As a test, try shutting down (powering off) your computer. Disconnect all USB peripheral devices, including hub. Connect only a standard keyboard and mouse (if the computer is NOT a laptop). Use this procedure to reset the iPod
Start up computer. Run iTunes. Connect iPod to a direct USB port. Try to do a sync (or you may want to do another Restore first, then try to do a sync).
No dice. It still seems to be signifying the start of a sync, but never actually gets going. Here's exactly what I did:
1. Disconnected iPod
2. Powered down computer
3. Unplugged printer and speakers
4. Unplugged wireless keyboard/mouse, but put the little wireless USB bit back in before powering back up (could this be where I went wrong?)
5. Turned computer back on with the only connections being from the CPU to the monitor (which has no USB ports), the wireless keyboard/mouse bit in the CPU, and there power sources, as well as the wireless ethernet.
6. Started up iTunes
7. Connected, then restored iPod
8. Attempted sync
9. Nothing has changed
Is there anything else that can be done or something I can fix with the previous procedure?
I don't think the wireless receiver for the keyboard/mouse will have any effect. Sometimes, there can be conflict between USB devices, so that's why I advised removing as much as possible.
The fact that it completes Restore successfully seems show that the iPod is OK. If it was getting stuck during the syncing, like maybe a part of the iPod's hard drive has bad sectors, then it would get passed the "starting sync" bit and show the progress bar. So I think it's something related to software (on the computer).
Try this... Select the iPod in the sidebar under DEVICES. Over to the right, on the Summary tab, check the checkbox for Enable disk use. Apply the change. This will keep the iPod connected to Windows as a "disk," even when iTunes is not syncing. With disk use enabled, try doing a sync. NOTE: When disk use is enabled, you have to Eject the iPod in iTunes before physically disconnecting it.
Disk use has been enabled this whole time. I don't know what else to say. The computer is a rather old Windows system, though, so I could see how that could be a problem. The only problem is that everything has worked fine all up until a few days ago, when it just wasn't able to get past the start of the sync. Is there anything else and are you sure this has never come up before?
That should not be the default setting (Enable disk use) immediately after doing a Restore. But in any case, if disk use was enabled on previous attempts, try disabling disk use and then doing a sync. Basically, change some settings to see if it makes any difference. If a certain change makes a difference, that might provide a clue about the actual cause.
Also, you can try setting it to Manually manage music and videos. Instead of syncing, drag some songs from you Music library to the iPod (in the sidebar) manually. Are you able to load content to the iPod that way?
You can also try selecting Music, indented under the iPod in the sidebar. Over to the right, at the bottom of the list, there should be Autofill controls. Try loading the iPod from a playlist using Autofill. Does that work?
Great! Glad it wasn't a faulty iPod hard drive, or something like that...
I wonder WHY that worked. There must be some background process running on your system that interferes with automatic syncing, WHEN the iPod's hard drive is always seen as a "disk" by Windows. When disk use is disabled, Windows does not see the iPod's hard drive, except when iTunes is syncing, so that interference is not there. It might even be some "security" feature, that is "protecting" or "monitoring" mounted hard drive volumes (including the iPod's)... Just guessing here. If you installed something recently (since you've had this iPod syncing problem), that might be the cause.