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ITunes has detected an iPod in recovery mode on Windows PC June 13, 2009

Posted by Gomez in Apple.
Tags: , , ,

FIRST: This minor issue could give someone with love for music headaches so I am sharing my experience/ solution with you.

Now if you follow ITunes recommendation to restore your IPod, that’s ok, but it will never stop asking to restore your IPod. Remember a restore is a factory default, so all of your files would be wiped!

SOLUTION: This iPod error message is caused when you have a removable device other than your iPod plugged into a USB port and occupying the drive letter the IPod previously used. All you need to do is unplug all removable USB devices, Open Computer Management > Disk Management, look for  your IPOD device ,right click on your iPod device and click change drive letter, assign a new drive letter to your IPOD device, after successful change, unplug IPOD data cable, and reconnect the cable. Your IPod would display as normal.



1. jpd - June 27, 2009

I tried these procedures but am having the same result (returns to error message saying “iTunes has detected an iPod in recovery mode. You must restore…” ) when device is plugged back into USB and iTunes opens.

I’m running XP.

Any further suggestions?

2. Gomez - June 30, 2009

Hi Jpd,

Sorry about the delayed reply, i would suggest after unplugging all removable usb devices, plug in ur IPOD and change the driver letter to a higher letter e.g. If your IPOD is using E:\ assign letter M:\, please let me know about your results.

3. @RaylonS - July 1, 2009

This really worked for me! Thanks for pointing out the easy fix, re-formatting my 60G iPod was NOT something I was looking forward to.

4. derrek - July 16, 2009

hey, i have a 30 gig ipod (running Vista) and i am having the recovery loop problem also. i tried changing the drive letter. ive tried every letter possible. still i can not fix this problem. please help. also i have no other usb drives connected

5. Gomez - July 17, 2009

Ensure that you are running the latest version of itunes, since there are some known issues with version 7, secondly reboot your ipod before trying to connect, you can reboot by pressing and holding both the menu and center buttons. let me know about your success.

6. Derrek - July 17, 2009

thank you, but i have… and reset so many times. i do have the latest version of itunes. i’ve been trying for days now… i have another one, its just a mission for me to fix this one now. let me explain my whole problem to you.

my ipod was stuck in recovery mode. i would try to restore it but it continually went back. then i changed my letter drive from E through Z and still…. nothing. It would just ask me to Restore ipod over and over. But, When I put my iPod into Disk Mode by reseting it and then by holding down the center button and play/pause, i was able to get it off the apple screen and ito DISC MODE OK TO DISCONNECT…. and then i was able to restore it. it seemed to be syncing fine…. i was so happy…. but after adding songs to it, it would not leave the OK TO DISCONNECT screen. I can never see the Main Menu on my ipod. Its either and Apple, or the OK TO DISCONNECT or DO NOT DISCONNECT while plugged it. Because its in Disc mode i even ejected it manually everyttime except for a few times to see if that would make a difference. I am so close to fixing this problem, i know it but i can not figure it out. also, when the songs are added to the ipod i can see them in itunes under the ipod folder. but they are shaded out and i cannot click or listen to them. its very very strange. if you can, i would appreciate any advice you can give.

Thank you

7. derrek - July 19, 2009

ive continued to try again and again… now im gettin an error -69 message. i’m pretty sure every possible error an ipod can have i have seen over the past week. when i research error -69 on the internet, most people tell me it is a bad file (track) and to uncheck it and continute. But after restoring again and again, it stops on different track numbers. and if i uncheck the track it stopped on, it will just get stuck on the next track. i used my girlfriends ipod, restored it to factory settings, and was able to upload every song in my itunes library without a problem, 1st try. so i’m not sure what my problem is.

8. Gomez - July 20, 2009

Hey Derrek
Sorry about the late reply, thank you for updating me on the steps you have taken, below is a possible fix for error 69.

Control-click (Mac) or right-click (Windows) on your iPod icon in the iTunes Source pane, then choose Sync Songs from the shortcut menu.

Watch the display at the top of the iTunes window while your iPod is being updated.
The name of the problematic file should appear in the display right before the error appears. Then remove the bad file from the list of songs to be synced to your iPod.

Select the iPod in the iTunes Source pane.

Click the Settings tab.

Select the “Only sync checked items” checkbox (please note that this checkbox is only available for an iPod configured to update automatically).

Select the appropriate item under Library in the sidebar and find the bad file in the list. (For example, if the file in question was a song you would select Music in the iTunes Source pane. If it were a video you would select Movies or TV Shows in the sidebar.)

Deselect the checkbox next to the file name.

Repeat steps 1 and 2 to update your iPod. If you have multiple problematic files in your iTunes library, you may need to repeat the other steps to remove them too.

To prevent future issues, you should delete the unusable files from your iTunes library, then restore them from a backup or reimport them from a CD.

If you’re not able to isolate to any single file or if another iPod works with the same songs, then disconnect any other devices connected to USB or FireWire and try again. If the issue continues, then then try resetting your iPod. If the issue continues, then restore your iPod.

Let me about your success.

9. derrek - July 24, 2009

hey …. I got it to work. I had to manually add every song one by one. there was no problem files when adding them one by one. im not sure why it did this but my problem is solved. thank you.


10. Maria - September 12, 2010

I’ve tried all the steps above and my ipod still isn’t working, itunes still says i need to restore it. I do have the latest itunes and i have rebooted but it wont work so i dont know what to do next?

Any suggestions?


11. Bridget - October 27, 2010

Thank you this really worked! I was freaking out so I really appreciate this!

12. software - December 15, 2012

I’m not sure exactly why but this weblog is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back
later and see if the problem still exists.

13. Tricia - April 4, 2013

Thanks! this works for me! I changed the letter from G to M.
thanks again! ^^

14. Harry - August 31, 2013

I’ve tried all the steps above and my ipod still isn’t working, itunes still says i need to restore it. I do have the latest itunes and i have rebooted but it wont work so i dont know what to do next?

Any suggestions?


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16. jim - March 11, 2014

I just changed the usb port. Worked for me, thank you for the ideas

17. An Ipod Has Been Detected | Get Your iPad Now - September 15, 2014

[…] ITunes has detected an iPod in recovery mode on Windows … – Jun 13, 2009 · thank you, but i have… and reset so many times. i do have the latest version of itunes. i’ve been trying for days now… i have another one, its just a …… […]

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