Picture of Repair bricked ipod Classic 80 gb
Itunes 9 update 1.1 bricked my kid's ipod Classic 80 gb. Would you like to update?  Spin the wheel of chance with Mr. Jobs.

Caitlin had "misplaced" her ipod for a long time and wanted to take it along on our summer vacation trip.  She found it and plugged it in and charged it up with the wall wart. Everything worked fine.  Until we tried to sync it up.  Hmmmm, looks like it needs an update and itunes needs to be upgraded.  Install itunes9, it sees the ipod, clicked to update and waited.  And waited. Finally got an error code and look that up.  The usual charge it up, connect disconnect, reload latest itunes and install, etc.  Try again and wait. And wait. But now it is stuck at the apple fruit logo and won't do anything. And it made the clickey sound like it was accessing the drive but nothing.  The update locked the drive in a loop.

Look up help on the internet.  You are now the proud owner of a bricked ipod classic 80 gb.

This rots, to the core.

UPDATE: I was going to install itunes on my new "refurb" laptop that I just got. But it has Vista Business sp1.  I think I am screwed again.

Hodagz4 years ago
Very handy guide. I had a black 80gb classic a while back (it was stolen out of my car later) but I was able to fix this problem by banging it on my desk a bunch of times and cussing at it :P

This method seems much nicer though.
manmelvin3 years ago
I had the same problem with my 80gig iPod classic. I think I am going to try this on it.
If you have another ipod to play around with, you should try the cf card mod. Bit expensive but you do get much better battery life as a result.
Sweet. Nice work and a great instructable too. This is good news and bad for me, meaning it's great that you can get one open to change the battery on a working iPod if you don't want to drop $200+ for a new flash memory based one, but sad that the hard drive had to be replaced, that would be the cutoff for me. At first I got the impression that the hard drive was good and that the software update just hosed the OS or the boot sector on the drive, but when you mentioned the drive went clickity click, I knew the update update failure was the result of the coincidental hard drive failure, there is no endless loop that will cause the ominous drive click, I'm pretty sure that's pure hardware failure. I have a friend with one that doen't turn on at all, we're hoping his is a circuit board failure so we can do the opposite, extract the hard drive and pray that the drive still works so we can recover his data.
caitlinsdad (author)  seerixprojex4 years ago
Well, for the conspiracy theory folks, the hard drive was coincidentally locked on several other instances found on the internet supposedly after the itunes update. I could get the ipod back in usb drive mode but something else prevented it from reading and writing data to the hard drive.. I guess if I had another ipod to transplant the drive to I would have fooled around with it a bit. Good luck on your repair.
Wow, that is a very interesting theory indeed. What makes it so interesting is if the update were corrupting the firmware on the iPod itself, it would no longer be able to access any drive, so I doubt that is what's happening, if anything, the update corrupts the boot sector of the drive, and that makes me wonder if there is an adapter that would allow you to access the drive directly, like an external drive. If so, you could certainly run UNIX commands via a terminal window that could restore the boot sector to an unformatted drive with no partitions, thus making it usable again. Of course all data would be lost, but it might save drive replacement. I have no idea if the adapter exists, but it sounds like one heck of an instructable if it doesn't.
caitlinsdad (author)  seerixprojex4 years ago
What is interesting is the existence of "silver bullets". The cable TV company every once in a while sends out codes or "updates" to render unauthorized equipment on the line useless. I think they fuse a bit in the chips or lock up the firmware. Maybe a bit of errant code happened to get pushed out with the update having the same consequences. I'm not really that uptight about Apple but I wouldn't put it past them having that in the playbook.
I have no doubts that Apple builds in obsolescence, despite the fact that they build very high quality hardware. An error in coding is certainly a possibility, and some errors wouldn't necessarily affect all models either because all electronics manufacturers change chipsets regularly. Sometimes even in midstream of a model.
vitos1234 years ago
So, I am left with a bricked ipod to toy around with.
rbnjr vitos1234 years ago
no, don't give up yet..try all resets first.
caitlinsdad (author)  vitos1234 years ago
You got a rotten Apple too? I know the feeling.
mathman474 years ago
I've got one that has no display, but I don't know if it is a bad display , drive , or just a brick now. Someone, who shall remain nameless, but I've been married to her for 40 years, let some liquid into it. Any ideas? I finally bought a new one, so I can play with the old one.
rbnjr mathman474 years ago
I assume you have done the normal resets available that will usually fix it.
if so try to replace the battery or at least give it a good power source.

good luck!
caitlinsdad (author)  mathman474 years ago
Hmmmm, I guess you would might treat it like a cell phone dunking.   Of course, if it one of those accidental drops in the toilet, take extra precautions.  You have to make sure the insides are dried up before powering it up. You might be able to crack it open for the challenge fun of it  Dry out and reseat the internal cable connectors.  Check the voltage of the battery.  Clamp it together to see if it fires up.  It does cost more to just get it checked and serviced than it does to get a new one.  Good luck.
Luckily it wasn't the toilet, but I think it was worse. I priced getting it fixed and the price of a new drive, then decided to get a new one. I was without one for a year and am really surprised at the capabilities. Wow. Thanks for your help. No need to respond.
chilll20094 years ago
wait - there is a spinning hard drive in an ipod? i thought it was flash.
GreatSage4 years ago
There was a similar instructable out there about how to fix a bricked ipod touch. Basically, you had to get a new copy of the firmware from the internet. Then you plug it into itunes and when it tells you that the ipod needs to be restored, hold down shift and hit the restore button. This will deliver you to a pop up file navigator where you can navigate to your newly downloaded firmware.

This is the link

caitlinsdad (author)  GreatSage4 years ago
Thanks, but my ipod Classic 80, 6th gen is a different animal older than ipod touch. Although, I do not know if that Shift and Restore function works on a Classic.
Works for all the iPod models as far as I know. I've done it with a classic and touch. The difficult part is finding the right firmware. I would suggest taking the time to back that up at this point. there are a few utilities out there, though the "apple machine" no doubt tries to suppress them.
caitlinsdad (author)  jrh0654 years ago
The harddrive was not recognized and unable to be accessed so I don't if you would have been able to reflash the firmware unless the firmware is directly accessed through the USB. Itunes is certainly no help,
rob314 years ago
thanks, this really helps, it stinks when expensive electronics break.
caitlinsdad (author)  rob314 years ago
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
DJ Radio4 years ago
Is this still any use to you?
caitlinsdad (author)  DJ Radio4 years ago
I got it working again. It is my mp3 player now.
bzenny4 years ago
The case can be opened a little bit more neatly than this. I've made my own tools out of spring steel to do this. You do have to bend the back slightly, but it can be bent back into shape. The main thing is to avoid marking the fascia.
Putting a silicone skin on your iPod covers up the marring marks I see in your picture.
caitlinsdad (author)  bzenny4 years ago
The first time it's gonna hurt. I knew I was going to put a case over it so it was not a real concern about dinging it up. And trying to do this late at night adds to the frustration level. I hope there is no next time.