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Fix It or Toss It? 2

Determine the Damage

If your iPod or digital camera just stopped working one day, don't just assume it's finished. As we reported a few weeks ago, many gadgets are returned without being truly broken. Sometimes, a flaky gadget can be attributed to a loose battery or an improperly inserted wire, so check the your owner's manual or the manufacturer's Web site for troubleshooting tips, or just poke around the Internet. Sites such as or feature reports about or solutions to common problems folks have with their gadgets, but a quick Google search with the gadget name and the problem in the search field often yields some of the most exact answers. Also, give the manufacturer a call -- chances are they've heard about a gadget's issue before, or, if you're lucky(or friendly), a replacement device (even after the warranty has expired). Of course, if you put your iPhone in the microwave, this step doesn't apply.