Friday, November 09, 2007

Fix that sucker yourself

Fix That Sucker Yourself
No, nothing's wrong with my trusty old iPod -- and I hope nothing's wrong with yours, either. But they do go down sometimes. And when that happens, you want to know where to go. The New York Times this morning had a handy roundup of websites devoted to do-it-yourself repair of household objects, including iPods. They titled it "Don't Throw Out Your Broken iPod; Fix It via the Web."
A few months ago, Stephen Ironside, a student at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, confronted a minor but modern tragedy: the iPod that filled his life with song stopped working.

The device was out of warranty, and Apple would not fix it free. So he left it in a drawer until he happened to read a blog posting on CrunchGear.com that described how he might fix it — with a small, folded piece of paper. Mr. Ironside celebrated by posting thanks on the blog: “I’ve been on CDs for months. You saved my life (and my iPod).”

The author of the blog post, Matt Hickey of Seattle, says that using paper as a shim to put pressure on the hard drive has worked on about 70 percent of the failed iPods he has encountered — even though he is not sure why it works.
Very nice, as far as it goes, but in typical infuriating fashion, the Times just gives a link to the home page of CrunchGear, but not the permalink to the post itself. Here it is, complete with instructions and comments from readers about their experiences.

Needless to say, you should not open up an iPod that is still under warranty and start mucking about with it. But after the warranty expires, after it has turned into a mini-doorstop? Anything goes. Does a paper shim putting pressure on the hard drive really work? I don't know -- but I know it's the first thing I'll try when the time comes. (And if it doesn't work, the post also explains how, now that you've got the thing open, you can replace the hard drive for a lot less than the cost of a new iPod.)

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