IPod issues
February 20, 2004 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Help/Advice requested: My beloved Ipod is actin' peculiar and unstable [more inside]

Here's the sad story of my current drama: I got it in December and have had three months of perfect perfect Ipod enjoyment. The other day I plugged it into to update the playlist, and then when I unplugged it from the firewire cable (properly ejected from itunes) well, the touchpad started completely freaking out, or the screen started freaking out like the touchpad was being wildly spun. The sound of the clicking made it sound like a geiger counter. Very strange. The only way I could stop the clicking was to engage the hold-button - but that makes it really difficult to use. (play a song, then press hold, etc)

Worst off, it would start clicking during playback and randomly pause or start a song like it was possessed. Anyway, long story made shorter: I ended up wiping the drive with the Ipod software but it still is screwed up! Now it intermittently crashes or freezes. I desperately want to love my Ipod as much as I do but this is really disappointing, ya know?

Question is: Has anyone had this happen? Do I have a ghost messing with my Ipod, or living within it? (that's a joke question) Do you know a good maintenance tool for it? (that's a serious question) thanks for the help!
posted by Peter H to Technology (12 answers total)
I don't know what the problem could be, but if it's only 3 months old, it's still under warranty. Take it to your local Apple store or contact them on line, and have it replaced.
posted by boomchicka at 12:35 PM on February 20, 2004

what boomchicka said
posted by matteo at 12:37 PM on February 20, 2004

Have you tried rebooting it to see if that fixes your problem?
posted by willnot at 12:47 PM on February 20, 2004

OK but what if the problem goes away by itself and comes back later (when it's not anymore under warranty)?
sounds like a bad problem, let them take care of it, check it out and possibly replace the machine. iPods are too expensive to tolerate that kind of problem and just hope it goes away
posted by matteo at 1:01 PM on February 20, 2004

Response by poster: Yeah, I reset it, no help!

I didn't know you could just drop those off at the Apple Stores! Very helpful to know, thanks for the suggestion. (still a bummer it's freakin out, tho)

For the benefit of knowing in the future - is there a utility similar to norton or disc doctor for the Ipod? (mac osx)

Good points all, thanks
posted by Peter H at 1:31 PM on February 20, 2004

The iPod is just a hard drive, so under Mac OS X, you can just run Norton Disk Doctor if you want. I doubt it would solve your problem, though, which sounds like a problem with the iPod's firmware, not with the disk structure.

However, you can restore the firmware yourself. Launch the iPod Updater (probably in your /Applications/Utiliites folder, or available here) and choose "restore." It will wipe out all the songs and data on the hard drive, and restore a new copy of the iPod firmware. After that, resync with iTunes and it will copy all your music back to the iPod. You'll have to reset settings like contrast and shuffling, but you get a fresh copy of everything.

If that doesn't fix it, you'll need hardware service.
posted by mdeatherage at 1:38 PM on February 20, 2004

First try resetting the iPod. To do this, press and hold the play and MENU buttons at the same time for approx 5-10 seconds, and you will then see the Apple logo.

If that doesn't work, follow the firmware reinstall procedure.

Mine has done this a couple of times, and usually a good reset will do the trick. I've had my Gen3 iPod since May 2003, so in the course of their use they glitch every so often, just like any other computer.
posted by benjh at 1:56 PM on February 20, 2004

Just be sure to back up your data before taking it to Apple, they hand you a "new" refurbished iPod. There is absolutely no reason to tolerate iPod quirks. Mine is just over a year old, and thankfully it has behaved *really* well thus far, and I use it daily without fail.
posted by riffola at 2:58 PM on February 20, 2004

If you send in your iPod, you probably won't even get the same unit back. (as I got a brand-new one back)

Thus, you shouldn't have to worry about the problem coming back right after the warranty runs out.
posted by reverendX at 3:00 PM on February 20, 2004

Try resetting it. To do so, turn the hold button on, then off (so hold, then no hold). Then press and hold the menu and play buttons simultaneously for about 5 seconds. The unit will reboot (no data lost). If that doesn't fix it, I'd try what mdeathrage suggested.
posted by dobbs at 3:10 PM on February 20, 2004

Yes, but have you tried resetting it? ;)
posted by boomchicka at 3:25 PM on February 20, 2004

Response by poster: Thank you all for the advice!

heh, best regards, Peter
posted by Peter H at 4:22 PM on February 20, 2004

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