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01 April 2006 @ 11:24 am
Power Corrupts . . .  

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

. . . But hopefully not in this case.

It would appear that I've managed to replace my dead iPod battery (it wouldn't hold a charge, but worked fine when plugged in, and I mostly used it in the car) without a major incident.

I managed to get the case apart on my second try, without denting, bending or scratching the back. I replaced the battery, reattached the HD snap/surface connector (I can never remember what those are actually called) and started to charge it.

After a bit I turned off the lock (thus confirming I hadn't screwed up that mechanical linkage) and it turned on, spun up the HD and all of my data was there. It even synched tracks that had been played. So far everything looks good, but I haven't tried to use it on battery power, since you're supposed to charge it for at least 3 hours before using it, and that ends in . . . Oh, 10 minutes ago. Well, I'm tempted to charge it completely before trying to use it.

Oh, and for those who are interested (3G owners, your batteries will be dying eventually) WeLoveMacs.com has replacement batteries for $25. Yes, they're in Santa Clara, but trust me it's worth your time to spend the few bucks on shipping to avoid dealing with their "retail" store. *shudder*

UPDATE: After it was fully charged, I tried playing a few songs on the new battery. As HAL once said, "I'm completely operational, and all my circuits are functioning perfectly." Yay! iPod back!

Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
Current Music: "An Audience with You" — John Wesley Harding (not on my iPod, yet)
Erik Ogan: bikeeriktheplaid on April 3rd, 2006 08:50 pm (UTC)

Well, obviously, YMMV, but:

  1. I didn't (think to) use a hair dryer. :)
  2. It was rather annoying to get the case apart, but I don't know how much guidance I can offer.
  3. My success came when I used the plastic tools that came with the battery to pry the pieces far enough apart to slide a small(-ish) screw driver in. At that point it just kinda started coming apart (I saw the clips on the plastic side starting to peek out) without much coaxing from the screwdriver. I might have slid it up & down the side of the unit, I might not. I can't remember. Then it was just a matter of carefully prying around the sides until it all came out.
  4. The previous time I tried to get it apart I only used the plastic tools (since that greatly reduced my ability to scratch, dent, permanently damage the unit.) Unfortunately, I got exactly NOWHERE with that approach.
  5. There are three connections inside you need to be wary of:
    1. A foil ribbon cable that connects the 1/8" headphone jack to the PCB. This also prevents you from just setting the metal back aside while you work. I left this one in place and strongly recommend you do the same.
    2. The physical linkage between the external lock switch and the actual micro-switch. Just note the position the external one is in before you open the case (and hey, it should be locked, and the unit should have gone to sleep/off, just to minimize any interactions with your screwdriver) and make sure it's in the same position when you put everything back together
    3. The hard disk connector. It's not surface mount, it's not a plug, per se. It's a snappy connector. There's a word for this type of connection, but it always escapes me when I need it. I believe it's possible to do all your work without disrupting this connection (I did most of it) but don't panic (like I did) if you do disrupt it, because it snaps back into place. In fact, it could be argued that you're better off purposely taking it apart so you don't knock it half loose without realizing it. Use your judgment on that.
  6. Just work slowly, and calmly. Don't get frustrated, or be afraid to walk away for a while.
  7. The utility of these tips may vary greatly if you don't have a 3rd Gen iPod (no click wheel, 4 buttons between the display & the wheel.)
  8. My battery is an 850 mA/h battery specifically for my 3G iPod, the link you pointed at is for the 4G / Photo. (and is 900 mA/h) That's not a bad price for that battery, and "Newer Technology" is not an unheard of name. But you need to make sure you're getting the right battery for the unit! I'd also strongly recommend finding a guide online specifically for your version.

If you have any questions, I can try to answer them. Good luck!

michael pendletonschwap23 on April 3rd, 2006 10:40 pm (UTC)
First off, there is a wicked glare falling across the screen right not, so I can barely see what I am typing!

Thanks for the tips! I found that site through the Cool Tools site I frequent ( http://www.kk.org/cooltools/index.php ), and that's a pretty good reference, but it's always better when you actually *know* the person who is talking! Supposedly that (battery) site has directions for doing a replacement, and even will do it for you if you inclined to pay the extra fee, but still...

Now, when will I get around to doing this? This very much remains to be seen...
Erik Ogan: for hireeriktheplaid on April 4th, 2006 02:12 pm (UTC)
Cool Tools ROCKS! In general, I've found that they only review stuff they've actually used, and found useful. But yes, having someone to query is helpful. :) One thing to keep in mind: Apple has a battery replacement (actually, you get a different refurbished unit) program for . . . $60, I think. So if your costs are getting anywhere close to that, you might just want to jump up to that.

OOC, which generation of iPod are you trying to fix?
michael pendletonschwap23 on April 4th, 2006 11:24 pm (UTC)
If the price at Apple is indeed $60, then I may have to amend my plans! Last time I checked it was $99, and that was gulp-inducing...

The iPod I have is Y's old one. A couple of months ago, she had a fit of consumerism at the Apple store and bought a new black, video-tastic iPod! So the one in front of me is what? 3rd Gen? Clicky wheel controller only. I could look it up, but that would take effort, and I'm fresh out right now. Maybe if we had that Nobilis of Effort guy around... ("I Effort at it some more!")