Can you restore OUTSIDE of iTunes?

I have two of these:
http://images.apple.com/support/ipod/fivers/elements/ipod_withdockon.gif
(30GB B&W iPod)
One of them started giving bunches of trouble today. It won't appear in iTunes when docked (but the other iPod does). I tried all of the "five R's" but the "Restore" option requires that the iPod shows up in iTunes.
So, is there a "Restore Application" I can download and run from the desktop independent of iTunes?
Some other odd behavior:
- I must have reset the thing 20 or so times today trying to get it to work (by holding menu and play buttons down). A few times it showed the hard drive icon with a magnifying glass and eventually with an exclamation mark.
- It starts up with the "language select" screen a lot. Probably because I've reset it so many times.
- At a quick glance, it appears that all the music on the iPod is gone. However, if I go through the menus to the "About" screen, the iPod is still named and it says that I only have about 6 GB of storage left out of 30 GB. So the contents are there. Maybe the directory is corrupt?
- When I dock it, it displays the "Do not disconnect" screen on the iPod. But it never shows up in iTunes and it never goes off the "Do not disconnect" screen.
I wish there was an easy way to format or wipe the drive and start from scratch. But again, the only way I know of is to do it through iTunes which I can't do since the iPod won't show up in iTunes.

Firstly, sorry for my poor English, but I would like to share with you my experience, and hope that it may helps you.
Since the release and update of iTunes 7, I have not faced any problem, but I heard a lot of articles from this forum about the errors 1417, 1418, 1428 and 50 etc. I could not make any suggestion and find a solution about it, all I could do is to copy some threads from some successful cases mentioned on this forum.
Until yesterday, I finally received a 4th Gen 20GB iPod (around 2 years old)from a friend and asked me whether I could fix it for him, which has been left untouched as a paper-weight for almost 2 months.
I tried to turn it on, and the screen was completed blank and the device looked dead. Before doing anything I prepared the following:-
1. A window based PC
2. A Mac computer
3. An USB iPod cable
4. A Firewire iPod cable
5. An iPod AC charger
As the iPod was previously formatted on a PC, therefore I tried to plug it with a PC via USB cable, it did not response and not able to get recognized by the PC. I ejected the iPod and connected with an AC charger, after a few minutes, I did a Reset for the iPod
How to reset iPod
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=61705
The iPod showed an Apple sign, it stuck there for almost a minute, the screen then showed a battery with an exclamation mark sign, and after a minute, the iPod turned off itself. I was sure that the iPod carried very low battery, and could not be charged by connecting it with any computer (both Mac and PC).
I decided to let it have a charge with an AC charger for a bit longer, after 10 minute I did the Reset again, this time a sign of folder with exclamation mark showed up after the Apple sign, and again could not get recognized by a computer.
I changed my mind, and put the iPod into disk mode
Putting iPod into disk mode
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=93651
Instead of connecting with a PC, I plug it with my Mac using a Firewire cable, it did not response, so I switched the cable to an USB, interestingly, the iPod got recognized and a window pop up indicating that the iPod needed to do a Restore. Therefore I clicked “Restore”, after a few seconds, an Error message pop-up with Error Message 1417, the sign that I have been waiting for quite sometime.
I ejected the iPod and the screen immediately showed a folder exclamation mark (a sign indicating a corrupted or a failure iPod OS). I am forced to put the iPod into disk mode again, connected with the Mac computer and open the Disk Utility
1. Open the disk utility, hope your iPod appears there (left hand side), highlight it
2. Go to Tab “Partition”, click either “Delete” or “Partition”, if fails, skip this step and go to 3
3. Go to Tab “Erase” , choose Volume Format as “MAC OS Extended (Journaled), and click Erase, again if fails, skip it and go to 4
4. Same as step 3, but open the “Security Options....” and choose “Zero Out Data” before click Erase. It will take 1 to 2 hours to complete.
5. Eject your iPod and do a Reset
6. Open the iTunes 7 and click “Restore”
It managed to complete the Restore process, and started to sync with the iTunes. However, it got stuck at the song no.238 from the total of 2000. I left it for an hour, but with no process, instead the iPod became “Hot” and the iTunes showed an Error message of 1428. I ejected the iPod from my Mac computer, the iPod’s screen turn to show the famous killer icon;“The Sad iPod“.
This time it was totally dead, even failed to put it into Disk Mode and non of the computer could recognize it. Sigh, I hated to do it but I knew that I must did the following:-
Holding the iPod in my Palm, and hitting it on a surface of a Sofa with 5 attempts.
Did not surprise me, the iPod turned on and it showed the Language Menu on the screen. So, I put it into Disk Mode and connected with my window PC.
The PC showed a sign and indicated that an USB device had been connected with it. I opened the iTunes and did a Restore there.
However, an Error Message 50 showed up, but I were not worried about it, connected it back with my Mac computer with it in Disk Mode. As expected the iTunes opened and allowed me to do a Restore there.
This time it managed to complete the process and a window of register pop up. After the completed the process, the iPod started to sync with the iTunes again, which finally managed to complete the process.
I left it connecting with the AC charger overnight. In the next morning, I switched it on and have a play with it, I am so glad as it is working like a charm.
From the above experience, I would like to share it with the user the following:-
1. It always better to charge with an ac charger instead of the computer, as when an iPod carrying with very low battery, it may not able to get charge from a computer
2. Try to connect the iPod with a computer, switching between USB and Firewire
3. Try to format an iPod with HD problem, with a different kind of computer e.g. Mac or PC, as the formats are totally different, the way it formats may able to solve the bad sectors on the HD
4. It may get better chance to get your iPod recognized, if you put it in Disk Mode
I hope the following works in your case as I did.

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