Q: This may be a simple question, but I still dont know the answer. Does restoring your iPod really delete all your media (meaning music and photos)? If so is there a way I can prevent that?
A: Yes, restoring an iPod is equivalent to reformatting the hard disk or flash memory; all content is erased from the iPod and the operating system is reloaded, returning the device to its factory settings.
There is no way to prevent this from happening, however if all of your content is already in your iTunes library, it’s generally a very simple matter to just reload it all onto your iPod following a restore. In fact this is one of the major benefits of using automatic synchronization with iTunes, since your iPod essentially mirrors your iTunes library in this mode.
If you’ve been managing the content on your iPod manually and you don’t have it stored in iTunes already, then you’ll need to copy it back to your computer and load it up into iTunes before doing a restore so that you can reload it afterwards. See our article on Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer for more information on how to do this.