Fix your ipod by spanking it?

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Its common knowledge that you dont want to drop / slam / or hit your expensive electronics, you might break them. Well, what if your expensive electronics is already broken?

I’m writing this in response to the hundreds of comments I received on my blog post about replacing a broken ipod hard drive.

It seems that there is a very unconventional way to fix your broken iPod, without having to open it or spend any money…. beat your ipod up! You heard me right, Slap your iPod!

How to do this:

Hold your iPod so the screen faces the palm of your hand and slap the back of it a few solid times. That’s it.

I personally haven’t tried this, but based on the response to my previous blog post, its worked for over 100 people so far.

Why does spanking your iPod fit it?

Here are a few of my thoughts on why this might work.

  1. Your iPod might have stopped working if the hard drive connection came lose. Slapping the iPod might jar the connection back into place.
  2. The hard drive arm might have gotten stuck for some reason. Spanking the iPod might free up that hard drive arm.
  3. It might just be magic!

I really don’t know why it works but I guess it does. If you have any experience with this post a comment.

Follow me on twitter for more great tips. CLICK HERE – twitter.com/JoshHighland

165 Comments

  1. Has worked for me. When (not if) my iPod freezes, I simply strike the connector port on the heel of my hand and it starts working again. Wakes up the music pixies and gets them back to work.

    ~J.C.

  2. I am working on getting my broken Ipod to turn on my Porter Cable generator from a remote some when my radio goes off, it turns on πŸ˜‰

  3. Thanks! I’m on my 3rd IPOD replacement after only a year(Clickwheel, what do you call that generation?) and I know the hard drive will fail AGAIN in the next 3 months. So I’m going to try this fix. It beats buying a stinking new one and having the same thing happen again!

    Your documentation is very very impressive. I LOVE IT. For non-technies like me, it sure makes it easy.

  4. omg! hitting my ipod actually worked! it was having hard drive problems and clicking and the whole nine yards. i even went into diagnostic mode and ran the test and it would tell me the hard drive would fail the test. i was about to order a new hard drive and do as this site tells me but i was like what the hell. i’ll hit and if nothing happens no big deal. it actually worked! ofcourse it might be that i havent touched the thing in a few weeks and the problem just went away or soemthing. who knows. im just happy to have my ipod back.

  5. The spank method actually works!!!! It really doesn’t sound possible but my 4th gen. just took it hard on the ass and came back from the dead.

  6. I have a 4th gen 60gb photo ipod. Initially it died completely 2 months into service it died (was replaced under warranty. The replacement got to 2 weeks past the warranty date & then It froze with the sad ipod pic & would never get further than the apple logo when started. Gave out some hard disk whirrs & clicks but nothing more. Gave it a few solid wacks & it seems to have come back to life (at least for now). Happy to have it back but for the only apple product I’ve ever bought I’m not too impressed overall

  7. I just want to say that slapping the iPod or shaking the hard drive hasn’t done jack shit for my situation. So it doesn’t work for everyone. I have proof.

  8. I have advised a number of people of this fix and it has worked for some, others have opened their ipod up and tighten their connections and have been able to use their Ipods.

  9. Yeah, I had to smack it once. It worked!
    Then it died 2 months later. So I smacked it again and it worked! Then it died a week later.
    No matter how hard i smacked it, it wouldn’t work.
    So, i cracked it open and cracked open the actual harddrive. Fun!! I fiddled with the arm for 20 minutes and it started to work again!
    A month later it died. Nothing works. I’ve given up. I’m about to buy a new harddrive for my iphoto 20 thing off the net. Oh well. πŸ™

    Thanks for the blog tho, as well as the previous one for showing us how to replace!

    Good luck to all ipod smackers!

  10. I was looking for information on how to replace my disk, because all tricks I applied earlier this year (up to initialising by zeroing all data) had failed.
    So what I had to loose, nothing.
    I tried it and it worked.
    Anyway I’m glad to have a well documented procedure to open and replace it, because it will die some day, at that point I’ll replace the battery as well.
    Thank you for your efforts to maintain this blog.

  11. My friends iPod wasnt working and making that clicking sound. We wanted to go through the five Rs on the Apple website but the iPod wasnt even being recognised by the computer. I was considering replacing the hard drive for him, and then we figured on trying the spanking method. It worked! Thanks to everyone!

  12. SLAPPING WORKS! My 40G 4th gen ipod was stuck, clicking and with a sad face. I tried to ‘tap it gently on its side’ as one website suggested. Didn’t work. Then I read this fantastic blog and FLUPs – held it in the palm of my hand and SLAPPED the front. Worked!!!!! Maybe only temporary, but better than nothing. Super BLOG. Thanks

  13. Ha ha! Thank you so much. My iPod died to a degree that the computer wouldn’t acknowledge its existence, so I couldn’t restore it, so I googled ‘sad iPod face’ and it took me here. Three slaps later and it works!

  14. AMAZING. My ipod just stopped working a few weekes ago. The hard dreive wouldn’t “turn over”. I could hear it clicking and see he apple logo flashing on but no sad face or anything. I was sad. I don’t want to spend $$for a new ipod.

    I just mentioned this to my brother and he told me about spanking my ipod. I read this blog real quick, smacked my ipod three times hard and WHAMMO!

    THANK YOU!!!

  15. holy crap! thank you! my 4th gen ipod was dropped by a friend and was giving me the sad face+clicking. i had all but lost hope and was looking into selling it for scrap when i found this blog. i had to hit it 5 or 6 times on the back and the side, but it came back from the dead! awesome!

  16. Worked for me – It did have the click of death, but giving it a swift tap (metal side) against a wall did the trick, and then one on the side for luck.

    Then toggled the hold switch, did the reset thing. Plugged it in, and did the iPod updater.

    Thanks so much for your site! (have bookmarked incase it dies terminally!)

  17. what the hell!? I can’t believe it but if WORKS!! O_O ..I’m amazed, I was trying everything but it was freezed..now it works!
    THANKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

  18. Came across Josh’s ‘fix’ when I was in a state of exasperation. On my iPod screen I had the !folder symbol and could hear the hard disk hunting although the iPod diagnostics could find no fault with the disk. Initially I tried reformatting, using the Apple Hard Disk Utility; this didn’t always work. Sometimes an iPod icon would appear on the desktop after a very long formatting session. Occasionally the iTunes updater would spring into action. No matter what I did the next time I plugged in the iPod it would need reformatting again. As I now regarded my iPod as scrap I was willing to try anything. So – held my breath and gave it a good smack (on its back). The drive ‘hunting’ seemed to have quietened and then to my surprise I was able to reformat in a matter of seconds. Then, as before, the iPod updater kicked in and, lo and behold, I was able to rebuild my iTunes library. This was all a couple of weeks ago and I’ve had no trouble since. So – if you’ve reached the end of your tether and nothing else seems to work – give it a darn good smacking! Thanks Josh for your site and the advice of the many bloggers.

  19. Awesome! After trying every trick on the official Apple site, my iPod was officially pronounced dead by the “genius” desk at my nearest Apple store. “Your hard drive is shot” they told me. “We will give you 10% off your next one” they offered. Thank god I didn’t take them up on it. Three hard slaps and … perfect!
    THANK YOU – you saved me $200!

  20. well this hasn’t worked for me at all. I don’t know whats wrong. i’ve beaten the shit out of it, still sad face. i’ve taken out the hard drive from the inside and hit it. still sad face. so this doesn’t work for everyone

  21. I was jost wondering josh highland is your ipod still working today, after you replaced the hard drive? I am just curious as to if it lasted and if its worth replacing the drive over buying a new ipod.

  22. For all of you beating on your I pod.
    I layed a good shit kickin on mine yesterday and really messed it up.
    Would turn on nada.DOA!
    Before at least I could reset it and have it freeze up giving me some hope.

    If you get no results after beating the bad apple.
    click the hold button a few times making sure it isn’t on hold.
    hold the center button and left button untill you open the diagnostics in iPod.
    press play and you will see all the diagnostics programs.
    Most Geeks say don’t mess with this area.
    Ya have nothing to lose. Your pod is crap as is.
    I did this program with no problems various times in all kinds of different orders.
    So don’t be afraid it worked for me.
    Go through the whole works and write down the results.
    Make a point of doing them all!
    One by One
    You may have to do it a couple times.
    The HDD R/W and Scan can take hours.
    Make a point of the IRam test, I think this is what fixed mine up.
    Maybe the HHD test combined with scan and ram clean up the bad sectors on the disk????

    Anyhow if this works it will say press button to reset.
    If your as lucky as I was it will have fixed the bug.
    There could be a few bugs in these bad apples.

    Sticking Drive?
    But the diag. should say disk OK.?????????

    I also have read that many believe it is a software and update conflict.

    Mine was a 40 gig click.
    It only had 550 songs and when I check about it came up showing I only had 160klb of space left on the drive. should have had about 34 gig +.
    Figure that out

    Anyhow I think it was the diagnostics that worked in the end.

    Might have been the beating I layed on it along with the diag. test?
    If Fs. up again I will run the diag. first and if that doesn’t work I will take great pleasure in beating the crap out of it again.

    Good luck and don’t give up.
    Someone will figure it out soon and maybe the slackers at apple will invest some of there $ into fixing the issues they have created for all of us before the word gets out the iPod is a not an apple but a lemon.

    I personally will never buy another apple product after waisting a week of my time fn around with a product I paid way too much for.

    Good luck
    Hope this might help some of you bad apple owners out there

  23. Hi, could everyone that reads this post a comment showing what the last ipod update was they ran please… i found that mine stopped working almost straight after update 2006-03-23 with the hdd clicking at startup and switching off again.. i too twatted my ipod and its working again.. but for how long…………………………

  24. Well, I’ll be . . .
    I bought a “broken” 40 Gb 4th Gen iPod on e-bay, guy said it had a bad hard drive. Cheap with all accessories. I found this site because I wanted to see how to change the hard drive, before I bought one. I had spent hours trying to get my PC to recognize the iPod, so I could try the 5 Rs. Just sad face and !folder and whirring.
    So, what the heck . . . busted anyway. I gave it two thwacks – not even violently, just firm. Menu showed up . . . Now it works great. If it stops again, I’ll open it and check the connector, but I think the arm was sticking or something. Now, it plays perfectly. This is amazing. Now my daughter’s telling all her friends how I “bitch slapped” my iPod and fixed it. Thanks so much.

  25. ok, so the slapping works on my 40g but it only lasts like a week when i do it, and ive been doing it for 5 months now, and i was wondering if the connection from the HD to the motherboard can be the problem? can that be the causer of the clicking noise or is the Hd jut straight up broken when it does that noise?

    Thanks, Frank

  26. Wouldn’t be a better idea, rather than beat the shit out of your ipod to jar the cable back in, to just take the case apart and check the cable connection to the HDD? Just my opinion…

  27. ha ha ha ha haaaa, left mine in a hot car all weekend and had no joy with anything else (wouldn’t even mount up on the desktop and had stopped going into disk mode), found this site and WHAMMO I’m re uploading my music library as I type, guess if it goes again I’ll be prising open the case, thank you, thank you, thank you…

  28. HAHAHAHAHA!!! It WORKED!

    For searches:

    iPod hard drive noise clicking whirring reboots

    YEah my kid’s iPod (dropped several times) was stuck rebooting over and over again. The Diags showed everything was ok (SELECT REW at reset) I got it working for a bit after I dropped it a foot on the table while trying to reset the damn thing. Then it froze after abit again. Well turned it over and whack whack whack – three brisk slaps on the chrome back and it started…

    Wacky.

  29. apple can suck it. i tried and tried to restore my just-out-of-warrentee-ipod, but it refused to go into disk mode. this is the second time in a month it has broken itself (yes, itself, i treat it like my own child). after showing my love with a slap, it finally obeyed.

  30. LMAO!

    I can’t believe it… but… it actually WORKED??? How cool is that? Im gonna have to remember that one for sure!

    Thank You!!!

  31. I can’t believe it! It was gonna take me 6 months of musicless comuting to save up for another one but I feel as if I have been given a new lease of life. Unbelievable! If it’s out of warranty, what have you got to lose?

  32. my 40GB ipod that I’ve had for something like 1 1/2 years had the “clicking” hard drive sounds and would skip song tracks and eventually not play any songs. My computer was unable to detect my ipod (ditto re: my iTunes). I was going to buy another mp3 player (since this was my 2nd ipod in a row that crapped out) and stumbled upon your blog.

    The “banging your iPod” solution seemed too easy — how could it truly work? Well, I tried it and now my ipod works wonderfully — it plays my songs without skipping — no ‘clicking’ sounds from the hard drive — my computer now DOES detect my ipod and so does my iTunes. Thanks so much for posting this info on your blog! πŸ™‚

  33. Wow!! This actually worked! I’ve been trying to restart and get my ipod to work for two days now, it woulden’t even turn on for about a month with either the folder with the β€œ!” or the sad ipod, I was about to give up when I saw this site about smacking your ipod, and I read it as a joke. And then after seeing all the people who where like β€œwoah WOO HOO”, I was like what the hell, so I’ll give it a try, I got nothing to lose. So I smack my ipod like a monkey, who would believe it would actually work! It immediately (the first try after a couple good firm smacks like a gorilla palm smack into the bottom where that usb port thing is and a couple gorilla slaps pretty hard on each side), to my awe and amazement it turned on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And next it was able to be recognized by my computer and I re installed the apple OS on my 40GB 2nd generation ipod! Its hard to believe, but thank you so much for the advice. Pretty funny actually.

    i was like a space monkey, ready to sacrafice himself for the better good, ready to lose his possibly saveable ipod by giving it a couple good gorilla smacks. AND IT WORED FOR ME!!!!!!!!! i can’t believe it… thank you!

  34. My 5G iPod Video was stuck in reboot mode. I gave it a slap on the ass, and it booted up.

    Geez, I hope Apple will do something for me. This was purchased in December, 2005.

  35. Damned if it didn’t work for me. Read the blog and turned a $20.00 ebay purchase in to a working 15G ipod again I hit it on the back three times looked at my wife and told her I was spanking the ipod then hit the bottom and the lights and screen lit up. Go figure! Try it you’ll like it!

  36. This is awesome!!! my friend gave me his broken 4th gen. 20g for free because he couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it, it was showing the apple icon then the folder with an exclamation point. i came across this idea and tried it, but nothing was happening. so i decided to just try and spank it while it was plugged into the computer and while it was restoring it. And it worked!!!!!!!!!! so i have gotten a free 20g ipod that works because of this awesome site!!!!!!

  37. OMG, I cant believe it, It worked. I gave my ipod one good smack on the ass end and it worked. I have tried for days and days to get it from showing the unhappy ipod logo and nothing worked. I was just about to send it away to get repaired. Who knew the old fasioned technical adjustment would work, I never would have thought that it would work. Thanks for saving me mucho $$$.

  38. WOW!!!!! I have been shitting myslef over the major loss in $$$$ but three good slaps and all is great!! I can’t believe it was this easy. Thank you soooo much for saving several hundred dollars!

  39. deeeefinatly worked

    my sister broke it
    and it was garrrbage and wouldnt do anything

    i was about to take it apart and check the connections
    when i came across this

    smacked it on the back a few times
    and shes runnin smooth

  40. man o man o man cant believe it works!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank youuu

  41. Being trying to fix my 40gb ipod for about a while now with no sucess, till I came across this site. My style was to treat my ipod very gently as my ipod as gone into the sad face about a dozen times already. I had to try different positions, the back, front, bottom, … but finally worked when I applied force gently to the side. Sometimes the most basic of sollutions work. Thank guys!

  42. LOL..I used to repair hard drives when they were big enough to actually work on. We used the spank method as a way of getting the drive working long enough to get data off of it. Having some problems with an Ipod replaced the battery, now seem to be having issue with the h/d. Spanking it helped for about 5 mins but then it quit again. Thanks though for the trip back down hard drive spanking lane πŸ™‚

  43. Couldn’t believe it worked. I have a 40GB 3rd gen Ipod and one day (after 2 years) the exclaimation-point-folder icon came up. I could hear the hard drive mechanism kinda click like it hadn’t before: like it was trying to get started, but couldn’t. So maybe the spank method jarred the HD arm loose. Anyway, held it in on hand, spanked the connection port end of it with the other: voila, back to life… I can’t believe that _the_ device of the 21st century is fixed just like the TV of the 20th — a solid spank.

  44. Holy crap. I stumbled across this post while searching for ideas to fix my 4 GB Mini. I’ve had major problems with skipping/scratchy music playback and was hoping to find some “fix it” online to avoid buying a new one. I was so doubtful, but decided to try this as a last resort. And now? Perfect playback!

    THANK YOU.

  45. Thanks SO much … I slapped it and it came back .. after tearing my hair out for a week and whinging at all thing apple .. I think this method will only work if you can hear the whirr-click-die-whirr … sound … thanks to the inventor of spanking

  46. I am, in equal parts, ecstatic and disppointed that this DID WORK on my GF’s 4th gen iPod. I’m happy because, after a few well placed slaps, she now has a fully functioning iPod but… FFS… hitting expensive electronic equipment CAN’T be the best way to fix it!

    Cheers though. Much appreciated ;-D

  47. Spanking my Husband’s Ipod worked, I only had to spank it 3 small wacks, and it no longer clicks, iTunes can pick it up now and all is well! Thank you much.

  48. ya so out of frustration of 2 days of silence i just slapped the hell outta it and sure enough it worked, who says violence isn’t the answer ?

  49. I don’t believe it!! It worked! I got a quote and they said it would be $247 to get it replaced. Might as well just buy a new generation ipod.

  50. josh- I have a 4 G ipod working great until i updated the latest itunes version. HD started whirring!! and clickg all of a sudden. i searched on the web, lots of suggestions includg erasing the HD. didnt work. none of the 5 Rs for ipod site worked.
    then i found your post. i was v sceptical when i read the post, but i tried the suggestions in the posts by readers and you and it worked!! my 4G ipod(U2) kept giving error 1429 since updatg to latest itunes. i opened the ipod removed the HD and reinserted it. shook it a bit prior to reinserting and it worked great!. i used ipod updater to update prior to opening itunes. thanks! it works. saved a few $$$ ….!

  51. I know a lot of people have testified that smacking works, but I’m going to be #101 and say it works! My 4th generation died. The hd spins for a bit then dies, and it does it about 3 times then shows either the folder or the sad ipod face. I smacked it twice hard with the screen facing my palm, and it works again. I don’t know how long this fix will last, but it beats buying a new one. Thanks Josh Highland!

  52. INCREDIBLE!….I actually cannot beleive it. A mere 3 sets of 3 slaps brought my 3rd gen 20gb completely back to life!…no sad ipod face, all back to normal. Not only that I just phoned a friend whos ipod died 6 months ago and was shoved at the back of a drawer and his is now working again too. Going to bed a happy man and looking forward to blissful muci filled journeys to work again. Thank you so much for this simple but very important piece of advice.

  53. WOW – I thought this advice was some kind of joke. It actually worked on second set of slaps I gave my ipod. After sitting on a shelf for nearly a month, the ipod came back to life and runs like normal. Bye bye, folder icon with exclamation point.

  54. Thanks a lot. Had a broken Ipod lying around for more than a year, waiting to be thrown away. Until I came across your article. It’s now happily syncing again.

  55. For the first time, in almost two years, I dropped my Ipod last Friday. I was completely distraught because I had been using my Ipod as an external hard drive– imagine all my personal data lost! I called Apple for product support and was courteously told that with an expired warranty my Ipod could not be repaired. I am very grateful to have found this website. Three firms smacks and my Ipod is in working order. I will however check to see that all the internal connections are secure. Thanks again!

  56. i tried smacking, hitting it, but is still din work. T_T did i use too little force to hit it? someone pls help.. dis is my last resort before bringing it to the shop for repairs..

  57. I just wanted to say that I was having this exact problem, found this site, and within minutes I was jamming to my iPod again.

    This actually works! I couldn’t get my 3G iPod to go into disk mode nor be recognized by iTunes, but this spanking trick actually worked for me. Thank you!

  58. hahahahahaha!!

    holy mother of christ it frickin worked! AMAZING! HAHAHHA! thats the biggest crock of shit… As I spanked my ipod i sat there thinking “this guy is making me look like a real jerk off” then i hear the ipod hard drive wind up and BAM it friggin woke up!!

    youre jesus!! God bless you my friend.

  59. I cannot believe that this actually worked- been trying to use my technical prowess with my girlfriend’s ipod with no joy at all- then SMACK! back to full operation πŸ™‚ cheers guys!

  60. You’ve gotta be kidding! It worked like a charm!!!!! four smacks with the heal of my hand on the port, and it stopped that horrible whirring noise and is back in action!

  61. Shit it worked. One quick firm pop against my palm. Hopefully it keeps working, but wow. Thank you!

  62. I would have thought this to be the dumbest thing I had ever heard. I even felt a little stupid when I unplugged my ipod and prepared to try this. When it was plugged in to my mac all i saw was a low battery symbol and when plugged into the wall it would constantly reset and give me a sad face. it was making a clicking noise so I took the plunge and hit it. Maybe more out of frustration then this post, and to my surprise it came right up. not only that it showed that the battery that i was still trying to charge due to the info i received from the apple web site was fully charged. Thank you for this post and all of the testimonies that followed. If you are reading this and your warranty in expired ask yourself what do you have to loose!!

  63. I didn’t think this will work…. wow how wrong was i!! Mines is out of warranty too so would have cost me a £££ to get it fixed!! Thank you very much!:)

  64. I have four kids and thouroughly believe that the biblical model of spanking works. I just never thought it would work on my 20GB 4th gen. iPod. My only complaint is that the iPod did not ask my forgiveness for disobeying. πŸ™‚

  65. Spent 30 mins running through the apple website trying to get mine up and running. Wouldn’t turn on and the pc wouldn’t read from it. Hit it a couple of times and it now works!! (although itunes does say it is corrupt). At least I can try out all fixes now as it was completely unresponsive before!

    Cheers
    Dave

  66. One quick smack and my sad ipod has now turned back to being a happy ipod. I think im going to open her up and glue the connector to prevent this from happening again.

  67. omG! this totally worked!!!! Thank you for posting this info and I’m sooooo lucky I came across it!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  68. Another satisfied iPod smacker. I was getting the clicking sound and things stopped working. I was able to reformat a two months ago, but that didn’t last. The clicking came back, it froze up and I counted get it mount. So, I tried the whacking method. I was pretty skeptical, but dang, it worked! The clicking stopped and I was able to mount it and reload my songs.

    Happy Whacking Day!

  69. We may have seen this video on YouTube.Word on the street is that this was produced by Microsoft’s marketing team to showcase things gone awry with their own product packaging. More than anything, the clip demonstrates the beauty of Apple’s simple design. It is good thing.

  70. I am surprised to report that smacking worked for me today. My 60GB iPod Photo just quit working during a cross-country flight (was fully charged night before). Repeated two-finger resets failed as the iPod thought it was empty. Attempts to sync using iTunes reported a corrupt iPod. Restore attempts got me the dreaded 1418 error. Before I could fully contemplate a replacement, I decided to try spanking it. Did another reset, and lo and behold, the music is back.

  71. I thought this was a wind up.! Still what the hell I had nothing to lose. Gave it a good leathering and it actually restored first time after weeks of misery and almost buying a new IPOD. Thans πŸ™‚

  72. ha! This actually worked for me. I’ve been having problems with my 3rd generation ipod – every time I would connect it to my computer or iHome stereo, all that would happen was a very loud and consistent whirring sound ending in a click then starting all over again. Well, I came across this website and what do you know, turning the ipod upside down and giving it a few hard slaps actually got it to work. Thanks for letting me know it just needed a few hard spanks!

  73. You’re a genius. I was about to throw the thing in the trash and came across your site. Spanked the hell out of my ipod and it’s back in action, worked like a charm. THANK YOU!

  74. Mine would make the clicking noise also — so I bought a new ipod video and while looking to see if I could sell my broken one online I came across this blog and what do you know… it worked! Now I can sell a ‘working’ ipod… haha

  75. Hey dude, Oh my god it’s really working. When I read it I thought that it’s rubbish but, It really works. thnx a lot for this tips on fixing the ipod. i really appreciate it.

  76. It works! It works!!! After about 2 days of trying unsuccessfully to reinstall the ipod software (4th gen. 40 gig. ipod), and being unable to restart it as stated above, I followed the above advice (instead of throwing it away, i pounded on the ipod like an ape man) and it now works! HAHAHAHA! Literally within 2 minutes!

  77. This tutorial COMPLETELY WORKED for my 5th generation black 30 gigabyte iPod. As Others may have experienced the whirring, I have too. I had dropped my iPod at the airport. I was googling and I found this tutorial. Worked like a charm! Highly recommended!

  78. This worked for me too. My 3g froze my computer, started giving me the sad face and just shut down on me. I slammed it against my leg and all of the sudden it worked again. This is after the Genius told me I had hardware failure.

  79. Yep, it works. Tried for days to fix a friend’s 4 40gb ipod that had been showing folder icon for months but they hadn’t been able to connect to pc because it was dead, then they got new one. Battery must have been completely flat and it would not respond when connected to any pc – even one booting off their old hd. I tried everything, then saw this site. One firm slap and hey presto – ipod recognised and I was able to update its software with my pc! Genius.

  80. I dropped it at the gym and the case split open. I got the folder symbol. Slapped it three times and IT’S ALIVE IT’S ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  81. Ditto here! Same thing; clicking HD on my third ipod, a 40gig 4th gen. I was reading here for info on how to replace the drive when I read the first post on slapping it. I spit coffee all over my keyboard.

    LOL, it works. This is 9 months after the “Genius” told me that the HD was trash. Also worked on a 30gig photo that a friend gave me when it stopped. He wanted to upgrade to a video. Three slaps and now I have a backup.

    What I’d really like to know is, why does it work???

  82. I have tried it before and it worked great! After a while though my ipod needed to be smacked regularily and it got to the point where i have a big dent in it and a toasted ipod. I’m very angry about spending the 600$ it was when i got my ipod photo. Wish i could take out the parts and do something else useful with them…

  83. I have a 4th gen 20gig photo ipod. Started with the whirring & clicking sound about a month ago. I set it aside and was going to take it in to Apple store this week when I happened upon this site. The problem: I was hoping for a miracle based on your testimonials. But, sadly, smacking the back of my ipod made things worse – I lost the “apple” graphic altogether – no display whatsoever. I didn’t even hit it that hard. Don’t know what to do. Neophyte as I am, I’m game to open it up and have a look-see, but don’t want to waste time trying to replace a hard drive. Anybody have any suggestions before I give up? For those that experienced the “spanking” as the cure – I’m glad for you because I really miss my ipod πŸ™

  84. I found a 4G 20GB iPod in my brothers bedroom the other day and phoned him to see if I could have a go at fixing it claiming that if I did I would sell it on Ebay and give him some cash. It was clicking and going sad face -> apple in a loop. Was just playing with the service menu when my housemate walked into the bedroom. “What’s up with this?” he asked taking it off me. I think the disk is fecked I replied. “So you wont mind if I do this then” he said grabbing it off me and smacking it off his leg. He gave me it back and the clicking had gone away. It’s only bloody working!!

  85. OK….sounds crazy, but I actually slapped the shit out of my iPhone…..On day 2 of ownership, the vibrate function broke– it would not vibrate at all….I can’t get to the Apple store for a few days, and I know I will be trading this turd in for a new one anyway, so I decided to slap the back of it, and….surprise! It now vibrates fine……what a $600 piece of crap…worse yet, I am stuck with AT&T now….unless I want to return it and pay $60…..

  86. HOLY BLAM!!!!! My stomache sank this morning when i got the sad face. My iPod is a part of me and I was convince that Jobs was messing with me because my rock-steady ipod died the same day as the new ipods were unveiled. So much music lost….so much time and money gone….unitl….
    SMACK, SMACK, SMACK… My heart sings!!! I cant believe this worked!!!!! I was nautious all morning at the thought of starting over. Time to back up some ipod data!

  87. I found that mine would work a little with the “back” spanking, however, everything worked fine when I (like someone packing a pack of smokes) “packed” it on my mouse pad on the left (looking at the front) side.
    AND YES IT DOES WORK!

    Thanks, SHARK

  88. I totally spanked my ipod last night and it came back from the dead like lazarus. It was truly a religious experience. I’ve been at my wits end with my photo ipod that I bought 3 yrs ago. I had already send it in to Iresq 3 times to be fixed..which cost me around $180. When it broke for the 4th time I had nothing to do but sell it off. Then I spanked it! Yay! It lives again.

  89. i left my 2 yr old 60gb ipod in my friends car and when she gave it back to me it wouldn’t turn on UGH. just the clicking, whirring, you know the rest. but I gave it a whole bunch of smacks and i’m listening to it as i write this. hopefully it stays working for a long time to come! THANKS!!! πŸ™‚

  90. Thanks, I was JUST about to open my ipod up, and i’d thought i’d give it a few smacklings just incase!! and guess what…it worked!! Was skeptic at first, but it must just be magic

  91. I had that famous error “1429”. Some blogs suggested I chuck my ipod in a lake. Instead I tried slapping it a few times and “voila!”…fixed…and I was able to get some of my pent up frustrations out πŸ˜‰ Thanks!

  92. Man I couldnt believe it but it worked! I slapped the shit out of my ipod 20gb the old one and it finally came back to life and stopped clicking every five seconds like a skipping cd. Thanks !

  93. A friend dropped their Video Ipod and I cracked the screen. The hard drive also began the CLICK. I tried the smack, the pound, the ram, and the take it apart. No luck. So now it’s time for the freeze. =]

  94. Cant believe i have already bought a new one doooh. i hard strike with the palm to the connetor and the sad face went away

  95. Thanks very much for this! I was encountering many problems and Apple’s support was leading me into a black hole. I googled “ipod sad face battery icon” and here you were! One solid smack to the bottom later and the thing is working well. For good measure, I went ahead and updated all software and restored to factory settings. Hopefully it’ll keep working well. Thanks again for all of your help!

  96. I’ve been using this “technique” to fix my ipod for about 6 months. Never forget how satisfying it was to take my frustration out on a broken ipod and then see it respond by working again! πŸ™‚

  97. This actually worked!!!!!! I am so excited because I don’t have my music backed up and I sold a lot of my cd’s to make some extra cash. I am so excited that I now have my music again!! I am definetly backing it up this time!! Thank you so so so so much!!!!

  98. OMG! OMG!….after all these months.

    I spank it once and it WORKS!

    It WORKS 100%.

    Man this is WEIRD!!!! SOME CRAZY WORKING SOLUTION!!!

  99. I have a 5th generation ipod and I recently have encountered the sad face problem, But no matter how hard I smack the back of the ipod, it still doesn’t seem to want to recover!!! Any suggestions?? Am I not hitting hard enough?? Is it supposed to be on or off when I hit it??

  100. OMG! YOU ARE A GOD!!!! I LOVE YOU! I had so many things wrong with my ipod, all happening at once, my computer wasn’t recognizing it (finally fixed that), had a MAJOR software problem from an update (fixed just today) then after I got all those problems fixed, the damn thing kept restarting, and I tried all sorts of fixings for it, including someone telling me to grab the ipod firmly and slap it onto something like a phonebook (DID NOT WORK) and I was thinking damn, I have to open the thing up and I have had WAAAYYYY to many energy drinks to do that. Then finally came across your site, grabbed my ipod, gave it 2 sharp slaps on the side and a good hefty whack on the back, now its working 150% perfectly. YOU ARE THE ABSOLUTE BEST!

  101. After trying everything else unsuccessfully:
    the ‘ipod slap’ brought it back!
    Thanks!

    Give your ipod a firm pat on the back for all the faithful service… You’ll both feel better.

  102. It worked!!! lol. Like i’ve always said hitting stuff always makes it work better, ecspecially women…lol, im kidding, im kidding. Thanks..

  103. WOW! Today is Saturday, February 16th 2008. My 60gig Ipod Photo shut down on me today at an airport and would not reboot. I tried techy things like hard resets and all that jazz mentioned at the apple website. Nothing worked until I found your site and gave my ipod a firm slap on the palm of my hand letting the connector dock hit my hand. I followed up with three firm taps on the back for good measure. Much to my astonishment, IT STARTED WORKING AGAIN! Thanks much to this forum and the many people who have posted and gave me the courage to try this! I have my ipod back!

  104. After 9 months of surviving by whacking, my 40 gig 4th gen was finally laid to rest last night. No amount of whacking could bring it back. I ordered a new drive and I’m hopeful that I’ll get another year or two out of it. By then the flash drive models should be cheaper for a comparable size.

  105. That just bloody worked!!! Thanks so much. FYI, mine was a 60gb iPod Photo that had been showing that symbol for a week and I’ve tried everything. I gave it 3 firms slaps on the back, nothing, did it again, nothing, did it harder a third time and it fixed it.

  106. OMG Thank YOU! I spanked my daughter’s iPod after everything else failed. AND, IT WORKS NOW! I’m a happy mom with a happy daughter!

  107. hello every one.

    i have looked at this site and well i have tried hitting it several times but nothing it is frozen and it has the locked icom up but it isn’t locked and i can’t connect it to itunes because it is not recongised so what should i do?? please help

  108. I have been brooding over my ipod for 2+ years now, I finally looked this up, and wow, I am so impressed.
    So barbaric.
    So perfect! It just…WORKS!
    I didn’t slap, but made a fist and banged on it with the side of you hand (fatty part other side of thumb). A few extremely strong “knocks on the door” and i was in. Repeat if necessary

  109. Thank you thank you thank you!! i can believe the slap trick worked! i gave it a few and nothing kept slapping it around and there ya go… i was just about to give up on the thing. Thanks again and mad props to whoever figured this one out.

  110. Smacking the back didn’t work- tried a coupla times- but smacking the bottom, where it plugs in, has at least gotten me to the menu. Trying a restore now, wish me luck…

  111. I have the 04′ 20gb. I dropped my precious thing in the gym while I was running on the treadmill twice! After a few weeks, it kept acting up showing this screen with a folder and the address of the apple support website with a constant whirring sound. However, after reading website and smacking it a few times on my palm, it finally worked. Well, I guess for now… We’ll see what happens when it freezes again. Wish me luck!

  112. for some odd reason I got my 4th gen ipod out of my stuff drawer tonight. It hadn’t worked in 2 years. It’s been making the “whirr click” of death since. As I searched for a web site to send it off or order a hard drive or whatever, I came across this site. I smacked the ipod on the coffee table three or four times not really paying attention to it. A few minutes later I realized that it wasn’t “whirr clicking” any more. I restored it in itunes and now i’m updating my music.

  113. you are a genius josh, thank god i was going to give it to the fish in the thames tommorow. i am wondering if it has anything to do with moisture, i have left it in a car over night a few times and also am a builder and leave it in my back pocket sometimes and what with my sweaty…. actually i’ll leave it there but thanks again josh, i always said mindless violence resolves 99% of problems.

  114. Josh, just saying thanks for this highly technical fix – I Googled some interesting keywords after my iPod died at a party last night – a few slaps later and it’s up and running – glad I stumbled across your blog. Thanks again!

  115. I tried this about 9 months ago and my iPod (3g, 40gb) has worked PERFECTLY since. I slammed it once – HARD – into the palm of my hand and VIOLA – no more sad iPod! Magic indeed!

  116. ok….so the spanking trick works……but that might actually scew it up a bit cause you’re hitting it and well……i tried it to a couple of things that i had of my own and it actually got screwd up in the future……so ya………………………………if it like freezes though…all you gotta do is hold the center and menu button and ya…..its fixed too…………..but i like the advice….:)

  117. Doesnt work! while displaying the apple logo, my i pod hard disk spins for a second and the goes quiet for a sec and then spins again for a sec and then stops for a second…. etc this happens about 10 times before it stops and shows the that folder image on the screen. I started with a gentle palm slapping which slowly escalated into me kicking the ipod around on the living room. No luck so far! Apple Sucks! Zen all the way!

  118. Has worked for me on several occasions for my 3rd gen 20 gb iPod. Thanks a lot for this great advice!!!!

  119. 2004 I got a new iPod 4Gen 40GB under warranty as my first was broken after 5 months. That new one sometimes started a little slowly, sometimes clicking snd scratching a little like a bloken hard drive, but working – until just that day end of April, when I found some one to buy it: sad iPod icon again, refusing to start and not showing more than the apple logo after re-booting.

    When I was searching the internet for a third party service site for the iPod, I found your spanking advice. As I thought that I had lost my iPod already, I didn’t hezitate to do what you wrote. From that moment it was working – no joke – better than before: no longer bad noise, starting up fast, but only playing music same as before.
    Thanks a lot!

  120. The ipod sad face indicates hard drive problems, but in many instances, the problem is not actually with the hard drive, but with the hard drive cable. Corrosion develops on the silver part of the hard drive cable and must be cleaned periodically to keep the iPod functioning correctly. This isn’t always the case, but many times it is.

  121. i tried. but is not working. im not spanking hard enough?
    how many time i need to do that?

  122. WOW! Thank you! I was about to order a new hard drive or logic board until I read this. My Ipod seemed to attempt to start up, it would make a whirring sound and then a click, and then give me the sad apple face. I’m with your hard-drive arm stuck theory, at least in my case, because after smacking it (hard enough to make my hand hurt) several times, I heard the whirring of it starting up… and no click, and it said it was charging!

    Thanks again!

  123. Was about to chuck my old 4th gen iPod, but decided to make one last attempt at salvaging it. Spanked it, nothing. Placed it screenside down in the palm of one hand, made a fist with the other and punched it 3 times like one would do if trying to get someone’s heart going again. Voila! Light came back on and it’s now recharging. THANK YOU!

  124. what the hell this worked the first time
    and then less than a fucking day later it
    stopped working again and this smaking shit
    will not work. i hate ipods i am on my 6th
    one. this is bull shit.

  125. Worked for me, slapped 3rd gen 60 gig really hard while it was making the whirring and clicking noise, hey presto – saved a load of money buying a new one!
    Thanks for the tip

  126. Worked like a dream – ipod was clickng and showing sad symbol – smacked it three times and hey presto a working and charging ipod – thanks very much

    I love ipods !

  127. Thank you so much for this. My old U2 2Gen iPod has been ‘dead’ for 18 months and in my spring clean frenzy, I thought I’d give it one last attempt at CPR. I screwed up formatting the hard disk and thought it was a goner: sad mac, won’t mount, dead hard disk etc. Tried numerous utilities, but then I smacked it on the floor and the hard disk whirred into action and it just mounted immediately! I am over the moon, and absolutely amazed.

  128. My Ipod (30GB) doesn’t turn on.I put on a charger-it says:the battery is very law,please wait.After the sad ipod icon appears.I tried to smacked,but nothing.For me it didn’t work:(If I take off from a charger and I try to turn it on,the sad icon still appears.Any explanation?

  129. WOW!! It freakin’ worked!! My 10year old has been coveting and hunting and Craigslisting and working her fanny off doing menial tasks for her big sisters to scrape money to buy and Ipod FOR MONTHS. She found her sister’s abandoned 20GB Classic that had a sad face years ago, that hadn’t been addressed because greedy big sister just bought a newer one with her Xmas money. Anyway, little sis and I took the sad ipod to the Apple store, and they said “oh sad face not good – new hard drive – you can trade it in for 10%” which got little one all happy – cuz she doens’t know that is pennies off something mommy can’t buy. I proceeded to reset it right there in the store and up it pops. Shame on them! Anyway 2 days later, same sad face and none of the resets will work at all. So, back to the Apple Genius Bar appointment, where they say it is not just the battery, but the hard drive. I found two slap repairs – one that you bang at the re-charge port (I didn’t like that one, so I didn’t) and the second, you hold it in the palm of your hand, LCD screen down and smack it hard like burbing a baby – two good smacks and it reset and is charging! WOO-HOO.

  130. I can’t believe, I’ve been going crazy for about a week, I started thinking of buying a new one and i happened!!!! it works!! Mine is a U2 special edition ipod. First it would appear the apple icon, then sad face and then low battery if I connected it to the computer, on an on again, I spanked it and it works!!!

  131. Or simply disassemble it and reseat the hard drive connector. Had the unhappy iPod symbol on the screen, tried the slap it, it started working, but it didn’t last.

    I figured I had nothing to lose, so I dissembled it and reseated the hard drive connector. It’s been working just fine since then.

    Cost of the repair – $0. Doesn’t get any better then that.. πŸ™‚

  132. Omgg!! My iPod gen 5 classic was starting to automatically reset if I liked it or turned it off or even plugged it in. This work first try. Holy crap!!!! It hasn’t done it since!

  133. YES! YES! Thank you so very much! hahahahaha i almost fell into depression but holy freaking cow it worked for my gen6 ipod classic!

  134. Ipod classic 160gb black beauty. I was skeptical of this but had literally tried everything else and was out of options. Spanked it firmly three times and it worked like a charm.

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