Troubleshooting a “Dead” iPod touch

I went to sync some new music and apps to my touch and was surprised to see that it didn’t respond to being connected to the sync cable that was attached to my Mac. No problem, I’ll just reboot the iPod and move on. Not so fast! The iPod was not responding to the reboot command either! I was sickened to think that my first generation 16GB iPod touch had just died on me. The holiday season is no time to have to make an unscheduled $400 purchase. And so began the long, drawn out, troubleshooting process.

The first thing you should do when you have an iPod that is misbehaving is to head over to the Apple iPod Troubleshooting Assistant web page. Here, you will be able to select your particular model of iPod and use Apple’s easy to follow directions for setting things right.

In the past, rebooting my iPods has always resolved the issue. In this case, the touch was scrambled in such a way that I couldn’t reboot it. But there is one other way to achieve a similar effect: drain the battery and recharge.

Draining the battery is an easy thing to do if you use your iPod all the time. But if you are a bit of the impatient type, like I am, you want something to help speed things up a bit. One of the apps loaded on my iPod touch is a flashlight application. It doesn’t matter which of the dozens of flashlight apps you use because the end result is the same: start up the app, crank up the screen brightness, set the Auto-Lock feature to “Never”, and wait for the battery to drain. Just to be sure that I drained the battery completely, I let my touch sit on my desk for an extra 2 hours after it would no longer turn on.

After that, I let my iPod charge up for 15-3o minutes on the wall charger and then connected it to my Mac. This time, iTunes quickly recognized it’s missing friend and began to sync my new content.

At the end of the day, I was able to fix the problem, although I’m still not sure what went wrong in the first place. I also don’t have to worry about getting a replacement iPod. That’s good news because I expect that Apple will finally get around to releasing an iPod touch with a camera and 802.11n Wi-Fi in 2010. The only question I have is when? Will Apple refresh the iPod touch line in the first half of the year, or will they choose to focus on rumored Apple table in 1H and refresh the iPod line up in 2H, which typically happens in September in advance of the holiday shopping season. I’m not sure, but I’m looking to keep my G1 iPod touch running until then.