Usb port can't find hardware for ipod so won't show on itunes

My computer says it the usb port for my ipod is unknown and won't show it on my my itunes so i can't add new music. I already installed the whole thing again but it still didn't work. Any ideas?

I have a similar problem - my computer always tells me it does not recognize my USB device or that the device has malfunctioned and then the iPod shuts off. I found a few support articles on the issue.
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=61711
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=93716
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=301343
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=305136
None of these help me because I think my problem is the last one (iPod is not recognized properly by computer when USB drivers are not installed properly or are out of date) but the fix requires the iPod to be turned on.
my ipod also has minimal battery life at this point, which may be a contributing problem.
can anyone help me?

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