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A few months ago, my 1st generation iPad fell on the carpet and started having issues with charging. Note: it wasn't plugged in to anything when it fell.

When I tried charging it, it didn't show any indication that it was charging.

I took it to the Apple store, and they said that it can no longer charge and that the only thing I can do is get a new iPad. I decided to go home and try leaving it plugged in to the wall for several hours and see what happens. After 4 hours of charging, the charge only rose by 5%. Note: the iPad was on, but the screen was off.

When I tried turning the device off and charging it overnight, it was able to charge to 100%.

So my two problems are:

  • The charging indicator no longer shows up.
  • It takes a long time to charge while the iPad is on.

Is there any way to fix these two problems? If it's a physical problem with one of the components of the iPad, which one would I need to replace to fix these issues?


I'm guessing that Apple came to that conclusion because they didn't have time to leave it plugged in and wait a few hours just to see it charge a little bit. Therefore, I understand why Apple thought it could never be charged again.

Note: I'm using the charger that came with it, and I've tried other chargers as well. Apple tried their own chargers too.

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3 Answers 3

Did you try charging using another USB cable (the one for your iPhone, perhaps) and see if that made a difference? I’d recommend testing this first before replacing attempting to replace any components yourself.

That said, it’s most likely a battery issue.

Here’s a guide on how to replace the first-generation iPad’s battery yourself.

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Yes to the different cables, tried them all; and different chargers too. –  Senseful Mar 23 '12 at 7:09
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Couldn't it be the dock, or something between the dock and the battery? –  Senseful Mar 23 '12 at 7:19
    
The reason I have doubts about it being a battery issue is because it was caused by a physical drop, and the battery still holds a good charge and operates normally. –  Senseful Mar 23 '12 at 21:01
    
@Senseful The reason I think it’s a battery issue is because the Apple Store employee said that all you can do is get a new iPad. If it’s just an issue with the connector, that’s very easy to fix — much easier than replacing a battery. You could even do it yourself: ifixit.com/Guide/Installing-iPad-Wi-Fi-Dock-Connector-Cable/… That said, the Genius could’ve been wrong, of course. The reasons you outlined in your comment sound compelling and make me doubt it’s a battery issue too. –  Mathias Bynens Mar 23 '12 at 21:09

I'd say it's more than likely an issue with the dock connector or it's connection to the internal circuitry (the flexi connector)

There will be circuitry that will be there to detect the connector, some also to detect the current in the charging circuit and feedback to the iPad for both.

It's obvious to me that the loop for the current detection, or the feedback signal it generated is broken, but I've not been able to determine where that functionality lives.

From experience in design of rechargeable devuces, such circuitry can be very small and might be a tiny chip embedded in the flexi connector.

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Did it fall while it was plugged into the cable?

You should consider replacing the dock connector and the battery pack. Those are the two less-expensive parts that are most likely the culprit, and the iPad is still a valuable enough device that it's worth replacing them. There are many source for these parts and services that will fix them for you. Try searching google for "ipad repair" "ipad battery replacement" "ipod dock repair part" and you should have a number of sources for parts or service.

iFixit has reasonably good guides for disassembly and repair, and the iPad first generation is notably easier to repair than the 2nd and 3rd generation iPads.

http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing-iPad-3G-Battery-Replacement/3186/1

http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing-iPad-3G-Dock-Connector-Cable/3187/1


The only thing between the charger and the battery is the dock connector/flex cable. You can try replacing just that component and see if it resolves the problem, but since that ipad is 1-2 years old, and a new battery is only $50, and you're taking it apart anyway, you might as well replace the battery while you're in there.

It's probably not a software problem, however you can erase it and refresh the entire OS from iTunes to double check before spending money on parts and time on replacing them.

If it is a hardware problem, chances are very good that replacing the battery and dock connector/cable assembly will resolve it. If that doesn't fix it, and a software refresh doesn't fix it, then there's a problem with the main logic board, and replacing that is expensive - might as well get the iPad 2 instead. Used iPad gen 1 and gen 2 are pretty inexpensive as people are upgrading, so it might not even be worth your time and expenses to fix it. Sell it on ebay noting the charging problem, and you'll probably still get a good bit of cash from it toward a new ipad.

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No, it didn't fall while it was plugged in –  Senseful Mar 23 '12 at 21:02
    
@Senseful I see. I've added a few more thoughts. Do you have other accessories you can try, like the camera connection kit, or a dock with speakers? It might narrow the problem down if some devices work and others don't. Also try using other chargers if you have them - it could be coincidence that your charger broke around the time you dropped your ipad. –  Adam Davis Mar 23 '12 at 21:10
    
Other devices connected to the dock seem to work just fine. I've tried other chargers to no avail. Apple tried the chargers at their store too. –  Senseful Mar 23 '12 at 21:12
    
@Senseful Well, if you've done a full erase and OS restore on the device and that didn't help, then everything points to a hardware problem. –  Adam Davis Mar 23 '12 at 21:13

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