iTunes won’t sync USB iPods under Windows Vista


I apologize for the knowledge-base-like title of this post, but I did it in hopes the search engines will index it and save some other poor shlub the four months of effort it took me to get my iPod to synch with my HP Pavilion desktop.

In case you found this post after months and months of searching for others who have the problem that under Vista iTunes slows to a crawl and will say “syncing iPod” for three days or more without actually doing anything and can’t wait to read my more detailed tale of wow, here’s the link to what you need.

Now, back to my tech support catharsis. I upgraded to Vista from XP on my Pentium D 3Ghz machine right after Vista shipped. Everything worked but the iPod. When I connected it, it would hang. The rest of the system was fine.

OK, I figured, Apple wasn’t supporting iTunes on Vista. So, I’ll wait.

Then, both Apple and Microsoft started fixing the problems. Plus, this same iPod connected and synched flawlessly on my ThinkPad running Vista. If you can get a ThinkPad running Vista to synch with your iPod…well you get the idea.

So, I swapped cables on the HP. I uninstalled and reinstalled iTunes and QuickTime dozens of times. Finally, I wiped the hard disk and reinstalled Vista cold on the theory that the XP upgrade left vestigial shmutz that messed up iTunes.

Nothing — and I mean nothing — worked. Calls to Apple had them scratching their heads as well. Search after search on every search engine with every combination of search terms I could think of produced nothing of use. One thing years of technical trouble-shooting has taught me is that you rarely discover a new problem yourself. Especially after four months, someone had to have had this problem. But just wasn’t yielding to my attempts to find even a small clue.

Finally, in an act of desperation, I connected an old 2G FireWire iPod to the HP and it worked perfectly.

Voila! It must be the USB ports, right? Right. But where do you get updated USB drivers for Vista? Actually, you don’t. You get updated .INF files for the chipset in your computer (if it’s an Intel chipset on the motherboard) that tell Windows Vista how to configure the USB ports. Apparently, the .INF files that ship with Vista aren’t compatible with this motherboard’s chipset and the Apple iPod. Imagine that: the installed configuration of the OS (remember, I installed from scratch) doesn’t have compatible configuration files for the USB drivers…at least for this motherboard and chipset combo.

Every other USB  device appeared to work perfectly, with the exception of the speaker mute button on my HP USB keyboard. That fact made this problem even more devilishly hard.

So, there’s my tale of woe for the Internet community in hopes it helps somebody. If you have an HP Pavilion with an Intel chipset and iTunes won’t synch with your USB iPod, update the .inf files.





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