HomePod Dead After Update In January 2021

My HomePod Died After Software Update In January 2021.

I called Apple support for help.

Support asked me to press buttons on top etc. I told them the HomePod is totally dead, no lights on and I had tested the cable/plug fuse.

Eventually he regarded the HomePod was broken and issued me with a support number but apologies as the Apple stores are closed until further notice.

Today I was able to take my HomePod brick into my closest Apple store in Edinburgh.

After five minutes it was discovered, indeed it was broken and couldn’t be repaired. And it was out of warranty by three months when it failed. I was given two options. Trash it or buy a replacement.

They refused to take responsibility for the failure caused by the software update.

Has any readers had the same problem with homepods with a software update?

Or, can a fix be applied?

I don’t think I have an answer for you, but most iOS-like devices have some kind of “DFU” mode where the lowest levels of firmware can be rewritten via a USB cable using iTunes or something similar (e.g. the Finder in Catalina).

I’ve done this with a 3rd generation Apple TV. There are similar modes for iPhones.

I would assume that there exists a DFU mode for a HomePod, but I haven’t found an article explaining how to do it or how to use it to replace broken firmware. It may require access to some internal connector on one of its circuit boards (e.g. a USB or a serial port connector of some kind).

It appears you can do a full restore to a HomePod mini by connecting it to a Mac via its USB-C cable. This is what you can do with a bricked device to restore it after putting it into DFU more (in addition to using it to restore the firmware of a non-bricked device).

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any user-accessible data port on the full-size HomePod, although iFixit found a hidden 14-pin port on the inside. I assume that this is a diagnostic connector that probably contains something like USB and serial I/O (and maybe even JTAG-based debugging) for use in the factory.

If someone could figure out the details of this port and build a cable to mate with it, I strongly suspect it could be used to trigger a DFU mode and install replacement firmware, but as far as I know, nobody has yet done so and Apple certainly won’t, so it doesn’t help us.

In Australia. One of my multiple HomePods bricked after an update. No response to power. First visit to an Apple Store was in February. It was assessed and replaced. I had to go back a few days later to pick the replacement up.

The replacement didn’t work that well: it was (I think) on an early HomePod OS. And could only receive Airplay, but never play stuff on its own. I must have mucked up a OS update to the latest version, because it then entered a cycle where it would switch on, and respond to touches, but not play anything. Could not configure it by bringing phone close. Could not Airplay to it. And I could not reset it either based on the steps on the Knowledge Base. I think I then made a mistake in deleting it from my Home.app.

I took a while to revisit the Apple Store, and I went after the HomePod discontinuation was announced need. But the Genius there could instantly reset it even though I thought I had done what he had done (hand on top of HomePod on start up). So, even though they ordered yet another HomePod for me, it worked at home, and all updated. So I called to say that I didn’t need the replacement.

Hi David.
Thanks for the advice. I’ve been working in IT since 1985, so I know about a lot about IT kit.
Back to the old Apple // days (retired two years ago) of which I still have a working Apple //c.
I have noticed Apple along with other computer kit manufactures are making IT kit again none user fixable.
Gone are the days when you could remove a battery/jumper or push a paper clip in to reset to default/factory settings to fix problem updates.
I would love to pull apart the HomePod and reset it and try again.
Someone will come up with a fix that Apple have ignored. Until then I’ll put the HomePod into a cupboard and buy a replacement on eBay.