When your iPod breaks, you immediately start thinking in terms of costs, both literally and in the time you’ll have to spend getting your music collection back in order. It’s also a real drag not to be able to listen to music, well, anywhere, but many iPod owners still don’t consider the possibility of actually repairing their broken audio players. Here’s a guide to diagnosing and repairing an iPod that has electronic damage.
1. Signs of Electronic Damage – An iPod will stop recharging or will go completely black if its electronics have been damaged; it may only recharge when connected to certain iPod accessories, or it may begin to malfunction with certain types of accessories. Since the problem is in the electronics and not in the actual software of the iPod, symptoms like an exclamation point showing with a folder symptom usually indicate hard drive damage rather than electronic damage. Electronic damage to an iPod will require one or more of the components of the device to be replaced, or in mild cases requires a re-soldering of some of the connections.
2. Repair Centers – If you’re not a technical person, or if you don’t want to risk ruining your iPod by messing around with its components, you may consider using a repair center to fix your iPod’s electronic damage. There are a number of reputable iPod repair centers on the Internet; my favorite is ipodmods, found here, but you can do a bit of research to find quite a few places that offer the repair. Explain that you’ve diagnosed an electronic damage problem, and if you can pinpoint the USB connector or another of the iPod’s components as the source of the problem, you may save a few bucks off of the repair bill. Most iPod repair centers will diagnose your iPod’s exact issue for free or for a very small fee, and they’ll OK any costs with you before proceeding with repairs. If the repair bill is very high and the repair center offers to pay you a small amount for your broken iPod, don’t take them up on it–selling the iPod on eBay as a broken unit will almost always get you far more money than selling an iPod directly to a repair company.
3. Replacing Electronics – You may also elect to replace the broken electronics yourself. Depending on the model of iPod, this may be fairly easy; buy a broken iPod online that shows signs of hard drive failure or other non-electronic issues to use for parts, or buy the part you need directly off of eBay. Realize that attempting to replace a part or sending your iPod to a repair center voids your Apple warranty. Somewhat obviously, you should always take advantage of your warranty for electronic problems if your warranty’s still intact. Even if you think you may have caused the electronic damage, Apple likely won’t ask or won’t care when fulfilling your warranty.
Do you have any other tips for dealing with an iPod that has electronic damage? Post in our comments section below.