One popular remedy for this ailment is to give the iPod a thump, but that's only a temporary fix. To prevent repeated crashing, you device may need an operating system low level format.

On a Mac

  • Connect the iPod to the computer with the USB cable. Open the disk utility and find the device list.

  • Click "Delete" or "Partition" at the Partition tab. Skip this step and move to the next step in the event the action fails.

  • Select "Volume Format" as Mac OS Extended from the "Erase" tab. Click "Erase." Move on to the next step in the event that this doesn't solve the problem.

  • Open "Security Options" and select "Zero Out Data." Click "Erase." Allow up to 2 hours for the process to complete.

PC Operation

  • Connect the iPod to the computer with the cable. Go to "My Computer" and find the device listed there. Right-click on it.

  • Choose "Format" from the list. Make sure all settings are defaulted. Make sure that "Quick Format" is unchecked.

  • Select "Format." Correct any errors with a third-party disk utility software.

  • Seek assistance from a Mac user in the event the iPod is not found on the PC. Find the device on a Mac then return to the PC to perform the low level format.

Tips & Warnings

  • During a low level format, the hard disk scans the entire hard drive, which can cause the device to become hot.

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