1. My iPad won't charge while connected to my computer.
This is perhaps the most widely reported syncing surprise with the iPad. As it turns out, on some older computers, the USB ports won't natively charge the iPad. Newer computers, such as—surprise, surprise—Apple's iMac, that comply with the USB Battery Charging v1.1 specification will charge the iPad—albeit more slowly than the iPad's 10-watt, 2.1-amp charger. (You can also achieve a slow charge off of the iPhone adapter.) According to , it's possible to charge the iPad off of older, lower-current USB ports if the tablet is in sleep mode.
There's one last bit of advice that we'll offer up pre-emptively: There's an old trick that portable-hard-drive manufacturers have been using for years to add a little bit of juice to their devices. These hard drives come with a USB Y-cable that has two USB connectors on one end and one on the other. These cables double up the power coming from a USB port from the standard 500 milliamps to 1000 mA, delivering around 5 watts. That's only half of what the iPad's charger delivers, but it's probably enough to charge the device. You can get one at . Ours is in the mail right now and we'll test it out in a few days and update here if this fix works.
2. My iPad doesn't work with my computer running OS X 10.4, (aka Tiger).
Okay, so there's no easy solution here. But this one really surprised us at PM—especially since the iPad will work with the Microsoft Windows operating systems back to XP. The device only goes back two generations from Apple's own operating system. So here's the deal: iTunes 9 will load on a Mac running Tiger, but the iPad won't interface with it. When asked about it, an Apple rep pointed out that the OS requirements are clearly stated in the , and, indeed, they are. Two clicks away in the Apple Store, you can purchase a copy of OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) for $29—a bargain, for sure, but maybe it won't seem like one after you just spent $499 to $829.
3. My iTunes hangs while syncing photos to my iPad.
So everything is progressing along fine, your apps sync, then your music and video content syncs, then, inexplicably, the process just seems to stall for minutes—then hours. What's going on? It seems that iTunes can get a bit confused when it organizes photos for iPods, iPhones and iPads. If you have previously synced photos to another Apple peripheral through iTunes, it can cause a freeze-up. The solution: Open the photo folder that iTunes is synced to, look for the folder named "iPod Photo Cache" and delete it. Then try syncing again and it should work.
4. My iPad gives me an error upon sync to my Windows 7 computer.
I learned this one the hard way. Some computers with motherboards based on the Intel P55 chipset and running Win 7 can produce inexplicable errors when syncing both the iPhone and iPad. Motherboards from Gigabyte, MSI and Asus can be affected. The fix must be done at the deepest levels of your computer's software controls, the Basic Input Output System (BIOS) on your motherboard. Tinkering with your BIOS used to be a you-better-know-what-you're-doing proposition, but these days, updating it is generally a simple process that can be done within the Windows OS. Check with the manufacturer of your motherboard or computer to see if they've issued a BIOS upgrade to fix the problem. If not, you might want to give a call to the company's technical support line and give 'em an earful.