Sometimes an iPod acts up and is so beyond repair, it simply needs to be restored to factory settings. Unfortunately, it often happens that iTunes and the iPod aren't working together either. When this happens, there are a few options for restoring an iPod without using iTunes--and all of them free.
Download a freeware program, such as Floola, YamiPod or others listed in Resources.
Connect your iPod to a computer using the iPod USB cord.
Restore your iPod by selecting "Repair iPod," "Restore iPod," or other similar terminology used by the specific downloaded freeware program from Step 1.
Reload songs, videos and photos to your iPod, as it will now be restored to factory settings.
Download Floola and open it. Your iPod should not be connected to the computer.
Connect your iPod to your computer using the iPod USB cord when the Floola prompt appears.
Navigate through the prompted questions by clicking "Next." A question about choosing Floola as a default will appear. Select "Yes" or "No" depending upon your preference.
Wait while Floola repairs and restores your iPod to its factory settings. Remember, this will delete all music, songs and photos on the iPod.
Disconnect your iPod when restoration is complete. All data should be erased. New data can now be uploaded to your iPod using Floola, iTunes or another similar program.
Download YamiPod. After the download is complete, open the program without connecting your iPod.
Choose "Tools" under the menu bar.
Select "Repair," plugging in your iPod when prompted.
Wait for YamiPod to restore the iPod to its factory settings before disconnecting the iPod from the computer. The iPod should now be data-free. Upload data using YamiPod, iTunes or another similar program.
Be sure to connect and disconnect your iPod correctly using the "Safely Remove Hardware" option.
Restoring an iPod returns it to factory settings, which means all data in the iPod will be lost. Use the restore option after all other options have been exhausted (such as restarting and resetting). Make sure the freeware downloaded is from a trusted site to avoid downloading viruses or spyware to the computer.