iPod Trials

So I have a new iPod, a little one but boasting nonetheless a sturdy flash memory, rather than a queasy, old, easily damaged hard drive. It’s still in its box, however, waiting its turn on the end of the USB cord. And although I am pecking these words out at the keyboard on Friday, it may very well still be waiting for its turn to receive that all-important initial charge and iTunes’ peculiar set-up formatting. Why?

Well, that’s a tale, the one I have to tell today.

The new Nano stands in line behind its fallen predecessor, which is currently attached where the new one wishes it could be (although as always since its problems began, iTunes ignores the wounded device’s digital presence at the USB port). In fact, the old iPod has been attached since Thursday afternoon, starting about 4:45 PM, with the computer running nonstop since. Why?

Well, that’s what I am endeavoring to explain (although not very sincerely or diligently yet).

My one vain hope, when the old Classic went belly up, gasping for mechanical/digital life, once I realized that the thing’s hard drive was probably the problem, was that I could get a disk repair utility to perceive the device and then scan and possibly fix its drive. Unfortunately, in my transition from System 9 to System X through acquiring my lovely “new” iMac, I lost all the disk utility programs I had once used. And until my digital-device March madness began, I hadn’t needed such software.

TechTool Pro in action (unfortunately after crashing over the iPod)

However, coincidentally and conveniently, MacUpdate offered via e-mail a “spring bundle” of deeply discounted shareware products (parallel to the earlier package that brought Chronories and Voila into my electronic/digital existence). And key, at least for me, among the nearly dozen programs was TechTool Pro 5.0.7 — the most current incarnation of a disk utility I had used in this century on my old systems. The serendipitous synchronicity was too neat to resist, and after hesitating for a couple days (and finally finding the time to be at home and get the long-lonely iMac booted up) I bought the package (and then, after departing for a haircut and stopping on the way home for some necessaries at “the Wal,” went a little crazy and acquired as well the Nano).

Once I got all the new software checked over, registered and running, I opened TechTool Pro and got familiar with its new interface and capabilities. And hooked up the broken-down Classic. As ever in the past few weeks, it thought itself connected, but no icon appeared in the Finder, nor did iTunes start automatically, as it should have done. I feared my hopes (and software purchase) were in vain.

But when I got back from the haircut, TechTool Pro showed the determined little music player as an actually attached device (with a plain generic icon, to be sure — but it was really there)! Unbelieving but joyful, I started a test, a “Surface Scan” for bad blocks on the drive, to which I added a later volume hierarchy check.

The test ran all evening, as I discovered, dismayed, that college basketball games had pre-empted CSI (no competitive brackets filled in the Wakdjunkaga household). Later, TechTool still showed at least 22 hours remaining when we went to bed (and it had found a single bad block by that time), so I just let it run all night. When I awoke, early, for play practice yesterday morning, the program was still grinding algorithmically away (and 40 bad blocks were listed) with sixteen hours further testing anticipated. The test still runs as I type this sentence.*

But if it ever ends, and if the software is able to isolate those bad blocks like Symantec used to do, maybe I can get the old Classic back for more appropriate uses than running (such as providing thousands and thousands of tunes for my listening pleasure in the truck). Right now, I can only hope.

* But not this one, sadly (from later yesterday). TechTool Pro crashed while I was at work Friday, so no change on the old Classic iPod: it still has 85 songs from the head of the alphabet among my “Rock” listings, and thatʼs it. Suggestions? (I guess that Nanoʼs going to be a necessity, after all — which is why itʼs connected as I finish this little article.) Suggestions are welcome…

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

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