I’m still using a 40Gb 4th generation iPod that i got for free from one of those “free iPods!” schemes back in 2004. For the past year or so it has been giving me some problems. Every couple months it will give me either the sad iPod icon or the folder exclamation point icon and ceases to work. At this point if I put the iPod up to my ear i can hear the hard drive spinning up and after a few seconds it shuts down and then spins up again. When this happens, rather than sending it in to get it fixed or going out and buying a new one, this is what i do.
Please note, I can’t take credit for the method, but since it has saved me so many times I want to get it out there to as many people as possible. Also, I only know that this works for my 4G iPod and have never tried it on other generations, or even on other 4G iPods so use at your own risk. If you choose to follow this I will not be responsible if you break your iPod even further. With that out of the way lets go….
This fix might work for you if one of the following is happening:
Your iPod hard drive spinning up, shutting down then spinning up again.
You plug your iPod into your computer and it takes a long time (5+ minutes) to be recognized by the computer.
Your computer doesn’t recognize you iPod as an iPod.
You get the sad iPod icon or the exclamation point icon.
1. Pry the iPod apart. Refer to this page for instructions.
2. Disconnect top hard drive cable.
3. Disconnect bottom hard drive cable.
4. Reconnect both top and bottom hard drive cables, make sure they are in all the way.
5. Reassemble and snap iPod back together.
This should be all that is necessary to get your 4G iPod working again. If not your iPod has more serious problems and you should look into replacing the hard drive and or battery.