How I fixed my Flip Mino

<This is some useful information I’ve moved from another website before it was taken down – the first part is pretty old, but the comments from others included are newer>

I have a Flip Mino – which has been great. I’ve had it several months and don’t use it a real lot.

I go to use it today and shortly after turning it on, it shuts right off. I wasn’t able to turn it on and when I got home and plugged it into my computer the green light on the USB plug didn’t even light up. I was worried something major was broken and I sent an email to Flip. I was searching around trying to find their phone number as I really didn’t want to wait for an email response (I’ll see what they say) when I came across the answer! I was surprised that it actually worked, but it seems that my Mino was “frozen”.

The answer was simple – I just had to “reset” it. How to reset a Flip Mino <link removed as the website no longer exists>:

Question My Mino has stopped working. It will no longer power up regardless of how long I have charged the battery. What can I do? Answer If your camcorder is unresponsive and will not power on even after charging for several hours, we suggest resetting the camcorder.There are two methods of resetting the Mino:The quickest method to reset the Mino is to hold the power button down for 10 seconds. This should unfreeze the Mino and allow for its normal function. Another method to reset the Mino is to simply take a pin and insert it into the reset hole within the camera’s tripod mount, wait five seconds before powering on, and then power on without touching any of the buttons on the back of the camcorder for an additional five seconds.Please note that resetting the camcorder using either method will not affect the videos resident on the camcorder; it will simply reset to the default settings on the Mino.If the Mino is still unresponsive and will not power on even after resetting and recharging the battery, please contact us.

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And I did finally manage to find what appears to be the Flip customer support phone number: 888-222-6689

I couldn’t find it on their website, but saw some other messages on the web that reference it. I haven’t called, but I’ve seen at least one person say they weren’t too helpful when they called – being directed to send for email support. Another person said they were told on the phone how to fix the same problem I experienced.Hope the information may be helpful to someone out there!
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I did get a reply within 24 hrs of submitting the question. The suggestion was what I had already found on-line. Here’s their actual response.

Thank you for your response.We suggest trying to reset your camcorder, and then attempt to charge it again.

To reset, simply take a pin and insert it into the reset hole within the camera’s tripod mount, wait five seconds before powering on, and then power on without touching any of the buttons on the back of the camcorder for an additional five seconds.

This should complete the reset process.

Next, please connect the USB arm to a high-powered USB port on your computer, and ensure your computer is powered on. You may see no activity on the camcorder – neither lights nor indication that the camcorder is charging – for the first 30 minutes. Once the initial 30 minutes has concluded, you should see some indication that the camcorder is charging and be able to power the camcorder on. Continue charging for the full amount of time (we suggest three hours) to ensure that the battery is completely charged before recording again.

Should you require any further assistance, please contact us again.

Thank you,
Flip Support

I was then sent an email with a link to a survey of my experience with their customer service. I gave it a “somewhat satisfied” as I would have preferred if they had phone support available that was easily displayed on the website. If they had more options, I would have probably rated it as an 8 out of 10 – they did answer my question and I don’t really fault them for not offering phone service. Getting a response within 24 hrs on a weekend is pretty good I suppose. Of course, the bottom line is that the product is a very cool product. I just hope the problem does not resurface.
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From Kevin:

My Flip Mino froze right in the middle of a concert.. eventually the battery died.. I have tried everything. Charging, resetting, holding down power button.. everything on the help forums. I was sitting here with it plugged in and my computer wasn’t reading anything was plugged in. I was telling my sister how pissed I was about it not working. and then my computer read the Mino and now its finally charging. If you run into the same problem as me, I know it sounds dumb but just try and leave it plugged in for at least three hours. Hopefully it will work.

KevinTurner
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I got a response from customer service but I’m not sure if it’ll help as it is very similar to the response I got last year but with a few more details. If you find this doesn’t answer your question, make sure to include your exact model of the flip in your message and more specifics about the problem after you follow the suggested reset method. If it is a Flip Mino HD specify whether it is the original model or the second generation model. Here’s the customer support response:

Thank you for your response.We suggest trying to reset your camcorder, and then attempt to charge it again.To reset, simply take a pin and insert it into the reset hole within the camera’s tripod mount, wait five seconds before powering on, and then power on without touching any of the buttons on the back of the camcorder for an additional five seconds.This should complete the reset process.Next, please connect the USB arm to a high-powered USB port on your computer, and ensure your computer is powered on. You may see no activity on the camcorder – neither lights nor indication that the camcorder is charging – for the first 30 minutes. Once the initial 30 minutes has concluded, you should see some indication that the camcorder is charging and be able to power the camcorder on. Continue charging for the full amount of time (we suggest three hours) to ensure that the battery is completely charged before recording again.If after 30 minutes, you continue to see no activity from the camcorder, please leave it connected to your computer overnight, but ensure that the computer does not hibernate nor power off during the entire period of time the camcorder is connected.Please note that the USB ports on the keyboards of Macintosh computers are not typically sufficiently powered to charge Flip camcorders.Should you require any further assistance, please contact us again at 888-222-6689.Thank you,Flip Video Support

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From Shane:
Problem: FLIP HD Mino unresponsive. Only a white flashing light when connected to computer via usb port.

History: Device remains unresponsive even after several attempts of holding power button for <10 seconds and repeated attempts to reset using the “paper-clip thru the tripod mount” method.
Successful solution: Attached Flip device via usb to computer. Instructed computer to look for new hardware.
Method: Windows XP: With Flip attached via usb, Start–>Control Panel–>Switch to Classic View–>Add Hardware–>Next (Add Hardware Wizzard)–>Yes, I have already connected the hardware–>Next (It was at this point the computer chimed, detected the Flip, and the red light illuminated on the Flip.)
No guarantees expressed, implied, or otherwise.
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From BigG (Works for many):
My less than 2 year old Mino HD suddenly stopped powering on. I read the online info and even contacted the FlipShare people for advice. The general consensus was to reset it by shoving a paper clip into the hole in the bottom which I did many times. Occasionally, after numerous tries, it would suddenly power up, but the next time I tried to use it, it was dead until I repeated the procedure again. The FlipShare people suggested that I reset (paper clip) it and then charge it without turning it on first, but that didn’t help. Finally, they told me to send it to them, and for around $80, they would repair it. Being cheap and of engineering mentality, I decided to take it apart. There are 2 small screws under the labels on the bottom. I removed the screws carefully by lifting a corner of each label and peeling it back without destroying it. Once the screws were out I pried the cover off revealing a circuit board and the screen. Attached to the circuit board is a small ribbon cable connecting to the pried off cover, which I carefully disconnected from the circuit board. It pulls out. Next I removed the 4 tiny black screws holding the circuit board down. Once the screws were removed I gently lifted the circuit board from the bottom, easing out the TV connector to reveal the battery. I only lifted the bottom of the circuit board about a quarter inch at the bottom to reveal the battery, the top was still connected. There I found the problem. The battery has 3 terminals which are nothing more than exposed metal squares. The circuit board has 3 metal tabs that press against the battery when it is screwed in place. There are no wired connections between the battery and the circuit board. With a Q-tip containing a little alcohol, I cleaned the 3 connections on the battery. Using a very small screwdriver, I “gently” bent the circuit board connectors with so they could make better contact with the battery once the mino was reassembled. Next, I put it back together. The ribbon cable slides about an eighth inch back into the slot on the circuit board. Now, when I press the power button, it turns on. It’s been working ever since. The problem, in my opinion, seems to be a bad design. The circuit board, after a while, fails to make proper contact with the battery probably because of either lost tension on the connectors, or tarnished connectors. Reestablishing good contact between the circuit board and the battery did the trick, at least in my case.
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From Roger K:
Hi i have a Flip Mino HD that would not charge, turn on, reset, anything, took it apart to get battery no and order one checked voltage and it was 4.1V put it back together and it worked wonder if removing the battery fixed the problem, eg it powered fully down anyway another way to try to fix it
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From GB:
I have a flip HD its the later small one with the metal case.I too suffered from the red light of death and nothing worked – long charges resets etc.
So i took the plunge & took it to bits and its cured and works a treat.
My assembly differes from BigG’s in that the battery has a connector underneat on the left hand side, which once unplugged and reinserted resets the camera.
A bonus was i didnt loose any video that was recorded either.
to get to the batteryremove 2 screws undet the labels
Prise off the cover i used a swiss army knife with a thin blade.
remove two screws visible on the lower section of the PCB
pop off the screen, it has two latches one on each side to show another couple of screws.
dont bother undoing the screws on the metal USB fram i did and i dont think they helped. Plus they are different from the other screws 2 smaller and one longer.
list the pcb and unplug the connector. Again im pretty sure there is no need to unscrew the battery, i just undid all the screws i could…..plug the connector back in and you should be able to start it by pressing the white microswitch on the top right hand side of the pcb.
re assemble and wonder why the customer services charge you $70……..I hope this helps.
I will pop a couple of pics up too.
Cheers
Clive
GB
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From Paul:
I’ve had the same problem and all I did was follow the instructions to open the thing up, disconnect the battery for about 2-3 mins and reconnect and put the unit back together…. my computer now sees the unit and I’ve got two reds instead of the one and i’m hoping it’s now charging…. thanks to all on this thread over the years, the company who make ‘em are shite…. nice to know people-power wins in the endRegards all – Paul (Skegness, Lincs)