AppleCare Sent my iPod nano back formatted by Microsoft Windows

by Todd Ogasawara

I pretty much agreed with Matthew Russell's disagreement with John Dvorak's prediction that Apple would dump OS X for Windows until this evening...


2006-02-17 01:50:13
Isn't it a bit soon to deduce anything from one case? ;-)
El RIk
2006-02-17 02:58:13
I'm much more an OS X fan than a Windows fan but it strikes me Apple software engineers seem more often than not to forget what the hell it is they started out to do. Point being: why should it matter what OS formatted the iPod ?
2006-02-17 04:28:39
My guess is they have far more Windows-iPods sent in than Mac-iPods. So why not use Windows for repair? Though I agree that it looks a bit strange.
2006-02-17 06:14:38
Wow is that bizarre! What address did the package go to when you sent it in? (I recall my PowerBook going to some place in TX -- not Cupertino or even anywhere nearby.) Maybe what's happened is that Apple has simply "outsourced" their iPod repairs...and the folks who got in on the deal aren't even Mac users, or else decided to streamline their own costs by not purchasing a bunch of Macs, and instead going with some good ole $499 Dell specials -- let's face it. It shouldn't take hardly any computing power at all to do iPod diagnostics.

Although geographic location isn't necessarily dependent upon any of this, it would just make things a little more interesting if it went to somewhere like 100 Infinite Loop, Cupertino CA as opposed to SmallTown, TX.

2006-02-17 06:19:53
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in the Mobile Devices category? For the past several years? Microsoft must really like you. Congratulations. So you're one of those people I would turn to if I wanted to run Windows CE on my iPod?
2006-02-17 06:30:01
As much as this is kinda odd looking, I'm sure it is simply because of a streamlined system using PCs because they are cheaper and the majority of users are PC users. I highly doubt Apple would ever leave OS X.
2006-02-17 06:45:22
Apple has some operations in Texas. At least in the past they assembled some machines there, mostly pro machines if I remember correctly, so they probably aren't outsourcing.
2006-02-17 06:54:49
I think your "P.S." guess is right. I read recently (maybe on oreillynet?) that most iPod "problems" are primarily Dozers not getting it — yes, Apple products are that easy to use. You don't have to jump through hoops to get it to work, it just does what it's supposed to.

Mac users, on the other hand, see a dialog box that says "reformat this" and understand that it means "reformat this."

2006-02-17 07:07:45
Don't take the red pill.

I think you're reading too much into this. I think someone messed up in repairs, grouped yours among fellow windows users, and reformatted as such.

I will also burn any Mac I find running Windows Media Center Crap... (In front of MS's headquarters, to boot!) Good God I hope that utter piece of nerf-riddled crap never hits a Mac.

2006-02-17 07:45:47
Nobody messed up. iPods come from the factory formatted for Windows, because that way they'll work both on Macs and on WIndows computers. I have made sure that my nano was reformatted in Windows mode, so that I can exchange files between my Mac and others' PCs.

I'm not sure where the message came from, though. The only time I think that would come up would be if you ran the iPod Software Updater program. Otherwise, iTunes should be happy to work with a Windows iPod.

Todd Ogasawara
2006-02-17 08:25:15
Re: Being a Microsoft MVP in the Mobile Devices category. Yes, I enjoy working on that platform and try to help people who are also interested in it. I get a variety of mobile (not must Windows Mobile) related questions and try to respond to what I can on my own site's Q&A page. I don't think anyone has used the Windows CE shared source to create an iPod port. I've seen a Linux port for the iPod though. :-)
Todd Ogasawara
2006-02-17 08:26:24
Re: Reading too much into this... If I were super-serious about it, I would agree. Check out the P.S. portion of the blog item.
Glenn Perez
2006-02-17 09:33:59
I don't know why you were asked to reformat you iPod nano because it was formatted for Windows. The Macintosh, all Macintoshes can use read and use the Windows format. In fact the Mac can use both the Windows format as well as the Mac format for the iPod. This is not true for Windows PC user's which can only use the iPod Windows format. Many times while at the local AppleStore I have heard one of the Genuis at the Genuis bar ask if the user was using a PC and then make the comment that if their iPod was formatted for the Mac it will not work on a PC. But if formatted for Windows it can be used on a Mac and/or a PC. So there are advantages to having your iPod formatted in the Windows format!
2006-02-17 11:33:48
Apple can format an iPod as FAT32 (Windows) using a Mac.
2006-02-17 12:30:42
My iPod nano which I purchased 3 days ago shows up as being formatted in MS Dos Filee system (FAT 32)! Now that I didn't expect but saying that it still works fine.
J McFarren
2006-02-17 14:31:06
iTunes wants to reformat your iPod to HFS+ for unicode support in the filenames.
2006-02-17 15:18:26
Although the vast majority of hoipolloi that have problems with iPods tend to be Windows users, this wouldn't necessarily make any difference in this case. Quite often, problems are sorted out by restoring the software; and occassionally, by formatting it first. If you look in Disk Utility, you'll find that it is able to format the ipod in MS DOS fle system, which is selected via a drop-down menu. It is highly probable that this was selected by mistake, since most geniuses in Apple Stores generally avoid this option - selecting this causes more problems more often than not and so Mac OS Extended (Journaled) would normally be chosen by default, regardless of the iPod owner's operating system. I am pretty sure the same thing is done at AppleCare's depots. I highly doubt that there is some creeping, nefarious scheme into adopting Windows! :o)
Mike A
2006-02-17 15:32:38
Of course the important thing with choosing Windows format (FAT32) over Mac (HFS+) is that FAT32 cannot defragment itself automatically, something that HFS+ does do.
iPod Mac VS Win
2006-02-19 07:43:30
If I use Fat32, Will I be able to update my iPod using iPod software updater from my mac
2006-02-21 14:01:43
No, the current iPod Firmware Updater will not update a FAT32 iPod. It will only offer to restore your iPod, which will erase all your songs and data. You need to use the Windows version to update the firmware on a FAT32 formatted iPod.
2006-02-22 01:00:38
I don't know about Nano, but the 5G iPod video works fine on a Mac even when formatted with Windows. When I bought one for someone who had to use it on a Windows box, I formatted it through a friend's Windows machine first and then added music to it through my Powerbook. Everything worked quite smoothly.
2006-03-19 09:32:05
apple are doing really rubbish, i bougt my second nano in two days today and it is taking ages to format, i guess it doesn't work (again)
2006-03-19 09:34:08
me again! i'm only a begginner, dose anyone know whats wrong with my ipod? (like i said before , its having trouble formatting) has anyone had the same problem? does anyone else hate apple?
Todd Ogasawara
2006-03-19 11:19:31
Emily: Two suggestions for your iPod problem. 1. If there is an Apple Store near you, take your iPod there and sign-up for the Genius Bar where someone can take a look at it for you. 2. Go to and (a) take a look at the iPod issues list, (b) if that doesn't help, click on "Request repair or ports (DIY)".
Scott Smith
2006-06-05 20:40:47
my i ipod doen not work, i t wont show up to my itunes or my computer