I had same problem today after updating iTunes and trying to sync my iPad2. I am running Win7/64bit.
I haven't been through all the pages of posts to see whether this has been suggested but after I tried numerous install/reinstalls unsuccessfully I followed a lead buried in Apple Support. The answer seemed to lie in going into msconfig (start/search/click msconfig.exe) and checking the Apple Mobile Device box in the Services tab. After re-booting (with the iPad connected - don't know whether that is relevant) it all fired up again with iTunes detecting my iPad!
I may have unticked this unwittingly after trying to get the iCloud Control Panel for Windows to work, giving up and uninstalling. I'll give that another go another time.
I had this problem with my PC (windows 7, 64-bit) and my iPad. After messing with it for a long time, I finally found the answer (bad USB driver). The following two step process should help resolve these kinds of problems more quickly.
The first step is to verify that the iPad (or iPhone) is really connected to your computer. This can be (really) checked using a program called USBDeview. You can get this (very small) program from http://download.cnet.com/USBDeview/3000-2094_4-10614190.html or http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/usb_devices_view.html. Don't worry, it's not Spyware or Malware.
Just run the program and sort on the 'Connected' column. If your iPad or iPhone doesn't show up as Yes (under 'Connected') then your iDevice is not properly connected to your computer. Could be a cable problem. Could be an iDevice problem. Could be a USB hub problem. Note that your iDevice might be listed as what it is (iPad or iPhone) or it might be listed as 'Apple Mobile Device USB Driver' in the 'Description' column.
Apple has a number of ideas to resolve this sort of basic connectivity issue, including switching USB ports, resetting your iDevice, rebooting your iDevice, rebooting your computer, etc. You will need to try them until your iDevice shows up in USBDeview as 'Yes' under Connected.
If you iDevice shows up as 'Yes' under connected, it should also be visible in the Device Manager (found in the Windows 7 Control Panel under Hardware and Sound). You might find it under Portable Devices or it might be under Universal Serial Bus controllers.
The iDevice may or may not show up in the Windows Explorer. On some machines it does, on others it does not. Why is not clear.
If the Idevice is properly known to Windows and iTunes can't see it, then any number of other things could be wrong. Apple has a list. See the very useful page over at http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1538. Testing shows that the Apple Mobile Device service must be running. Check this using Task Manager (started by right clicking the taskbar). Note that the iPod service and the iphlpsvc service must also be running. These services have different names under the Processes table versus the Services tab of Task Manager.
AppleMobileDeviceService.exe - Apple Mobile Device
iPodService.exe - iPod Service
ItunesHelper.exe - iphlpsvc
Step 4 of http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1538 checks if the Apple Mobile Device USB is installed. This is essential and a common source of problems. In at least some cases, Windows will install the 'MTP USB' driver. Indeed, Windows will reinstall this driver if you uninstall it. The MTP USB driver is essentially a Windows bug (possibly caused by Microsoft). You MUST replace the MTP USB driver with the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver. Step 4 explains how to do this. Note that you MUST use the 'Have Disk' approach. Otherwise, Windows will just reinstall the invalid MTP driver.
The Apple doc indicates that you can find the correct driver at C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers. Perhaps this is correct on some systems. You may find the correct driver in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers.
iTunes could make this a lot easier by checking if the iDevice is known to Windows (what USBDevier does) and if the Apple Mobile Device USB driver is properly installed for the iDevice. Sadly it doesn't perform either check. Note that iTunes does if some of the related services (see above) are actually running.
I wish I had just gone ahead and scrolled to the end to see your post, because my problem ended up being the device driver as well but I stumbled upon the solution by accident (after 3 hours!) I have Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, I just installed it on my Dell 1525 laptop about a week ago, so I have all the updates and patches. Also, my iPhone 4S was recognized and synched just fine, with no issues. However, when I connected my iPad2, I could hear the familiar tone that says you are connecting a peripheral, but not only did it not show up in iTunes (the latest version 10.6.0.40) it didn't even show up in My Computer. Various Apple USB cables and USB ports did not solve the problem either.
Long story short, I updated the driver, which only served to freeze up iTunes anytime the iPad was connected, until I deleted (or disabled?) the driver and started over again. My iPad2 is now recognized by not only my laptop, but iTunes, and it is happily restoring at this moment (which is what I wanted.) I couldn't remember exactly what I did, but I'm glad somebody has posted detailed steps for anyone else who may have this problem - and it seems to be a lot of people.
Apple needs to get with the progam. "Buy a Mac" is not an acceptable troubleshooting solution.
I had the Apple technician help me with my connection issue, and we went through all the Apple suggestions to no avail, so he got a bunch of info from hidden folders and sent it to the the engineers. The engineer's solution was uninstalling each malware and antivirus program I had on my computer, and opening iTunes and plugging in the iPad after each uninstall. I uninstalled Super Malware, and it didn't help, so then I uninstalled Avast Antivirus (free version), and voila, it connected. There are a few malware and anitivirus programs that can interfere with iOS devices including spybot programs. I had 6 malware programs including one antivirus program. It can take awhile to go through each one you uninstall, but it was worth it after 7 mos. of this problem. I was uninstalling and reinstalling iTunes when I needed to use it, because that was the only way to get it to work. each time I restarted my computer, the problem was back.No wonder. Something in Avast antivirus, was blocking it again each time. I know this won't solve everyone's problems, but it solved mine, and it may solve yours.
I have Windows Vista and suddenly after installing ZoneAlarm (free version) and some other programs, Itune couldn't detect either my iphone or ipad2. They were being charged through the USB and I could find them in Windows Explorer, but Itune didn't find them. Solution, after reading the posts here, it was obvious that ZoneAlarm caused this and now after having uninstalling ZoneAlaram everything is back to normal.
Just wanted to say thanks for pschaeffer for putting together such a thorough post, which helped me get my ipad2 out of recovery mode (i.e. the itunes and usb cable screen). It had become locked in that mode after some kind of error during an IOS update. In any case, Apple was of no real help, but with this thread I was able to figure it out. I am going to go through my steps in case it helps anyone. FYI - I am on Windows 7, 64 bit.
- First of all - completely uninstall Itunes. You can't just uninstall Itunes alone - you need to wipe out all the other Apple stuff it installs as well. I followed these instructions exactly (there appears to be a specific order for uninstalling, and then checking program files to delete any leftovers). http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1923
- I uninstalled Norton since some folks thought this might have been an issue. You can try disabling it to see if that works. It might not be necessarry to completely remove it.
- Restart your computer - make sure nothing is plugged into it. I removed all devices from the various USB ports.
- If you did not uninstall anti-virus software like I did in step 2, go ahead and disable it for an hour or so - make sure everything is off to rule out the possibility of a conflict.
- Install Itunes - the latest version.
- Open Itunes - let it load up a minute.
- In my case, I had one USB port that did not have the ss (super speed) symbold. Since my ipad crapped out during the update using one of the ss usb ports, I made a mental note to try the one without that symbol just in case. It worked, so I thought I should mention it just in case. Connect your ipad through your most reliable, clean USB port
- Itunes recognized my ipad and gave me the option to restore it at this point.
I think wiping iTunes completely is what did the job since this removed all the previous drivers and such as well. I had tried all the other basics (restarting, reinstalling without removing every Apple program, resetting the ipad manually). Nothing worked until I followed these steps exactly. Also, I completely agree that "Buy a Mac" is about the lamest answer in history. At the very, very least, a product should be able to work with its own software. Having seen so many Apple products freeze and break doesn't exactly make me feel any more compelled to commit to having all my products, including my laptop, be produced by Apple. They should absolutely be more responsive regardless of how dependent their customers are on these devices (i.e. willing to buy a new one when one breaks). It's unfair to have to pay Apple support to fix things that should never have broken in the first place. Just putting in my 2 cents since, afterall, I just lost a couple hours on this stupid bug and had imagined an unhappy visit to the Apple store before finding this thread. Thanks again to community members who take the time to help each other.
I hope this helps! Good luck!
Its fairly simple the solution. It has nothing to do with reinstalling iTunes, if that were the problem then nothing else would work and it is only the iPad 2 that has this issue.
Solution detach the iPad,
Open control panel:
Select Administration and then select 'services'
Choose 'Apple mobile devices' and the select stop service.
Once stopped start the service again.
then plug in the iPad 2.
This is not a fix as far as I am concerned and Apple really should fix this.
Cheers all you PC users out there!
After sweating out all the possibilities of installing, reinstalling, uninstalling all apple products in particular order (mentioned in some apple support page) and reinstalling latest iTunes again, I couldnt get my iTunes to detect my iPad2.
What really helped me was the post by 'CyberZombie' and his link. I uninstalled each and every component of my latest iTunes (11.*) and made sure that nothing was left behind including library files created by new version of iTunes.
You can find a file called 'iTunes Library.itl' here: C:\Users\user-name\Music\iTunes\. It may not be compatible with what we are going to do. Note that deleting this file wont delete your songs in Windows. It will just empty the playlist pane. You can create them again. (Or just back it up if you know what you are doing.)
So after cleaning up, i restarted my Win7 x86 machine and installed an older version of iTunes(10.6.0.40) which i downloaded long back. Here is the best part: I connected my iPad2, it JUST connected (sigh). All proper drivers were installed automatically. iTunes opened and showed my iPad2.
Note: Once you can see your iPad in iTunes go to Summary page and scroll down to Options. You can enable 'Sync with this iPad over Wi-Fi'. You dont have to physically connect again. I think even if I update to latest iTunes, Wi-Fi sync will work. Havent tested it. If sombody does, post it.