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Replace iPod Mini Battery

Ronald MacDonald <ronald@rmacd.com> v1.0, Sun Nov 23 19:14:09 EDT 2008

What you need

Either

  • Battery replacement kit (comes with all necessary tools to do the job)

or

  • Li-on battery for your iPod
  • Small Philips screwdriver
  • a flathead screwdriver
  • a bit of glue

If you’ve had your iPod Mini for less than a year, the standard Apple warranty will cover your defunct battery. If you have less than a 50 percent charge on your battery in the second year, Apple will replace that battery as well.

Although you can get your dying or dead batteries replaced by Apple for about £60, it’s easier and cheaper to do it yourself with a third-party battery kit. Those who have a first generation iPod Mini with its paltry 12 hours of life can upgrade to a current battery that lasts up to 20 hours.

Battery replacement kits usually include a lithium-ion battery (7.2 or 3.7 volts), a multiuse tool, and basic diagram style instructions. If your kit doesn’t come with a tool, use a small and thin flathead and Phillips head screwdriver. One kit I would reccommend is one sold by Laptops for Less - which sells a kit for $15.95.

Getting started

Before we kick off, put the switch into the ‘hold’ postition - this will save the device switching on as it’s lying on your desk in pieces!

Using a flat head screwdriver or similar tool, pry the top end of the iPod from the device, as below. Note there’s quite a lot of glue stuck to the plastic, so it takes a bit of prying to get it off. The use of a narrower screwdriver will save damaging the anodised metal.

/howto/2008/1123/images/ipod_battery_replacement_01.jpg

Do the same to the bottom end of the ipod; again, there’s a lot of glue to keep it in place so wiggle it about a bit till it comes off.

/howto/2008/1123/images/ipod_battery_replacement_02.jpg

Undo the two screws holding the motherboard to the metal casing, on the top of the iPod.

/howto/2008/1123/images/ipod_battery_replacement_03.jpg

Remove the small cage at the bottom of the iPod.
I found that the easiest way to do this was to insert a small screwdriver at each corner and push the arms of the cage inwards, like so: 


/howto/2008/1123/images/ipod_battery_replacement_04.jpg

Having removed the cage, now disconnect the ribbon from the motherboard. This disconnects towards you. The ribbon connects the click wheel to the internals. Be careful not to pull on the ribbon itself, pushing up the connector block underneath it should do the trick:


/howto/2008/1123/images/ipod_battery_replacement_05.jpg

Now, using Finger Power ®, push the motherbard out of the iPod from the bottom end, like so:


/howto/2008/1123/images/ipod_battery_replacement_06.jpg

After having removed the motherboard, turn the device and lift the battery away from the motherboard. This may be attached by a foam pad or some glue. To remove the battery, simply disconnect the wires which attach it to the motherboard. The new battery fits in the same place.
When reconnecting the wires, make sure you insert the battery the correct way round. The connector is designed to only fit one way. 


/howto/2008/1123/images/ipod_battery_replacement_07.jpg

 Now, put the iPod’s motherboard back into the metal casing by reversing the instructions. When sliding it back in, ensure that the motherboard is in the correct ‘grooves’ on the inside of the case. Sometimes, the wires on the battery can also get in the way, so push them down by the side of the battery, like below.


/howto/2008/1123/images/ipod_battery_replacement_08.jpg

It’s a good idea at this stage to replace the screws holding the motherboard in place. Remember to reconnect the ribbon on the bottom of the iPod to the motherboard, before replacing the cage on the bottom of the iPod.


/howto/2008/1123/images/ipod_battery_replacement_09.jpg

After having replaced the cage, snap the plastic plate back onto the bottom of the iPod. It’s important to make sure this goes on the right way — you’ll notice there’s no plastic tabs on the area where the ribbon is:


/howto/2008/1123/images/ipod_battery_replacement_12.jpg

A bit of glue should help if the plastic does not stick on to the iPod anymore.

Do the same to the top end of the iPod and you’re done!

Whoop dee doo!

/howto/2008/1123/images/ipod_battery_replacement_13.jpg