I've started diagnosis mode on my iPod Classic and went to SMART DATA. This basically means th iPod runs in disk mode as an external hard drive and is connected to a windows pc. I’m unable to research these data points and don’t know what they mean:

Retracts:   58
Reallocs: 16376
Pending Sectors: 0
PowerOn Hours: 643
Start/Stops: 8781
Temp Current: 34C
Temp: Min 14C
Temp: Max 56C

When I load more than 2GB of songs onto it, it loads up the software and then it sipmly says "no songs" on the screen, even when itunes shows that some memory is occupied

Can any of this explain what’s wrong with my iPod?

  • please add to the question what's actually wrong with your iPod Classic.
    – klanomath
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 23:21
  • When I load more than 2GB of songs onto it, it loads up the software and then it sipmly says "no songs" on the screen, even when itunes shows that some memory is occupied.
    – Panda
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 23:35
  • There is no hard drive in an iPod.
    – OzzieSpin
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 11:51
  • are things ok after, say, 1.5 GB?
    – Natsfan
    Commented Dec 26, 2017 at 19:05

3 Answers 3


To help explain what the numbers mean here is an extract from the Wikipedia S.M.A.R.T. article:

Reallocated Sectors Count (Reallocs):

Count of reallocated sectors. When the hard drive finds a read/write/verification error, it marks that sector as "reallocated" and transfers data to a special reserved area (spare area). This process is also known as remapping, and reallocated sectors are called "remaps". The raw value normally represents a count of the bad sectors that have been found and remapped. Thus, the higher the attribute value, the more sectors the drive has had to reallocate. This allows a drive with bad sectors to continue operation; however, a drive which has had any reallocations at all is significantly more likely to fail in the near future. While primarily used as a metric of the life expectancy of the drive, this number also affects performance. As the count of reallocated sectors increases, the read/write speed tends to become worse because the drive head is forced to seek to the reserved area whenever a remap is accessed. If sequential access speed is critical, the remapped sectors can be manually marked as bad blocks in the file system in order to prevent their use.

Pending Sector Count:

Count of "unstable" sectors (waiting to be remapped, because of unrecoverable read errors). If an unstable sector is subsequently read successfully, the sector is remapped and this value is decreased. Read errors on a sector will not remap the sector immediately (since the correct value cannot be read and so the value to remap is not known, and also it might become readable later); instead, the drive firmware remembers that the sector needs to be remapped, and will remap it the next time it's written. However some drives will not immediately remap such sectors when written; instead the drive will first attempt to write to the problem sector and if the write operation is successful then the sector will be marked good (in this case, the "Reallocation Event Count" (0xC4) will not be increased). This is a serious shortcoming, for if such a drive contains marginal sectors that consistently fail only after some time has passed following a successful write operation, then the drive will never remap these problem sectors.

Large numbers of Reallocs or Pending Sectors would suggest your drive is failing and that you may need to repair or replace your iPod.

Your Pending Sector Count is ok but your Reallocated Sectors Count is extremely high. Usually a sector holds 512 bytes. The 16376 reallocs mean that already 8 MB have been reallocated.

My 4 year old iPod Classic still has only 0 reallocs and 0 pending sectors.

Though i haven't been able to find any information about the number of sparse sectors on HDDs, I doubt that your iPod Classic has any more left. Probably you have some more (irreplaceable) bad blocks which renders your iPod unusable.

  • so does that mean that the 8 MB were moved or something? because I can load olny up to 2 GB before it stops recognizing songs, causing itunes to crash and makes my PC slow.
    – Panda
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 0:00
  • @Panda 8 MB have been replaced by sparse sectors yes. I doubt that it has any more sparse sectors (i'm just looking for specs). If it runs out of sparse sectors, additional bad blocks can't be replaced and your hdd really gets corrupt and unusable. :-(
    – klanomath
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 0:16

It's been a while since I've done this, so I don't recall the exact steps, but you can mount the drive of your iPod on your desktop, and then run diagnostics such as Disk Utility on it.

  • Iv'e tried to run disk analysis. the PC won't let me even do that. it always tells me that it repaired the disk, but the problem continues and i'm starting to lose hope.
    – Panda
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 23:58
  • 2
    Ah. Sharing that you are using a PC instead of a Mac would have been useful information.
    – Calion
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 0:29

Nothing may be wrong with the iPod based on how you “load up the songs”

Unless you “jailbreak / modify” the iPod or write to the library format, simply copying files to it in disk mode won’t let the iPod play the songs.

Disk mode lets you use it as a disk to store PC files on it - not that the iPod can scan for changes and then use the media.

Perhaps a follow on question explaining what you want to do with the iPod and how this data is “wrong” will get you a step closer to using it the manner you choose / intend. It could be the drive has failed and needs to be reformatted and given another chance to have iTunes load 2.1 GB of songs or it could be a failure and you need to repair the device (perhaps swapping the drive due to excessive reallocations).

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