Stan's Chrome-Plated Tech Tips

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Fix the dreaded - itunes was unable to load provider data from sync services - error

So from time to time in computer repair and service efforts here in the greater Los Angeles area, we come across some totally random problems that seemingly have no logical fixes. So by our own dogged determination (my wife calls it stubbornness), we pull a rabbit out of our hats and get it figured out. So I'll be sharing these obscure fixes here whenever I come across one that seems noteworthy.

So this was my latest, seemingly random problem related to iTunes 10.1.2 on a PC. This happened to be a newer Dell system running Windows 7 64-bit, but this fix may also apply to other versions of Windows and iTunes. So if you're trying to sync your device with iTunes and get a nasty message to the effect of not being able to sync, this could be your fix.

Let me start out by saying, I have no idea what causes this. Neither does Apple apparently. But it seems to happen frequently enough that documenting a fix for it seems warranted. So if you've ever hooked your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or a yet-to-be-name-iDevice up to iTunes only to be rudely greeted with an angry dialog box reading " itunes was unable to load provider data from sync services," then you'll appreciate this fix.

Since the problem is related to iTunes and MobileMe, start out by uninstalling them both. Yup, the MobileMe part of this equation is what the sync services are apparently referring to.

Next you'll need the latest version of iTunes, so download that from, but don't install it yet. You also need to download a program called Orca and you'll also need 7-zip if you don't have it already.

After you've got Orca and 7-zip installed, navigate your way to the folder where you downloaded iTunes. Right-click the iTunes installation file and chooses 7-zip to extract it to its own directory. Now you'll have to select the iTunes64 file, right-click on it, and select "Edit with Orca." From there, double-click the VersionNT64>=600 and change it to 501, exit and save. This will force the iTunes installer to run in the proper 64-bit mode for your version of Windows. Now run the iTunes64.exe from the file you just modified and install as normal, and voila! You're golden.

So if you're one of the lucky few to get hit by this bug, I hope this helps. If it doesn't and you manage to find another fix, I'd love to hear about it.

Allrighty then, I've got a laundry list of these obscure fixes and I'd love to hear about some of yours too. But if you've got one that's stumping you, come see us here in the 90046 and let us have a crack at it. Reinstalling is for quitters!

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