Recovering a dead iPod touch after 3.0 update

Q: I have a second-generation iPod touch and today I downloaded the new version 3.0 software update from Apple. When it was installing the software onto my iPod touch it crashed half way through and now the iPod touch will not turn on, nor is it recognized when connected to the PC on iTunes or Windows. I actually successfully upgraded another iPod touch earlier in the day with the new version 3 software and had no problems. I have tried rebooting the PC and the iPod touch several times and even tried it on another PC with iTunes and tried it in different USB ports. The device is fully charged. Can you suggest any ways to get my iPod touch to work? Many Thanks.

– Anonymous

A: It’s possible that the iPod touch has failed completely during the firmware upgrade, but before giving up hope and returning it to Apple for an exchange, there are a couple of things you can try.

Firstly, try leaving the device plugged in to your computer for an hour or so. Even though you began with a fully charged battery, sometimes the iPod touch battery meter can get confused during a firmware upgrade and decide that the battery is in fact not charged. Leaving the iPod touch connected to a power source for an hour or so will generally reset the battery meter in this case and the device will magically spring back to life.

Failing this, you can try putting the iPod touch into DFU mode, which is a hardware-based firmware update mode. While normal iPod touch operation requires a proper firmware and operating system, DFU mode is built in to the system ROM and should always be available, even if the device is otherwise blank.

To put your iPod touch into DFU mode, connect your iPod to your computer, hold down the HOME and SLEEP/WAKE buttons together for about 5 seconds and then release the SLEEP/WAKE button and continue holding the HOME button until your iPod appears in iTunes in “Recovery Mode” (this should take no more than about 10 more seconds). Normally, during this process you would see the Apple logo appear as part of the rebooting stage and release the SLEEP/WAKE button about 2 seconds after the Apple logo disappears. However, if you’re not seeing anything on your screen, you will just have to time this carefully. Note as well that the iPod screen should remain blank in DFU mode, so if you see anything else on the screen, reset the iPod touch and try again. The process of putting the iPod into DFU mode can be a little tricky, so it’s worth trying a few times before you decide it’s not working.

If you can’t restore the iPod touch through DFU mode, then the device is not recoverable and you’ll need to send it back to Apple or take it into your local Apple Store for replacement. Although it’s uncommon to see an iPod touch die completely from a failed firmware update, it’s not unheard of, and we had this happen when previously updating one of our iPod touch devices as well.

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