When troubleshooting an issue with your iPod, it's sometimes helpful to manually put it into Disk Mode.
Putting iPod into Disk Mode
1. Plug the iPod Power Adapter into an electrical outlet and connect iPod to the power adapter.
2. Toggle the Hold switch on and off. (Set it to Hold, then turn it off again.) See technical document 60951, 'iPod: About the Hold Switch'.
3. Press and hold the Play/Pause and Menu buttons until the Apple/iPod logo appears. This resets iPod. Note: When you reset iPod all your music and data files are saved, but some customized settings may be lost.
4. When the Apple logo appears, immediately press and hold the Previous and Next buttons until the Disk Mode screen appears. (For iPod Software 1.0 through 1.1, a FireWire logo appears on the screen).
5. Disconnect iPod from the power adapter and connect it to your computer.
I'd like to know how this is supposed to be useful.