iPod reinstallation woes
May 23, 2006 7:16 PM   Subscribe

iPod re-installation woes - tried the usual steps, still not working up.

I've been using my 20GB iPod for several years. About twice or three times before, I recall that it had stopped updating automatically and I had to reinstall everything to make iTunes see it again.

Here's the current problem. Today I started up iTunes and plugged in the iPod to update it. It started blinking the usual "Do Not Disconnect" image, however, the update did not go through. I uninstalled the iPod software (and iTunes) via the Control Panel / Add/Remove, then reinstalled the iPod updater. However, when I plug in the iPod after resetting the computer, I get the following. A small icon pops up in the lower-right part of the taskbar, saying that a new device has been found; "new device" then changes name to "Apple iPod USB Device," which in turn changes to "Disk Drive." The problem is that once it reaches "Disk Drive," it seems to hang, and nothing further happens. The "Do Not Disconnect" message continues to display on the screen, but nothing else happens.

In checking the device manager, I see that when the iPod is plugged in (and showing "Do Not Disconnect"), I have no conflicts, "Apple iPod USB Device" under Disk Drives, and "USB Mass Storage Device" under Universal Serial Bus Controllers. It does seem that the drivers are properly installed, but something goes glitchy anyway.

What else can I do to fix this?

Alternatively, how can I remove all instances of iPod software, drivers, and any other associated files to try to do a clean reinstall? Finally, since Windows does not properly see my iPod, I cannot do a restore or reformat using the iPod Updater - is there any other way to do it?
posted by Pontius Pilate to Technology (6 answers total)
It seems like a lot of folks are having this problem. You might want to review the discussion here.

There are also forums at the ipod lounge.

I hope you work this out. I haven't had this problem but I've got a 20GB fourth generation ipod too! Good luck.
posted by bim at 8:10 PM on May 23, 2006

have you tried starting your iPod in disk mode? I had the exact same problem, and that fixed it for me. Is yours a click-wheel iPod? To put those in disk mode you reset by holding down "select" and "menu," then when the apple screen shows up you hold down "select" and "play/pause." Do this with the iPod disconnected. As soon as you're in disk mode, connect it to your computer and format using iPod updater.
posted by scarylarry at 8:14 PM on May 23, 2006

Have you tried just waiting it out? When I replaced my 2GB Nano with a 60GB w/ video, I had a similar problem on both my laptop and on my home PC when I plugged the new iPod in. I got the "Do Not Disconnect" image, but I could not open iTunes, and if it were already open it would freeze. While this was going on the little spinning icon in the upper-left corner of the iPod's screen was going, even though I don't have iTunes set up to automatically update. Eventually I figured out that if I just left it there for a couple of minutes iTunes would come back to life and the iPod would appear both in iTunes and Windows Explorer.
posted by Venadium at 8:15 PM on May 23, 2006

More on disk mode.
posted by bim at 8:22 PM on May 23, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks, all, for responding.

The disk mode trick looked promising, but now I am thinking my iPod's hard drive may be on the fritz. Here's what happened. I put it into disk mode and connected it to the computer. I ran the iPod updater and did get the option to restore; however, I first wanted to get a couple of things off the iPod. I started copying files, but about 10 minutes later, the copy dialog froze, and I had to disconnect the iPod to get things moving again. When I tried to reconnect it in disk mode, nothing happened. I've also just tried connecting it to another computer with iPod Updater running, but the iPod updater on that computer did not recognize it either.

Is this indicative of hard drive failure? Is there anything else I can do short of taking it to the repair shop?
posted by Pontius Pilate at 1:24 AM on May 24, 2006

Seems like hard drive failure to me. I had the EXACT same thing happen with a brand new 5G and the apple experts said the hard drive was dead. So they gave me a new one because it was two weeks old. You may not be so lucky.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 10:50 AM on May 24, 2006

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