iPod nano 4G and 120GB iPod classic Diagnostic Modes
From past experience, most readers don’t seem to care much about the iPods’ hidden diagnostic modes, but since we’ve been playing around with them, we figured that a few pictures and details might be of interest to some of you.
Apple has been tossing diagnostic modes into iPods for years; the only model that doesn’t let you access diagnostics is the iPod touch, which like the iPhone has an icon-based hardware diagnostic screen, but completely hides it away. On Click Wheel iPods, including the fourth-generation iPod nano and 120GB iPod classic, you access this mode by holding down the center and Menu buttons at the same time until the iPod resets to an Apple logo screen, then immediately holding the center and reverse track buttons until the iPod boots into the Diagnostic screen shown below.
The iPod nano’s version of this screen has 10 menu options, while the classic’s starts with 2, expanding to 7 when you select “manual” test mode. Click on the title of this article for a list of what’s vaguely interesting inside.
Both devices let you check and see if the iPod hardware is working by using button presses to select from numerous unusual phrases and technical abbreviations. The nano’s test screen lets you check its power management, deep sleep mode, headphone port, video-out, LCD screen, accessory port, memory, Click Wheel, accelerometer, and general “About” statistics. Perhaps the most interesting mode is the LCD test, which lets you try test patterns like the ones above; most of the other tests are there to see if there are specific problems with a given part of the nano.
The iPod classic’s menu lets you test all of the same components, seven of which are within an NTF section of the menus, with memory, IO, power, accessories, and “SysCfg” (About) under the main menu, along with a Reset command. There are also hard disk tests, which let you see the drive’s SMART data and specifications. Note that our photos of the 120GB classic are taken alongside photos of the 160GB classic, which uses older firmware but basically looks identical.
Boring? Yes. But if you’re looking for a way to put up a colored TV test pattern on your iPod’s screen, this is the easiest way to do it.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Some Apple Music and iTunes Match services may be illegal in the U.K.
- Australian banks accused of anti-competitive behavior over Apple Pay lockout
- Happy Thanksgiving 2015 from iLounge!
- Apple reaches deal with UnionPay to bring Apple Pay to China
- DisneyLife subscription-based app launches in the U.K.
- Apple buys motion capture company Faceshift
- Apple CarPlay included in 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage
- Apple aims to launch Apple Pay in China by February
- MasterCard giving Apple Pay users free trips on London’s public transit system
- Apple wins DRM patent case against ContentGuard
- Parrot Hydrofoil Drone
- Apple Pencil for iPad Pro
- IK Multimedia iRig Pro DUO
- CableJive HeroDock
- Phiaton BT 330 NC Headphones
- Ecoxgear EcoPebble Powerbank + Speaker
- Lunatik Taktik 360 for iPhone 6/6s
- Belkin Charge Dock for Apple Watch + iPhone
- SwitchEasy Aero, N+, Nude, Play for iPhone 6s/iPhone 6s Plus
- Netatmo Welcome Smart Home Camera
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 8.4 + Apple Music
- CE Week 2015: IK Multimedia, Monowear’s Apple Watch bands + More
- Live From CE Week 2015: Brand New iPad, iPhone + Mac Accessories!
- Opinion: The ‘Grand Experiment’ of shifting to Google Photos
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?