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An iPod Classic Repair Saga

mjanes -

iPod Classic

iPod Classic Headphone Jack & Hold Switch Replacement

iPod Classic Headphone Jack & Hold Switch Replacement

45 minutes - 2 hours

Very difficult

My Problem

After a good 8 years of listening to her music favorites in her ride, my bride of many years came to me with issue over her iPod not working anymore. I told her it needed a new battery, or worse needed to be replaced.

My Fix

I went to my favorite repair site for all things Apple -, and found the battery to be available at a very low cost (less than $15). I also found this device to be, and I quote the folks at " One of the more difficult products to take apart". That statement is an understatement. Difficult would be changing the battery in an iPhone 4. This little device has 18 clips on the inside bottom outer case to be dealt with. I had some tools, but ended up ordering a few more when I ordered the replacement battery. Remember to put the hold switch in the "LOCKED" position before going any further! I successfully opened the iPod - only bending two of the 18 clips. Straightening them required two pair of plyers, and a metal spudger that I had ordered along with the battery - that did the trick. The old battery was stuck overzealously to the back of the case. So much so, that when I did finally remove it, the ribbon from the hold switch was torn in the process. Thank goodness for ifixit to have the replacement parts for this as well. Turns out the headphone port was not working too well anyway, and the replacement parts were quite inexpensive ( another $15 for the Headphone Jack & Hold Switch kit). I got the additional parts in, and commenced to putting it all back together. Having the hands of an old metalsmith proved to be that much more challenging for me, but perseverance proved to be my key attribute, and the iPod was back together with a statement on the screen to "restore the device using iTunes in a matter of minutes. I cannot overstate the fact that preparation is the key to success with this little project, and making sure you have all the clips in the right position along with making sure the sides are all straight go a long way in making the final closure a literal snap. The next real challenge came with the fact of iTunes not recognizing the iPod at all. I did a quick Google search for "iPod not recognized in iTunes on a Windows computer", and found a fix that worked. The author of that quick fix copied all of the folders/files from his iPod to a temporary folder on his Windows computer, and then did a Quick Format (FAT32) of the iPod. He then copied the folders/files back to his iPod, disconnected the device, reconnected it, and then opened iTunes, which asked him if he wanted to restore his device - success! Even Apple does not have this solution - maybe because it requires a Windows system to fix it?!? Anyway, I followed his instructions, except for copying over the folders/files - I was not worried about them. I did a quick DOS format on the iPod, and then disconnected it. I reconnected the iPod, and the computer recognized it right away. I opened iTunes, and it recognized the iPod as needing to be restored. I was able to restore the iPod, and in a matter of a few hours I was able to reload all of my bride's music for her listening enjoyment for "hopefully" the next 8 years. Hopefully by then, we will have more advanced technology out there to listen to our favorite tunes, but until then - Three Cheers for IFIXIT!

My Advice

So, as I stated the 18 clips do make it a true challenge, and bending them back into place requires a bit of finesse. I used a pair of 90 degree needle nose pliers, and one of my metal spudgers to get the clips to bend in a downward position. I used a second pair of small needle nose pliers to finish getting the clips into proper alignment for reconnection with the top of the iPod. The use of a very flat surface to help in straightening out the edges of the back of the iPod is critical if you want it to look like it was never opened. You will end up bending the lip out while trying to open the case, but don't worry, it will bend back into shape. Sorry, no photos. Besides, there are plenty of excellent photos in the repair guide that proved to be worth gold to me while I was repairing my bride's iPod Classic. It took less than an hour to do the physical repairs once I had all the proper parts, and I would recommend purchasing the battery and the Headphone Jack & Hold Switch kits in the first place. The odds of "NOT" tearing the ribbons are pretty low, so just go ahead and shell out an extra $15, and you will have your iPod back together without having to wait for a second shipment like I did!

iPod Classic (Thin) Headphone Jack & Hold Switch Image
iPod Classic (Thin) Headphone Jack & Hold Switch


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