iPod Classic 160GB troubles

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ScoobZ

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iPod Classic 160GB
Purchased new, May 2010

Three days in a row I've had a problem where I can listen to it all day at work (about 100 songs) and turn it off when I'm done. Then later when I get home and want to sync, it just gets stuck on the Apple logo screen forever and won't sync. So I try to Reset it but it still just hangs on the Apple logo. After about 5 minutes I'll hear a click, the screen goes blank like it's Resetting itself but then it just hangs on the logo screen again. Lather, rinse, repeat. lol

The only way out of this fun loop is to put it into disk mode and Restore it. Then it will work fine until it is turned off for an extended period, like an hour or so. Fortunately for me the content loss is not a big deal as everything is on my computer as well as backed up multiple times. It's still a hassle though and I'm just about to make an appointment at my local Apple store for diagnosis and replacement (still under warranty).

Sounds like the early stages of disk failure, right?
 

reneipod

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There is not much input I can give you as from all the posts I have read that you contributed to, you have slightly more knowledge than I. So, all I can do is give you support in making an appt with the apple store and agree with you that it sounds like some hard drive failure happening.
 

ScoobZ

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Okay, I happened to notice that there was an album on the iPod that wouldn't play. The songs would progress for about 0:02 and then skip to the next song. At the end of the 17 song album the next album would start and play fine. I don't see how a bad album could affect the overall performance of the iPod especially when that album doesn't get played very often, and didn't get attempted at all in the other three days I had issues, but just in case I Restored the iPod one more time and then loaded it up as normal except the album in particular. I'm using it today as I normally do. If it craps out on me again tonight when I get home I'm giving up and making an appointment. If it doesn't crap out I'll re-rip the album in question, add it to the iPod and give it another whirl tomorrow.

BTW, the album in question plays just fine in iTunes and on my iPod 5G (60GB).
 

Jesse Hollington

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It actually does sound like the early stages of disk failure. The album in question may simply be the one that was written to a "bad" area of the disk, which is why it showed those specific symptoms. Your assumption is correct that on an traditional iPod, music that is sitting dormant on the device shouldn't have any dramatic impact on performance -- certainly not what you've seen in this case (I have occasionally seen issues where a badly-tagged track causes iPod database problems that in turn cause weird behaviour when scrolling through music lists, but nothing quite so dramatic as what you're seeing).

If the problem persists, I'd suggest kicking the iPod into hardware disk mode and running an OS-level format on it to see what that turns up. If that's successful, then try another restore from iTunes.
 

ScoobZ

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It actually does sound like the early stages of disk failure. The album in question may simply be the one that was written to a "bad" area of the disk, which is why it showed those specific symptoms. Your assumption is correct that on an traditional iPod, music that is sitting dormant on the device shouldn't have any dramatic impact on performance -- certainly not what you've seen in this case (I have occasionally seen issues where a badly-tagged track causes iPod database problems that in turn cause weird behaviour when scrolling through music lists, but nothing quite so dramatic as what you're seeing).
Well, much to my surprise the iPod didn't act up today. I'm shocked. So I re-ripped the album in question and synced it. It plays just fine so far (listening to it now).

I realized another difference today though. Yesterday after Restoring all I did was load my base music list (essentially all music in my library, minus the potentially offending album). All the other times I synced all my other playlists (several dozen static and smart lists). None of the lists ever caused a problem before but I'm wondering if it's possible one of my lists is causing it to go into some kind of never ending loop. Maybe a list I recently made has some kind of circular reference or something?

Anyway, I'm leaving all my lists off again tonight to see what happens tomorrow. If tomorrow goes well then I'll start gradually adding my lists to see if one of them might be the problem.

I have eight months left on the warranty so I have time to try to isolate the problem. I'd rather not have to get a new one if the problem is something self inflicted.

If the problem persists, I'd suggest kicking the iPod into hardware disk mode and running an OS-level format on it to see what that turns up. If that's successful, then try another restore from iTunes.
Yep, that would be my last resort before going to the Genius bar. FAT32 for Windows, right?
 

Jesse Hollington

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I realized another difference today though. Yesterday after Restoring all I did was load my base music list (essentially all music in my library, minus the potentially offending album). All the other times I synced all my other playlists (several dozen static and smart lists). None of the lists ever caused a problem before but I'm wondering if it's possible one of my lists is causing it to go into some kind of never ending loop. Maybe a list I recently made has some kind of circular reference or something?
It's conceivably possible it's a playlist, but I've never seen that issue before.

It's also possible that there's a bad block or problem further on in the hard drive, and by loading on less content you just haven't hit that spot yet. :)

Anyway, I'm leaving all my lists off again tonight to see what happens tomorrow. If tomorrow goes well then I'll start gradually adding my lists to see if one of them might be the problem.
An alternative would be to create a new basic list and fill it up with music, or find some other way of syncing a LOT of content on without using any smart playlists. This would determine if the problem is really just having the hard drive too full.

Yep, that would be my last resort before going to the Genius bar. FAT32 for Windows, right?
Yup.
 

ScoobZ

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It's conceivably possible it's a playlist, but I've never seen that issue before.
Me either.

It's also possible that there's a bad block or problem further on in the hard drive, and by loading on less content you just haven't hit that spot yet. :)
That's the thing. I reloaded it with my entire music library (less holiday music) every time. It's about 132GB. The smart playlists I haven't included yet all use my base list "Music no Christmas" as it's source, and the static lists all come from there, too. So the lists themselves don't add any additional content to the iPod. "Music no Christmas" is the only list on there now.

An alternative would be to create a new basic list and fill it up with music, or find some other way of syncing a LOT of content on without using any smart playlists. This would determine if the problem is really just having the hard drive too full.
I'll try something like that if I hit the problem again today.
 

ipod rescue

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I'd lean towards this being a hard drive issue and not a playlist problem.
As Jhollington says, a bad sector on the platter is like a scratch on an LP, its not an issue with the song but a problem with the disk at that spot.

I'd format the drive and do a bad sector check etc then reload. If it fails again then i would look for new drive.
 

ScoobZ

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Two days in a row without issue. Today is the next test. I added a few of my playlists, some static, some smart.

I'd format the drive and do a bad sector check etc then reload. If it fails again then i would look for new drive.

It's still under the one-year warranty so if it continues to be a problem I'm just going to take it to the Apple store for a new (refurbished) one.
 

ScoobZ

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Well, over the last few days I slowly added back all my playlists. Over the weekend I did put it in disc mode and did the XP error-checking process on it (with automatically fix errors checked). It was operating normally before I did that, I just did it to see if anything would turn up.

Today is day 2 with all of the lists back on. Yesterday was trouble free. I'm hoping today will be as well.

I find it really odd that all the trouble seems to have been caused by one album that wouldn't play on the Classic (but would play on my iPod 5G and iTunes).

Either that or it took a few Restores to get the software installed on a non-damaged sector and I just haven't run into it yet, or the error-check found and marked the bad sector and I won't have to hit it again.
 

ollyjo

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itunes states that it cannot sync my ipod due to duplicate device or somesuch but then syncs it anyway...BUT it does not sync album covers or changes i recently made such as consolidating all songs from an album into one album (you know when songs are displayed individually because they have a "guest" artist eg ub40 and chrissie hynde etc) can this be sorted/
 

ollyjo

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is it because the ipod is nearly full? you must excuse me i am not very clued up at all in respect of these matters and i just wanted to get all my music on to my device. by the way the ipod classic can hold 40000 songs? mine is almost completely full at 18000. is it to do with song length which would seem logical or do i have an extra problem?
 

dcumpian

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is it because the ipod is nearly full? you must excuse me i am not very clued up at all in respect of these matters and i just wanted to get all my music on to my device. by the way the ipod classic can hold 40000 songs? mine is almost completely full at 18000. is it to do with song length which would seem logical or do i have an extra problem?
The iPod Classic can hold 40,000 songs at a lower bitrate (128kb) than what you are probably using. Sounds like you may be using iTunes Plus (256kb) or High Quality MP3 (256kb - 320kb). You decide what bitrate to use when you rip your CD's.

Dan
 

ScoobZ

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Update: All seemed okay through this morning until about 30 minutes ago it Reset itself. Now when I scroll through any menu (Artist, Album, or Song) as soon as I make a selection it Resets itself. :(

Silver lining: I have a Genius bar appointment in a couple hours and it's within walking distance.

More to come....
 

ScoobZ

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Update: Somebody get me some strawberry jam because this thing is toast.

The very nice Genius listened to the saga, verified the symptoms, and diagnosed as likely a bum HD. Unfortunately they did not have a replacement in stock. They should have one for me early next week.
 

ScoobZ

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Yeah, I have to admit i was expecting that post pretty soon.
Ultimately so was I but I'm one of those people who doesn't give up without a fight (within reason). In this case I knew it was well within warranty so I didn't mind making some efforts to try to figure out if there was some other problem. Plus there was no need to panic as my media was never in jeopardy. ;)

Oh well, new drive on it's way, happy days!
I got the call on Saturday that my new(ish) iPod is in. I'll pick it up at lunchtime today. :)
 

ScoobZ

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Update: registered it and synced it up fully last night. All my playlists. When it was done I still had just under 17GB of disk space available.

Because it takes so long to sync it up (4-5 hours) I let it run over night. This morning I properly disconnected it from iTunes.

Got to work today, turned it on, went to scroll to my playlists and it went into an endless Reset loop.

grrrrr!!!!!!

wtf?!

Now I suppose it's possible that I won the unlucky lottery for a second time and got another bum unit, but I now have to be open to the possibility that my computer or one or more of my songs or playlists is causing the damage. But how do I go about finding that out?

Computer: Dell, Core2 processor, 3GM memory, XP (fully updated), very well protected and cleaned regularly. I will run several scans on it tonight though to make sure there is nothing lurking around.

iTunes: v9.something. All of our music is either ripped from CD or purchased from iTunes or Amazon. No content from dubious sources. All music plays fine on iTunes. No other iPods in the house (7 others - various generations of nanos and one 5G iPod video) have any issues. We all sync from the same library, from the same computer.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. The first new Classic started acting up a couple weeks ago after months of trouble free use. The only thing I can think of to do is make a smart list of all songs added since the beginning of August and sync that list to my 5G to make sure they all do play without issue on it.

Silver lining: the very nice Genius today verified that the unit was malfunctioning and started the process of getting me yet another one.
 
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