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Old Dec 10, 2012, 02:32 PM   #1
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iPod classic not recognised in Windows 7


I have a Macbook Pro and I want to listen to my Mac formatted iPod using my iPod Classic on iTunes for Windows 7 at work.

When I plug in my iPod to my work PC iTunes will pop up (latest version) on Windows 7 Professional (64-bit) saying that the contents of my iPod cannot be read and it needs to be be restored.

Using my same machine, if I launch a virtual machine running Windows XP Professional (32 bit) then the iTunes I have on there reads the iPod fine and all music is visible and can be listened to. If I use the same virtual machine to successfully restore the iPod and set it up using the setup wizard that appears after restoration then as soon as I disconnect the iPod from the VM and have it back to Windows 7 I get the same error (contents cannot be read) - how is that possible?

There is some sort of fix. I did manage to get it working on my work PC under iTunes for Windows 7 providing that it was formatted for PC and also a picture file was added otherwise Windows cannot recognise it (this was done by a friend - found no supporting information on the internet about this).

So, that means I would have a PC formatted iPod Classic which I manually manage with my Macbook Pro where my music collection is stored. Suffice to say I still get the same error about the contents not being read and the whole process starts all over again.

On my Macbook Pro I have Windows XP (32 bit) inside VMWare Fusion, it recognises the iPod fine, formats it and I even manually put an image file on to it but still my work PC cannot read the contents.

If my work PC is locked down in terms of USB (meaning I cannot access any USB devices plugged in to it) then would that be the issue? Sometimes also my iPod comes up as a removable disk on my work PC and other times (after the 'fix' I mentioned it correctly appears an an iPod).

I am at my wit's end with this. Is there any way I can read my Mac formatted iPod on my work PC just to listen to the music in any other application other than iTunes? I tried Foobar 2000, it said 'iTunesDB access was denied'.

I also tried replacing the iTunesDB file with a backup but the backup file was not on my iPod Classic for some reason.

I tried changing the drive letter and restarting the services as Apple described in their support documentation - No luck.

I tried another USB cable and all USB ports on my work PC - No luck.

Also, on the work PC, I can access the iPod to restore it in iTunes, click 'Restore' and then it restarts but the iPod setup assistant does not appear nor does the iPod in the sidebar (meaning it cannot be named etc.), would this be caused by USB being locked down also?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.


Last edited by ianwuk; Dec 10, 2012 at 02:38 PM. Reason: More information
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 04:33 PM   #2
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Many companies, the one I work for included, lock down USB devices. Microsoft Windows' support for doing this is laughably bad, though, leading some devices to work, some not to work, and some to work 1/2 way. I think your iPod is one of those 1/2 way devices.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 04:38 PM   #3
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Thanks for replying. I thought that would be the issue too but it still does not explain how my friend who fixed it for me to work (also head IT guy) managed to restore it properly for my work PC to recognise it, especially with regards to why my PC cannot read it unless it has an image file on it.

Does anyone know of a PC music player that supports a Mac formatted iPod so I can play music off it?

Furthermore, if I use CopyTrans then the iPod is recognised (formatted as either Mac or PC) and the music can be played, how is it that can do it but iTunes cannot?

Basically, as said, I'd like to be able to just play the songs on my Mac formatted iPod on my work PC - nothing more with Last FM support if possible.

Many thanks.


Last edited by ianwuk; Dec 10, 2012 at 06:33 PM.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 07:27 AM   #4
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Hello ! I was in a very similar boat just a few days ago. I wanted to sync (including putting music on my mac ipod from my pc) without restoring and losing all my music.

All you need to do is install MacDrive 9 software on your PC, restart and when you connect your iPod, it will open iTunes and from thereyou will be able to do whatever you want, just like a Windows formatted.

In my case, Windows Vista SP 1 with iPod video 5.5G.
Dreaming about an iPod Pro
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 12:13 PM   #5
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One thing that confuses me is I restored my iPod using my Macbook Pro, plug it in to my work PC and iTunes correctly says it cannot read it and then when I open CopyTrans Manager (Free) it can read it fine (read only mode) and I can listen to my music.

I tried that software and I did not seem to get anywhere with it so I will try another one I have found (HFS+ by Paragon) and let you know.

Many thanks.

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Old Jan 7, 2013, 05:25 AM   #6
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Location: Vietnam
Return iPod Nana to Mac format?

Background info: I am going to take my iMac in for a Seagate hard drive warranty replacement/recall. As I am in Vietnam and it is not with an actual Apple store but an authorized third party reseller, they say it will take 1-3 weeks. My guess is this is because they are not stocking the replacement drives.

So I set up my wife's Windows 7 PC with the latest iTunes download and plugged in my iPod (I have the new Nano) and iTunes gives me the "must reformat to Windows" message.


1) If I just leave it plugged in and do nothing else, will it charge?

2) If I give in and reformat it to Windows, will it do the opposite, (reformat to iOS or OSX,) when I get my iMac back and plug it in to the original machine?

I have copied my entire iTunes folder to the PC so all my content is the same but if I don't reformat, it looks like I will not be able to add content until I get the iMac back. Am I safe to reformat to Windows for the three weeks?

I also plugged in what now seems to be my wife's iPad to the PC and iTunes. The interface looks a little different but basically the PC seems to accept the fact that the iPad runs with iOS6 and does not demand a reformat.
27" iMac (late 2010),3.2GHz,12GB RAM, OSX 10.10.3; iPad 2,GSM-WiFi,32GB,iOS 7; iPod nano 7; iPhone 6 (wife); One+One (me)
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Old Mar 11, 2013, 06:32 PM   #7
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Hello Kanunu.

I would love it if someone knew of any software you could install on the iPod to make it readable on both PC and Mac without any messing around but I doubt it exists.

To answer your questions:

1 - It will charge just fine, the issue will be that iTunes will not see it and therefore will nag you to restore it so that it can be seen.

2 - You can reformat the iPod to Windows and the Mac will read it fine too (does not work the other way around) but you will have to manually manage your music if you do it this way.
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