Windows confuses iPod with network drive or hard drive and may keep iPod from mounting or songs may seem to disappear

If the drive letter after iPod is mapped to is a network drive or is a drive letter typically used by a hard drive, both Windows Explorer and iTunes may exhibit strange behavior in relation to the iPod.

One or more of the following occurs:

  • iPod does not show up in iTunes or as disk in Windows Explorer.
  • iPod does not show up as disk in Windows Explorer (even though disk mode is enabled on the iPod).
  • iTunes and Windows Explorer report the wrong amount of available space on iPod.
  • No songs appear on the iPod after an apparently successful update from iTunes.
  • Music copied to mapped network drive instead of iPod.
  • The iPod setup assistant appears in iTunes every time the iPod is connected.
  • iTunes displays the "iTunes has detected an iPod in recovery mode - Use iTunes to restore" message even after the iPod has been restored.
  • The wrong iPod name displays in the iTunes source list.

Products affected

  • iTunes for Windows
  • iPod (all models)
  • Microsoft Windows 2000
  • Microsoft Windows XP
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This issue is documented in Microsoft Knowledge Base document 297694, New Drive or Mapped Network Drive Not Available in Windows Explorer.

Changing the drive letter of your network volume should resolve the issue. If you are unable to change the drive letter of the network volume because your programs depend on a specific drive letter, then you can use the following steps to change the drive letter of your iPod instead.

Important: Changing the iPod drive letter may not affect what letter the iPod uses on subsequent connections, so it is not the best long-term solution. If you are unable to change the drive letter of your mapped network drives, contact your system administrator.

Change the Drive Letter

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Double click on Administrative Tools. Note: If you don't see Administrative Tools, look at the left column in Control Panel for a link that says, "Switch to Classic View," and click it.
  3. Double click on Computer Management.
  4. In the left column, click on Disk Management.
  5. Locate the iPod and right click on it, then click Change Drive Letter and Paths.

  6. Click the Change button.

    Change drive letter and paths screen
  7. Use the drop-down menu to select a new drive letter. Note: Make sure to choose a new drive letter that is not already assigned to a network drive. The drop-down menu will display all available letters that are not assigned to a physical drive. Drive letters that are assigned to a network volume will still be listed here. It is also a good idea to assign a drive letter other than a, b, c, or d, as these letters are usually reserved for other system drives.

    change drive letter or path screen
  8. Click OK.
  9. Click Yes on the confirmation dialog.

  10. Close the Computer Management window.
  11. Restart your computer.

iPod: Operating System or iTunes Reports the Disk is Full, But It Does Not Look Full

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