That's the odd thing; there is no red X.
I left it plugged in overnight and all of yesterday. This morning it was working, but still not recognized on iTunes (I had disconnected and reconnected before I could check it in iTunes.) The when I tried to connect it again it started acting funny - not connecting, cycling through apple/support/battery screens .
I had suspected the battery was a problem, but I think you may be right - that the hard drive is gone. I have someone locally who may be able to tell me if it's salvagable. I'd like to have it last a few months for my friend, but I know it may be a lost cause at this point.
Thanks for the help. I don't want to give her a fancy paperweight. I wonder if the Apple store would consider looking at this thing or if it's just too old.
I found your question while trying to get my ancient click wheel iPod to work again. I connected it and got the same cycling you got, but I connected it to my iMac and opened disk utility. The iPod showed up in the left sidebar of disk utility. I was able to verify the iPod, and it checked out okay. Immediately, the iPod stopped cycling between the charging icon and the message that the drive had been disconnected without being ejected properly to straight charging mode. I think my iPod is going to be okay.
I hope you hung onto yours and you can try this.