In the early 2000's, Apple presented the world with what has become the most popular mp3 player to date: the iPod. The device is sleek and user-friendly, and all around quite wonderful. That said, it's not without it's small share of problems. Before we continue on, however, it must be said that...
THE AUTHOR OF THIS INSTRUCTABLE PRESETNS THESE STEPS AS A MEANS OF INSTRUCTION FOR IPOD REPAIR. DONE CORRECTLY, THEY WILL NOT DAMAGE THE DEVICE, BUT THEY WILL MOST LIKELY VOID YOUR WARRANTY. THE AUTHOR OF THIS INSTRUCTABLE ACCEPTS NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS.
Got that? Good, let's go on.
Step 1: The IPod: What Could Go Wrong?
iPod Hardware Error: An icon appearing like the first image (below) appears, and the iPod is unable to start up.
iPod Software Error: An icon appearing like the second image (below) appears, and the iPod is unable to start up.
Media Deletion Error: Very rare error (has happened twice in the 5 years of ownership) in which the iPod starts up but all media data appears to have been deleted.
Of the above errors, this instructable is capable of remedying the Hardware and Software errors. Unfortunately, there is no magical way to bring your media back from the media deletion error, short of reconnecting the iPod to a computer and redownloading all of the content. Also, while this repair does immediately fix the hardware/software errors, it is not a permanent fix, just a way to prolong the life of your device (I've gotten 3 extra years beyond the warranty of my device so far).
Step 2: The Repair in a Nutshell
1) Open the iPod case: this can be somewhat easily done by pushing down on the front surface (the one containing the clickwheel). Then, CAREFULLY pry at the case with a pocket knife or screwdriver. (Be very careful not to bend the metal casing).
2) Carefully disconnect the separate components.
3) Reconnect the components, snap the case back together.
And you're done! The iPod should be fully functional and ready to use again. Simple, effective, and saves many a mail in to Apple's expensive iPod repairs division.