How to Fix a Flashing, Unresponsive Squeezebox Boom

The Squeezebox Boom is basically the world’s best alarm clock. It streams music from your computer’s library via WiFi, can be set to any alarm schedule, and even has an ambient light sensor to dim itself when you are ready to go to sleep, among other features.

So imagine my dismay when I arrived home one day to find its buttons blinking and nothing on the display. Logitech built in a number of ways to hard reset the device and its firmware, but nothing I tried would bring it back to life.

I took to the Internet and found that one possible solution was to reseat the Boom’s WiFi card. I didn’t see any obvious way to take it apart, so this idea seemed like it was going to require a lot of time and specialized tools. The directions I found to do it were also vague at best, so I put it off.

A few months later, in a fit of inspiration, I decided to bring what had become an expensive paperweight back to life. The project was a success, so I thought I’d post some detailed instructions and pictures so I can help others get through the process.  The only tools required are a Torx 10 screwdriver and something flat to pry out the speaker grilles.

First, pry the grilles out from the top, toward the middle. In the picture below you can see the gap you’re aiming for. I used a flathead screwdriver, but something flat and plastic would be less likely to damage the grilles.

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Once you’ve pried both grilles out, you’ll see four Torx 10 screws flanking the display/buttons. Unscrew all of these, but be careful as you finish, because there’s an electronic ribbon connecting the front piece to the circuit board underneath.

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The front circuit board has five screws holding it in place. The screw in the middle is kind of camouflaged by the board itself, so be sure to unscrew it before you try to pry the board out (this may or may not be something I fell victim to). Note that now there are two electronic ribbons to contend with, the green one on top, and the yellow one on the bottom. These ribbons are notoriously fragile, so proceed with care. I actually pulled the green one out when I did this, but was able to simply press it back into place. I was lucky.

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Once everything is unscrewed, you’ll notice that pulling out the circuit board is made more difficult by the mini-Molex-like clip that provides power to the display. Unlike the ribbons, this clip is pretty hardy, so don’t worry about using too much force to yank it out. Just be aware that once it pops out, you still have to basically hold the circuit board in place because of the ribbons.

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On the backside of the circuit board is what we’re really after: the WiFi card. It has clips on the left and right holding it in place, but even when unclipped, it doesn’t travel very far. At this point, pull it out slightly to unseat it (don’t worry, it won’t even come all the way out) and then press it back in and reclip it in place.

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Put the circuit board back into its place in the Boom’s chassis without screwing anything back in and plug it in. If the Boom goes through its usual startup process, congratulations! You’ve fixed your Boom and can reassemble it. If you still get flashing buttons and no display, you can still unseat the WiFi card and everything should work fine over Ethernet. This may require snaking some cable under your bed and/or some sort of WiFi bridge to make work in a bedroom, but I’d rather be able to continue to use the World’s Best Alarm Clock than have the convenience of a simpler setup.