14 Replies Latest reply: Apr 4, 2006 7:28 PM by Chris CA
Astroquicky Level 1 (0 points)
Today I stumbled upon a pretty serious and annoying problem. Every time I plug in my iPod nano 4GB, it updates the contents of the iPod and disconnects automatically when it's done. This means that I cannot change any of the settings of the iPod synchronization since it never remains connected.

While it's updating, the iPod shows 'Do not disconnect', but as soon as the update is done, it disconnects and just shows the iPod main menu. When I then try to edit settings in iTunes and press 'Update', it gives the error "The iPod "---'s iPod" cannot be updated. The disk could not be read from or written to".

I tried resetting, restoring and repairing iTunes to no avail. The restore also meant that my iPod nano is now empty and thus basically useless. (It's not adding any more music because the playlists it wants to update are too big for the iPod and I can't change which playlists to update since it never remains connected :-/)

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

(If I'd try to uninstall and reinstall iTunes, would I lose all my smart playlists and play count and library information?)

Athlon64 3800+ 1024MB RAM Windows XP
  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,255 points)
    Can you see the iPod in iTunes?

    Can you open iTunes prefs -> iPod?

    When I then try to edit settings in iTunes and press 'Update',
    What did you edit?
  • Astroquicky Level 1 (0 points)
    I can indeed see the iPod in iTunes. When I plug in the iPod, after about 10-20 seconds it shows up in iTunes. However it then immediately starts synchronizing (or at least tries to). Because my playlists are too big, it then says it doesn't have enough space, so I click 'OK'. Then it disconnects immediately. (Before I did the resetting and restoring, it would just update, tell me the update was complete and disconnect immediately, just like it does now)

    The iPod remains visible in iTunes, and I can indeed go to preferences --> iPod and change some settings like which playlists it should update, but when I press OK and try to update the iPod it gives the error message. Which is to be expected since the iPod isn't connected anymore. So, any edits in the iPod settings I try to do are not applied since it can't synchronize those edits with the iPod.

    (I just realized I could probably make my playlists smaller to get at least some music on there temporarily, but that doesn't solve the main issue obviously).
  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,255 points)
    Once it unmounts, the comuter can't talk to it again unless you physically reconnect it.

    Connect the iPod, select the new playlist/make your changes, then press okay and remove/disconnect the iPod.
    Don't try to update it.

    Now plug the iPod back in and it should update as you told it to.

    The playlist being too big is easy.

    Make a new Smart Playlist.
    Set it to 3700 MB by Random.
    Open iTunes prefs -> iPod.
    Select Automtaically update selected playlists and select this new playlist.

    When you want new songs, select this playlist in iTunes(not on the iPod) select all the songs and press delete.
    It will immediately get filled with a new random selection of songs.
    Now plug in the iPod to sync it.
  • Astroquicky Level 1 (0 points)
    Well... the problem is that it updates automatically once it's mounted. So I don't have the chance to select a new playlist or make any changes while the iPod is connected, since it's not possible to make changes while it's updating and it unmounts as soon as it's done updating... :-/
  • TrevorQ Level 2 (450 points)
    Just restore it again and when you go to set it up in iTunes, uncheck the "Automatically update all songs and playlists" option to put it in manual mode. Then just drag the songs/playlists you want to it.
  • Astroquicky Level 1 (0 points)
    Ok, I'll try that this evening when I'm back home. However the issue remains that the iPod is unmounting after synchronizing, which it shouldn't, right? At least it didn't do that before. It would remain mounted, so that if I'd click 'Update' again, or change settings, it would just remain mounted, until I told it to eject. Right? Or am I remembering things the wrong way?

    I have the feeling that what you suggested is just a work-around, not a solution to the problem. I might be wrong though. I'll see what happens this evening .

    Thank you for your help so far, TrevorQ and Chris CA.
  • TrevorQ Level 2 (450 points)
    Okay, so here's how it works...

    If the iPod is in Automatic Update mode (either the all songs and playlists or the selected playlists only variety) then the iPod will only remain mounted as a hard disk and say Do Not Disconnect during the update process. Once the update completes, it will go back to the main menu and while the hard disk may still appear in My Computer it won't be accessible. The iPod will remain in the iTunes source list until it is either disconnected or ejected from the list. During the time that it is connected and showing in iTunes but not mounted, the iPod preferences are still accessible in the iTunes preferences window and can be changed, but as soon as the iPod is ejected or disconnected the preferences options will disappear.

    However, if disk mode is enabled in iTunes (either by putting the iPod in Manual mode, or by simply checking the "Enable disk use" option in the iPod preferences) then the iPod will remain "mounted" as a hard disk the entire time it is connected to the computer until it is ejected. "Do not disconnect" will remain on the screen and the iPod can have files written to it through My Computer.

    Basically to me it sounds like your iPod is just in Automatic mode and used to have disk mode enabled but doesn't anymore.
  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,255 points)
    Basically to me it sounds like your iPod is just in Automatic mode and used to have disk mode enabled but doesn't anymore.
    Irregardless of Enable Disk use checked or not, it should update, if you click Update ipod in iTunes.
    I just tried it in mine and it updates.
  • Astroquicky Level 1 (0 points)
    Even when it is plugged in but not mounted at the time you pressed 'Update'?
  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,255 points)
    If it is not mounted, you cannot see it on the desktop or in iTunes to select it to be able to do anything with it.

    In Auto update and Enable Disk Use off, it updates and all you need to do is physically disconnect it from the computer.
    It is still viewable in iTunes. I can click Update and it will update.
    If I have Enable Disk Use checked, I have to select Eject.

    Once I select Eject, the iPod is not in iTunes or on the desktop.
  • TrevorQ Level 2 (450 points)
    The failure to update would be due to the "cannot be read from or written to" error.
  • Astroquicky Level 1 (0 points)
    Okay, well... I tried it and it's not updating when it's connected. iTunes does not seem to succeed in mounting the iPod when I click 'Update'. By reinstalling iTunes, I managed to put some music on there, and now it still updates fine whenever I connect it, but as soon as it's done updating, it's unreachable again for iTunes (clicking 'Update' gives me the 'cannot be read from or written to' error).

    I've tried most of the things mentioned in the support article on the 'cannot be read from or written to' error (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=301267), including resetting, restoring and reinstalling itunes, making sure my windows is up to date, and trying four different USB ports from three different interfaces. Nothing solved it so far. I don't think it can be from something like a loose cable or something, since it always updates fine when I connect it. It's just that once updated, iTunes unmounts it and can't seem to remount it when I click 'Update'... *sigh*

    Any other ideas?

    Thank you for your help so far. Please don't give up on me... yet...

    PS: My iPod was not on 'enable disk use' before btw...
    PPS: Even though iTunes can't seem to remount the iPod once it's updated and got unmounted, it does notice when I disconnect it completely since it then removes the iPod from the sidebar.
  • John Eilers Level 1 (5 points)
    I have the same problem and have use 2 ways of solving it. I think it might be aomething to do with havinh a VIA chipset. The first is quick, easy and will cost about $20. I bought a Sony USB charger at Best Buy (AC-U50A) It's smaller and better designed than tha Apple OEM.

    The second is Free but can be kind of a pain. Create a shortcut to the drive that Windows assigns the iPod. Plug the
    iPod in. Start iTunes for the update. If you aren't updating, skip starting iTunes. Stop iTunes when finished with it. Manually disconnect iPod when done charging.
  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,255 points)
    Have you tried changing the drive letter Windows assigns to the iPod?