ok, so i was a little late to the ipod trend. intentionally so, i guess. but eventually i succumbed, and bought an old nano on ebay. and of course, like clockwork, the thing broke on me a few months later. no matter what i did, the nano thought the hold function was stuck - no matter where the switch was, it continued to have the little lock symbol, and i couldn't use it. no software fixes, no hardware resets worked.
then i came across this on http://forums.vnunet.com/thread.jspa?threadID=105769&tstart=210:
Re: ipod Nano hold switch remains on
Posted: 25-Apr-2007 22:15 in response to: Colinzzz
I had the same problem (stuck on hold and the switch was obviously faulty) with an out-of-warranty 2GB nano. It wasn't worth the cost of the repair so I had nothing to lose by trying a workaround. Here's what I did. After taking the cover off and removing the screws that hold the main board to the case, the hold switch's contacts were visible on the front of the board. There are three contacts (very tiny) but all the switch does is connect the center to either of the end contacts making the hold on or off. All I had to do was roll up a speck of tin foil and wedge it between the center contact and the "on" contact. Then I locked it in place with a couple drops of clear nail polish. No more "hold" function, but it works great!.
So, I opened the thing up. ( You can learn how to do this here: http://www.powerbookmedic.com/free-ipod-manual/ipodnano.pdf )
I couldn't get the tinfoil fix to work, so i just soldered those little switches together (on the back of the logic board where it says "hold switch contact area" you'll see three little metal patches - that's where to solder). And it worked again perfectly! Like the post said, no more hold function, but it would play....so what to do about the hold? How could I put it in my pocket or bag?
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Step 1: Hey, What About That Altoids Tin?
So, I was busy soldering away at my desk, fixing the nano and then rocking out to my newly reclaimed tunes. When it was fixed, I lamented that I would no longer be able to put it in my bag because of the touch wheel. My boyfriend looked up and saw an empty altoids tin on my desk and asked, "Would it fit in the Altoids tin?"
Step 2: What Do You Know, It Fits!
So, the nano fit perfectly into the altoids tin - so I punched a hole in the lower right corner using first a small screwdriver, then a slightly larger one, tapping it with a hammer.
Step 3: But It'll Still Bounce Around, No?
Well, obviously having the ipod bouncing around in there wouldn't do, so I padded it with some foam, secured with a bit of superglue.
Step 4: Fits Like a Glove!
Then, you're all set! Slide the headphone jack in through the hole, plug into the nano, and then it's snug as a bug in a rug, and it won't bounce around and move the touchwheel while it's in your bag! Plus, you'll look all sneaky and clever on the subway.