Caitlin had "misplaced" her ipod for a long time and wanted to take it along on our summer vacation trip. She found it and plugged it in and charged it up with the wall wart. Everything worked fine. Until we tried to sync it up. Hmmmm, looks like it needs an update and itunes needs to be upgraded. Install itunes9, it sees the ipod, clicked to update and waited. And waited. Finally got an error code and look that up. The usual charge it up, connect disconnect, reload latest itunes and install, etc. Try again and wait. And wait. But now it is stuck at the apple fruit logo and won't do anything. And it made the clickey sound like it was accessing the drive but nothing. The update locked the drive in a loop.
Look up help on the internet. You are now the proud owner of a bricked ipod classic 80 gb.
This rots, to the core.
UPDATE: I was going to install itunes on my new "refurb" laptop that I just got. But it has Vista Business sp1. I think I am screwed again.
Step 1: Plan of action
You can search "bricked ipod classic" and see all of the other horror stories but apparently I was not the first to encounter this. And it also seems, in my humble maker opinion, a hushed corporate topic suppressed by the giant Apple machine. Software updates are always inherently dangerous but collateral risk for a few is acceptable.
There is no known fix.
1. The ipod is out of warranty and was given as a gift.
2. Apple already has it hands full with iphone problems.
3. Ipod was never subjected to any usage outside of Apple's Terms of Service.
4. The most likely fix is to replace the hard drive to see if you can get it running again.
I could have taken it to Apple or an authorized repair to get it "fixed" but they will not acknowledge it is a problem as their fault and charge you repair costs. A service center will charge more than what it is worth to get a new ipod.
I am lucky nothing on the ipod was valuable or sensitive data. Back up your data, people!
Caitlin's uncle had pity and was kind enough to get her an itouch to replace the bricked ipod. Thanks.
So, I am left with a bricked ipod to toy around with.