*Check your iPod with Diagnostics Mode*
It's possible that your iPod's hard drive has started to fail. Take your iPod and place your right thumb on the centre SELECT button and your left on the top MENU button. Press down both thumbs for about 6 seconds until your iPod reboots. Immediately move your left thumb around to the rewind button |<< on the left and hold this down together with SELECT for a further 6 seconds. Your iPod should now switch into Diagnostic Boot mode. Press MENU for *Manual Test*, then select *IO > HardDrive > HDSMARTData* to reveal your stats. For comparison here are mine for my 2 year old 6th Generation Classic:
Pending Sectors: 0
PowerOn Hours: 2202
Temp: Current 24c
Temp: Min 10c
Temp: Max 50c
Take a note of your results. When finished press *SELECT & MENU* for 6 seconds to reset the iPod again.
With modern disc drives sectors are no longer marked bad by a disc scan, if the SMART firmware detects a sector it has trouble accessing it will attempt to invisibly reallocate it to a spare area of the disc.
Note that I've only 12 remapped sectors and none pending. To help explain what the numbers mean here is an extract from the Wikipedia S.M.A.R.T. article:
*Reallocated Sectors Count*
Count of reallocated sectors. When the hard drive finds a read/write/verification error, it marks this sector as "reallocated" and transfers data to a special reserved area (spare area). This process is also known as remapping, and "reallocated" sectors are called remaps. This is why, on modern hard disks, "bad blocks" cannot be found while testing the surface – all bad blocks are hidden in reallocated sectors. However, as the number of reallocated sectors increases, the read/write speed tends to decrease. The raw value normally represents a count of the number of bad sectors that have been found and remapped. Thus, the higher the attribute value, the more sectors the drive has had to reallocate.
*Pending sector count*
Number of "unstable" sectors (waiting to be remapped, because of read errors). If an unstable sector is subsequently written or read successfully, this value is decreased and the sector is not remapped. Read errors on a sector will not remap the sector (since it might be readable later); instead, the drive firmware remembers that the sector needs to be remapped, and remaps it the next time it's written.
Large numbers of Reallocs or Pending Sectors would suggest your drive is failing and that you may need to repair or replace your iPod. Check your stats after another attempt to update your iPod. If the numbers increase that again points to hard drive failure. While it won't be good news at least you'll know it isn't some random software problem and you can decide what to do next.
The method above checks the drive for problems that the drive's firmware is already aware of. If everything appears fine there then...
*Check iPod hard-drive for errors*
Hold Select+Menu on the iPod for about 6 seconds until it resets, then hold Select+Play as soon as the Apple logo appears, again for about 6 seconds to put the machine in disk mode. Open iTunes and in the Sync tab of the preferences menu check *Disable automatic syncing of all iPhones & iPods*. Now connect your iPod to the computer, wait until it connects, then close iTunes. Windows users should browse *My Computer* and right-click on the drive for the iPod, click Properties, then click Tools. Under Error-checking, click *Check Now*. Under Check disk options, select *Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors* (Optional - takes ages but a good idea if you've reason to suspect physical damage). Click Start. Mac users should run *Disk Utility / Repair Disk* for the equivalent process. This should find and correct any errors in the logical & physical structures of your iPod's hard drive. Once these have been fixed you can reset the iPod (hold Menu+Select ) and should stand a better chance of a successful restore. It might also pay to check the status of the source drive containing your media, particularly if no errors were found on the iPod.
And if that still doesn't help try Erase your iPod - The Super Fix for most iPod Problems. Basically this recommends a low level format of the iPod’s hard drive to get around whatever problems might be stopping iTunes from restoring it properly.
Once you've restored your iPod don't rush to dump all the data back exactly as it was before. I have found that lots of large or complex smart playlists can sometimes trigger constant reboots or dumping of the iPod's library. In addition, larger transfers can fail leaving data in an inconsistent state. Try this technique for populating the iPod in stages.
*Break up large transfers*
In iTunes select the menu item *File... New Smart Playlist*. Change the first drop-down box to Playlist, the next to is and the next to Music. Tick against *Limit to*, type in say 10, then change the drop-down to GB, and set the last drop-down to artist. When you click OK you can enter a name for the playlist, e.g. Transfer. Now sync this playlist to your iPod rather than your entire library. When the sync is complete modify the rule ( *File... Edit playlist* ) to increase the size by your chosen amount, then sync and repeat. You can experiment with different size increments, if it doesn't work just choose something a bit smaller until it works each time. Before long you should have all your music on your iPod. Once that's done you can move on to other media such as podcasts, videos, photos, playlists etc.
Hey turingtest2, I've tried what you post up there and it didnt work. My ipod still tend to freeze after 47gb of music. Is there any other option avialable that may be useful? Here what i found on Diagnostics Mode.
Pending Sectors: 96
PowerOn Hours: 41
Temp: Current 32c
Temp: Min 20c
Temp: Max 47c
Did you do this step? Erase your iPod - The Super Fix for most iPod Problems. Basically this recommends a low level format of the iPod’s hard drive to get around whatever problems might be stopping iTunes from restoring it properly.
You'll probably need that to release the pending sectors. You should also do a full format, not a quick one, so that the OS verifies each sector during the process.
At 41hours use how old is the device? If it's still in warranty and you've looked after it properly, then a call on your warrantly might be in order.
Hi turingtest2 I've been having this same problem for over a year now.
The Ipod (Classic 80GB) would start syncing files but get stuck after certain amount of data:
- After a a restore i manage to sync much more files (1900 max very changing amount) than usually but same problem in the end and few songs actually appear to be written in the Ipod. Itunes stops working.
-Tried syncing in small blocks (as you suggest) but the problem persisted to the point that after 800 songs I'm not able to sync one more song.
Run your diagnosis test, my stats:
Before tryng to restore (with no succes, error messages):
Pending Sectors: 7
PowerOn Hours: 367
Temp: Current 27c
Temp: Min 10c
Temp: Max 47c
After the attempt to restore:
Pending Sectors: 7
PowerOn Hours: 367
Temp: Current 28c
Temp: Min 19c
Temp: Max 47c
What do you suggest then:
- Replacing the HD, a software or hardware error (Itunes latest version on a MacbookPro, changed cables) or taking it to Apple's reapair center (expired warranty).
Thank you in advance for your useful post and replies
P.S. The problem discribed also occured to me using a 4GB ipod nano (quite new) but only once, now it works flawlessly.
Since restore doesn't seem to be clearing those pending sectors I reckon you need to do a low level full disk format. A full format should verify every sector, with those that can't be read back either being reallocated or marked as bad. Once the unreliable sectors are mapped out, and assuming there is no ongoing deterioration, that should allow the device to function normally again. If matters don't improve then investigate the cost of HD replacement over a new device.
Thank you for your quick reply,
I have done what I believe you call low level disk format:
(as explained on the link you posted , on Mac OSX using Disk Utility--> Verify-->Erase-->Restore (in Itunes))
and the bad stats haven't changed after the process (only start/stops parameter has increased)
How do I do the full format you recommend? Is it safe enough?
Thank you once again
The format/erase tip comes from here: http://www.methodshop.com/gadgets/ipodsupport/erase/index.shtml
Its safe to format the drive. The iPod's operating system runs from eeprom so there is no problem with completly erasing the drive. The difficulty however is getting the format software to actually rewrite & verify every sector as the software will probably try to optimise the process and rely on SMART to look after any problem sectors.
One trick might be to restore the device on a PC into FAT32 format as changing the structure might force a more thorough format process.
*Check your iPod with Diagnostics Mode*:
This is not possible. If I try the way you described, there is just a bad click sound and then: ERROR!Diag Halt
[Can't open Device]
Guess that means, my harddrive is broken?
Thanks for your help.
ps. The more successful the apple products gets, the worse the service and quality is... disapointing!