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I have a used iPod Classic 5th Generation (A1136) that was purchased for a parent as it is compatible with all their 40-pin gear. One of the parents already has an identical model which was "working fine" (although hadn't been synced for over a year). By this I understand that syncing has worked on their family PC (running Windows 10) in the past, but updates may have been run / fiddling may have taken place since the last successful sync.

However, I plugged in this newly purchased iPod to the family PC (via USB) and strange things began to happen. The iPod appeared to connect, then disconnect and reconnect again in a loop until eventually Windows gave up and said the device had malfunctioned. iTunes doesn't detect the device at all, but once the connect/reconnect loop gives up the iPod appears as a mass storage device - but iTunes continues to ignore it.

Things I have tried

  • different computer - tried it on another Windows 10 machine with an identical version of iTunes (12.7.4.76) - works flawlessly (with the same sync cable)
  • different USB port on the same computer - all behave identically
  • uninstall iTunes, reboot, reinstall iTunes, reboot - same behaviour
  • reinstall Apple Mobile Device Support driver (usbaapl64.inf) - same behaviour

Honestly, I'm tearing my hair out. Short of a clean Windows 10 install I don't know what else to do. Any ideas?

  • 1
    I know the different computer/same cable working seems to eliminate the sync cable, but have you tried a different cable with the same computer? – dwightk Jan 15 at 15:33
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I feel your pain! I have an iPod Classic 160GB that is suffering the same issue on my Windows 10 PC and tablet as of a couple of weeks ago. However, my iPhone 8 is working perfectly.

Like you, I have followed all the suggestions I can find on the web, including restoring my PC from a month ago and then installing an older version of iTunes with no luck.

Windows currently recognizes the iPod as a USB disk, even when I switch it out of disk mode. When I go through Device Manager to update the driver under Portable Devices to install the same driver as the iPhone is using, it tells me that it is not a valid driver for that hardware. So Windows PnP does not recognize it as a iPod, which is a software issue? So why didn't the recovery work?

I have run all sorts of diagnostics on the iPod with no issues. I have reached the stage where it realizes that it is corrupt, and even tells me to restore it using iTunes, but if Windows doesn't recognize it... I have noticed that Windows hangs when it is attached, and I have had timeouts on the driver install.

I'm planning to go into my local Apple store next week, but I wonder if even their Geniuses understand Windows drivers and PnP. I also plan to hammer it this weekend, since it should be a user solution. I will post any updates.

Slight update: OK, so Windows 10 PnP returns a Device Identification String which it matches to a device in the "Models" section of the INF file. So these must not match! Now the INF file is from the latest Apple drivers, so is the iPod screwed enough to be returning a DIS that matches to a USB device but not an iPod? Going to look at resertting the iPod a few more times.

  • Let's work on the question and not blame the answer here. This question begs the answer I'll add in a bit. Allan. I'll +1 this answer since Geordie is clearly trying to help and move the topic forward with solutions and data and suggestions. – bmike May 5 '18 at 16:37
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I did take the cable and ipod to a friend with a Mac and got nowhere.

However, I went to my local Apple store on the way home. They attached to one of their laptop and iTunes recognized it almost immediately as needing recovery. When it was done, I connected it to my tablet, where iTunes recognized it as an Apple formatted iPod and allowed me to reformat and populate.

The problem appeared to be corrupted firmware returning a string to PnP that was not recognized. You need to connect it to a Mac, and good luck!

Thank you and goodbye!

  • Thanks for this answer - I will bear it in mind and try the other solution suggested too - will update on progress when there is some (which may take a few weeks) – stefandz May 6 '18 at 18:25
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I spoke with Apple Support. The iPod Classic is no longer supported by the software, period. Backwards compatibility is not considered and old versions of iTunes are not provided by Apple. In fact, the support personnel are forbidden to provide an older version. They suggest buying a new iPod.

  • Did they happen to show you the official page saying which iDevices a given version of iTunes support? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Mar 11 at 6:16
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I had this problem and tried everything from all kinds of forums and posts. Although my iPod was registered and visible on one of my computers, it was invisible and did not appear in iTunes on another until I assigned a drive letter to it in: Control Panel\Administrative Tools\Computer Management\Disk Management - and suddenly there it was!

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Take the device and cable to another iTunes and you'll know very quickly if the device or cable is flakey or you need to dig into the computer as the cause of the instability.

On windows, dozens of things need to line up for iPods and iPhones and iPads to work with iTunes so you would need to be very systematic and work through all those things:

Good luck and once you have a repeatable error condition in iTunes, please ask a follow on question with those specific and repeatable errors for more help.

  • Thanks for this. As I note in the original question, using the same device and cable with a different machine work flawlessly, so the issue is definitely with the computer itself. Initially this problem went away “on its own” but is now back. I am not going to be at the parent in question’s machine for a few weeks but will go through the detailed troubleshooting thread when I am there. Thanks for your pointers - I will update when I have more info. – stefandz May 6 '18 at 18:20
  • @stefandz My apologies - I totally missed you had already taken it elsewhere to rule out device and cable. Best of luck with the windows half - it's quite a lot of work sometimes - I hope you find a speedy culprit like a missing driver or anti virus that blocks the connection. – bmike May 6 '18 at 18:25
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I have received this link where you can find all the old version from iTunes.

http://www.oldversion.com/windows/itunes/

I have the same problem as you mentioned, but without a solution at the moment. I am from Nicaragua and unfortunately here we do not have Genius from Apple: there is just one Apple center and before yesterday I called and they do not give technical services for the iPod classic 160 Version A1238.

I am desperate I need to recover my ipod.

Help please.

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The older iPods are no longer supported by the new iTunes 12.9. To get the iPod back on track, it's best to install an old version of iTunes on a Windows PC. To get the older versions of iTunes, search in Google.

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I have a newish Win 10 64 bit that has never had iTunes on it. I downloaded iTunes 9.2.1, ran setup and plugged in the iPod. I got an error message telling me to unplug it and then plug it back in. I did and it worked. I've put 1 new song onto the iPod so far and it worked just fine. Here's a link to the page for 9.2.1: https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1056?locale=en_US

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