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How to Upgrade Your iRiver H320/H340 to Solid State

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by fleasbaby, Sep 16, 2016.
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  1. fleasbaby
    Hi All,
    I was recently looking for a DAP alternative to the current offerings out there. Sound quality, UI issues, and excessive pricing were frustrating me, and I don't like using my phone as a DAP (battery life, sound quality, etc, etc...). I decided to explore vintage players and after a while started looking at the iRiver H320 and the H340.
    I purchased a mint condition H320 on eBay, but knew I would soon be frustrated by the hard drive, both its limited size and the fact that it isn't solid state.I did a little research and found it surprisingly hard to get a consistently used method of upgrading these players. I took it upon myself to figure out something using readily available parts that should be available for a long time to come. This is how I did it:
    • I ordered the iFlash Quad MicroSD adaptor for iPods. Any one of their offerings should work though (the SD version, the CF version, etc, etc...)
    • I ordered the iFlash adaptor for using the iFlash with 4th Gen iPods. The interface is the same as the one required by the iRiver H320.
    • I ordered a hard drive enclosure that would work with the 4th Gen iPod interface as well. These are cheap-ish and fairly easily found on eBay and Amazon. This was the one I got here.
    • I popped my microSD cards into the iFlash Adaptor, added the 4th Gen iPod adaptor and put it into the hard drive enclosure. Note: the iFlash is too big for the enclosure I got. That doesn't matter, you don't need to close it up, you just need the interface.
    • Using a drive formatter, I deleted all partitions and formatted the drive to FAT32. Note: I use Aomei. Its reliable and free. Get it here.
    • I plugged my already Rockboxed iRiver H320 (Note: you need to make sure you are using Rockbox. Get it here. The stock firmware will run into library limitations apparently...I haven't confirmed this personally) into my computer, and copied over all (the Rockbox folders included) its files on its hard drive over to the newly formatted iFlash drive.
    • I disconnected both, and opened up the iRiver. 
    • I removed the iRiver's drive carefully, and plugged the iFlash setup in.
    • I turned the iRiver on without closing everything up to make sure it worked. Note: The first time I turned it on I got an "ATA -1" error. I thought maybe I had the orientation on the adaptor wrong when plugging it into the iRiver. I turned the unit off, and removed it, re-inserted, and everything worked perfectly.
    • Once that was confirmed, I closed the unit up, and found myself with 320GB of storage (sheer coincidence...not planned...I had two 128GB and one 64GB microSD card on hand when I put it all together). Note: the iFlash and its adaptor are a bit longer than the standard drive. This means you need to trim back some of the rubber mounting that usually sits between the drive and the battery. Use some of the adhesive foam padding that comes with the iFlash as a strategically placed substitute instead.
    I hope this helps anyone else out there considering trying this. 
    davidcotton, nick n and hqssui like this.
  2. davidcotton
    Nice going.

    I once did an ssd swop on the old iriver 120.  Only thing I couldn't do was the battery swop because it was a right little **** to do.
  3. fleasbaby

    Battery is the next thing I want to try...I noticed the wires creep around under the motherboard in the H320 though, so might wait a little while before I get adventurous :).
  4. Danneq
    Now I found my way here!

    Very interesting!

    About the batteries of H1xx & H3xx, I saw somewhere that one person had just cut the wires on the old and new batteries, peeled off the plastic encasing on the wires, twisted the wires together (red/red & black/black) and then put solder on it and finally used heat-shrink tubes (which of course were inserted on the wires before soldering them together). You can also use electrical tape, but I suppose heat-shrink tubes is better.

    Then you don't need to go to the trouble of removing the motherboard and try to remove the connector and then plug in the new one.
  5. Danneq
    You go about something like this:
    It's best to do one wire at a time and not let the red and black touch each other. That might fry the new battery and/or the motherboard.

    I haven't done this yet, but I  think it seems a lot easier than replacing the battery the regular way...
  6. fleasbaby

    While transplanting them into wooden cups and baffles I have made, I've done something similar to avoid messing with the fragile soldering points on the T50rp drivers.

    Good idea to reapply the idea here :).
  7. Exorcyst
    Hey there, I just got the iflash quad and the adapter ribbon cable. The iRiver does see the SD card but when I plug it into the Windows 7 computer it doesn't show up as a drive, no drive letter assigned either. It does however show the card. Have you had any issues? If I have to preload the music before inserting the card that's going to be quite the pain in the rear.
  8. fleasbaby
    Before I installed the iFlash Quad, I put all the SD cards I was going to use into it, put it in a drive case and plugged it into my PC (Windows 8) as an external drive. I then used Aomei to format all the cards as a single drive into a single FAT32 partition. Did you do this?
    You also need to copy all of the Rockbox folders and files over to the iFlash Quad after you've formatted it. 
  9. Exorcyst
    Negative, I did not do that step. I just popped in a preformatted 64GB microsd (I believe I used sdformatter tool) with the .rockbox folder data on it. When I added in a second card Rockbox still only saw the first card. Perhaps I will need to get an external enclosure if they all need to be formatted in a certain way. I was under the impression that the rockboxed device would be able to see the cards as they are added.
    The H340 boots properly and system info on rockbox shows the correct drive size and the proper capacity. But when I connect it to the computer to transfer music the system does see the unit but no drive letter assigned and shows it as a 7.88GB drive. However I can't make any change to it. Have a gander, if you don't mind. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kag0cyxbzoy83vt/AABnk0PMKwp2tp6rgsEfjMGxa?dl=0
    Can you let me know if it shows up the same way under your device manager? I'm curious as to why Windows 7 won't see it as a drive when just one card is in it. Would it matter if I format the card via a regular card reader vs using an external enclosure and formatting while it's in the iFlash Quad?

    Thanks for replying. 
  10. fleasbaby
    That might just be your problem. The iFlash cards are made for iPods first and foremost, and so I don't think accommodate having one card installed, with Rockbox, then another added later. If you did this in an iPod iTunes would prompt a reformat of the drive, which would format them all as one drive. the iRiver has no such service done to it by your machine, which is why its ignoring the second card.
    Sadly, I can't verify how the drive looks on my Windows 8 machine. I took my iFlash out of my H320 and put it in an iPod Classic, 7th gen, running stock iPod firmware. It just shows up as an iPod.
    I would get an external enclosure and put all the cards you want to use into the iFlash. Then format the whole lot as a single drive, being sure to use FAT32.
  11. Exorcyst

    Got it to work. Thank you very much! I also used the foam pads and cut a small strip of rubber from the original too fill up space between the battery and the edge of the enclosure where I felt the battery knock around a bit.

  12. Exorcyst
    Mod, kindly delete.
  13. fleasbaby
  14. Skippman
    Wow! I thought I was the only guy who had one of these things! I'd been considering replacing the mechanical HD with a SSD for a while but because of the tiny form factor I considered it cost prohibitive.
    Thanks for this excellent write up and sourcing the parts! I'm planning on ordering them in the next day or so. I always loved my iRiver for skiing and biking because I could put it in my camel back and use the remote control to change songs.
    Have you noticed any improvements to battery life and speed with the change over to the MicroSD cards? I'd expect it to at least have better battery life due to no moving mechanical parts.
  15. Skippman
    I just completed this on my iRiver H340 along with a change over to a 2200mah battery. Working great! Thanks so much for figuring this all out and writing clear and accurate instructions!
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