iPod Classic will not play songs

I have an IPOD Classic 5th Generation 30GB. I was trying to upgrade the unit to SSD. All went smoothly. The new drive went in successfully and I was able to restore the device in iTunes and copy songs to it.

When I tried to test by selecting and playing a song, the ipod will let me select the song and takes me to the screen where I would see the song playing. The icon that flips between play and pause shows play. However the song timeline remains at 0:00. I am able to move the cursor to a later time and select the new time position. The new position registers on the time line and displays correctly. The song still does not play. (Hold button is definitely turned off as the device allows me to navigate freely).

I have tried with a variety of songs to eliminate any problems with the media file.

I switched back to my old hard drive which started up fine and went directly into the menu. When I tried to play a song from this drive, I have the same problem where the elapsed time will stay at 0:00 while the icon indicates that the device is playing.

In both drive scenarios, I am able to connect to iTunes and play songs from the device without any problem. Sound quality and effects are fine.

Both drives are properly recognized and usable through a USB zif adapter. Hence no issues with the drives themselves.

Narrowing the problem down - it seems that the problem occurs when a song is played by selecting it through the click wheel.

Reading various posts I find that this is not an uncommon problem. I have gone through the steps suggested, none of which worked including the 5 R's!

1. Are there any know issues with the sound chip on the device?

2. Does the ear-phone jack / hold cable have any possibility of interfering with the media play process?

3. Are there any steps I may have missed with the trouble shooting?

Any guidance is greatly appreciated!


Here is an update to my question and post.

I took the ipod apart and examined the logic board. There is some kind of a residue behind the click wheel and where the cable wraps around to the other side AND in the area where the PLAY/PAUSE area of the wheel contacts the board. Please see the pictures below. Looks like there may have been a liquid spill at some point. Seems like dried soda from a while ago.

While this has not affected any other function in the IPOD, I do notice that the wheel clicks are not crisp specially under the play button. I tried to clean out some of the mess with 91% Alcohol, but could not get all of it out. The pictures show what remains after the cleaning.

What would be the best way to clean out the board?

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That's a pretty nasty looking PCB. Kind of amazed that it ever worked at all.

If it were me, I would put the whole PCB into a sonic cleaner with some Branson cleaning solution, then give it a spray-rinse with 99% isopropyl, then a spray-rinse of distilled water, then put it in a dehydrator to make sure it's all dry. That method will get all of the contamination out and expose any corrosion that might be hiding underneath, making it easier to fix.

Failing that, 99% isopropyl with a gentle brush followed by a distilled water rinse would get out much of the contamination.


Thank you for the post Steve. I appreciate it. After giving it an initial clean with isoprop alc, the stain actually does not reduce all that much. I am beginning to wonder if per chance it might be some kind of a chemical leak from one of the components.

I will give your suggestions a try and update this post..

Thanks again!


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