Skip to main content
« Back to All Stories

iFixit helps me fix two problems, but in the process creates a new one...

Chris -

iPod 5th Generation (Video)

iPod 5th Generation (Video) Front Panel Replacement

iPod 5th Generation (Video) Front Panel Replacement

20 - 40 minutes


My Problem

I am a shameless U2 fan. One thing I never splurged on was one of the U2 Edition Ipods. (When those came out I was pretty disgusted at U2 for joining with a popular consumer entertainment device, but I digress...). So, hypocrisy in check, I started to shop for a used device online. While shopping, I also came across the iFixit website. This gave me the grand idea that rather than buy something that someone else refurbished, I decided I would feed another minor obsession: tinkering. I purchased a broken U2 5th Gen, with a description that led me to believe it would need a new battery. When I received the unit, the battery was so shot that it would not even keep a charge long/large enough to ramp up the HDD. (I know this is listed under the front panel repair, but the battery problem was the first to tackle to make sure it worked before I attempted to do anything about the cosmetics.) The front panel was very rough shape with many gouges and chips in the display and black front cover.

My Fix

Someone clearly tried to repair this already! The end of the battery flex circuit was basically trashed from someone trying to shove it into the connector on the logic board. I already had a new battery, so I was planning to replace it anyway, but the fact that it had been already pulled apart by someone made my heart sink a little (was it an ESD safe environment? What else is wrong? etc...). So with the aid of iFixit, I plunged right in. The first problem I encountered was that I pulled the connector off the board pretty much right away, even after reading the stern warning from iFixit team. I know part of this had to do with the fact that I was the second person to attempt this. This was when I most firmly questioned what the !&&* I was thinking by intentionally buying a broken ipod. However, with patience, determination, and a steady hand (and no caffiene that day), I was able to get the connector back on to the logic board, correctly over the pins. Once that was done, the new battery flex circuit fit in perfectly. Once I verified the new battery was functional, I decided to go ahead with the front panel replacement. This was very easy compared to what I had just gone thru on the battery.

My Advice

1. For this 5th gen Classic, all is NOT lost if the connector pulls of the board, but it takes a very steady hand to get it back on the pins correctly. (Once it was back on the pins, it is still a very loose connection. The flex cable on the battery must be inserted and the brown locking gate put in place before the connection is firm.) That being said, avoid pulling this connector out at all costs.

2. My problem as described above, is that once I was able to finally fix the battery connection, I was way too paranoid to undo it to separate the front and back of the ipod. So, it took me way longer to replace the front panel than it should have because I refused to unhook the battery. Again, not impossible, but avoid if you can.

So, as my title suggests: Thanks to iFixit I now have a very good, fully operational U2 5th edition ipod with new battery and front panel!

And, since this went so well, I have started spending too much money on broken ipods that need fixing... Thanks a LOT iFixit...

iPod Video Front Panel (Black) Image
iPod Video Front Panel (Black)


« Back to All Stories


Add Comment