iPod Repair QuickSteps
Posted: 21-Feb-2008

Mac Guild Grade

Publisher: McGraw-Hill


Reviewer: Harvey Wong $19.99

iPod Repair - QuickSteps
by Brandon Jones with Marc Campbell
ISBN: 978-0-07-149866-1
List Price: $19.99

What the Book is About
"iPod Repair QuickSteps" is a reference book for those that would like to repair their iPods. It contains easy to follow step-by-step instructions with numerous photographs to repair just about anything in an iPod. "Repairable" iPods that are covered in this book are: a) first through fifth generation iPods (which include the iPod Photo, U2 Special Edition iPod, and iPod Video), b) first through second generation iPod Minis, and c) first through second generation iPod Nanos. The book does not cover the newer iPod Nano, iPod Classic and iPod Touch models. Although the book mentions the iPod Shuffle, the author doesn't consider this repairable due to it's low cost, unless it is still under warranty, in which you'll return it to Apple for repairs.

The book covers the following subjects:
  • How to determine what kind of iPod one has
  • Diagnosing what's wrong with the iPod
  • How to open the iPod's case
  • Battery replacement
  • Replacing broken LCD screens
  • Identifying and replacing bad hard drives
  • Identifying and replacing bad audio jacks
  • Replacing the iPod's front panel or shell
  • Identifying and replacing defective logic boards
  • Third-party firmware and software

Target Audience
This book is intended for any iPod owner who wants to troubleshoot and/or repair their malfunctioning iPods. Besides providing step-by-step instructions and numerous photographs to refer to, the authors also indicate what tools are required to perform a given repair and the task's difficulty which ranges from easy to hard.

What to Expect
"iPod Repair QuickSteps" is a recipe book for repairing iPods. The book is organized by functions (chapters) and the tasks to perform the functions. Each "How To" repair task is presented as a series of steps with relevant notes, tips and cautions. Furthermore, within each chapter, the tasks are grouped according to the iPod model iPod, iPod Mini or iPod Nano. Suggestions as to where replacement iPod parts can be obtained and price ranges are provided.

Chapter 1, "What Kind of iPod Do I Have?", leads the reader through the identification of which generation of iPod (first through fifth), iPod Mini (first or second) or iPod Nano (first or second) one has. It is important to know which generation iPod you have because the step-by-step instructions differ slightly from generation to generation.

Chapter 2, "What's Wrong: Diagnosing Your iPod", provides instructions on how to access the Diagnostic Menus of the iPods as well as how to decipher the Diagnostic Menu. This chapter also tells the reader how to interpret the Sad Face and Folder icons, how to check for signs of a low battery and how to interpret the Low-Battery icon, warning screen and symbol. Troubleshooting some other iPod problems are also presented here.

Chapter 3, "Cracking the Case", provides guidance on the tools one would need to "crack" open the iPod case as well as suggests where one can obtain the recommended tools.

Chapter 4, "Power Issues: Replacing Your Battery and Other Power Concerns", provides general means on checking the signs of a bad battery followed by the detailed steps for replacing the battery of the iPod. The chapter ends with a section on what to do, if after replacing the battery, there still is a power problem.

Chapter 5, "Can't See a Thing: Replacing Broken Screens", provides guidance on how/where to obtain a replacement screen and to troubleshoot the replacement screen.

In addition to providing the basic step-by-step instructions to replacing your iPod hard drive, Chapter 6, "Storing Tunes and Such: Sorting Out Your Hard Drive", provides some subjective and less subjective signs of a bad hard drive, how to scan your hard drive for drive issues and how to check for drive compatibility with your iPod. This chapter also provides guidance on the use of non-OEM hard drives that could provide for a greater storage capacity, if one so desires. The chapter also provides the procedure one needs to follow to re-install the iPod operating system software and your music files on the new drive.

Chapter 7, "Cranking Up the Volume: Replacing Your Audio Jack", also provides some guidance for checking audio problems before one decides that the audio jack of the iPod needs replacement.

Besides providing the procedure to replace the iPod's front panel or shell, Chapter 8, provides some guidance on polishing the iPod shell and depending on the iPod, whether one needs a front panel or shell.

Chapter 9, "Does Not Compute: Replacing the Logic Board", provides guidance on checking the signs of a bad logic board and where to get a new logic board.

In Chapter 10, "More Than Just Tunes: Looking at Third-Party Firmware and Software", the authors discuss installing iPod Linux as the iPod's operating system and using the third-party Anapod CopyGear and iPodSoft iGadget software.

For readers interested in a book such as "iPod Repair QuickSteps", the use of lots of photographs to illustrate the details of most steps is a bonus as it provides the means to visualize the location of the parts of interest. The relative range of parts costs proves helpful if one is going to look for parts on the internet.

Mac Guild Grade
B (Very Good)

Final Words
One must be willing, interested or inclined to repairing computer hardware for this book to be of interest. If one has a non-functioning iPod and would like to tinker with it, this book would be helpful in diagnosing the problem(s) and performing the repair.