I had a similar problem with my phone about 6 mths ago. i didnt want to have to restore factory settings because it was before the icloud and i wasnt sure how long it had been since i had backed it up.
i searched and found a program called recboot it is great (esp with windows) to easily put it back in recovery mode without requiring any altering.
my daughters ipod has just done this 22mill minutes thing as it has been off for a few weeks. i started searching again, everyone was saying the same as before.i did try plugging it in to itunes, but it kept sating it couldnt recognise it as it was locked, but there was no opportunity to put the password in, then i remembered i had this software on my laptop. I plugged it in and within seconds, it was back to just asking for the password, en voila... back to normal.
its so worth having on the computer. RecBoot, look it up. Its gold!