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Iphone 2g is NOT recognized  in Itunes - PLEASE HELP

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I have been using this iphone virtually with no problems for months, til I went to add some music and now I get the message "itunes cannot read the contents of the iphone. Go to summary tab in iphone preferences and click restore this iphone to factory settings."
***??? Why do I need to restore this iphone and lose all my stuff that I spent hours and hours adding the way I like it!! Everything on the phone still works!!
PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME.
Thanks very much for your time and help.
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As far as the iPhone not being seen in iTunes, the link below will provide some assistance.
http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1495
As far as why does the iPhone need to be restored. If the iPhone is not connected are you able to use it normally?
If so have you tried connecting the iPhone into the different USB ports other then the one you are currently using?
Tips
*Do not connect iPhone to USB Hub, Keyboard that has USB Ports, or USB Cable extender if possible
*Disconnect any un-needed USB Devices such as Printers, Scanners, Cameras, Etc. That are not needed at the current time
*Try to connect and use back USB ports if you have a Desktop
Read the other 10 answers

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