iPod mini Diagnostics

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{"It's about time to wrap up my coverage of the iPod mini and move on to other subjects. But before I do, I should update the state of the mini's Diagnostic screen.

As you may recall, I performed a bit of "," at Macworld Expo and, while Apple's booth folks were otherwise occupied, I mashed as many button on the mini as I could in the hope of resetting it, throwing it into Disk Mode, causing it to scan its disc, and producing its hidden Diagnostic screen. I succeeded on all fronts save scanning the disc. At that time -- and presently -- there's no button combination to produce the scan as you can with a regular ol' iPod.

The Diagnostic screen has changed since I mashed one of the beta units at Expo. To access that screen, reset the mini by pressing and holding Menu and the Select button for about six seconds. When you see the Apple logo, press and hold Previous and the Select button until you see a reversed Apple log. Let go and you'll see these entries:

5 In 1 = performs a series of tests including checking the backlight, memory, and USB ports.

RESET = resets the iPod. This is one way to exit the Diagnostic screen.

KEY = you press the keys, it tells you if they work.

CHGRCUR = I'm guessing on this one. Seems to allow you to turn on and off charging methods.

REMOTE = allows you to test the buttons on the remote control.

HP STAT = indicates if something is plugged into the headphone jack and the state of the hold switch.

SLEEP = puts the mini to sleep.

BATT A2D = checks the mini's power supply and (maybe?) indicates the amount of charge in the battery.

A2D STAT = battery and power supply related.

FIREWIRE = checks FireWire chip.

HARD R/W = read and write hard drive test. Reads HDD pass if all goes well.

SMRT DAT = another hard drive test. Reads RETRACTS 4 REALLOCS 0 PENDING 0.

SMRT SCAN = appears to be akin to a regular iPod's Disk Scan test. This takes several minutes so don't perform this test unless the mini is plugged into a power source.

DRV TEMP = displays drive temperature.

DISKMODE = throws the mini into Disk Mode.

WHEEL = run your thumb around the wheel and watch the values change.

CONTRAST = runs contrast test. My Diagnostic screen was really light. Running this test made it much darker and more legible. Proceed through the screens by pressing the Play button.

AUDIO = displays audio gain. Can move up as high as 127 by pressing Forward button. Default is 120.

STATUS = tells you what's plugged into your mini -- whether it's being charged via FireWire and has something plugged into the headphone port, for example.

To move from test to test, use the Previous and Forward buttons. To initiate a test, press the Select button. To exit tests when they're completed, press the Play button. "}

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