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why does my ipod freeze when i plug it in

The problem: When I plug my iPod into a computer (for any reason, whether to use as a flash drive (data usage enabled in iTunes), or just to charge), it locks up and is rendered almost unusable. The temporary workaround: If I hold down Center and Menu for the six seconds while Hold is turned off, it force-restarts and works as it's supposed to (even if it's still plugged in).

The additional details: This happens on both Windows 7 and Windows XP, and I assume it happens on Linux as well (but never actually tested), and the only thing that freezes on the computer when this happens is the hardware plugin stuff (e. g. if I plug my phone in while my iPod is in the frozen state, the computer won't register the phone as plugged in until I unplug or force-restart the iPod).
I recently had this problem and my hard drive was fine mechanically.

THIS IS WHAT FIXED IT FOR ME: I connected my iPod but did NOT open iTunes. I clicked on my iPod as though it was a USB drive and attempted to format it. I then discovered my PC will only format the iPod in NTFS and the iPod needed to be formatted as a FAT32 format.

I found a program here: that allowed me to format the iPod as a FAT32. It literally took 5 seconds when I ran the program. Finally I reconnected my iPod to iTunes and was able to restore everything as though it was a new iPod. Here's also a link to the other forum where I discovered this:

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