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My Ipod shows a directory/folder symbol & I can't seem to restore.

My Ipod shows a directory/folder symbol & I can't seem to restore.
My original Ipod (middle on site picture of 3 ipods), constantly alternates between the apple symbol and a directory/folder symbol with an "!". I have connected to itunes, but the site either doesn't recognize my device or tells me that my device is corrupt & to restore. I go through the steps to restore, but after hours of restoring, I get an error message. I have never downloaded anything to the device excet through itunes. My disk drive is Toshiba mk 1003GAL HDD 1262 x zeo1. I am afraid that my device is now useless. Please help. Thanks.

answers:

I'll go the new hard drive route. Thanks for your help!
Another thing to be sure of- make sure the harddrive cable isn't short circuiting anywhere. I had this happen to me once; I was taking a 3rd gen model apart, and I pulled the harddrive out. Upon reconnecting the harddrive, some of the ribbon tape ended up touching the harddrive pin contact points. It took me a while to figure out what was wrong. Eventually, I checked for the short circuiting, rebent the tape, and voila! My iPod stopped displaying the folder icon and booted just fine.

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