I've been having this iPod (3G) around far like few years. I had almost thrown it away since it was giving the folder icon.
I was thinking of buying an MP3 player with a power button (after the bitter experiences with the the 3G getting stuck sometimes) few weeks ago and I thought I'd give apple a one last try. After Googling for couple of seconds I found the resetting, disk mode and diagnostic mode hot keys
so I thought to my self that it was functioning again. So I installed iTunes and updated the thing to get a fresh start and started coping my music on. The problem was no matter how hard I try it never could copy any thing beyond the 1GB mark. I tried like everything. I tried software like Songbird
(by the way a pretty nice open source music player which supports iPod syncing) I tried copying songs till about 990MB and then copying notes (like hundreds of them) or contacts (hundreds of them) just to try to copy something beyond the 1GB point but every time it either got stuck or got corrupted. making me restore it back to the original state using the iPod. restore -> corrupt or stuck, reset or restore -> corrupt or stuck... this had to go on for quite some time for me to realize that the hard disk was actually having bad sectors at about 1GB
The 3G gave no problem at all if I stayed inside the 1GB margin it was like having an iPod 3G with just 1GB :D. any ways after seeing this
I decided that it was the end of it!
Then I was thinking to my self if I could just get beyond the 1GB point some how it was smooth sailing for the rest of the 12GB (hopefully) - the total was 13.7 GB or something. So I set out to repair the damaged disk.
After few hours I had a 12GB iPod (3G) in my hands
Heres what you need (Or what I had)
1. A rough Idea where the bad sectors are
2. Of course the Firewire cable (the iPod (3G) doesn't charge off USB)
3. A windows XP PC
4. With the iPod updater
installed (I don't know whether you can use the updater in iTunes or not)
4. An ubuntu PC (I have a dual boot)
5. With gparted
installed (Maybe any partition tool would do. Any how I used this)
Now you are good to go!
Please not that some of the images are from Google, not from me
Oh, & By the way use this at your own risk, I will not be responsible for any damage to your equipment
I don't think that you might have any thing to lose in your iPod (3G) by the time you read this :D