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Try holding down the menu/center button for at least 10-15 seconds, if that does not reset it try the center button and play/pause combo for the same time period (I used to have the same model as you, one of these 2 combos usually worked).
You can also try connecting your ipod to another computer with iTunes on it to see if its a software or hardware problem with your iPod. Or you can uninstall/reinstall iTunes and see what happens after a fresh install
and yea you can let the battery run out overnight if you want, but if you do get to fix it I'd say back up your music on the iPod through a program like iDump or something in the meantime
Well first I have a question that may seem silly. Are you using iTunes? If not you will need to start doing so. Apple designs the iPod to only work properly with itunes. There for many other media players may sync the ipod for a time but eventually it will stop working. If so you may want to restore the iPod then attempt to re-sync everything. If this does not work you most likely have a hardware issue. If any of this seems unclear or you need advice on how to perform these tasks please do let me know. :-)
I have had the same problem on my sisters ipod. Unfortunately I could not fix it. You can take it down to the apple store and have their genius bar look at it, even though most of the time I know more about ipods than they do they will at least be aware the problem exists. I pulled the hard drive out and put it into another iPod to test it. The hard drive is fine. My best guess is that a transistor or something on the circuit board went bad and is not allowing for that function. What I did was sold it on eBay as broken for $86 bucks. I then went to apple.com/store and scrolled to the bottom left of the page and they sell refurbished ipods that appear new with the same warrenty as a new one. We bought my sister a 80GB classic for $179 minus the $86 we got from the broken one. It was nice to have the new one for less than a $100 total. It's either that or find someone that knows how to replace the circuit board which costs around $70 bucks used. Good luck.
You may want to try calling apple. even if it is no longer under warranty, they can still provide you with helpful information as to whether its repairable or not...if under warranty, they will most likely repair it...or send you a new or refurbished one. Otherwise, it may be more worth it to get a new one, unfortunately.