About a week ago, my 4th generation iPod’s hard disk decided to give up, and took everything with it. Plugging it into Windows caused everything to freeze until it was unplugged again.
Some Googling around brought up Josh Highland’s blog, with a detailed entry on how he replaced the ipod hard drive. Looks easy enough, so I ordered a new drive from ebay for $47, and figured I’d also invest in a new battery and opening tools from pdasmart.com.
Whilst waiting for the stuff to arrive from pdasmart.com, I tried popping open my ipod using everything from a screwdriver, to a butter knife, to a sharp knife, all without any luck.
Fortunately, delivery was pretty quick, the and tools and battery arrived before the hard disk. Tried opening the ipod again, but with no luck. The plastic tools are a disappointment, and turned out to be a waste of effort (not to mention putting two big cuts in my finger!)
After some more looking around, I invested in a set of precision screwdrivers. You can pick up a cheap set on eBay for under $5 (with shipping), significantly cheaper than the crappy tools from pdasmart.com.
Both the screwdrivers and hard drive arrived today, so I gave it another shot. Using a precision screwdriver to open the case does cause some damage, but is significantly easier and took me all of 5 minutes.
Thanks to Josh’s entry, replacing the hard drive was a synch, and took only a matter of minutes. Before closing the case back up, I turned the ipod back on, and it began showing the same issue as before. The warning icon was on the screen, and the hard drive would spin up and down.
Unplugged everything, and replugged it back in, and got the same issue. Tried plugging in the USB cable, which solved the problem. Windows found the device, iTunes loaded up prompting a restore, and then told me to disconnect it and plug into the mains to complete restore. The whole process was relatively quick and painless.
Reluctant to mess things up, I closed up the iPod without changing the battery. The ipod disassembly guide from pdasmart.com makes things look quite complicated, and I figured I’d do it later.
After some more scouting around, I came across this video on youtube, showing how to change the battery. It makes things look a lot easier, and doesn’t require removing the motherboard.
Got my tools out again, popped the case open, pulled out the hard drive, and had the battery replaced in under 10 minutes. The cheapo screwdrivers aren’t magnetic, so I had to use a bit of stickytak on the end of the screwdriver to hold the screw while it was pushed into position, but nothing too complicated.
Total cost – hard drive, $46. Battery and tools (with shipping), $32. Precision screwdrivers, $3. Total: $91.
If your ipod is playing up and you need to replace the parts, this is definitely a repair you can do yourself. Get the hard drive and precision tools from ebay (don’t bother with the plastic tools), and you’re good to go. Lots of videos on youtube too from people showing how to disasemble the ipod, which are a lot more useful than any diagram.
If only changing the LCD on my T-Mobile Dash was easy! It cracked a few days ago, so I’m back to my Sony Ericsson p910i for now until I can get it fixed (which will hopefully be soon, the p910 feels seriously dated after using Windows Mobile 6 for the past few months!)