Friday, May 14, 2010

Son of a BEE-OTCH!

So this morning, I got up and headed out for my run, started up a podcast on my iTouch… when five minutes in, the audio cut out. I checked the ipod screen, it was saying it was still playing, then the audio cut back in, then out, then in.

I tried a different podcast and it worked fine, ruling out my earbuds as the culprit.

When I got home, I checked out the podcast on my laptop, it was working fine when I played it through iTunes. This was a podcast I'd synced from my iTunes library on the new Netbook, and I started to see that a few that I'd synced from there had a few problems. Enhanced podcasts would have corrupted pictures or the audio would skip occasionally.

So, I tried taking everything off the iPod and re-syncing and got no joy. As a final option, just to make sure there was nothing wrong with the iPod, I decided to do a full restore…basically completely wiping the iPod and restoring it to factory settings.

As soon as I'd pressed the 'restore' button in iTunes, I suddenly realized it was probably a bad idea to uninstall and reinstall all the iPod software from a computer that was having obvious connection problems. It occurred to me, if something was stopping podcasts from transferring across properly, what was to stop the iPod's operating system and, worse, the iPod's firmware from getting corrupted as well?

A few moments later, my worst fears were realized. It got right to the end of the restore procedure then popped up "This iPod could not be restored: Error Code 6". Then the screen went dead.

It wouldn't turn on again and the netbook, Sunny's laptop and the desktop wouldn't even recognize anything was plugged in when I connected it.

Yup, I'd completely bricked my iPod.

Luckily, Apple tech support was like nothing I've ever experienced. I went to the support website, chose the option to talk to an agent, put in my info and fifteen seconds later the phone rang. Fifteen seconds after answering the phone I was talking to an agent. I explained the problem, and after checking that there was no obvious physical or water-damage, she told me to take the iPod to my local UPS store, and they'd box it up and return it to them for free… and I'd get it repaired or replaced in 7-10 days.

Of course, the downside is that while the iPod has worked flawlessly with my desktop, it only started experiencing these problems when I started syncing it with the netbook…which, of course, is all I'm going to have soon.

Anyone have any ideas? I seriously doubt that there was anything wrong with the actual iPod, it's far more likely that something is corrupting the data while it's being transferred from the netbook…or that iTunes has a problem with Windows 7 starter. Basically, I can download things with iTunes, they'll play flawlessly through iTunes itself, but they're not transferring to the iPod properly.

I guess when I get it back, I'll have to check there's nothing wrong with the actual transfer cable and run a bunch of tests.

Just remind me not to try and restore the iPod (which re-installs the firmware) through the Netbook until I work out what the hell is going on.


MC Etcher said...

I'd guess the USB ports in the netbook are underpowered. I had a similar problem with my netbook.

Perhaps a powered hub? It might not sync via a hub though...

Paulius said...

Nice idea, but wouldn't plugging the netbook in while syncing have fixed that problem?

Also, I've used a 500gb USB harddrive with the netbook with no problems. I'm sure if there's enough power to run that an iPod touch would have no problems.