iPod Mini Hard Drive Cable Replacement

  • Author: iRobot
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Connects the hard drive to the logic board.

Edit Step 1 Top Bezel  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Top Bezel  ¶ 

  • Before opening your iPod, ensure that the hold switch is in the locked position.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Carefully insert a small flathead screwdriver in the seam between the metal casing and white plastic top. Use the screwdriver to pry up the white plastic top bezel. Be careful not to damage the soft plastic with your screwdriver.

  • The top bezel is held on with an adhesive, so it may be necessary to pry up in several different locations to free the part.

  • To make this job easier, heat up the adhesive with a hairdryer on low heat for a few seconds.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Lift the top bezel off of the iPod.

Edit Step 4 Bottom Bezel  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4 Bottom Bezel  ¶ 

  • Carefully insert a small flathead screwdriver in the seam between the metal casing and white plastic bottom Use the screwdriver to pry up the white plastic bottom bezel. Be careful not to damage the soft plastic with your screwdriver.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • A small pair of snap ring pliers is the easiest tool to remove the metal retaining bracket.

  • You can also use a flathead screwdriver to pry out the metal retaining bracket beneath the bottom bezel as shown. You can free the bracket by first pushing in the metal arms on the corners and then lifting the bracket.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Lift the metal retaining bracket out of the iPod.

Edit Step 7 Hard Drive  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger or the tip of your finger to carefully disconect the orange click wheel ribbon from the logic board.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Remove the two #00 Phillips screws securing the headphone jack to the casing.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Carefully slide the iPod out of its casing by pushing on the logic board near the bottom edge of the click wheel.

  • Do not pull on the headphone jack board at the top of the iPod, as the connector to the logic board is fragile.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • After pushing the logic board out sufficiently, gently grasp the logic board on either side of the display, and continue to slide the iPod out of its casing.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Lift the battery off of the logic board and lay it to the side of the iPod.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger or the tip of your finger to carefully disconect the orange hard drive ribbon from the logic board.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Lift the hard drive out of the iPod.

Edit Step 14 Hard Drive Cable  ¶ 

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Edit Step 14 Hard Drive Cable  ¶ 

  • Peel back the black tape securing the two blue bumpers to the hard drive near the orange ribbon cable.

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Slide the two blue bumpers off the corners of the hard drive. There is no need to remove these bumpers entirely.

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Carefully disconnect the orange hard drive ribbon cable from the hard drive. Be sure to apply even pressure while pulling to prevent any bent pins.

  • If the cable doesn't come free easily, you may be able to free it by gently rocking the ribbon cable back and forth.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

For more information, check out the iPod Mini device page.

Required Tools

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Flathead 3/32" or 2.5 mm Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

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iPod Mini Hard Drive Cable

$9.95 · 4 In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

You can also gently use a metal spudger to lift up both the top and bottom bezels. Allow only 1/8" of the metal spudger (like the screwdriver in the picture) to get inside to get leverage, before fully lifting the bezel up. Please note where the little "teeth" are underneath the bezels, or you can damage those if you are not careful.

Also, using too big of a flathead screwdriver can cause damage to the plastic and chips away plastic from where you were trying to pry up the bezels, ruining the look of the iPod.

rsharich, · Reply

There should be a button here for "I did it -- EPIC FAILURE!!" When I put my iPod back together, the components on the mainboard were scraping against the clickwheel, and maybe the battery wasn't in perfect alignment, but the result was that there was a lethal amount of friction when sliding the assembly back into the case. As I was trying to relieve the pressure by tilting the board down using a spudger from the bottom, the top of the display bezel ended up scraping against the casing in such a way that it cracked from the center of the right edge. OUCH!! There goes a $50 repair job and a $40 replacement cost! Bye Bye perfectly working iPod Mini )-;

There are two safeguards that can be done when reassembling this iPod. First, use a stiff piece of plastic film as a shim and lubricant between the top of the logic board and the top inside of the case, such as anti-static packaging, or the clear bag packaging of Apple display dongles (use an exacto knife to cut a long strip of it). Don't cover the display with the plastic, just the logic board components. Second, instead of pushing down on the assembly from the top or sides of the display which will place dangerous pressure on it, connect a cable to the dock connector and pull on it from the bottom, and pull out the plastic shield deftly and easily after the assembly is in position.

steadfast I and I, · Reply

If it's held on by adhesive, how do I get it back on?

Cam, · Reply

Quote from Cam:

If it's held on by adhesive, how do I get it back on?

you can alwsays heat up the adhiesive and reheat it to get it on

Nick, · Reply

If you have longish fingernails and don't mind ruining them, I found it helpful to run my thumbnail between the plastic and the metal casing before going at it with a screwdriver. The little "teeth" a previous commenter mentioned are at approximately the 1/3 and 2/3 marks on the long edge of the plastic casings.

rongshifen, · Reply

Again, be mindful and careful of the little white teeth on the underside of the plastic especially the two on the ends of the long sides.

DITOSP, · Reply

Be *very* careful on the left hand side. It's almost too easy to scrape the click wheel cable and cause damage to it!

LambdaCalculus, · Reply

I used a circlip tool and for removal and reinsertion. It was fast and easy and avoids bending the part. They are also referred to as snap ring pliers.

thezazupits, · Reply

Quote from thezazupits:

I used a circlip tool and for removal and reinsertion. It was fast and easy and avoids bending the part. They are also referred to as snap ring pliers.

There are two kinds of snap ring pliers available. One pivots like regular pliers, one hinges in reverse (when you squeeze the handles, the tips spread). Use the first type.

PZencak, · Reply

My click wheel lost some of its functionality. The back button, and the touch sensitivity to scroll through songs isn't working. :(

coombsnahuel, · Reply

Detaching and then reattaching the original black tape on the hard drive (when replacing the hard drive and/or hard drive cable) may not be easily reattached later. This is okay.

(Optional) You can use black electrical tape to hold the blue bumpers back to the top of the hard drive cable (after the cable is connected to the hard drive). 1/2" of tape should be fine for each side, and placed equally over the top.

rsharich, · Reply

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