In preparation for my morning walk, I plugged my iPod into my computer to synch my podcasts to listen to. The Golden Globes were announced this morning, so I went ahead and posted it on SoundtrackNet. Then I went to load up iTunes, and I noticed that Explorer wasn’t working. Okay, fine. So I killed the process, and ran it again. It didn’t load. Hmm. A reboot would be in order! So I rebooted. And Windows didn’t load fully. In fact, it froze on a black screen. Hmm. So I hard booted, and went to Safe Mode. It didn’t load. Uh oh. Panic set in. I grabbed the XP install disk thinking I might need to run a repair. (At this point, my adrenaline was kicking in, and I was getting nervous.) I booted off the CD-ROM, and….. it froze. Hmm. Ok, that tells me “hardware problem”. Well, crap. So I shut down, and unplugged every external device I had. USB hubs, firewire hubs, all disconnected. I booted up into Safe Mode – and it worked! Aha! I then booted up normally (worked fine), installed the latest Windows Updates, and rebooted again. Still smooth. Okay, good. I shut down and plugged everything back in – at which point I noticed that my iPod was “frozen” at 7:56am. The very time I plugged it in. Aha! The stupid Apple product basically crashed my whole Windows system. I forced a reboot on my iPod, and then all was well. But man, I hate the panic that sets in when things don’t load properly!! Time to run some backups! Now it’s time for my walk.