Oh iTunes, we hate you so much.

iTunes is one software which I detest. Besides using oodles of memory on my not so amazing PC it tries to access my I-work-only-when-not-required Internet at every possible instance. It has a mind-bogglingly huge number of services and applications running in the background at all times (You can ‘end’ processes but that doesn’t serve the purpose in the long run). And on top of all these it doesn’t even allow the user to pause Firmware updates that one is downloading. The option for ‘pause’ is there but Apple forgot to add the resume button so iTunes starts the download again, from the very beginning.

iPhone or iPod touch not being recognised by iTunes?

Have you ever been greeted by these error messages? ;

Please Install Apple Application Support.

Apple Application Support was not found.

AppleMobileDeviceSupport was not found or is not running.

The Bonjour service is not running.

QuickTime needs to be repaired/re-installed.

<Insert error message which made you say “F*** YOU APPLE AND ITUNES!”>

It was around 15 days back when my iTunes refused to recognize my iPod touch (Windows was recognizing it but not iTunes). I was greeted by a pretty straight forward message “The iPod cannot be used because the apple mobile device support is not running”. I checked the processes to verify it. iTunes was correct,  apple mobile device support was not running. I went inside Common Files to run it but was unable to find the .exe file.

A little bit of Goggling told me that a re-installation should fix the problem. I did that (took 15 minutes) but only to be greeted by the same message again. So I downloaded a new setup of iTunes (97 MB :(). Uninstalled the earlier version (9.0) and installed 9.1. Even that didn’t work. For the next 2 days I kept installing and re-installing iTunes hoping that Apple Mobile Device Helper (‘Helper’ is the name of the service) would get installed this time. In those 2 days I also observed that Bounjour.exe was also not running and had actually been uninstalled from the system and iTunes was not installing it. So that’s 2 things that the iTunes setup was not installing.

And then the thing I fear almost everyday happened. I dolted. I switched of my iPod in hope that iTunes might recognise the iPod when it’s in the recovery mode. What’s recovery mode? Read on.

I have jailbreaked/broke my iPod using Blackra1n RC3. It’s a tethered jailbreak which means that every time I switch off my iPod I cannot switch it back on without connecting it to a PC and re-Jailbreaking it (takes 30 seconds). When the iPod has been switched off once and you try to start it again it does turn on but only in recovery mode. Nothing works and all you are shown is an iTunes/Apple logo and a USB cable.

I thought I might be able to connect it like this and then repair iTunes somehow. It backfired. iTunes refused to recognise, yet again. But this time I was screwed. Because no application/software anything that connects to an iPod/ iPhone can connect unless iTunes has been installed and works flawlessly. Blackra1n also refused to recognise my iPod and switch it on since iTunes was not recognising it. I was in fix. The owner of a non-working iTunes and a bricked iPod (almost). Since I don’t have another PC/Laptop the only way was to install windows again and re-install iTunes. I get tense and a headache starts when any of my devices stop working (even if I don’t need them).This time I was tensed as hell. I finally managed to switch it on using my neighbor’s computer. It took 2 hours because;

  1. His Mac had iTunes 7
  2. Had to download iTunes on his Windows system
  3. Some DLL files were missing in his system.

With that done my iPod worked fine but what about iTunes? I could have re-installed windows anytime but that could have resulted in me losing my library (it’s not much, just 700 odd songs named track 1; track 2;track3 and so on.. , 2 audio books and a couple of videos [I can see Vivek smiling there]) plus the drivers would have to be installed again, not to mention the softwares. And even after that there was a chance it might not work. Till that point I had read Apple’s shitty article on iPod not recognized in ‘My Computer’ and in iTunes for Windows at least a hundred times. With all done, I finally managed to repair my iTunes. Piece of cake it was. Took 10 minutes. Worked like a charm. How?! Read on.

The fix

Follow the steps below if iTunes is not installing (or not working) a particular service such as iTunesHelper.exe or AppleMobileDeviceService.exe or iPodService.exe or Bonjour or any other service or part of the program that iTunes is not installing even after repeated re-installations. Since single downloadable files for each service is not offered by Apple, we’ll extract them from the main file (iTunesSetup.exe). With this trick you can install the following parts of the software individually:

  1. AppleApplicationSupport.msi
  2. AppleMobileDeviceSupport.msi
  3. AppleSoftwareUpdate.msi
  4. Bonjour.msi
  5. MobileMe.msi
  6. QuickTime.msi
  7. SetupAdmin.exe
  8. iTunes.msi (47 MB only as opposed to 97 MB for the whole setup)

Suppose if QuickTime player is giving you some problems. Why re-install iTunes? Just install QuickTime again! [QuickTime is 25.5 MB as opposed to repairing/re-installing the whole iTunes (97 MB)]. The method is very easy;

  1. Make sure you have a setup of iTunes, version doesn’t matter but 9.0 is recommend.
  2. Right click on the setup and extract files as you would for any .Zip or .Rar file.
  3. Wait.
  4. It’s right there! Instead of one setup you have the liberty to install the part you want or which iTunes wasn’t installing earlier for some reason.

Now use the setup to install that one program which was giving you troubles. Like if the error was that “MobileDeviceSupport is not running/working/active” then install AppleMobileDeviceSupport.msi .

I still wonder how I wasted so many days trying to fix iTunes when all I had to do was extract the setup!(Apple doesn’t say anything about this). The reason as to why the problem arose and why iTunes was not installing some parts are still unknown. Thanks iTunes for adding to my troubles and thanks Apple for confusing me with a useless article.

All over the internet people are just advising users to try re-installing iTunes and waste their times, I hope this post helps somebody.

I’ll be uploading all those 8 setups individually as a new post.

PS: I have now switched from Blackra1n to Spirit.

UPDATE: You can now download iTunes.msi, Sysadmin.exe, QuickTime.msi, MobileMe.msi, AppleSoftwareUpdate.msi, AppleApplicationSupport.msi, Bonjour.msi and AppleMobileDeviceSupport.msi from an iTunes Setup from here.

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