Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Colonel survives frozen iPod scare!

The other day my iPod (named Apollo on VerTecXneT after the god of music) froze. For want of a better word it crashed! It was a terrifying experience, the iPod device has revolutionised the way people listen to music the world over and certainly personally it has negated the need for carrying CD’s and awkward portable CD players which can take up almost 5 times the space of an iPod.
Anyway after I unplugged Apollo from Hyperion recently it neglected to turn over control of its interface to me; i.e. the clickwheel didn’t work. I found this odd, but I was aware of the procedure to automatically reset it, so I wasn’t fazed. I attempted to reset it by pressing the MENU and SELECT buttons simultaneously which is SOP for a frozen iPod. This however did not work. I found this curious, but I persevered and re-attempted the operation, but again nothing. A quick search on the internet revealed that it sometimes only works if you have the unit plugged into a power supply using the AC adaptor as opposed to Hyperion’s powered firewire connection, so I gave that a go, but to no avail.
My distress level was admittedly rising a bit at this point, but I wasn’t about to give up, as a Marine, I’m incapable of surrender. Another option the internet revealed was to open up the iPod and disconnect the battery. As without the battery, the iPod will loose its internal memory and ‘forget’ it was frozen. Now if you’re familiar with an iPod you also know there are no screws or any visible way to get into the internal working of the thing, so before I tell you what I did next I’ll give you a warning:
Opening your iPod will completely invalidate your warranty- you’ll have no recourse. If you send it to Apple after it has been opened by a non-Apple individual they will charge you the price of a new iPod to ‘repair’ it. In reality they just send you a new one.
Also, opening the iPod is quite easy for someone like me whose ego allows him to believe that he’s a technical genius (which I am), and someone who is apprehensive or fearful about tinkering with highly valuable microelectronic components has no business whatsoever in attempting to open one.
I was going to post a link to a website that details how to open an iPod, but then you could come back to me and saw “you said if I followed these instructions I could open my iPod and…” well you get the idea.
To shorten this post, let’s just say opened Apollo, located the battery and disconnected it from the motherboard. I left it off for about 20 minutes leaving any residual charge in the components dissipate. When everything was back together, I was filled with anticipation as I awaited the little Apple logo on screen and for it to go back to the main menu, but alas, it didn’t; instead it returned to its previous frozen state.
It appeared I had exhausted all viable options I could locate on the internet. It was time to seek a higher power, the man from whom I learned to do all of this, I speak of Mark. Mark's solution was to update Apollo’s software to the very latest release and wipe the memory entirely- THEN remove the battery and see what happened. When that didn’t work he simply offered his condolences at the ‘loss’ of my iPod and was a bit peeved that I would have to get a new video-capable iPod (as they don’t make my model any more) and thus be technically superior to him.
At this point I felt the need to paraphrase Sherlock Homes “when all other contingencies fail, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the cause.It wasn’t the software in the iPod, or the hard disk being stuck, so I was forced to conclude that it must have been the click wheel itself was at fault. I was dubious that even my vast experience and knowledge would be enough to able to repair a defective component deep within the inner workings of an iPod, but the only alternative was having to buy a new one, so I reached for my tools one more time and again began to dissect Apollo piece by piece.
It was not until after I had removed the motherboard from the device that I could finally see the issue that had plagued me since this began. Somehow a miniscule metal contact strip leading from the rear of the click wheel assembly has become disconnected from the motherboard. Don’t ask me how. I would understand if it happened AFTER I opened the Apollo, but it obviously had disconnected itself beforehand, leading to the initial problem.
With the help of a tiny tweezers I was able to reseat the metal strip into its home slot on the motherboard, reconnect all the other components and seal Apollo once again. I was overjoyed when switched on again it asked me to choose an operating language (because I had wiped the memory and the device had to be set up all over again) which I was able do with my now-functioning click wheel.
Another crisis averted by Colonel “Whopper” Creedon.


sith apologist said...

You make us so proud ...
Of course, its easy for me to say now that the 1st thing I'd have looked at would have been the wheel :)

Lt. Colonel Creedon said...

Yes it is easy to say that now isn't it Apologist? No, you wouldn't have. In any case I researched on the web, at no point was ever the wheel at fault, it was improbable to assume it was damaged somehow. My elimination of the reset procedure, software upgrade, memory wipe and battery removal were all steps which anyone would have taken before examining the wheel itself. If you owned and operated an iPod you would know why.

sith apologist said...

WHat can I say? I lead an ascetic lifestyle :-)
Where the hell are all the other posters, I feel like I'm the only one!

Cubaboy said...

Jesus, it's all go, go go on this blog, I can't wait for your next blog where to tell us how you unclogged your U bend!!!

Mark said...

And not once did he mention that he *dropped* the iPod prior to that. Which is probably what caused to connector to come loose in the first place.

sith apologist said...

In reply to the Colonels retort that I wouldn't have looked at the wheel, I've had a number of problems with my phone lately due to jammed buttons, so that idea is usually prominent in my mind when shit goes wrong.
Of course, whether I'd have extended this knowledge to an iPod... who knows? Wibble.

Lt. Colonel Creedon said...

@ Cubaboy: I'll do the U-bend post next time it happens so you'll have pictures!

@ Mark: I concluded that as I dropped the iPod almost 60 days before the problem arose, the two incidents were unrelated.

@ Sith Apologist: whether I'd have extended this knowledge to an iPod... who knows? I know!

sith apologist said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Colonel. Glad to know you're backing us troops all the way!

Master Guns said...

Oh that's nothing man. This is where it just starts. Wait till he leaves you behind.

sith apologist said...

Don't worry about that, thanks to you I now know not to trust him in these kind of situations!

Lt. Colonel Creedon said...

No, no, you can always trust me, in any situation as you have before. Don't listen to the disgruntled ramblings of a burnt-out psycho vet. I'm your friend!