iPhone Losing Sync to Windows iTunes

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by SHowHawk, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. SHowHawk macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2007
    I love my iPhone, I do. But it has been giving me sync fits ever since I upgraded to firmware 1.1.1 and iTunes 7.4.x (for Windows). In particular, every time I sync new videos - movies or TV shows - to it, it craps out half way through each episode or movie. It is as if the USB connection between the iPhone and iTunes (and/or the PC) is lost on big file transfers. I find this just plain unacceptable.

    Is anyone else having this problem with iPhone/iTunes on Windows?

    I get the following error messages in succession part of the way through a sync:

    "Attempting to copy to disk "Steves iPhone" failed. The device is not connected."


    "The iPhone "Steves iPhone" cannot be synced. The device is not connected."

    And please don't tell me the solution is to uninstall iTunes and then reinstall it. That just seems like a kludge solution and it seems to have become a crutch for software developers.
  2. Sobe macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2007
    Wash DC suburbs
    well if you want to limit yourself to not using the simplest and most likely solution to your problem, you've limited yourself to suggestions which probably have nothing to do with the problem.

    Try a new cable, troubleshoot your usb ports, etc...

    And when you finish doing all of that and it still doesn't work, then reinstall iTunes and be mad at yourself for not trying it first.
  3. SHowHawk thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2007
    Well that was helpful.... :rolleyes:

    I know, I know... uninstalling and reinstalling iTunes is probably the "solution." I just find it worrisome that the "recommended solution" for so many software bugs these days is to uninstall and reinstall software, including operating systems. :(

    Anyhow, my main objective in my initial post was to see if anyone else had experienced this problem as well and if anyone had found any actual solutions.

    And, BTW, I have changed cables and USB ports. No improvement. And my 5th gen iPod Video has no problem syncing nearly 40GB of data, so I don't think it is a USB port issue. The problem seems unique to the iPhone.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who has experienced this and has advice.
  4. JFamilo macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2007
    I also have the same problem. I received my iPhone on 9/28 and have only used version 1.1.1 and the newest iTunes. I have an HP with Windows XP Media Center Edition. Whenever I am trying to sync large amounts of music or tv shows I get an error, either "device is not connected" or "device cannot be read from or written to".

    After over a month of this I finally gave in and called 1-800-myiphone last night. The lady I spoke to was very nice but was not able to help me. To remedy this problem I have tried the following, to no avail:
    Turn iPhone off and back on
    Hold down Home key and turn iPhone off and back on (hard reset I think)
    Close iTunes and reopen
    Reinstalled iTunes
    Restored iPhone 3 times!!!! (once back to factory settings, twice to backed up copy)
    Tried only syncing 1 video at at a time.
    Used different USB Ports
    Used different docks & cables

    After all of this, I have an appt at the "genius bar" this evening. I have a feeling that it's something related to XP MCE. So I'm taking my desktop tower with me to make sure the problem is replicated. (I have a feeling it will sync beautifully on a mac)

    I love my iPhone I just want the ability to sync it without spending 3 hours to get a single tv episode on it. I'll keep you posted if I find out anything tonight at the Apple store.
  5. SHowHawk thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2007
    Thanks, JFamilo! From your post it does sound like we both may have an issue with XP Media Center Edition and iPhone 1.1.1. My Windows PC is also an HP with Media Center Edition. I got my phone just a couple weeks before 1.1.1 came out and never had an issue under 1.0.2, so I suspect that there may be some problems between 1.1.1 with iTunes 7.4.3 talking to XP MCE.

    Curiously, XP MCE also is not supported by Palm for synching their handhelds - I have a Palm that I have to sync to an older XP Home machine instead. I wonder if there is an issue with USB syncing in general on XP MCE (and Vista, for that matter).

    My troubleshooting hasn't been as intensive as yours. I have tried some of the steps you have, but haven't gotten to the heavy-duty reinstall-restore ones just yet (obviously based on my above-stated impression of uninstalling-reinstalling as a last ditch effort)... and now I'm not sure I will try those.

    - Turn iPhone off and back on - Check.
    - Hold down Home key and turn iPhone off and back on (hard reset I think) - Not yet.
    - Close iTunes and reopen - Check.
    - Reinstalled iTunes - Not yet.
    - Restored iPhone 3 times!!!! (once back to factory settings, twice to backed up copy) - Not yet.
    - Tried only syncing 1 video at at a time. - Check.
    - Used different USB Ports - Check.
    - Used different docks & cables - Check.

    I'll be anxious to hear how your Genius Bar appointment goes. Thanks for the heads up! Good luck! :)
  6. Ninja Dom macrumors 6502

    Ninja Dom

    Feb 12, 2007
    Listen guys, I'm having the EXACT sync problems as you are with my iPhone but get this...

    ...I'm running a Mac with OS 10.4.10 and my iPhone is an unlocked iPhone with a Vodafone UK sim in it on 1.0.2

    I've tried different iPod cables and my 5G video iPod has never had a single problem with a sync in all these months.

    I get exactly the same errors as you do.

    What could it be??
  7. drchipinski macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2007
    I had the same issues....

    I had to completely take anything Apple off my work PC. Then reinstall Office/Outlook, then reinstalled itunes. It resolved all my issues.

    The iphone has a very love hate thing with me...love the phone when it works......then again when it has issues (which is always seems to) I want to smash it into a thousand pieces....

    Best of luck. :apple:
  8. JFamilo macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2007
    The good, the bad, the ugly

    Okay, so I went to the Apple Store last night and spent over an hour with a genius. I took my HP tower (running Windows XP MCE) and was able to show the problem pretty quickly. He did some research and found nothing. He copied the log file that shows the error to send to an "engineer" for Apple.

    The genius did replace my iPhone which we had hoped would work, but, about 1.5GB into resyncing everything the same error occurred.

    So the problem has been escalated. I'll wait to hear what this "engineer" has to say. I'm glad that it's not the phone though.

    I think my next step will be to try to sync with my husband's PC. He's not running MCE, so I'll try to sync a video or 2 with his iTunes. If it works then we'll know that it's a MCE problem.
  9. JFamilo macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2007
    I'm not sure if this will have any effect, I have no problem syncing with Outlook. The problem occurs even if I don't sync email or calendar stuff... it usually just occurs when syncing large files (ie video files over a few hundred MB) or lots of music.

    It sounds like some sort of buffer error between the phone and windows.
  10. Ninja Dom macrumors 6502

    Ninja Dom

    Feb 12, 2007
    I've also noticed that syncing goes mad when a phone call or text comes through at the same time.

    Try putting the phone in Airplane Mode just for the sync and see if that fixes anything.
  11. JFamilo macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2007
    Finally some progress

    Okay, So I think that I have finally found something that works.

    I truly now believe that MCE is causing my problem. I installed iTunes on my work PC (running Windows XP Pro SP2) and have had absolutely no problems with syncing. I moved my entire library over to that computer and was able to sync 6 tv show episodes (over 5 GB) without any errors!

    So for now I'll use this other computer and I"m thinking of installing Windows XP on my personal or use this as an excuse to get a Mac Book.

    Either way, I'm happy that I now have a way to sync successfully.
  12. SHowHawk thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2007
    iTunes 7.5... no help... yet

    Well, I was hoping that the release today of iTunes 7.5 would do something to solve my sync issues on Windows XP MCE. But no such luck. Same error.

    I did notice what appeared to be some new sync options however. In the General tab, there is a new group of options for setting iTunes to overwrite iPhone info on its next sync.

    Anyhow, since Engadget is reporting some interesting stuff spotted inside this iTunes release (http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/05/new-itunes-hints-at-iphone-disk-use-and-voice-memos/ ) and other reports coming out that a firmware version 1.1.2 is imminent with the UK launch, I will continue to cross my fingers that this WinXP MCE sync issue is somehow resolved soon.

    In the meantime, I may try JFamilo's temporary solution and just sync video from either an old XP Home system (which is low on drive space, so moving my iTunes library over to it is problematic) or from one of my roommate's Macs. I so have to kick Windows to the curb and go all Mac soon.

    Anyone have any tips on syncing to more than one computer, Windows and/or Mac? Any tips on sharing iTunes libraries over multiple computers?
  13. joxer macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2007
    They replaced my ipod touch for the same reasons, but the new one fails just the same. Tried it out on my mac mini after that and it worked just fine, at least a few times I was able to sync 4.5GB of movie info there with no glitch. I think it got even worse with 7.5, turning a minor annoyance into a full blown showstopper - I can only tranfer a small amount of anything now before getting the error.

    I also have an HP MCE PC. Arg. Even if I could figure out how to get all my settings, moives, music, playlists etc all moved over to the mini, it has such a small drive that I'll just about fill it. And putting it on an external won't help if I write it from the PC, as the NTFS formatted drive will be read only on the mini. I basically used handbrake to make a movie image and then copied it a few times to build up the 4.5GB for test purposes - the mini ostensibly belongs to my daughter as well. Just doesn't seem right for me to have to go get a macbook to get my ipod going! Also, no problems ever before with my 3G ipod, although almost all syncs were very small there, and were done using firewire which isn't supported on the new ipods.
  14. joxer macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2007
    Ok, used a firewire drive to move everything to the mini. Calendars now sync to iCal (never had Outlook so no calendars before). 15+ GB sync'd flawlessly.
  15. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    iPods/iPhones only allow you to sync with one computer. I do hook up my iPhone to my Compaq Laptop and it sees it as a digital camera to at least get the photos off of it.

    I usually sync with my PC server, a Compaq AMD Sempron unit. I did have some syncing problems as well, but that's because the Sempron is kinda whimpy. But it is great for just sharing the printer and backing up files. I use it for all my iTunes content and my :apple:TV plays from it and syncs with my iPhone and iPod.

    With iTunes 7.5 and I just upgraded it from 768Meg to 1Gig, it seems the problems have gone away.

    I find that all the Window XP machines I work on really now NEED 1Gigs RAM to start. Windows MCE might need 2Gigs or more. I know that Vista really wants at least 2 but 4 for good stability.
  16. joxer macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2007
    FYI, my MCE machine is a Athlon X2 4200+ with 2GB of ram. Shutting down everything else including norton/symantec and every non-essential service did nothing for the sync problems. If anything the mac mini is the wimp with all of its laptop based internals, but it works great. I think there's something fishy with MCE, at least on the HP machines. And itunes 7.5 made it almost impossible to use at all if anything.

    BTW, just moved the itunes directory from windows to the mac using drag and drop with the firewire drive, all settings including the ipod settings, playlists, podcast preferences, etc. arrived intact. The only problem I had was that I moved my itunes directory on the original computer, and I had to go to the original itunes directory to get the correct .itl file and xml file. You should consolidate your music and check the buttons for allow itunes to maintain the directory structure on both machines as well. As of 7.5 it seems that the ipod settings are backed up and come along with the rest of the metadata, with itunes prompting you to use your backed up settings when you first connect to the computer or after a restore.
  17. SHowHawk thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2007
    No help from 1.1.2

    Well, I was hoping that one of the "bug fixes" in the 1.1.2 software update would improve my iPhone sync issue with Windows XP Media Center Edition.

    No such luck. In fact, I believe the sync issue caused some trouble in the software/firmware upgrade process (given that the upgrade at 160MB is also a large file on the order of video file sizes). My upgrade crapped out near what must have been the end and the iPhone went into "recovery mode" where iTunes informed me that I would have to restore the iPhone back to factory settings. I did that without incident and got everything back (except music, photos and video, of course). Once the restore was done, the iPhone showed up as having 1.1.2 installed on it.

    Then I tried syncing music to it, just two playlists, about 50 songs. And it crapped out with the now familiar disc error messages after about 23 songs. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacck! I even went into Task Manager and shutdown all the processes I could find that started in "eh" (which seem to be what most of the MS' "EHome" MCE programs start with), and that didn't help. :mad:

    Is this some less-than-subtle effort on Apple's part to diss Media Center and get people to move to :apple:Mac?!? :(

    Looks like I will have to sync to my older XP Home machine (I am out of authorizations on my iTunes account, so I can't set up the Mac mini I am borrowing as my new iTunes/iPhone library sync machine just yet).

    Anyone still having similar iPhone sync issues with Windows, particularly XP MCE? I've noticed most people who have responded with the problem seem to have HP MCE PCs... could this be an HP issue? Something in HP's pre-installed software bundles?
  18. TonyHoyle macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    I'd try a powered hub - sounds like your USB chipset can't drive the iphone and is crapping out. I had an nvidia motherboard with a similar problem - if you tried to plug both a mouse *and* keyboard into it it would die randomly. Powered hub fixed it.
  19. wyrmwand macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2008

    I have the same problem with "Attempting to copy to the disk "Iphone" failed. The device is not connected." The only similarity I can see between everyone here reporting this problem is that we all use HP machines!! Anyone has experienced this on any other brand?

    I can successfully sync my iphone with my work laptop without any problems. Both video and music. I have tried to connect the iphone through a powered USB hub and directly to the machine, no real difference. Might work slightly better when connected to the machine but still fails after say 40 songs or so.

    My HP machine just got back from HP support since its memory had broken down, they replaced it. Re-installed everything from scratch, windows, itunes etc! Still the same problem.
  20. shiggys macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2007
    Same issue with HP MCE

    I have tried every USB, re-installing iTunes, re-installing iTouch, MCE upgrades, power cycles, disabling other SW, cold boot, downgrading, but nothing fixes it. I have found that disabling the sync of everything, then only syncing the music seems to help (SOMETIMES). Then I add the movies, and it is back to "cannot detect" I have an iTouch. Is there ANY SW other than iTunes that can also sync to the iTouch? I tried Monkey and some other iSync thing from DOWNLOAD.cm but no luck. Do I really have to buy another OS to use this thing? I got it for Christmas, and I can't even download the free iTunes movies to it. WTF???? This is the last time I buy anything from Apple. I work for a consumer product company, and we test against all the "popular" Operating Systems. If we don't work with it we at least notify the customer of the issue, instead of ignore it.
  21. wyrmwand macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2008
    I recognixe the same method to get things synced. Each time I connect my iPhone I can get 10-40 songs synced, then it crashes, unplug it and re-plug it and sync starts again. Doing so about 100 times get everything synced, not the most fun thing to do.

    I seriously suspect the HP hardware or some HP software because this seems to only exist on HP machines! If I have time tomorrow or maybe on Friday, I'll buy a separate USB card and plug into my machine just to check it's not the HP hardware. I'll post my findings here.
  22. senorFunkyPants macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2008
    I've had similar problems with an Asus P4Pe running XP pro. I did manage to get my iPhone to sync OK by not using the Dock and plugging the uSB lead straight into the Iphone...so I'm also wondering if it is a power issue?
  23. wyrmwand macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2008
    SenorFunkyPants: you mean you just didn't use the iphone dock. I have tried both with or without the dock, no difference at all! Have you used your cable with dock on any other machine? Just to rule out it's not your hardware.
  24. Aries326 macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2007
    I had a TON of problems syncing my iPod shuffle and Nano to my PC that I stopped trying. I put them away. When my wife bought me the iPhone, I decided to sync it with my laptop which runs Vista. I've had no problems whatsoever. I then took my Nano and Shuffle out of retirement. They've worked flawlessly with iTunes and Vista.
  25. senorFunkyPants macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2008
    Ive successfully connected my iPhone to my daughters old Compaq 600hz computer which is networked to mine, it uses the same version of XP pro, the same version of iTunes (7.6) and even though it only got USB 1.1 it Jailbroke my UK 1.1.2 iphone without a hitch using the Dock unit. Yet now (this minute) when I hook up the iphone to my computer (even with iTunes not running) using the Dock unit it keeps connecting and disconnecting, remove the dock unit and connect directly with the USB cable it works fine.
    I used to have the same trouble with my daughters ipod, I had to load music it onto it in small chunks in between the unit disconnecting from itunes...this was when I had an older version of iTunes and the computer was running Windows 2000...so a completely different set of software and hardware produced the same problem. This why I think (for me at least) the problem is power related...the USB output is just sufficient to keep the connection when just using the USB lead but so marginable that when I use the Dock unit (which has a circuit board inside) the power drops below what is required to keep the connection alive.
    I would try (as suggested earlier) borrowing a powered USB hub and see if that makes a difference.

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