Model A1136 / 30, 60, or 80 GB hard drive / black or white plastic front

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HDD nearly dead, whole iPod a little battered. General advice needed.

I hope I'm not time-wasting, I've read 15 of 37 pages of questions here and not quite found everything I want to know. I'll try to be thorough and reasonably concise.

My 80GB 5.5G iPod is finally wearing out after nearly a decade of constant service. I've used it probably over 1400 of those 1600-odd days, I've dropped it on hard surfaces a couple of times and clumsily opened it to dust out once a few years ago.

The right side of the LCD has a cluster of dead pixels that I've put up with for about 2 years, the bezel around the 30-pin port is broken, the play/pause button sometimes needs to be pressed hard and in just the right place.

But my first sign that the end was nigh was when 2 weeks ago Windows and iTunes stopped recognising it. Windows sees it as an empty drive, iTunes usually hangs but once said it needed formatting. And now the hard drive is clicking, so all the signs are clear that it's going. I intend to replace it with an iFlash Dual.

While the iPod is still charging, and playing fine through both headphones and my Kenwood stereo (via 30-pin connection), there are at least a dozen albums that the first two tracks of won't play, and it hangs while trying to play them and occasionally at other times.

So to my list of questions:

1. Is the problem in the previous paragraph a symptom of the HDD's death, or do I need to worry about the logic board?

2. Is the issue with the play/pause button likely to be a fault with it or the board, or just dirt? I do very often have the iPod in my jeans pocket and press the button through the fabric so I presume dust and tiny fibres could have been worked in.

3. My first iPod was actually a U2 30GB, which was stolen from me, and I've always wished I could have gotten an 80GB that looked like it. Now that I'm already looking at replacing parts, is there anywhere online that I can get a high quality red clickwheel and a high quality U2 rear panel? Also, where can I buy a replacement for the 30-pin port bezel, black or white?

4. What else can I do to check on the condition of my stock iPod and to ensure that my new build is as durable and useful as ever? This is a huge monetary investment for me and if I get it wrong I can't afford a second chance (in any case, I don't like the iPod Classic or Touch, can't afford them, and am really attached to the one I already have).

Thanks for reading, all advice very gratefully received.

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@rassilon256 right now it sounds like your biggest issue is the hard drive. A replacement is most likely needed, but an easy fix. Replacing the display, and the clickwheel are straight forward and should not cause any problems either. Take a look at the push button switches under the click wheel. You should see some rubber tips on all of them, sometimes those wear out and the clickwheel does not make proper contact. That is when you have to push harder. Strictly mechanical.

I would have no reservation in resurrecting this model iPod. Great audio and fun to work on. As for where to purchase the parts, I get all of my replacement parts from this place. but that is personal preference

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Thanks @oldturkey03, that's great to know. I was really concerned about the logic board partly because of the price and partly because I'm virtually building a new iPod as it is (and partly because I couldn't bench test it). As for the clickwheel, even though I'd like to replace it I'm happy that I should be be able to verify the cause of the problem first.

When purchasing the parts I need, are the tools a lot of sellers include up to scratch? Last time I opened my iPod, I bought a set of tools especially, and looking at them now I don't think they'll stand up to doing it again. I don't know whether I bought a rubbish set or just used them badly.

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@rassilon256 sometimes they included a set consisting of the plastic opening tools and some small screwdrivers. Those are definitely low quality. For the iPod I would invest in a good set of jewelers screwdrivers. The opening tools definitely will wear out quick so a good quantity of those might be required, but a few decent guitar picks can accomplish the same things.

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