Try this procedure:
1) Open Windows 7 Control Panel.
Navigate to the "Uninstall or Change a Program" application menu and list.
Sort the application program list by clicking on the list header for the program PUBLISHER (second column). (resorting the program names may take a minute -- note the update status bar at the top).
Locate ALL Apple applications in the list.
Select each apple program in order with a RIGHT mouse click and select the REPAIR option if available.
When you have repair each program that is able to be repaired, then...
2) Reboot PC and hit the F8 key until Windows reboot screen comes up.
3) Then reboot with Windows in "SAFE MODE with Networking"
4) After Windows comes up, Run I-tunes to sync. You will get probably see errors -- answer YES to any error messages, or messages asking if you want to fix problems. (esp. USB problems)
5) exit I-tunes and reboot PC into NORMAL MODE (do not hit F8)
6) Start I-Tunes on the PC and try to sync the I-Pod 4G
One last thing, (just in case you did not know): If your I-Pod locks up when your syncing (after 5-10 minutes) to I-Tunes (sync screen or black screen), you should be able to unlock the I-Pod by holding down the power button and the menu button simultaneously and resync again.
Please post on here, and let people know if this worked for you.
I have similar (slightly different) problems that i am trying to fix.
Thanks very much CitizenPete for your post, unfortunately I made a complete installation of windows 7 again. Well the first time I install iTunes everything was working fine at 100% , later I installed The comodo free firewall and defense... and surprise!.. again my Ipod can't syncronize....I read some post talking about the firewalls, I think (maybe) the problem was caused by comodo (free firewall and defense), for now I'm use Privatefirewall 7 and everything is working very well.
thanks for your post friends
Unfortunately I still can not sync my 4G with Windows 7 unless a do a full restore each time. I have not figured it out yet. I tried turning off the ZoneAlarm Firewall I run (since the FW was related to your synce issue), but it did not help. Same issue: I-tunes can NOT read the contents of the I-Pod 4G and instructs me to do a restore.
try to uninstall ZoneAlarm completely later, uninstall iTunes restart your pc, and later install iTunes don't open it, and connect your ipod. When I had the problem, I tried uninstalling and installing iTunes, my iPod always was recognized and syncronized, until I restart or shutdown my pc, later was impossible sync my ipod4g.