32GB Solid State Zune Upgrade

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[Andrew] wrote in to show us how he upgraded a broken Zune to solid state. He had one that was giving the Error code 5 when it booted. This means the hard drive is bad. He was able to find a compatible solid state 32Gb drive that, with a little bit of case modification, he made fit. Everything fit back into the Zune and looked completely stock. This was all done for less than $130. He seems pretty proud of getting a 32GB Zune for $150, and we don’t think that’s too big of a deal. We found a bunch of them on eBay for under $100. He even states that he doesn’t see any performance or battery life improvements. So why do we post this? Well, we like to see stuff split open and we actually like the idea of a no-moving-parts mp3 player. We’re hard on our electronics and the thought of that platter getting jarred over and over and over and over really bothers us. Great job [Andrew].

20 thoughts on “32GB Solid State Zune Upgrade

  1. I don’t get you guys. If someone flashes an LED using an Arduino, you go crazy. When someone does something that’s actually a hack, you “don’t think it’s too big a deal.”

  2. Also, the only 32GB zune is the Zune HD, and that costs around $300 on ebay. If you were talking about the SSD that you could buy for <$100, so did he. If you read the article, he says he got the zune for $50 and the SSD for $75.

  3. Well I am still testing things right now to see if there is any variance in performance. There might be some some circumstances under which one drive performs better than the other, and I still trying to resolve that through testing. I plan on updating the article later once I have some reliable empirical figures to work with.

  4. I did the same with my 3rd generation iPod (the last decent iPod), but instead of an SSD, I got a 1.8″HDD to CF adapter and a 32GB CF card. Took some monkeying around to get things working right including hacking the firmware with a hex editor, but it was fun.

    Anyway, cool hack.

  5. Thankfully I haven’t had to hack anything for mine but a Creative Zen (who the eff decided to name them all the same!!!) has an SDHC card slot. Bought the el cheapo one with 4gb internal for $100 awhile ago. Have been upgrading as my music collection expands! Up to 16gb external + 4 internal. Had an 8gb for $30 and 16gb for $50. I can also view my digital camera pictures on it and share music easy

    Great hack!

  6. Well it is also the bulkier 1st generation model. My mod uses the slimmer 2nd generation model. You can actually fit a 8mm drive with that model stock I think. It is of course also a smaller mechanical drive. (In its favor it actually does have graphic equalizer.) For the record total cost on my mod including the Zune, drive, and shipping was $120. Just wanted to clarify.

  7. “So why do we post this?”

    Maybe because it’s a hack?

    Caleb, what planet are you from where you can understand two Hotwheels cars acting as a switch, and yet don’t quite get why we’d be interested in the replacement of a hard drive with an SSD in a consumer device?


  8. @strider_mt2k,
    If you’ll notice, I DID find this interesting enough to post. That’s why it is here, I thought it was awesome. You wouldn’t be commenting on it if I didn’t think it should be posted.
    Due to the negativity in the comments, I felt it necessary to point out the obvious negative point and rebuff it before the comments turned into:

    “he just replaced the hard drive… not a hack”

    Great job Andrew.

  9. First off I was wrong in my last post, I meant $130 not $120. Secondly, I apologize if things came across negatively, I was writing that kind of late, and I did not mean to come across condescending. I greatly appreciate you guys posting my mod, and I certainly appreciate the extra traffic. (I consider it more a mod than a hack.) I am sorry if things came across negatively, I was just trying to clarify, since there seemed to be some confusion on the matter. I really like hackaday, and I think you guys do a wonderful job of bringing attention to interesting projects that I would not come across otherwise. Once again thanks for the post, and keep up the excellent work.

  10. That’s a pretty cool hack right there. But what I’m wondering is if you could get numerous say 8GB SD cards or Compact Flash cards and run them together in a RAID 0 format somehow so you can get like 4 cards at 8GB to make 32GB. Any ideas?

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