I somehow attract issues whenever I build a new computer or do a fresh installation on my desktop. I currently dual boot between Windows XP 64bit and Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) which has served me well the last 3 years. My current setup is running atop a fakeraid mirror which at the time, was a PITA to get configured as it involved using a live cd and following a really long howto while crossing my fingers it would work. Today the installer supports fakeraid out of the box so no poor soul would have to go through those installation steps.
I got a new 1TB hard drive for the holidays and I had been meaning to redo my setup for some time and finally took the plunge this weekend. I also decided I was going to give Windows 7 a go. With my current(now old) setup, I couldn’t install iTunes in Windows XP 64bit so I had to do all my iPhone syncing using a 32bit Windows XP install inside a Virtualbox VM inside of Ubuntu. I would run into issues anytime I would have to do a firmware upgrade on my iPhone since the iPhone would disconnect from the VM during the firmware upgrade process and the USB filters I had in place to pass through the iPhone to the VM would run into a race condition with the OS while it tried to mount the iPhone as a photo device. This would end up leaving my iPhone as a brick (but upgraded) and I’d have to restore from backup and re-sync all my music, a process that would take up to 4 hours. The last time I did an iPhone upgrade, I learned my lesson and did the upgrade from a Mac, no restores needed and I didn’t need to do any syncing after.
With my new setup I was planning on doing all of my syncing in Windows 7, without having to worry about any issues with USB pass through or performance issues of doing the sync through a VM. Once I got my Windows 7 install up and running, I installed iTunes and added my music to the library. I went to go ahead and perform my first sync and noticed it began syncing then about 5 seconds later it would just finish. I tried this a couple more times and noticed it was still not behaving right. I figured I’d try to atleast backup my iPhone incase anything went wrong. I began the backup process and went to go play some CoD MW2. I came back an hour later and noticed no real progress on the backup of the iPhone. I cancelled the backup process and then tried restarting the backup. I let it sit for a couple of hours and it never completed. Normally a backup will take maybe 10-15 minutes so I knew something was wrong.
I began Googling and right away I came upon this thread on the Apple forums. The thread described a varying amount of issues with Windows 7 64bit and iTunes syncing. Issues with people having their iPhone not recognized to certain chipsets causing sync issues. I tried jumping around the thread a bit looking for some simple answers related to my issues, but most of the solutions were geared towards BIOS updates. After some more Googling I found a thread on one of the MS support forums (sorry I lost the link) where a representative from MS was actually contributing to the thread and seemed to be working with developers on a hot fix for the issues. The thread talked about users with issues with USB hard drives and iPhone issues as well. Later in the thread MS eventually came up with a hot fix for the issue so I figured I’d give it a go. The hotfix can be found here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/976972 . I installed it and low and behold, it actually fixed my issue. This is the first time I can remember downloading a hotfix for an issue I’ve had with Windows and it actually fixing the problem. I’m now finishing syncing up my music to my iPhone which is syncing A LOT faster than going through a VM layer. Hopefully someone will stumble across this blog post facing similar issues and it will solve their iTune woes.