iPod mini Contrast Problems

Q: I just purchased an iPod mini, and my screen is so light that there is virtually no contrast.  I’ve changed the contrast setting to the highest and but I can still hardly see any text. It seems to happen sporadically.

– Mike

A: Hardware questions are often difficult to answer in an online question-and-answer column, as each case is different and diagnosis is difficult. Our gut reaction is that you have a defective screen or display connection internally. However, we have a few shot-in-the-dark suggestions that you can try (in order):

  • Automatically reset the iPod’s contrast to “Normal” by holding down the menu button for 4 seconds. Continue holding through the backlight until the contrast resets.
  • “Soft” reset your iPod by turning the hold switch on then off, and then holding down the menu and center buttons together.
  • Use the iPod Software Updater to “Restore” your iPod to its factory state. Download the Software Updater, install it, plug in your iPod, and choose “Restore” in the program. This will wipe your iPod clean and re-load its internal software. Often, this fixes odd problems that an iPod develops, even if you’re simply re-loading the same version of the software.

If these don’t work, try calling Apple Support or taking the iPod mini to an Apple Store’s Genius Bar. Since your iPod is new, it’s certainly within warranty, and if they see this as a hardware anomaly, you should have no trouble getting it replaced free of charge.

Jerrod H. is an iLounge Contributing Editor, with frequent contributions to our iPod 101 and 201 tutorials, plus occasional hardware and software product reviews.

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