How to repair an iPod hard drive

Written by diana braun
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How to repair an iPod hard drive
The iPod family (Left to Right): Shuffle 3g, Nano 4G, Classic and iTouch (Matthieu Riegler)

You hear a clicking sound coming from your iPod. Then, you see the sad face pop up on your iPod screen. These are signs that your iPod hard drive is in need of some help and repair. Learn how to get your iPod back up and running in no time.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • iPod
  • USB/FireWire cable
  • Computer
  • New hard drive

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    How to Repair an iPod Hard Drive

  1. 1

    Turn iPod on. The sad iPod or sad folder icon will appear on screen.

  2. 2

    Run the iPod in Diagnostic Mode. Restart your iPod. Check that the "Hold" switch is off by sliding the switch away from the headphone jack.

  3. 3

    Press and hold the following button combinations for about 10 seconds to reset the iPod: a) iPod 1G to 3G: "Menu" and "Play/Pause" The Apple logo will appear. Press and hold "REW," "FFW" and "Select" simultaneously.

          b)  iPod 4G+ (Mini, Nano, Photo, and Video): "Menu" and "Select." The Apple logo will appear. Press and hold "Back" and "Select" simultaneously.
  4. 4

    Run the "5in1," "HDD R/W" and " HDD" scan tests. Use the "REW" and "FFW" buttons to navigate. The scroll wheel will not function in Diagnostic Mode. The scan tests may resolve the hard drive problem. If they don't, proceed to Step 5.

  5. 5

    Open your iPod to locate your hard drive. This should be done as a last resort. Please reference the resource at the bottom of this article if you are not familiar with opening an iPod.

  6. 6

    Reseat the hard drive by gently pulling it from the iPod case and checking the cable to which it is attached. Often times, there is a loose connection, and the drive needs to be reseated.

  7. 7

    Power the iPod back on. If the drive is still dead, try replacing the hard drive. A new hard drive can be purchased at an affordable price on eBay. Make sure to check the version of your iPod for the correct hard drive.

Tips and warnings

  • Try holding down the "Center" button and the "Menu" button simultaneously to reset.
  • Before opening your iPod (this will void your warranty), call Apple to see if you can get your iPod replaced for free. If done incorrectly, you could permanently damage your iPod.
  • Make sure the iPod has been charged and has enough battery to power it on.

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