I’ve had my iPod Touch for about 1.5 years and can’t really imagine living without it. I had a Palm Pilot at two different times in the past, and I never felt the need to replace either of them when they died. Life without the Touch, however, has quickly become unthinkable.
Thus I was pretty seriously distressed when the home button quit responding yesterday. It had been acting a little touchy for a while, but I could always get it to respond if I was persistent. Yesterday, however, it just went dead. Kaput. The end. This is the kind of thing you don’t repair, and I wasn’t super keen on spending a few hundred to replace it, especially since everything worked fine except that one crucial little button.
A little searching turned up this forum thread, which boils down to two recommendations:
- Blow compressed air into the connector slot at the bottom
- Put a drop of contact cleaner, nail polish remover, or other water-free solvent on the button, and then work the button to try to get the solvent to wick around to the where the contacts are
Both of these are based on the assumption that the problem is some dirt or or gunk that’s collected under the button and is interfering with the contacts. Since my iPod lives pretty much permanently in my jeans pocket (along with pens, keys, lint, and various other experiments in the spontaneous generation of life), that assumption seemed pretty reasonable.
Some of the people that tried the solvent approach got too much in there, and it seeped along the screen, giving them an undesired aquarium effect. Consequently, I tried the compressed air first, since that seemed least likely lead to some unfortunate side-effect. Sadly, it also didn’t lead to the desired effect either. Consequently I moved on to nail polish. I put a drop on the button, and then clicked and wiggled that little button to try to work the liquid around. And after maybe thirty seconds of fiddling … voila! It started working!
It’s now been most of an hour, and the fix seems solid. I’ve had it propped up with the button end down, so if there’s any liquid still in there it’s headed away from the screen and the bulk of the electronics, and by now I would assume that most of the liquid has evaporated anyway.
I’d think twice about trying this at home, especially if you have a working piece of electronics. Mine was completely unusable without the button, so I was willing to take the risk, but I can imagine a lot of ways in which this might not go well, so tread gently into these swamps.
For me, though, it’s all happy, happy, happy :-)