2 Replies Latest reply: Oct 6, 2009 9:44 PM by r00tb33rs
r00tb33rs Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I'm having problems getting Windows XP to recognize my iPod as an iPod. When I plug in the iPod touch, I get a "USB Device Not Recognized" balloon, and "Unknown Device" shows up under the USB controllers in Device Manager.

I did the complete uninstall of iTunes/QuickTime and the uploader and various Apple drivers as outlined in the "5 Rs" howto. After rebooting and re-installing everything I was able to sync the iPod again. Except today (after a reboot of my computer again) the problem is back again.

A MS KB article had instructions for removing the "UpperFilters" and "LowerFilters" registry keys in the USB storage driver (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925196). I did that and again got the iPod to be recognized. Once. One sync, then a reboot and the next day I got the "Unrecognized Device" problem again.

So, I'm pretty confident this is a software problem between the Windows and iPod USB drivers.

The iPod had been working fine for months before this with this computer. I have no other interesting USB devices plugged in (just my mouse that's always been there). I've installed Windows XP updates as they have come in and have installed the latest iTunes (9.0.1).

iTunes itself is working fine (its sluggish as always, but I can update podcasts, shop at the store, play tracks, etc).

Beyond a solution, I'm also curious if anyone knows of diagnostic tools for windows that might show a bit of what's going on at the USB level. Is the iPod really showing up without an identifier at the USB level? Does windows ignore it? Can it not find a matching device driver? What is "known" about the unknown device?

Windows XP
  • luvlabs Level 4 Level 4 (3,610 points)
    What else is plugged into your machine's USB ports? Web cams are notorious for causing USB conflicts with iTunes. I would unplug all usb devices and see if you can get a stable configuration - then add them back until you find the culprit.
  • r00tb33rs Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the interest and ideas. The only USB devices plugged into my machine are the iPod, a mouse, and a USB hub ... I'll try without all those... Hmm... it worked! Maybe my USB hub is having problems? (I didn't even reboot or anything this time.) Let's see if I try plugging the hub back in ...

    Okay, I figured it out. My SanDisk ImageMate 12-in-1 flash card reader is the culprit. More specifically, there is a cable in my hub (I thought it was just a cable, but clearly its more), that feeds the 'stand' for the card reader. The card reader itself was unplugged (its a mini-usb connector) from the 'stand' (you'd think removing it would help, clearly you have to unplug the whole thing) Anyway the upshot is that the iPod won't sync unless the card reader is plugged into its stand or the stand is unplugged entirely.

    There is no need to reboot or anything to get the iPod to work or not work, its just plugging/unplugging the card reader and the "Unknown Device" balloon goes away when I plug in my iPod.

    I wonder if the iPod and/or its driver is overly sensitive or if the Windows USB stack is having problems? My money is on a paranoid Apple trying to prevent folks (aka Palm) from talking to their devices ...

    Anyway, glad to have my sync'ing back! Thanks!