Today when my girlfriend went to bed, she screamed “Can you come over here, my iPod’s flashing!”. I took the device and indeed it was flashing red and green accordingly. I plugged it in to see if the music got lost or the index got corrupted (I’ve never used iTunes, but a program called rebuild_db.exe), unfortunately I wasn’t able to access the device, it seemed dead.
First step: Install iTunes and do the recovery there. It even started but did never complete, the progress bar got stock at 100%. So I did something that you normally never ever do: Disconnect the device while there’s an operation pending. Result: Device did not turn on, now it really seemed dead.
So I googled for solutions and found out about the “iPod Reset Utility“, a small tool by Apple to reset iPod Shuffle devices. I started it and — wasn’t it expected? — an error message telling me “Only for 32 bit systems” appeared. Holy cow… I was using Windows 7 64 Bit, but the architecture wasn’t the problem, it’s the tool’s installer’s compatibility checking routine that’s yelling. So I tried Virtual PC with Windows XP mode which told me my CPU isn’t setup for virtualizing (yeah, sure! BIOS setting “AMD virtualization” = ON). Windows’s compatibility mode settings didn’t work either.
Then I did what I usually do when a Windows program has problem with its own operating system: Boot Linux (again) and do it right! I started the iPod Reset Utility setup using Wine, installed it successfully and tried my luck again. Unfortunately the tool wasn’t able to detect the Shuffle in Linux. So I copied the files over to my Win 7 box, booted the evil Windows again, moved the iPod Reset Utility files exactly to the place where I’ve installed them on my Linux box and set the compatibility settings of Windows to Windows XP Service Pack 2.
Luckily the program started! I reconnected the iPod and surprise surprise, the tool recognized it and started the recovery!
So for anyone running Windows newer than XP Service Pack 3 with problems installing that tool, I packed the raw files for you. Just make sure to unpack them in the C:\Program Files (x86)\iPod\ directory (create it if it doesn’t exist yet) and set the compatibility mode to Win XP SP 2 (rightclick on exe file, compatibility).
- Apple: Shame on you for providing an installer with silly OS version checks.
- Windows: Shame on you for bad downwards compatibility and not detecting virtualization.
- Linux: Thank you, keep it going. 😉