the best iPod bug I’ve ever seen!

A colleague called me over to look at their WinPC today. She plugged in her iPod and it appeared in iTunes, but the name and music were not hers! It was like it was someone else’s iPod. The music played, everything worked, but it was 6Gb of someone else’s stuff! Spooky!!

Theories were tested and discarded, and it wasn’t until I realised out that the free space reported by iTunes (442Gb.) was the same as a shared volume on our network that the cogs started to mesh and I worked it out.

We have a shared drive on our (large) network called the E: drive, simply because that’s the letter it is mapped to by default on all our WinPCs. Somehow, someone has copied or synched their iPod_Control folder to this volume, (I’m guessing that when originally synched, iTunes confused the E: Drive/Library volume with the iPod). So now when a PC user on our network connects an iPod, iTunes starts looking for a volume with an iPod_Control folder at it’s root. The first one it comes across is the E: drive, which is mounted at startup, so it appears as an iPod… the same iPod for everyone!

I’ll be running a few more tests tomorrow, but if anyone else has found this problem, or can repeat it, I’d love to hear about it!

Latest: a few more tests and anecdotal evidence from other iPod users seems to confirm the bug as described. If the iPod_Control folder is removed, iTunes will create a new one and synch the user’s files to the E: drive

Why am I not surprised!? turns out this is not a problem with iPod or iTunes, but with dear old Windows! Thanks to all who responded here and on the Apple forums.

5 replies on “the best iPod bug I’ve ever seen!”

  1. This isn’t actually an iPod/iTunes bug, it’s a generic Windows bug.

    Basically, Windows is fond of assigning drive letters to new external storage devices that conflict with existing networked drive letters.

    You can use the Drive Management tool (in the Computer Management control panel) to assign non-conflicting drive letters to devices, and then they will keep that drive letter when you plug them in again.

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