Previous 1 2 3 Next 35 Replies Latest reply: Sep 21, 2011 9:49 PM by christianfromhastings
Mar.villa Level 1 Level 1

I've had a 160 GB classic iPod for a bit more than a year (so out of warranty) and hadn't had this problem before until today. When I connect it to my computer iTunes sends a message saying it cannot read its contents and asks to restore it. If I do I loose the 100+ GB music I have on it, if I don't when I disconnect the iPod from the computer, it says there is no music, although the space is occupied (only less than 60 GB free space). I've restored and reloaded my iPod several times, and every time I connect it to iTunes the same thing happens. I should mention that I have iTunes set up in manual mode, and that the problem happens only after I play something on the iPod disconnected from the computer (that is, if I connect it and disconnect it, things are fine, until I try to play something on the iPod).

Can anyone help me? After reloading my iPod with music I'm afraid of connecting it to the computer and losing everything, but I cannot load new stuff on it any other way.


PC Dell, Windows XP
Solved by axleko on Jan 30, 2011 7:10 PM Solved
I've had a similar problem that I was able to fix today:

You do not need to restore the iPod (in my case, a 160GB Classic with at least 80GB of music on it) to get your music "visible" again.

1) If you can read your iPod in Windows Explorer, make sure you can see "hidden" files and folders and locate the folder [Whatever your iPod drive designation]:\\iPod_control\iTunes. Close iTunes if its open.
2) Locate two files: "itunesDB" and "itunesDB.old_mlpmp". The 1st file is your current (and now corrupt) library database file, which iTunes needs to refer to to know whats on your iPod; whilst the 2nd is a backup of the this database that hopefully is not corrupt (because it should be a backup of your last successful sync).
3) Rename "itunesDB" to "itunesDB.old" (or you could even delete it I think) and then rename "itunesDB.old_mlpmp" to "itunesDB". This effectively restores the backup of the library that you had as a backup but didn't even know about!
4) Open iTunes. It should now read your iPod and its contents without telling you that you HAVE to restore.

Note: if you cannot find "itunesDB.old_mlpmp" then this solution won't work.

I found this solution at this link: pod-2.html

Credit goes to "GoldenArm"... What a life-saver!

Hopefully this will work for you.

  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9
    Hi, welcome to Apple Discussions.

    *Recover media from iPod*
    See this post from Zevoneer for options on moving your iPod data back to your computer.

    Some of the tools linked to will only work if the iPod has a valid library which yours hasn't got. Others can scan the drive independently and some may even be able to rebuild a damaged library. The manual method towards the end should be able to recover your media regardless of the state of the library.

  • Mar.villa Level 1 Level 1
    Hi tt2,

    Thanks for your response. I guess I wasn't very clear in stating the problem. All my music files are in my computer hard drive, so I have no problem with file recovery. The problem is that every time I reload those files into the iPod, listen to any song on it, and plug it back in iTunes I get the same message: that it cannot read the iPod and that I must restore the iPod. If I restore it, all files get erased and reloading them takes way too long (100+ GB), so it's a hassle to reload all files every time I connect my iPod to iTunes. If I don't restore it, no music is detected when I want to listen to the iPod independently (even though the space is something).

    I hope this is more clear and you have some idea of what might be the problem. I've been looking in the list but haven't found anyone with this same problem. In the meantime I'm not connecting my iPod to iTunes, so I can't load anything new into my iPod without iTunes erasing all that was loaded before.

    Thanks again!

  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9
    *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.


    If your iPod checks out OK try this tip for rebuilding it...

    *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.

  • Mar.villa Level 1 Level 1
    Hi tt2,

    Thanks for your suggestions! My specs for Retracts, Reallocs, and Pending Sectors are all in zeros. So, I don't think it's a hard drive failing. The iPod works just fine.

    In iTunes, whether I load one file or hundreds of them on to the iPod, every time I log on to iTunes again, it says it cannot read the iPod and upon exiting (without restoring) it renders all music files as unexisting.

    Any other ideas/clues??

  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9
    Perhaps something is interfering with USB communications. If you don't already have the unit set up for disk mode then turn this on and try to assign a different drive letter. It may help, if possible, to exclude the drive from any on demand anti-virus scanning. You should probably also test it with a different computer.

  • laladylove Level 1 Level 1
    I've been having the same trouble with my iPod- the drive i full, but it says no songs. I am wondering if it has something to do with iTunes 10. I have never had any problems before this version of iTunes. It really is a pain having to reload my entire library of 150 GBs even though I have it organized into playlists. The first time it happened, I thought it was because my nephew didn't eject the iPod correctly, but the problem has persisted at random times I look and I have no songs, but only 50 mb of free space. The only solution I have found so far is to restore each time. If this is happening with both windows and Mac OS the common factor is iTunes.
  • Mar.villa Level 1 Level 1
    Hi tt2,

    I tried connecting it to a different computer with iTunes, and this time it didn't show the problem, so I don't know what the problem with my computer is, since both computers have the exact same antivirus software, and it's always been there. I'm not sure how I can change the drive assigned to the iPod, but it's always been the same since the first time I hooked it on. I tried removing and reinstalling iTunes but it didn't work. Any other ideas?
  • djanthera Level 1 Level 1
    I've been having the same problem, and I agree with the others on this page... it has been recently, since iTunes 10 has been out. I've had my iPod classic 160GB for almost a year with no problem until recently. This problem started about a week or two ago. Since then, I've been all over the forums, seeing multiple countless people with the same problem, and trying multiple suggestions trying to fix this. Such troubleshooting tips have been:

    * Restarting my computer
    * Restoring iPod to factory
    * Uninstalling and reinstalling iTunes (even running the install as administrator)
    * Changing drive names (which makes the computer not recognize it at all)
    * Trying to connect iPod in "Disk Mode"
    * Changing iPod cables, ports, and hubs
    * Taking my iPod to the apple store at the mall to have them replace it while it's still in warranty (which it has been replaced to a NEW iPod that still does the same thing everytime I plug it in to update it with more music)
    * Testing to see if the iPod does it on other computers (which it doesn't)
    * Testing to see if other iPods give the same problem on this computer (which they do)
    * and many other suggestions, which I can't remember cause there have been so many...

    I have tried all of these, as well as mixing and matching different combinations of these and other suggestions, all in which have resulted in the problem remaining the same, or becoming worse. Some suggestions have made it to where iTunes, nor my computer would even recognize the device being plugged in at all. It wouldn't even charge the iPod. Everytime the iPod has been restored, I load my library back on (which is over 100GB, so it's a pain to do this everytime), and it works fine until I plug it back in to update with more music. This is really getting annoying. What else can be suggested that is a PERMANENT fix?

    - K.C.

    Message was edited by: djanthera
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9
    The major problem with computers is that every one is different. For all we know there's some blindingly obvious solution, such as a piece of conflicting software, that applies in your case but because we (fellow users, trying to help out) only hear about the symptoms you experience with iTunes we don't get to put two & two together. Anecdotally, it would seem that iTunes 10 "broke" syncing for a small minority of users but I for one have never seen the problem personally, nor heard of a definitive guaranteed fix.

    Other things I can think of to try...
    Make sure Windows isn't trying to use the iPod for ReadyBoost
    Excluding the iPod from any Anti-Virus scanning
    Excluding the iTunes folder from any Anti-Virus scanning
    Disk checking the source drive
    Check power saving settings don't try to put hard drives to sleep
    Breaking up transfers as suggested earlier in this thread
    Use an alternative manager such as MediaMonkey.

  • mtneer Level 1 Level 1
    Has anyone tried uninstalling itunes 10 and reinstalling a previous version?
  • soulforged42 Level 1 Level 1
    You aren't the only one. I just bought my iPod about a week ago, ended up exchanging it because of this, and the second one won't work either. Getting really fed up having to restore the thing almost every day.
  • Mar.villa Level 1 Level 1

    It's a good idea to test whether it's the iTunes vesion 10 that is causing the problem, but does anyone know how to download a previous version to this one? All I can find on the web is the latest version.
  • soulforged42 Level 1 Level 1
    Anyone managed to find an older version? I'm getting really frustrated with this myself and I know I can't be the only one. Gonna return this second iPod with this problem and be done with iPods unless I can get it working
  • Evan Riskedahl Level 1 Level 1
    Are you running any kind of backup software? I'm running carbonite on my user folder, but again this problem started after I updated iTunes10.
Previous 1 2 3 Next