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James Ashby Level 1 (10 points)
Hello all,

I have an almost-year-old iPod Classic (160 GB), and a couple of weeks ago, iTunes could not recognize it for some reason, so I had to restore it. It was working fine again, until yesterday. The sync went along until it hung up on "Finishing sync." I ejected it properly, and it was still working, although had not been synced, of course.

I tried again today, and it took a while to recognize it, but when it did, it got hung up much earlier, on "Verifying" the iPod. It is starting to seem like I will need to restore it again, but if anyone has any quicker, more direct solutions, please let me know. Moreover, why the sudden need for restoring? The OS software seems to be up to date.

I should note I have it hooked up to my laptop through my LED Cinema Display. My iPhone syncs through the same connection (and cord) just fine, however (although it is developing a problem with the battery level locking up at or near full more often).

Thank you!

Unibody MacBook Pro 2.8 GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iPod Classic 160 GB; Apple 24" LED Cinema Display
  • James Ashby Level 1 (10 points)
    Update: I reset (but did not restore, yet) the iPod, hooked it up, and just left it for over an hour. It is currently stuck on "Step 2 of 4 (Determining tracks to sync)." I think there are only about two to four new tracks since it was last synced, and it has been hanging on this step for most of the time. The little "barber pole" progress bar is still twirling, but I am forced to wonder whether anything is actually happening.

    Any ideas?

  • juliannethelion Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm having the same issue... however, mine just kind of happened out of nowhere.

    I just got a new 160 GB iPod classic about 2 weeks ago for my birthday and have had no problems syncing it up until this morning. I plugged it in and iTunes seemed to get stuck on the "verifying" stage and would not sync my songs. I updated my iTunes (to 10.0.1), but that didn't seem to do anything.
  • James Ashby Level 1 (10 points)
    Hi Julian(ne?),

    Ugh! Well, misery loves company. I just ordered the extended AppleCare Plan, but the box with the necessary code will not arrive until next week, of course. You should still be within the complimentary phone service period! I do not want to tell you what to do, but if you DO decide to call Apple directly to get an answer, could you please post it here? I would be very grateful indeed! Thanks!
  • craiglang Level 1 (0 points)
    I have the same problem, IPOD Classic 160GB been great for a long time and now will not sync the music folder.

    I've changed my IPOD to sync from selected playlists and succesfully managed to get a small playlist on the device, but if I drop back to Entire music library I'm stuck on the cycle of "determining tracks to sync".

    Tried my iphone and sync's fine also my older 30GB IPOd but neither are set to sync to the entire library, because neither have the storage capacity for the entire library.

    Has anyone come up with the cause or a resolve for this issue?

    Itunes, IPOD Firmware 1.1.2
  • turingtest2 Level 9 (68,765 points)
    I've found iTunes can choke on really big updates. Try this...

    *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 or whatever playlist holds the bulk of the content you want on your device. 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.

    If you still have problems then it may pay to check your iPod's diagnostics as described in this thread:

  • AK34 Level 1 (0 points)
    My ipod begins to sync but is slow and only syncs about 30 to 50 songs. The display on my ipod classics screen goes from syncing to connected. I have restored my ipod classic, scanned the disk for errors, reinstalled itunes, and nothing seems to work does anyone have suggestions on how i can fix this problem?
  • turingtest2 Level 9 (68,765 points)
    *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:
    Retracts: 889
    Reallocs: 12
    Pending Sectors: 0
    PowerOn Hours: 2202
    Start/Stops: 894
    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.

  • AndrosM Level 1 (0 points)
    I have had similar problems on my 2009 Classic almost since I bought it. I have tried multiple things to fix it, including getting a replacement. The new replacement I just got does the same things. It won't sync, or it takes a long time to sync. It will delete all the album covers if it does sync. The Genius suggested that it may be because I have too much music on it. I sync my entire music library, which is rapidly approaching the limits of the device, currently about 139 gb. Anybody else hear of this problem? It began long before it got this full, though I think it has been well over 120 gb since I bought it.
  • TalcumBoy Level 1 (0 points)
    I too have the same problem with an iPod classic 80GB on a macbook with iTunes 10 and snow leopard with all the latest updates.

    If I leave mine syncing overnight then it will finish, but doesn't actually add the newly downloaded tracks. Otherwise it just continually says Syncing ipod step 2 of 2 determining tracks to sync.

    This is in my opinion a catastrophic failure and should be no. 1 priority for apple to fix. I don't listen to music on my mac, I listen on my iPod or iPod dock, so now I have purchased genuine iTunes songs which are of no use to me until I can get them onto my iPod.

    I have also tried to restore my iPod which worked fine, so now I have no music on my iPod at all and iTunes still won't sync anything to it.

    This seems to be affecting a lot of users as I've seen various other posts with the same issue.

    Please apple fix this issue with iTunes urgently.

    I also read on a forum somewhere probably this one, that uninstalling and reinstalling iTunes doesn't solve the problem but I don't know if anyone has rolled back to version 9
  • stutes Level 1 (0 points)
    I'll just chime in and add a "me too". Have a 160 GB iPod Classic, and it seems like ever since iTunes upgraded from 9 to 10, it hasn't synced correctly—correction: isn't syncing at all. I can restore the iPod, and it will push all content over, but when connected again it gets hung up on "determining tracks to sync".
  • bigbeezy Level 1 (0 points)

    hey guys....ive had the same problem syncing with my 160gb ipod classic....but i think i may have figured out a way around it. all i did was erase an album from my itunes library that i had purchased through the itunes store, then when i plug in my ipod to sync it asks if i want to transfer music i had purchased from the store, i click yes, and after it adds the album back to my library it automatically syncs the rest of my library to my ipod. hope this works for you guys too. id be interested to hear some feedback.

  • carlafromnottingham Level 1 (0 points)

    Hey everyone.


    I too have just suffered with this and now my iPod Classic 160gb is syncing again.


    All I did was click on iTunes store >> iTunes U. I was then asked to login to iTunes with my iD (although I was already logged in) once i did that it started to sync.


    Maybe a coincidence but it worked for me and thought I would share.



  • sadock Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the advice, tt2. Here's the results from my 5th generation 80GB video iPod containing ~60GB of data:


    Retracts: 21

    Reallocs: 12

    Pending Sectors: 0

    PowerOn Hours: 149

    Start/Stops: 6643


    I've had this iPod for ~5 years. I'm guessing these results mean my hard drive is fine and the problem lies elsewhere. The only # that looks odd to me is the Start/Stops. I'm not sure if that one matters.

    When I connect to my 27" iMac, it will either show up in iTunes and make it (not responding) while verifying, or it won't show up in iTunes, but will in Disk Utility but makes that (not responding). I figured it might fix things to reformat the hard drive, but that doesn't appear to be an option. Neither does restoring since I cannot successfully access iTunes.


    At least mine is working fine with the music and video that is on it currently. I simply can't connect to my iMac, which is kind of annoying. I use my iTouch more, but that doesn't mean this iPod should stop working just because it's old. C'mon Apple…...

  • turingtest2 Level 9 (68,765 points)

    Worth checking the iPod on another machine with another cable, although if you use the same cable with the touch then it should be all right... Flaky connection on the iPod's connector perhaps?



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