My beloved 4th gen iPod decided to be a sad iPod a few weeks ago. One day it worked fine, the next all I got was the dreaded icon on the left. Apple’s official support site was less than helpful telling me only the obvious: “your iPod is in need of service.” A little nosing around the internet revealed some possible do-it-yourself fixes. Since it was already not working, I decided to take a shot at repairing my broken iPod myself.
The first and most prevalent suggestion is the voodoo “bang it on the desk” method, suggesting that your busted iPod can be restored to life with a good smack. Apparently this really has worked for lots of folks — this guy is even jokingly entrepreneurial enough to offer the iPad, pre-inscribed with “Bang iPod here” — but, alas, a mighty whack did not cure my ailing iPod.
The next thing I tried involved carefully prying open the case with a small flat-head jeweler’s screwdriver (if you’re anything like me, you will add some nice scratches to the chrome for that rugged antiqued look. Hey, better a scratched iPod than a broken one) and inserting a folded business card as a shim between the hard drive and the bottom case. It seems that the connection between the hard drive and the motherboard often becomes loose or unseated and a little extra pressure provided by the shim can be enough for some folks to get their iPod working again. But not mine.
Off comes the case again to attempt a more serious reattaching of the hard drive connection. Gently lift up the hard drive and you’ll see the ribbon cable is held to the circuit board by a piece of black electrical tape. Peeling the tape and pressing down on the connection to the logic board was the magic trick for my iPod; no sooner had I started to replace the tape, I heard my hard drive spin to life. With a smile on my face I put the cover back on my iPod, pressed a button on the click wheel and the sad iPod icon was gone, replaced by my missing music!
If you’ve got an out-of-warranty “sad Ipod,” and are brave enough to try minor gadget surgery, give these steps a try. You may well save yourself an expensive repair bill, or the cost of a new iPod. At the least you’ll help diagnose if you really have a damaged hard drive or dead battery — but you can order parts and replace those yourself, too. Best of luck fixing your broken iPod!
Did you have any luck with these tips? Got another method to try? Let us know in the comments.