iPod Diagnostic Mode

How to Enable iPod Diagnostic Mode

The iPod Hardware Self Tests

Did you know that your iPod has built-in self tests. These tests will help you determine if your iPod needs repair or indicate a less serious problem, one you can take care of yourself. Should you suspect a hardware problem e.g. hard disk, click wheel not responding or USB port error then running these diagnostics will often help pinpoint the problem and what to do about it.

iPod Video, iPod Nano Diagnostic, iPod Mini diagnostics - for other (older model iPod diagnostics)

To switch to test mode:

  • Press and hold the "Menu" and "Select" simultaneously for approximately 10 seconds this should reset the iPod. If you have any problems read more about iPod reset help
  • The Apple logo will appear and you should feel the hard drive spinning up. Press and hold "REW" and "Select"
    Your iPOd will chirp and the Apple logo should appear backwards. You are now in Diagnostic Mode.
    Note: These diagnostic tests will NOT damage or corrupt your data - music, photos, playlists, videos will all remain intact.
    It is a good idea to plug your iPod into the wall charger since some of these test use a lot of power e.g. hard disk test.

You can run these tests in Manual Mode (Menu) or Auto Mode (Back). To cancel any test just press the Menu button.


Run Autotest and the following tests will execute:

  • Graphic self test
  • SDRAMQuicktest
  • Checksum
  • RTC
  • USBtest
  • Keytest
  • Wheeltest
  • Headphonedetect
  • Accessory Test
  • ChargeADC
  • Backlight (brightness)
  • Color

Memory Tests

These tests will make sure your iPod's SDRAM, IRAM and FLASH memory can both read and write.

SDRAM: RAM memory test. The fulltest will take several minutes. A successful pass result is "SDRAM OK."

IRAM: This takes several moments to load before running a quick test and rebooting your iPod.

FLASH: Performs a checksum test of your iPod's flash memory to make sure it is OK.

IO Tests

Comms: Tests the communication ports of your iPod including USB, FireWire and Remote. If the Remote is not connected to your iPod at the time of the test, you can expect a NG (no good) for the HP (headphone-port).

Wheel: This option has two tests, Keytest and Wheeltest. Push each button once to pass the Keytest. The Wheeltest just gives you a coordinate of where your finger is on the Click-Wheel.

LCD: This option has two tests, Backlight (0 to 255; 128 is the default) and Color. The Color test will run through a series of colors, patterns and gradients which you will see displayed on your iPod screen.

Headphone Detect: This test checks the Hold Switch and Headphone port.

HardDrive: Includes four tests and uses lots of power, plug your iPod into wall power.

  • HDSpecs responds with specifications - everything from hard drive temperature to serial number.
  • HDScan - This is a great way to see if you have a healthy hard drive. Scans your iPod's hard drive and will determine if it is fragmented. This test will take a few minutes so be patient.
  • HDSMARTData - used by professional repair technicians.
  • HDRW tests the ability of your hard drive to read and write data. A FAIL result probably means you need to get your hard drive replaced.

Audio: This option has two tests. Playback plays an audio sample to make sure your iPod can produce sound. MIC tests your iPods ability to record audio.

Power Tests

A2DTests: This test has a few sub tests.

  • PhilipsID checks the power system of your iPod
  • A2D lists a series of analogue to digital

Status Tests

Displays the status of your iPod's key systems.

  • Sharp: LCD screen
  • HP: headphones. Are they connected? [0 = no, 1 = yes]
  • FWPWR: FireWire power. Is your FireWire cable charging your iPod?
  • USBPWR: USB power. Is your USB cable charging your iPod?

System Configuration (SysCfg)

  • This lists your iPod's hardware version, serial numbers, and part number. You'll need this information if you send it to Apple for repair.

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For Jen stuck on "hold switch

For Jen stuck on "hold switch = 1...":  Move the hold switch on the ipod back and forth and then press menu to continue