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How the Internet Saved My Flip Mino

I am the proud owner of a Flip Mino camcorder, though over the past few weeks I’ve not been happy about owning one at all.

flip_minoThe camera was a gift from my wife for Christmas last year, customized with a special design pattern on the front, signifying that mine would stand out from a sea of black and white Minos. I’ve used the camera to shoot videos over the holidays, to document time with family, to capture live events and to interview others (See my Viddler channel).

Up until recently, the camera had been great. I could grab the camera at a moment’s notice and be up and filming in no time. However, after loaning it to my wife so she could record a video for one of her classes, I got it back and the thing was dead. The camera wouldn’t boot up, the screen wouldn’t come on and nothing happened when I plugged it into my computer.

Saved by the internet

While many would look for the device owner’s manual, or search for a customer service number, I turned to the internet. With a quick Google search of “flip mino won’t turn on,” I was on my way to finding the solution. I found a question/answer site asking the question, a forum post with instructions on how to reset the camera, plus a YouTube video documenting the process.

2009-07-12_0924_google_flip_mino

What I discovered was that the camera simply needed to be reset by taking a pin and inserting it into the reset hole within the camera’s tripod mount, then waiting five seconds before powering on. I tried this with a paperclip, but had no luck the first time. I decided to give Flip’s customer service a try, to see if they could tell me anything different.

Working with customer service, a last resort

2009-07-12_0941_flip_customerserviceFinding the customer service area was easy, as they had a large “support” tab identified on their website. I clicked through and found options to call their customer service, to browser the FAQs or to submit a new question. I chose to submit a question via email, because I hate waiting for operators on the phone.

I received a response to my email well within the four hour response time stated on their site (good job, Flip!), but the answer was the same as what I had found before, and actually word for word what was in the forum posting.

I figured I must have been doing it wrong. I pillaged my wife’s sewing supplies to source a pin I could use, then followed the instructions to reset the camera. After a short 15 seconds, the camera booted up and I was back in business!

Flip Mino fixed and ready for more videos!

All of my videos had been retained, just as the customer service rep had explained, and I was back to having my Flip Mino video camera again. Now that I have it working again I’m much happier about my purchase. The only thing left is to get out there and start shooting more videos!

7 Responses to “How the Internet Saved My Flip Mino”

  1. Joe says:

    Wait til it is not seen by the computer when you plug it in. That should happen before the first anniversary of the camera. Then see if tech support will help you.

  2. Dave says:

    Same with me as Joe – pin trick doesn’t work – the white LED just keeps blinking even left in overnight, computer doesn’t recognize Flip, won’t turn on

    • Dave: Thanks for stopping by. Interestingly enough, my Flip has quit working once again. I’ve tried the pin trick again, left the camera plugged in overnight, plus everything else that has been suggested.

      Upon getting through to customer support, they said there’s nothing they can do since it is out of its one-year warranty. I’m quite frustrated by this, as I’ve probably only shot 15-20 videos total. Needless to say, I’m taking my time in researching another pocket camera to replace my Flip.

      Have you had any luck with support? What are your plans moving forward?

    • RonQ says:

      Hey there.. I was browsing the web for a resolution to my Mino problem and came across this old posting. Just curious, but did you ever get the problem resolved?

  3. Smay says:

    Same problem here. I was able to reset the camera ONCE, and when it happened again, I again tried to reset it- no workee. Just the endless blinking and no working. I called tech support and she was friendly and tried to be helpful, but alas, since it is out of warranty, they could not help me further. Don’t know what to do now except pitch it. Really disappointed.

  4. Ron says:

    I had the same problem. Try resetting again via the pinhole in the tripod mount then wait 5 seconds. Then plug the Flippin Mino into a powered USB port of your PC or laptop for 24 hours. Yes, leave it there for no less than 24 hours. After that, try to turn it on and it should work. If it doesn’t turn on, reset it again via pinhole, wait 5 seconds, and try to turn it on. If that still doesn’t work, get a hammer, then….

  5. Henry says:

    I had the same problem with my flip mino hd (2nd gen). I got it fixed and posted the instructions on my blog. Hopefully everyone can get theirs to work. I didn’t have any hope and then it just worked after I did a few things different. Goodluck everyone!

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