Dead iPod

My 40 gig iPod, which has never given me a stitch of trouble since I got it January 2005, is now "corrupted."

I went through the process of restoring the pod, but kept getting a
"1429 error."

That was the error message last nice when I put her into the cradle to synch/recharge. I see from Apple I can pay $249 to have it serviced, meaning "replacement iPods may be new, used or refurbished."

Or, I could spend $237.49 to get a new 30 Gig video iPod. Its thinner, lighter, with a color screen that plays video.

What I really was planning on doing was waiting a few more months for the new touchpad (nonphone) iPod. I could always pass a 30 Gig video pod down to the wife, but she prefers 4 Gig Nano.


The two suggestions to rescue the iPod that I will try next are 1) Unplug all other USB components, then Restore; or 2) Use Disk Utility and either “Delete” or “Partition” it (and if that fails go to Tab “Erase”) and if that fails,open the “Security Options…” and choose “Zero Out Data” then click Erase.

If anyone has better suggestions, I am all ears.

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. GMF commented on Feb 15

    For $179 you can get yourself a 30gb refurb ipod video from the apple store – that should hold you over till the iphone, no?

  2. Grodge commented on Feb 15

    Do you lose all your saved music??

    That would be the biggest loss.

    (I have a Creative MP3, so all my music is saved on either my computer hard drive or USB Thumb as well.)

  3. jpmist commented on Feb 15

    I’d swap out the drive myself. iFixit will sell a replacement drive for $120 or so has some good guides to show you how to install it. While you’re at it get a battery and you’re good for a few more years. (I think you have a longer wait for that touchscreen ipod than you think, oh and full disclosure I don’t have stock in iFixit ;->)

  4. stc1 commented on Feb 15

    Here’s an idea: write another post about David Lereah. It won’t fix your iPod, but you’ll feel a lot better nonetheless, no?

  5. Ryan commented on Feb 15

    I got the same errors with my 40G last August you are getting right now. I had it for about 2 years and it had appx 7,500 songs on it. I used it everyday. After unsuccessfully trying to restore it myself I took it to an Apple store and got a new one. I had purchased the Apple Care Plan when I bought the iPod (the first warrenty I’ve ever bought). They informed me the hard drive was corrupted and gave me a new iPod on the spot.
    My points are 1) The warrenty actually paid off and 2) you are screwed. My experience is there is nothing you can do to fix your iPod.
    The only advice I can give you is to make absolutely sure your iTunes software is not actually causing the problem and to run iPod updater on your iPod. You should also mess around with fixing it in “recovery mode”.

    Sorry and Good Luck!

  6. brion commented on Feb 15

    Find a local body of water (pond, river, lake)
    Using palm and forefinger, fling dead e-toy vigorously across surface of water….

    Is there really going to be a touchscreen ipod later this year??
    Or is that a hope/wish on your part?

    i’d like one as well

  7. brion commented on Feb 15

    oh and by the way…i lost a 30gig ipod video to an itunes update! How do you like those Apples??

  8. hiekk3 commented on Feb 15

    always get the warranty on ipods. they are just not robust gadgets.

  9. Estragon commented on Feb 15

    My guess is the drive developed a bad block somewhere critical. The drive may be savageable though. As the new macs are a unix derivative under the hood, I wonder if you can open a terminal window and fdsk the removable filesystem? The restore, repartition, etc. stuff likely does that anyway though. I’d start with the least destructive options first.

    I definitely wouldn’t go the local body of water route without dinking around with it just for the heck of it. I once recovered a relational database system using a bit editor on the raw device on the premise that I had nothing to lose and it might be fun to try.

  10. Bob A commented on Feb 15

    Don’t know about fixing the ipod but I would say there are lot’s of new phones coming out that can hold 2-4g of music and I can’t figure out why anybody would want to carry both a nano and a phone when you’re gonna have the phone anyhow… for that matter why does anybody need an ipod when you have 4gb music/video phones whether iphone or any of the many others.

  11. inquiringmind commented on Feb 15

    Check this out:

    Scroll down to Heather Hunt’s story…

    The gist of the thread is that the error you are receiving may be related to the iPod updater/iTunes software (a new version recently installed on your computer?) & not a fault with the iPod itself.

    Solving it sounds tedious, but possible.

    Good luck.


  12. MarkTX commented on Feb 15

    Tough luck BR,

    Anyone and everyone with an I-POD…

    please read inquiringmind’ post and check that link and others on the net. I have heard of it from at least a dozen friends about the update/Itunes software causing problems.
    And always have a complete back-up of your music/videos…a 100-500 gig hard drive is dirt cheap compared to what it holds…

  13. Ryan commented on Feb 15

    I concurr with inquiringmind’s post. I’ve had problems in the past with the updater software not syncing up with iTunes and my iPod. I’ve solved that problem by rebooting everything and then plugging my iPod back into the docking station.

  14. Barry Ritholtz commented on Feb 15

    I have everything on the iMac, and then 200 Gigs backed up on a Maxtor

  15. zzzap commented on Feb 15

    i had a similar problem with my much older 3G ipod. i believe it has to do with the new itunes software… i ended up selling mine off on eBay (for a rather shockingly high sum, there seems to be a quite a secondary market for ipods) and bought a refurbed 5G 30gb ipod for only $180 on the apple site. refurb is actually perfectly fine. quite a steal if you ask me.

  16. Jay L commented on Feb 15

    check out, they advertise in the Metro and will diagnose your Ipod. My old Ipod got the Sad Face icon last month and I turned it in and bought a 30G (10% off) and a shuffle for the gym – $327 out the door.

  17. S commented on Feb 15

    Go brown. Zune.

  18. Barry Ritholtz commented on Feb 15

    I have Sirius on the Satellite at home (Dish Network)

  19. Floormaster Squeeze commented on Feb 15

    I think your wife makes more sense here. I have long been skeptical that hard drive players(with motors and platters and other moving parts) would make sense as a portable device. Personally, I know I am too tough on such devices and opted for a flash based player.

    I understand the lure of having a lot of different music available but I now actually enjoy monthly MP3 player reorgs on a 6MB device.

  20. wnsrfr commented on Feb 15

    If it isn’t the software issue as described by InquiringMind, the refurb option sounds like the best.

    Messing with the innards of an iPod is fine if you consider yourself “handy”…I have replaced a battery and clickwheel for one of my kids and consider it a decent option. Many sites sell batteries, disks and clickwheels…BUT, the disks are the priciest, and if you have to rebuild the thing anyway, might as well go with the refurb…

    With some 5-minute epoxy and some various odds and ends (old pieces of 45 records?), you can make a nice paperweight “sculpture” with the old ipod, so you don’t have to throw it away 🙂

  21. Alex Khenkin commented on Feb 15

    Not only IPods break down, Apple’s customer service is the worst I’ve ever experienced in my 10+ years living in the USA.
    Ufff! got this off my chest!
    Small Investor Chronicles

  22. Bruno commented on Feb 15

    A ‘1429 error’ means it is time to dump the iPod for a more rugged player. Consider the Toshiba Gigabeat and the Creative Zen Vision. But if you would rather buy design than engineering, stick to the iPod…

  23. Norman commented on Feb 15

    Not being touched by Apple-Mania nor Apple-Phobia my emotions are in check so from what I read in these posts I can give you the answer: SHORT AAPL!

  24. babygal commented on Feb 15

    Don’t buy refurbished! We had endless problems with a refurbished unit-we had bought the protection plan-but it was still a pain to return it endless times. Buy new! Buy protection plan!

  25. Isaac commented on Feb 15

    This is something that frustrates me a bit about apple. This seems to be a relatively straightforward thing to fix- it basically amounts to reformatting the hard drive, which isn’t a big deal for the ipod since everything is intrinsically backed up. Why, then, are the tech support solutions: 1) Give it to us and we’ll fix it for the price you paid for it, 2) Recycle it for 50 bucks, or 3) New iPod!? If all else fails, replacing the hard drive is a trivial task, and costs under $100. Greed is no excuse to treat your customers shabbily.

  26. Isaac commented on Feb 15

    Here is a “how-to” for replacing the hard drive on a 4th gen ipod. I imagine the procedure is basically the same for the 5th.

  27. nicolai hel commented on Feb 15

    Barry, I am amazed that nobody has suggested that you take it to the Genius Bar. I have had several of my iPods fixed for free by these very smart guys over the years. You may be out of warrantee, but they will still spend a lot of time trying to fix it an only charge you if there is something seriously wrong (hardware). If you are getting a numerical diagnostic error, it is quite likely that you don’t have a hardware problem. When I need help, I go to the SoHo store at 6:00 am and there is no line.

  28. rb commented on Feb 15

    barry i would def try the genius bar also.
    if you havent backed up this data and have lots of paid for itunes songs that you need email me and i may be ale to get you the data off said ipod thru a friend in data recovery.

    let me know.

  29. muckdog commented on Feb 15

    Go retro, BR. Cassette tapes and a big ol’ boombox perched on your shoulder…

  30. lpaa commented on Feb 16

    Apple the new Dell?

  31. :>) commented on Feb 16

    “I have everything on the iMac, and then 200 Gigs backed up on a Maxtor”

    Barry, are you a teenager?

  32. :>) commented on Feb 16

    “I have everything on the iMac, and then 200 Gigs backed up on a Maxtor”

    Barry, are you a teenager?

  33. :>) commented on Feb 16

    “I have everything on the iMac, and then 200 Gigs backed up on a Maxtor”

    Barry, are you a teenager?

  34. :>) commented on Feb 16

    “I have everything on the iMac, and then 200 Gigs backed up on a Maxtor”

    Barry, are you a teenager?

  35. :>) commented on Feb 16

    “I have everything on the iMac, and then 200 Gigs backed up on a Maxtor”

    Barry, are you a teenager?

  36. :>) commented on Feb 16

    “I have everything on the iMac, and then 200 Gigs backed up on a Maxtor”

    Barry, are you a teenager?

  37. Jason commented on Feb 17

    Buy a new iPod. Buy the service plan.

    I’ve had a white 40g for about the same amount of time. Actually that’s a lie. I bought an iPod at about the same timeframe. Since then, it has been replaced five times. The first happened under warranty, then I bought the service plan. If I hadn’t, I’d be a bitter, Apple hating guy. Now, I think; “Well, I’m getting my $50worth outa the plan, and Apple’s covering with $ from people who didn’t”!

    My iPod gets daily use. At the “Y”, in the car, in the office, at home, in the airport, in the air. It is well cared for, but logs many hours each day.

    Buy the service plan. Their turnaround will impress you. Dell could take a lesson or two from them…

  38. Blake Paulson commented on Feb 17

    It sounds to me like what others have stated… the hard drive has developed bad sectors, more than likely a large number of them.

    I’d suggest replacing the hard drive (you’d save money and learn how to be tech savvy at the same time)

    I’ve put together some free tutorial videos showing the procedure from start to finish.

    Here’s the video link:

    You could also send it in and get it looked at… most of the data would still be recoverable I’d imagine.

  39. James commented on Aug 22

    Apple told me my hard drive was corrupted. I could here a clicking noise like the hard drive was trying to work, but was hung up.

    With nothing to loose, I grabbed it in one hand and slapped it as hard as I could against the palm of my other hand about 4-5 times. I kept changing the angle, banging it on the ends and both sides. I think I dislodged the hang-up because it started working again.

    The iPods are still junk. Apple thinks it is perfectly reasonably to sell a $400 dollar device that lasts 2 years. Philosophy just like Detroit.

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