N'Sync you are not.
June 9, 2009 7:36 PM   Subscribe

Can you help me figure out my iPod's bizarre behavior?

I have a 3rd generation iPod classic (10GB - the one with four buttons across the top and a scroll wheel below) and I'm having a hell of a time trying to sync it up with my iTunes library. Everytime I make the attempt it always copies over the names of all my playlists (and places them correctly beneath the "Playlists" directory) and between 3 - 10 actual files to the iPod but nothing else, leaving the actual playlists there to select, but empty of content. Some details below which may/may not be relevant:

-One week ago, I went from running Windows Vista Ultimate back to Windows XP. Because the directory structure/music file location is different in the two OS's, I ended up having to manually edit the iTunes Library Music.xml file to point iTunes to the proper directory. When I imported the new .xml file it loaded all the files/playlists into iTunes without a hitch. iTunes looks exactly as it did while running under Vista, and I can play all my music files through iTunes now without a problem. The only issue is syncing to the iPod.

-When I WAS running Vista however, the OS crashed on me something like five times leading me to rebuild the machine and have to erase/resync the iPod the same amount of times over a three month span (hence the switch back to XP) so the hard drive has been through a lot in the past three months.

-Per the suggestions of some old AskMe threads, I tried restoring the iPod to it's factory defaults through iTunes. No luck. I also tried putting the iPod into disk mode, formatting the device through Windows, then restoring to factory defaults through iTunes and then resyncing. Again, no luck. Same two or three song sync up along with the names of the playlists and nothing else.

-I also tried bypassing iTunes entirely and copying music over using Sharepod. This worked... somewhat. In total I tried to copy over 10 files (all podcasts) Three copied over. The rest did not due to an "incorrect function" error. It always seemed to be the same podcasts that copied.

-I replaced the battery on the iPod myself about four months ago. It has also been connected to A/C power during every sync attempt so it's not a matter of it losing power.

Any thoughts? I'm more concerned that it's something to do with the library .xml file or the .itl file than the iPod itself. I'll be getting a new iPhone in about two weeks and while that will serve as a replacement, I'm concerned that I won't be able to sync to that either. Any light you might be able to shed would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
posted by Rewind to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: To eliminate one or the other, try making a fresh iTunes library. Do this by holding shift when starting. Better yet, try it on another computer. If this works, then it's the library, and unless the playlists etc are important to you, you can just rebuild your library by reimporting the music.

This doesn't seem likely, though, because you tried it with another app.

Is the iPod's hard drive making any noise? Clicking? Are you connected straight to the computer or through a hub? IIRC, the 3G was the last (or second last) iPod that used USB and Firewire. Can you try the other connector? Also, try using the iPod as a hard drive and just transferring over data, a few hundred MB at a time.

All of these things should tell you where the problem lies; even if you can't fix it, you'll know about the future iPhone.
posted by mhz at 8:20 PM on June 9, 2009

Did you try the old iPod updater software? Apple no longer updates the updater or even hosts it so heres a mirror, use the latest: 2006


Good luck.
posted by glenno86 at 9:05 AM on June 10, 2009

Response by poster: Upon further review, it appears to be the hard drive. Per mhz's suggestion, I tried putting it in disk mode and just copying files over to it through Windows (can't believe I didn't think to do this myself.) Anyway, it never got more that two or three files into the transfer before stopping with a "Cannot copy xxxx. Invalid MS-DOS function" error. While the hard drive doesn't appear to be making any noise, those errors seem to seal the deal.

Also, thanks for those updater links. If I decide to replace the hard drive (unlikely), I'll give it a shot.
posted by Rewind at 9:35 AM on June 10, 2009

This is a long shot (and I don't have a hard drive iPod to test out my theory) but format the drive - preferably in NTFS (right click it's icon in My Computer, hit format. Find out it's drive letter, example: G:

Click start, run and type cmd then hit enter. Then type at the command prompt:

chkdsk g:/r

Apparently it will mark bad sectors so the hard drive knows to bypass those sectors and fix errors. That was never the case when my hard drives fail though. Also, by some miracle it does work, I doubt it will work as a iPod because I doubt the iPod OS knows how to skip bad sectors.
posted by glenno86 at 5:03 AM on June 11, 2009

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