12 Replies Latest reply: Aug 19, 2008 9:28 AM by chrisgunnels3
chrisgunnels3 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I've seen several topics about this problem already but nothing has helped so hopefully there is something more to tell me.

I have a 3rd generation ipod (4 buttons on top) that has worked perfectly for 5 years. Today it froze and i had to reset it(hold play and menu) but when i did it got stuck on the apple logo. I have reset it several times and nothing has worked. My macbook does not recognize it in itunes or as a disk. I manually put it into disk mode and it now shows up on the desktop (still not in itunes) but i get an error message saying that "the ipod disk must be reformatted". I ran a diagnostic test on the hard rive and it passed??? Any suggestions? I really don't want to have to buy a new ipod just before college. Please help.

Message was edited by: chrisgunnels3

Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,465 points)
    Five years is a good run...

    But you may be able to fix it so that it will work, at least for a while longer.

    Use Disk Mode again so that it shows up when connected to the Mac. Run Disk Utility (quit iTunes if running). Go to the Erase tab. Select the iPod's hard drive in the sidebar. On the Erase tab, click the Erase button. This will reformat the iPod's hard drive. Obviously, all the songs will be erased.

    If this process completes successfully, quite Disk Utility and run iTunes. Tell iTunes NOT to sync. Immediately use the Restore button on the iPod's pane. Once Restore completes, iTunes will see it as a new iPod and you can set it up as desired and sync your music back onto it.

    If formatting stalls or errors out in Disk Utility, the iPod's hard drive may be faulty.
  • chrisgunnels3 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    It worked. You're my hero man. Thanks
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,465 points)
    Hope it keeps working.

    But if the original problem was caused by the hard drive starting to wear out after five years, it may happen again. And at some point, the Disk Utility trick will no longer work, and you'll have to trade it in for 10% off on a new iPod...
  • Madisen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm having a similar problem not being able to reset my Ipod. Stuck on the Apple Logo, then an Ipod with a frown comes on suggesting I contact online support. I've never seen that before. I dropped the Ipod on Friday which is when I think it all started. Pretty sturdy as I've dropped it several times before with no resulting damage. Could I have damaged something inside requiring repairs?
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,465 points)
    You can try doing the equivalent of the above on Windows. If the iPod is not being seen by Windows as a hard drive, put it into Disk Mode.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1363

    If it is now seen as a hard drive, use windows to reformat the iPod's hard drive. Use a full format instead of any option for a quick format. If the procedure completes successfully, run iTunes and use the +Restore button, as explained above.

    Could I have damaged something inside requiring repairs?


    There's a 1.8-inch hard drive in there, so it can definitely be damaged if the iPod is dropped.
  • chrisgunnels3 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    yeah i was thinking about that but when i ran the diagnostic test on the ipod it said the hard drive was fine. Does that mean there was no problem with the hard drive or there is a problem but the test didn't pick it up.
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,465 points)
    The built-in diagnostic probably does a test of the drive's electronics, not the drive's storage media.

    If you have a program like Micromat's TechTool Pro, there is a surface-scan feature.

    However, if it happens again, I would just use Disk Utility again. This time, in the Erase tab, click on +Security Options+ first. Select to +Zero Out Data+, which writes zeros to all sectors (acts as a stress test). Then erase back on the main screen. If the drive is failing, it is likely that this procedure will stall or error out. It should not take more than 30 minutes to complete, if the drive is in good shape.
  • chrisgunnels3 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have techtool deluxe. Would it be helpful to go ahead and use it?
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,465 points)
    I don't remember if TechTool Deluxe has the +surface scan+ feature. In any case, the tool just inspects. It does not try to fix the problem, so if you are curious, it would do no harm.

    I wouldn't bother, unless the iPod has a similar problem again. As long as your music is backed up, there's nothing more you can do. It's either going keep working fine, or it will slowly become more flakey. Hopefully, it was a one-time issue, and it will keep working fine for a few more years; you can get a new one when you graduate!

    My question to you is the battery. In 5 years, you must have replaced the battery at least once, if not twice. If so, and you know how to open up the iPod, you may want to check the connection between the hard drive and logic board. Remove the hard drive from the internal ribbon cable, and remove the cable from the logic board socket. Inspect them, and reattach them securely. For the logic board socket, detach and attach it a few times to make sure the connection is good.

    I have a 4G iPod that got the dreaded +contact Apple support+ screen. After much trouble-shooting, it started to work again when I detached the +logic board to hard drive+ ribbon cable connections and reattached it. It may have been loose or had corrosion inside. It's still working...
  • chrisgunnels3 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Amazingly i've never had to replace the battery. I don't see much if any difference in its ability to hold a charge now compared to when I first got it. I might try taking it apart anyway though. I've seen some instructions on how to do it from browsing the discussions. I want to know what caused the problem.
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,465 points)
    A third gen iPod battery going FIVE years. I don't believe it... Usually, you are lucky if it holds a decent charge after two years.

    If it keeps working, I see no reason to jinx a charmed iPod. The problem could have been caused by a simple write error, and reformatting would have fixed it. Even if you are careful, you may break something the first time you open an iPod.

    If you want to try opening it, just because you are curious about what's inside, you need a pair of special plastic tools. They usually come with a replacement battery. They look like this.

    [iPod tools on eBay|http://cgi.ebay.com/2-Opening-Tools-for-iPhone-iPod-LCD-Housing-Repair-TOO L_W0QQitemZ200246366468QQihZ010QQcategoryZ20336QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZView Item]

    Post back if you want to try it. I can post back some tips for making it easier. Here's a helpful online guide.

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iPod/iPod-3rd-Generation/92
  • chrisgunnels3 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'll probably hold off on opening it unless something else happens. I figure i paid 400 dollars for it in '03 so i guess I'm getting my money's worth even though the ipod's now are considerably cheaper. Anyways thanks for all your help. I would have been hurting really bad without my ipod in college.