I had this problem on my Win 7 computer with a brand new ipad 2, even though my iphone 4 synced fine using the same computer and the solution for me was to use a USB port that was directly on my computer (not a powered USB port on a hub or my monitor). I'd plug in my ipad and Windows would report the device was not recognized and my ipad would not show up in iTunes. I tried all the obvious options (different cable, rebooting my ipad, rebooting my computer, uninstalling and reinstalling itunes) and finally found that I had to plug my cable into a USB port directly on my PC. Previously I had used USB port on my monitor, which are powered USB ports that worked for every other device including the iphone. But for the ipad 2 the only USB port that would work was one actually on my PC.
thanks, but that is/was not the problem, i always used the usb port on my netbook (and tried all three of them).
i can only get it to work by disabling my firewall, so i can never use itunes when i'm online.
even then, i often have to unplug the ipad and plug it in again because itunes freeses. or maybe it's not frozen, itunes is so unbelievably sssssss....llllllll.....ooooooo......wwwwww that it is hard to tell if it's frozen or not.
The pathetic thing is that windows has always recognised the ipad. it's apple's own stupid itunes that can't find it's own hardware when other software is running. Well guess what, it is a computer, so other software IS running.
what unbelievable crap
Is it possible that your netbook just doesn't have enough 'oomph' to run iTunes? I know even on my Dell, with 4 gig of ram, when I start up iTunes and it tries to link with and sync two devices at a time it's slow to the point of non-responsive.
It may just be a matter of not enough resources to go around. When I use my netbook I have to be aware that I have half the ram and a slower processor than I do on my full sized laptop.
I had this problem with my PC (windows 7, 64-bit) and my iPad. After messing with it for a long time, I finally found the answer (bad USB driver). The following two step process should help resolve these kinds of problems more quickly.
The first step is to verify that the iPad (or iPhone) is really connected to your computer. This can be (really) checked using a program called USBDeview. You can get this (very small) program from http://download.cnet.com/USBDeview/3000-2094_4-10614190.html or http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/usb_devices_view.html. Don't worry, it's not Spyware or Malware.
Just run the program and sort on the 'Connected' column. If your iPad or iPhone doesn't show up as Yes (under 'Connected') then your iDevice is not properly connected to your computer. Could be a cable problem. Could be an iDevice problem. Could be a USB hub problem. Note that your iDevice might be listed as what it is (iPad or iPhone) or it might be listed as 'Apple Mobile Device USB Driver' in the 'Description' column.
Apple has a number of ideas to resolve this sort of basic connectivity issue, including switching USB ports, resetting your iDevice, rebooting your iDevice, rebooting your computer, etc. You will need to try them until your iDevice shows up in USBDeview as 'Yes' under Connected.
If you iDevice shows up as 'Yes' under connected, it should also be visible in the Device Manager (found in the Windows 7 Control Panel under Hardware and Sound). You might find it under Portable Devices or it might be under Universal Serial Bus controllers.
The iDevice may or may not show up in the Windows Explorer. On some machines it does, on others it does not. Why is not clear.
If the Idevice is properly known to Windows and iTunes can't see it, then any number of other things could be wrong. Apple has a list. See the very useful page over at http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1538. Testing shows that the Apple Mobile Device service must be running. Check this using Task Manager (started by right clicking the taskbar). Note that the iPod service and the iphlpsvc service must also be running. These services have different names under the Processes table versus the Services tab of Task Manager.
AppleMobileDeviceService.exe - Apple Mobile Device
iPodService.exe - iPod Service
ItunesHelper.exe - iphlpsvc
Step 4 of http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1538 checks if the Apple Mobile Device USB is installed. This is essential and a common source of problems. In at least some cases, Windows will install the 'MTP USB' driver. Indeed, Windows will reinstall this driver if you uninstall it. The MTP USB driver is essentially a Windows bug (possibly caused by Microsoft). You must replace the MTP USB driver with the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver. Step 4 explains how to do this. Note that you must use the 'Have Disk' approach. Otherwise, Windows will just reinstall the invalid MTP driver.
The Apple doc indicates that you can find the correct driver at C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers. Perhaps this is correct on some systems. You may find the correct driver in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers.
iTunes could make this a lot easier by checking if the iDevice is known to Windows (what USBDevier does) and if the Apple Mobile Device USB driver is properly installed for the iDevice. Sadly it doesn't perform either check. Note that iTunes does if some of the related services (see above) are actually running.