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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Decipher the Diagnostic Menu

The diagnostic menu is all about choices, choices,
choices, and when you see them, you might feel like
you’re looking at hieroglyphics. Not all iPods offer the exact
same diagnostic options, so if you don’t see some of
these in the menu, don’t sweat it too much.
To use the diagnostic menu, navigate the options
with the Forward and Back buttons, and press the
Select button to select an option.

5 In 1 - Performs multiple tests, including memory, backlight, and the Universal
Serial Bus (USB) ports

Reset - Resets the iPod
Key - Checks the keys on the Click Wheel; press a key, and the iPod tells you
whether your keypress registered

Chgr Curr - Uncertain, but it appears to turn the charging methods on and off
Remote - Tests the functionality of the remote control; be sure to plug in the remote
before running this test
Hp Status - Checks the state of the hold switch and tells you if there is anything
plugged into the audio jack
Sleep - Puts the iPod to sleep
Batt A2D - Checks the iPod’s power supply
Firewire - Checks the FireWire chip
HDD R/W - Checks that the hard drive can read and write; returns HDD Pass if it can
Smrt Dat - Performs another hard drive test
HDD Scan - Scans the hard drive; returns HDD Pass or HDD Fail, depending on the
results of the scan
Read SN - Reads the iPod’s serial number
Diskmode - Puts the iPod into Disk Mode
Wheel - Returns different values when you run your thumb around the Click
Contrast - Checks the contrast of the LCD
Audio - Displays the audio gain
Status - Tells you if you have anything plugged into your iPod
Drv Temp - Displays the temperature of the hard drive
Iram Test - Test the iPod’s flash memory

Interpret the Sad Face
When you’re in a bad mood, you probably flash a
sad face. Your iPod does the same.
Its sad face usually appears when there is some
sort of hardware issue. For instance, you might
see the sad face after you drop your iPod, throw it
at someone, or handle it too roughly.
If you’re getting the sad face, check your warranty before you do anything else.
You should try to get your iPod serviced or replaced under warranty whenever
possible. Keep in mind that your warranty won’t cover you if Apple determines
that you abused your iPod, which is as good a reason as any to treat your
property with care.
If your iPod is still under warranty, go with that option. If your warranty has
expired, or if you voided the warranty yourself by abusing your iPod, read on.
First, bring up the diagnostic menu as described in “Use the Diagnostic Menu”
earlier in this chapter. Scroll down to the HDD Scan option and press the Select
button to select it. The iPod scans the hard drive, which can take a while to finish.
When the scan is complete, your iPod returns either HDD Scan Pass or HDD
Scan Fail. A failing grade here means that the hard drive is most likely the
source of the problem. The good news is that this is something you can fix
yourself. We talk about replacing your iPod’s hard drive in Chapter 6. The bad
news is that you might lose some data, especially if you don’t have backup
copies of your music files somewhere, like on your computer. You do keep
backup copies, right?

Interpret the Folder Icon
Occasionally, the iPod’s folder icon means the same thing as
the sad face—namely, a hardware issue—but more often it means that your
iPod is having a software issue. Perhaps your iPod’s operating system is not
functioning fully or your hard drive is not completely connecting. The chances
are pretty good that you can fix your iPod with a minimum of fuss, although
you might end up having to replace some parts.
When you see the folder icon, try resetting the iPod. Hold down the Menu and
Play buttons (first-, second-, and third-generation iPods) or the Menu and Select
buttons (fourth- and fifth-generation iPods, the iPod photo, iPod mini, and iPod
nano), and wait about eight seconds. If the folder icon goes away after the iPod
restarts, consider the problem solved.
If you’re still getting the folder icon, connect the iPod to your computer and try
to restore the iPod using iTunes. (See “Troubleshoot Other Problems” later in
this chapter for valuable tips about restoring.)
If that doesn’t clear up the problem, you might want to check the hard drive
connection. To do this, you need to crack open the iPod’s case (see Chapter 3 for
details). Once you’ve opened your iPod, disconnect the hard drive connector
from the logic board and then plug it back in. Normally, this fix resets the hard
drive. It can get the iPod working again—sometimes temporarily, sometimes for
the long haul—but you shouldn’t attempt it until you’re more familiar with the