fixed : bad audio – is my iPhone broken ? (iOS 10)

Question :

I have a recent iPhone running iOS10, but lately I can’t hear people calling me and they can’t hear me when I phone them. There is a cracking noise which makes it impossible to use my iPhone for calling.

Is my iPhone broken ?

 

Answer :

Even though we cannot rule out that your iPhone is actually having a broken audio hardware issue on forehand, it’s more likely to be a software problem.

This problem is usually fixed by doing one of these resets ( first, be sure to keep your SIM’s PIN-code at hand as you might need it ) :

reset option #1 :

  • while your iPhone is on, press the physical MENU (on the front screen) and ON/OFF (on top or on the right side) buttons at the same time until the screen goes black and after a few seconds the white Apple-logo reappears
  • wait for your screen to rebuild ; then your iPhone has been reset and you can test if your audio works properly while calling

reset option #2 :

  • while your iPhone is on, press the physical ON/OFF button (on the right side of your iPhone) until the ON/OFF slider appears on screen
  • set the ON/OFF slider to OFF and wait for the screen to go black
  • now turn your iPhone back on by pressing the ON/OFF button and wait for your screen to rebuild ; then your iPhone has been reset and you can test if your audio works properly while calling

usually, that’s it… that’s all you need to fix this…

…but if neither of these resets work for you, your iPhone’s audio hardware is probably broken and you should have your iPhone repaired at an Apple Store or Apple repair-centre.

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fixed : trackpad not responding when clicking

Question :

I had left my MacBook Pro (Late 2008 running OSX 10.11 El_Capitan) running and had forgotten all about it… after completely recharging everything seemed to be okay on first sight, but it turned out that even though I could use the (internal) trackpad to move the cursor, I wasn’t responding at all to any clicking on it. I therefore had to connect a USB-mouse. Even after restarting, the trackpad was responsive to moving the cursor, but not to clicking…

Is my MacBook’s trackpad broken ? Or is there a software solution I could try ?

 

Answer :

Even tough it’s not possible to completely rule out the scenario that your trackpad is broken, chances are you will be able to get it working properly again by an action that is normally referred to as “Resetting the PRAM”. Here’s how to do that :

  1. shut down your MacBook
  2. take out all cables and USB-sticks (this is just to rule out complications)
  3. restart your MacBook using the POWER-button
  4. immediately press and hold the key-combo [CDM]+[ALT]+[P]+[R]
  5. make sure you do so while the screen is still black
  6. when the screen lights up in light grey, you’ll hear the startup-chime
  7. now release all your fingers from the keyboard before the Apple-logo appears
  8. let your MacBook startup fully, then test if all works as expected
  9. then reconnect any cables and USB-sticks needed

Note : no worries if you act too slowly or too quickly ; if you are too late to press the key-combo, just let your MacBook startup, then shut down and try again ; if you keep pressing the key-combo for too long, you will hear the startup-chime multiple times (you will have reset your PRAM multiple times, but that’s no problem) so just release the keyboard, and just let your MacBook startup and you’re done… 😉

enjoy !

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fixed : Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse seems bricked or broken

Question :

As I was fiddling with connecting to a bluetooth speaker, the connection to my Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse suddenly vanished. Even though my iPhone can still see the Mi Band, but it says “Can’t connect to band” and on manual retry connection cannot be established due to a time-out error. In Bluetooth Preferences the Mi Band is visible, but not connected, and on manual retry I also get no connection due to a time-out error.

Is my Mi Band bricked or broken ? If not, what is the right way to reconnect my Mi Band to my iPhone ?

 

Answer :

You are probably in luck as even when your Mi Band seems bricked or broken, is most of the time just hangs and can be fixed doing a reset.

The reset & reconnect procedure in short :

  • switch-off Bluetooth
  • reset the Mi Band
  • reboot your iPhone
  • switch-on Bluetooth
  • reconnect via Bluetooth

That probably isn’t enough info, so here’s a step-by-step walk-through :

  • on your iPhone, swipe-up from the bottom of the screen to get the ‘underwater’ Settings pull-up panel
  • click on the Bluetooth-icon in a white circle, which will then turn grey, indicating Bluetooth is OFF
  • now take the sensor-pod of the Mi Band Pulse out of the bracelet and put it in the refrigerator (yes, the one in your kitchen, but not in the freezer)
  • leave it there for at least one hour (officially that should be at least 4 hours, but experience shows that only one hour will also do most of the time…)
  • first, do a reboot of your iPhone by pressing the MENU- and ON/OFF-buttons at the same time until the screen goes black and a white Apple-logo is displayed [ NOTE : for some iPhones the reboot procedure (a.k.a. “hard reset”) is slightly different ; more info can be found here ]
  • when the iPhone comes back up, type your access code to unlock your iPhone
  • then swipe-up from the bottom of the screen, and in the pull-up Settings panel, click on the Bluetooth-icon in a grey circle, which will then turen white, indicating Bluetooth is ON
  • and open the MiFit-app on your iPhone
  • then, take the Mi Band sensor-pod out of the fridge and plug it in the Mi Band-charger cable and put the USB-end into a USB power adapter (a powered USB-port will also do most of the time)
  • now be quick : only during the blinking of a LED on the Mi Band sensor-pod you have the opportunity to reconnect !
  • while the LED blinks, in the Mi Fit-app, in the Status view, click on reconnect to re-establish the Bluetooth-connection between Mi Band and iPhone
  • if all orange-collored texts are gone from the Mi Fit-app, you have successfully reconnected, if not : just unplug & replug the Mi Band sensor-pod, try again and make sure you act quickly
  • everything should now work properly ; enjoy !

If you can’t get it to work using the above procedure, just try again. And if that still doesn’t help after several tries, try these versions of the procedure, in this order :

  1. try again, without putting the Mi Band sensor-pod in the refrigerator
  2. try again, exactly as described (so including the refrigerator procedure)
  3. try again, now keeping the Mi Band sensor-pod in the fridge for at least 4 hours
  4. try again, now keeping the Mi Band sensor-pod in the fridge overnight
  5. try again, but start with deleting the MiFit-app from your iPhone, and reinstall it after reboot
  6. try again, exactly as described

You probably have things up and running by then, but if you’ve done all this and it still doesn’t work, your Mi Band sensor-pod is probably broken and you should contact your reseller for a replacement…

Good Luck & enjoy !

 

Note/update : there seems to be a German language unofficial manual for the similar Mi Band (so not the Mi Band S1 Pulse), that you can get here :

Xiaomi Mi Band – Anleitung, Tipps & Tricks – das inoffizielle Handbuch

A preview excerpt of this book (which might give you some answers also) can be found here :

Google Books preview – Xiaomi Mi Band – Anleitung, Tipps & Tricks – das inoffizielle Handbuch

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fixed : alternative for replacing MacBook (Pro/Air) keyboard

Question :

I have a MacBook (Pro) with a back-lit internal keyboard, that has been used for a few years now. The reason why isn’t exactly clear to me, but somehow some some (three to be exact) of the keys have lost their upper coating so the letter they represent can no longer be seen on the keyboard. So even though the MacBook’s keyboard appears to be (nearly) intact, while in use the keyboard feels like missing some keys.

Isn’t there any good, but cheap alternative to opening up the entire inside of my MacBook (Pro) and replacing the keyboard ? Especially when having the keyboard replaced by Apple that’s very expensive…

 

Answer :

If your MacBook (Pro/Air) is out of warranty, having the internal keyboard replaced by Apple is not a ‘bang-for-your-buck’-option.

Replacing the internal keyboard yourself is an option, but primarily, getting a matching replacement keyboard might turn out to be rather difficult, especially if your MacBook (Pro/Air) does not have the regular US-keyboard layout (the US-keyboard has an ENTER-key with a different shape than on the keyboards of various other languages, so the holes for the keys in the top case won’t match). And secondarily, the keyboard is the part of the internals that is deep-deep down, so getting to it is about the most complex repair-operation one can think of…

But you didn’t spill any water, any drink or other fluid on your keyboard and only a few keys are broken or missing, there is a far easier and cheaper option :

Just get some (new or second hand) individual keys, and replace them yourself.

There are some websites that sell individual keyboard-keys :

ReplacementLaptopKeys.com

TheBookYard.com

PowerBookMedic.com

The only thing that’s tricky is that there are various versions of the keys, and it takes some investigation to find out which are the ones of the type you need. But apart form that, it’s really straight forward. Various instruction guides can be found online (it’s a simple repair-operation), for instance here :

MacBook keycap removal & fitting guide.pdf

That’s it.

Enjoy !

😉

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fixed : broken-off audio plug stuck in iPad 2

Question :

Today, my son was using our iPad 2 with his headphones on, and when he tried to pull out the plug, it broke…

Now half of the broken 3.5mm audio plug is stuck inside the audio-port of the iPad. It’s so deep inside, I can’t see a way to grasp it with a pair of tweezers and get it out…

What can I do ?

Answer :

Normally, I would say : “take your iPad to an Apple Store and have them get it out”. That’s the way Apple would want you to handle this…

…but if you make sure you’ll be very gentle not to scratch the iPad, you might give it a try yourself ( AT YOUR OWN RISK !! ) :

– first make sure that what you see stuck inside the 3.5mm audio port looks ‘ringed’ ; meaning a (copper-colored) round core, with a (black) plastic tube around it and a very thin (chrome-colored) shell around that

– then get a thick needle (a really thick one, or a safety pin ; it’s important that it will not bend or break and has a very thin and pointy end)

– put the point of the needle on the (black) plastic tube of the broken-off audio plug and very gently push it outwards, onto the (chrome-colored) shell

– if you do so in al directions very gently, the (chrome-colored) shell will come loose and will fall out if you turn the iPad upside down

– after you’ve accomplished that, get a very tiny flat-headed screwdriver (of less than 3mm width), and push it down very gently in-between the side of the audio-jack and what is left of the audio plug

– then very gently scoop out the remainder of the audio plug by using the edge of the audio-jack for leverage

– when you feel a very tiny click, the remainder of the audio-plug has come loose, and will fall out if you turn the iPad upside down

– pfff… relax… congrats… done !

😉

NOTE : do this only AT YOUR OWN RISK ! do this only if you are very gentle, very patient, and very confident, and can control yourself to stop if you encounter any additional problems !

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