It sounds like you have an error in your logic board with allows the hard drive to heat up but not actually do anything. If you know how to tinker with these you can get a logic board for it but it can be a little expensive. It's only a little more to get a used one that works. If you don't want to fix it, sell it on ebay/craigslist and put the money towards a new ipod. Sorry, they are designed to break. Apple doesn't advertise they are only supposed to last around four years.
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Plug the charger into a USB port or wall charger. Then plug the other end into your i pod. Once plugged in and successfully connected to power then a green battery symbol should appear. If not then their might be something wrong with the power supply or the i pod.
That sounds like it crashed .. well go to apple support and download the ipod software.. try backing up all your data for this will cause total loss... reinstall the software...ope it waks.. i did it for a friend with a hanging ipod en it wakd..
What to do is download itunes from the apple website this is what you use to transfer music, video and other stuff onto it. You can download itunes from http://www.apple.com/itunes/ once you have installed it plug in the ipod to your usb port and it should come up as a device in your itunes. Then you will be able to either download music from the itunes store or put cds onto itunes and then you can transfer it to the ipod. Hope this helps.
Since it has been sitting for so long, try doing this: Connect the ipod to your computer and let it sit for about fifteen minutes. Then it should show up in your computer and under itunes. Usually, if your ipod dies completely, when you try to charge it using a wall or car charger, it will do that, just flashing the apple logo and going back off. Leaving it plugged up to the computer will allow the battery to charge just enough so that it can sync with itunes. While it is plugged into the computer and charging, it should say something like, battery very low, charging. It should work after letting it sit plugged up to the computer.
Try another usb port, but not in a non ac powered usb extension hub, as I Pod's need to be used in powered usb.
Older pc's tend to have trouble powering the usb ports enough for the I Pod to be recognised.
It may also be a voltage problem, disconnect any other usb peripherals connected and try again.