10-Second IPod Repair

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About: When life gives me lemons, I make batteries. Check out my website at http://nbitwonder.com

Not too long ago, Platform21 released their Repair Manifesto, an ideology to promote the idea of repairing things instead of simply replacing them in our throwaway society. It is with this spirit in mind that I present to you one of the simplest, most helpful repairs I've come across.

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?

I personally own an 4th Generation iPod photo, and as such the instructions will directly apply to that model. Over the course of the iPod's lifetime (5 years and counting!), the following errors have arose. They are listed below for reference:

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

The iPod "repair" is extremely simple. To fix it, one need only follow the following steps:

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.

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    26 Discussions

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    DoctorEvil30564

    5 years ago on Step 2

    that's probably why dropping a misbehaving IPod with a hard drive onto the floor so it lands on the side or bottom instead of the back or front usually works to fix them, probably moves the connections on the hard drive pins just enough to reseat them

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    blowitupjoe

    8 years ago on Step 2

    I had my iPod in a drawer for two years because it gave a "Bad Hard Drive" message. I read this tutorial and BAM!!! Good as new! Thanks for a great simple solution. I know it may not work for most problems- but it just goes to show ya- dont throw away any electronics until you are certain that its beyond repair.

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    purduecerReCreate

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Some of the old ones do. Nowadays you have to get the iPod "classic" to get an HDD-featured iPod.

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    Derintoogers

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Just like there is no "Ipod", "IPOD", "ipod" or "iPOD". It's iPod.

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    -Hulk-

    9 years ago on Step 2

    almost sounds like apple has put a planed obsolescence code in there and unplugging everything resets it !?

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    fordman15243

    9 years ago on Step 2

    I have a zune. (i could stop right there ;D but i won't) I'm on my second zune actually (nothing's wrong with the first one, just 30gb wasn't enough) and throughout my years of using microsoft I have had no problems such as this. The only problem i have had with my zune was last year on new years day, when all the 30gb models froze for a day.

    2 replies
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    purduecerfordman15243

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 2

    well...odds are good that, should your zune break for some reason, you could try this *shrug*

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    fordman15243purduecer

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 2

    I'm not sure actually... I haven't taken apart my 120gb yet to see whats inside, so im not sure of what kind of connector it has in it, i know the 30gb models have ribbon cables... *shrugs*

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    gafisher

    9 years ago on Step 2

    I'd give you big odds that what's happening is scrubbing of surface corrosion when the connections are unplugged and reconnected. Insider secret -- the same fix brings nine out of ten bad CD and DVD players back to life if you just unplug and reconnect the connections to the laser.