As reported earlier, I managed to use a few drops of nail polish remover to postpone my iPod Touch’s trip to the great pile of electronic waste that is one of the banes of our modern world. In the comments Matt Carlson mentioned that he’d had a similar experience reviving an MP3 player with a stuck hard drive head by smacking it — smacking it so hard that it flew out of his hand!
Well, wouldn’t you know it, but we happen to have a nice 80Gb iPod Classic (pictured above) that died over the summer with the telltale clicking sound of a stuck head. So I tried out Matt’s trick & whacked quite firmly (& quite loudly) multiple times on an old wooden chest and voilà – it came back to life! We thought we’d be travelling without the benefit of our huge shared pile of music, but it’s worked beautifully for many hours (all the way down to Arkansas & back).
Huzzah! Big thanks to Matt for the suggestion – banging on hardware beats the heck out of having to buy a new iPod. Again, I was only willing to risk this because this puppy was well past warranty, and there was no chance of repairing it. Obviously beating the tar out of electronics is something one should think carefully about and do with some care; your mileage definitely may vary.