Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.



For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.







Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!






E-mail us here.

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 2, 2011 10:46 AM. The previous post in this blog was How to clean up college sports. The next post in this blog is Another defector. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Archives

Links

Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
TaxVox
Tax.com
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Conglomerate
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
myCorporateResource.com
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Utterly Boring.com
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
HinesSight
Onfocus
Jalpuna
Beerdrinker.org
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
Sansego
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
Mireio
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
{AE}
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Althouse
GirlHacker
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Frytopia
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
StumptownBlogger
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and Drink.com
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion
LoveSalem

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Misterblue
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
Twisty
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
Pinktalk
Mellow-Drama
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Rosenblog
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Blort
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Maukie
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
KGW-TV
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
KOIN
Willamette Week
KATU
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB
Topix.net - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
KPTV
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

Music-Related
The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Seal
Sting
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, June 2, 2011

More on the iTunes freezing problem with our iPhone

We wrote a few weeks back about a problem we were encountering with our otherwise wonderful iPhone. Whenever we plugged it into our Vista computer, iTunes would come on, but be stuck. It wouldn't allow any operation until the iPhone was disconnected, but as soon as the phone was unplugged, all was well. Windows Vista was recognizing the phone, but iTunes wasn't.

What made it crazier was that the problem was sporadic. Occasionally the gods would smile and the phone would be displayed and sync up as was supposed to. But usually it wouldn't -- frozen iTunes was what you got.

When we blogged about this, we were crowing that we had found a solution, but then we discovered that it didn't really work. And so it was back to the drawing boards. All the Apple forums we could find on the internet turned out to be of little or no help.

We never give up without a fight when gadgets aren't working, and after several weeks of fussing around in the middle of the night, we've learned some more about what is going on, and we've come up with some coping strategies that have had some success. Given that many others have encountered the same difficulty, we're posting an update here.

When the iPhone gets plugged in and iTunes freezes up, it's apparent immediately. But what's a little more subtle is that it doesn't stay frozen forever. After about three minutes of sitting there stoned, iTunes goes back to functioning properly, except that it doesn't show the phone as a connected device. Windows sees it (you can see it in Vista Explorer on "Computer"), but the iPhone doesn't show it.

We have discovered that once iTunes gets to this point, one can click on the "Help" tab in iTunes and run something called Diagnostics, which of course also works if iTunes is recognizing the phone the way it should. Under that tab, iTunes runs four tests on the system. It's the third and the fourth ones that are of interest here, and so you can uncheck the first two boxes. The third test is device connectivity, and the fourth is device sync.

When the phone is plugged in and iPhone doesn't display it (but has recovered from its 3-minute stone-out), the device connectivity test takes a while. But it eventually shows, among other results, a green light next to the line "iPhone found." Next, the device sync test fails. If iTunes is running properly in all respects, this test is performed in a separate DOS-looking box that opens up automatically. But when the iPhone is hanging up, it doesn't open that box, instead showing a red light next to the line "One or more sync tests failed." There's a help button next to that line, which sends you to a bunch of Apple support pages that have not, in fact, helped.

What's revealing is what happens when you click "Next" again. Up comes a report that shows the outcome of the tests just run. And it shows that iTunes in fact is seeing our iPhone:

Connected Device Information:

, iPhone 3G running firmware version 4.2.1
Serial Number: XXXXXXXXXXXX

In real life, it shows the actual serial number of our iPhone.

Now that's interesting. When things are running properly, you get the same result, except that it reads:

Connected Device Information:

Jack's iPhone, iPhone 3G running firmware version 4.2.1
Serial Number: XXXXXXXXXXXX

It's the same answer, except that it gives the "name" of the phone as well as the serial number. And so whatever problem we have is causing iTunes to almost recognize, but not completely recognize, the phone.

So what? Well, we've noticed a couple of things as we've gone through this drill a dozen times or more. First, at one point running the diagnostics itself unfroze the phone -- it immediately synced. Another time, the connectivity test seemed to be dragging, and we opened Windows Task Manager (via CTL+ALT+DEL) in the middle of the test, and that seemed to unfreeze the phone and start a spontaneous sync.

But perhaps the most effective step we've taken is to head over to Windows Task Manager before attempting anything and doing an "End Process" shutdown of a process called iTunes Helper. This program runs as soon as the computer starts up, and its sole function, as far as we can tell, is to have iTunes start up automatically as soon as the iPhone is plugged into the computer. With this process ended, we simply start up iTunes by clicking on it, either with or without the phone plugged in. Not having iTunes Helper running seems to be helping with the sync problem.

If we had to guess, getting iTunes running before plugging in the phone would be the better order, but we haven't experimented enough to know that for sure.

Another thing we've discovered is that turning the phone off and on just before attempting the sync, helps for some reason. We have also taken to turning the iPhone off, and then plugging it (with the phone's power off) into the computer, which sometimes (but not always) automatically powers up and boots the iPhone. For some reason, that seems to help.

These tricks shouldn't be necessary, of course. And they aren't always working. But we're getting a far better batting average with them than without them. Give how long these issues have been knocking around, it seems unlikely that Apple cares enough or knows enough to get to the bottom of the problem. And so if you're out there reading this with the iPhone freezing your iTunes, we hope we've helped.

UPDATE, 6/14, 3:32 p.m.: We think we have figured out the problem, and come up with a solution! Details here.

Comments (9)

Go with Andriod and MP3, no problems ever.

Yeah, right. That's what they said about the iPhone. That's what they all say.

I forgot to mention: We've turned the computer completely off and back on immediately before a couple of successful syncs. If the problem has to do with the way Vista assigns a drive location to the phone, maybe that helps. Curiously, Vista does not assign a drive letter to the phone, even though it sees it and displays it under "Computer."

Another observation: During this ordeal, we've noticed that every now and then, out of the blue and with the iPhone nowhere in sight, Vista will make the "ga-dunk" sound that indicates that a device was just disconnected. We are not doing a thing with any devices when this happens.

Also, sometimes when the iPhone is plugged in, we get a "ga-dunk" disconnect sound just before the two "ga-dink" connection sounds that Vista usually makes when the phone is plugged in. Vista drive assignment (or something like it) is apparently in play.

I assume that the reason for two connection sounds is that Vista is seeing both a phone and a camera? Ah, when Microsoft and Apple get together, the fun for the consumer comes in clusters.

Two observations which may or may not be of value: But perhaps the most effective step we've taken is to head over to Windows Task Manager before attempting anything and doing an "End Process" shutdown of a process called iTunes Helper.

Have you tried removing it? It seems problematic in your case.

As well, though it's a crashing pain: there are situations when a Windows system has been running for a long time - as applications are opened and closed, some of their associated processes continue to run. Eventually, they consume sufficient memory that the system may slow or become nonresponsive (unless you have enabled paging to disk, in which case it becomes very slow but not necessarily unresponsive).

You shut down the computer and wait ~5 minutes for the caps to discharge, and you've got clear memory when you reboot.

No fun, but I've had it work in some systems.

The process list is pretty clean, but those mysterious device-disconnect sounds at random moments are a concern.

If you continue to have problems, here is one more thing you could try:

1. Shut down your computer
2. Plug in your iPhone
3. Start up your computer in "Safe Mode"
4. Try to sync your iPhone
5. Restart the computer again and start it in regular mode.

I did something similar with my "sticky" CD/DVD drives the other day. Now both of the CD drives work properly after a couple of weeks of frustration.

Safe Mode was interesting -- took the computer forever to boot up. Then when we restarted in Normal Mode, it was almost equally glacial. No help with the phone, though -- iTunes didn't like Safe Mode, and Normal Mode is still where it was before.

First, ditch Vista and upgrade to Windows 7.

I realize that the issue doesn't seem to be with Vista, but Vista has a lot of problems that could be contributing to the issues you're seeing.

Second, I'm sure you've checked that you're running the latest version of iTunes. If not, do so.

Third, On my 3G, with 4.2.1, we have to reboot our phones about once a week or their performance is a joke. Might be something to try before syncing.

There are lots of issues with iTunes for Windows. Vista just adds another layer of potential trouble. Hate to say it, but its true. Much of that is due to Microsoft rushing products out the door and Apple choosing to not support Microsoft products as well as they doe their own (can't blame them, just annoying as a consumer)

Seriously, Jack. Maybe you need to get an Apple computer. No problems. Ever. Am I missing something here?


Sponsors


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 328
At this date last year: 183
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


Clicky Web Analytics