Apple iPod Diagnostic Mode

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NOTE: I didn't write this, but adapted it from Mac 911 at

Resetting an iPod

Regular (white) iPods are reset by:

  • turn the Hold switch on,
  • turn the Hold switch off,
  • press and hold the Play/Pause and Menu buttons until the Apple iPod logo appears.

Ideally, the iPod should be plugged into power at this time.

Resetting a Mini

iPods Minis are reset by:

  • turn the Hold switch on,
  • turn the Hold switch off,
  • press and hold the Menu and Select buttons until the Apple iPod logo appears (about 6 seconds).

Ideally, the mini should be plugged into power at this time.

This technique has been found to work on nanos as well.

Diagnostic Mode

You access the diagnostic mode by first resetting the iPod. When you see the Apple logo, press and hold Previous and the Select button until you see a reversed Apple logo. Let go and you'll see the following entries.

5 In 1 Performs a series of tests including checking the backlight, memory, and USB ports.
RESET resets the iPod. This is one way to exit the Diagnostic screen.
KEY you press the keys, it tells you if they work.
CHGRCUR I'm guessing on this one. Seems to allow you to turn on and off charging methods.
REMOTE Allows you to test the buttons on the remote control.
HP STAT Indicates if something is plugged into the headphone jack and the state of the hold switch.
SLEEP Puts the iPod to sleep.
BATT A2D Checks the iPod's power supply and (maybe?) indicates the amount of charge in the battery.
A2D STAT Battery and power supply related.
FIREWIRE Checks FireWire chip.
HARD R/W Read and write hard drive test. Reads HDD pass if all goes well.
SMRT DAT Another hard drive test. Reads RETRACTS 4 REALLOCS 0 PENDING 0.
SMRT SCAN Appears to be akin to a regular iPod's Disk Scan test. This takes several minutes so don't perform this test unless the iPod is plugged into a power source.
DRV TEMP Displays drive temperature.
DISKMODE Throws the iPod into Disk Mode.
WHEEL Run your thumb around the wheel and watch the values change.
CONTRAST Runs contrast test. My Diagnostic screen was really light. Running this test made it much darker and more legible. Proceed through the screens by pressing the Play button.
AUDIO Displays audio gain. Can move up as high as 127 by pressing Forward button. Default is 120.
STATUS tells you what's plugged into your iPod -- whether it's being charged via FireWire and has something plugged into the headphone port, for example.
IRAM3 unknown
CLEAR BLKS unknown
ALLSDRAM unknown
HDD DROP unknown

To move from test to test, use the Previous and Forward buttons. To initiate a test, press the Select button. To exit tests when they're completed, press the Play button.

Shuffle Lights


Solid orange Charging, OK to disconnect.
Blinking orange Mounted, do not disconnect.
Solid green Connected to charger: fully charged, OK to disconnect.
Not connected: play. Light will turn off after two seconds.
Blinking green Paused: light will turn off after one minute.
Solid orange when you press a button Hold is on. To turn it off, hold the Play/Pause button for three seconds.
Solid green when you press a button Normal operation of that button. The light stays on as long as you press the button.
Blinking green and orange You're trying to play a song, but the shuffle is empty.

Battery Status (when pressed)

Green Good charge.
Amber Low charge.
Red Very low charge.
Off No charge.

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I am Craig A. Finseth.

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Last modified Tuesday, 2010-04-13T20:39:45-05:00.