Copyright © 2008 Happy Clean Living

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I Can't Function Without My Zune/Music!!! World Wide Zune Breakdown

I have a Zune.... that is my source of music.... Last night I listened to my music all evening as I finished taking down my Christmas decorations. The battery was low of course and as usual, I plug it in to recharge through the night. This morning I woke up to a totally frozen Zune - it wouldn't do anything, it wouldn't even shut down to restart, or hook up to the software on the computer. I couldn't worry about it this morning because I had to get to work. When I came home it looked like it needed to be charged. I hooked it up to the computer and it charged until the Zune screen came up and it totally froze again. Luckily I purchased a 2 year extended warranty that takes me through 4/2009 - at least I am covered.

I purchased my Zune through Dell Computer and was working with them because I purchased the extended warranty through them. The poor technical guy on the phone had no idea what to do with it and kept putting me on hold to find out. It ended up that I needed to go directly to Zune and work with them. I ran out of time because Brady was coming back home and I needed to get to the airport. (side note -- Happy dance my baby is coming home - LOL -- I missed him so much. My home is just not the same without him.)

I decided my Zune issue would have to wait until after the New Year.

Jason called me this evening and let me know there was a TOTAL melt down world wide on every first generation Zune. Oh Joy!! At least I am still under warranty. If you are interested and are experiencing the Zune melt down - here are the articles.

I guess it is back to the good old CD player until my Zune is working... Yuck!!!

'Zune 30 Midnight Meltdown' Angers Music Lovers

- While the rumor mill is focused on Apple developing a larger-screen iPod touch, the blogosphere is churning with angry reports about frozen 30GB Microsoft Zunes.
Discussions board like, and offer first-hand accounts of the problems with Microsoft's music player. It seems the Zunes reboot, then freeze once the status bar reaches 100 percent.

Some are calling it the "Z2K" problem, playing off the infamous Y2K bug that many thought would throw the computing industry in chaos at the beginning of the century when dates changed from 1999 to 2000. That's because the problem seems to have started at exactly midnight PST Wednesday -- the first moments of the last day of 2008.

A Fix That Fails
Microsoft wasn't immediately available for comment on what observers are calling the Zune 30 Midnight Meltdown. But the forums are ablaze with complaints and demands for updates from Microsoft.

"I had my Zune docked on its iHome ZN9, charging, and all the sudden I hear it start whirring as I'm sitting here at the laptop. I looked up just in time to see it restarting itself at exactly 12:00 midnight, watched the loading bar, and then the freeze. Great. WHAT is going on!?" VS Venom Shot wrote on the forum.

Meanwhile, a user named Dmodegirl claims to have solved the problem. She said the Zune needs a "hard reset" and suggested using a small screwdriver to pop off the plastic shielding where the Zune cable plugs in and remove the two screws on either side of the plug.
"Pop the cover off and locate the battery plug at the top left corner of the Zune. Using your screwdriver, pop the cable connection halfway off, and do this to the other plug on the right side," she wrote. "Wait three seconds, then push down the right connector and then the left battery connector. Your Zune should start up immediately. Press the backing of the Zune down (make sure headphone jack is aligned) and put the screws and cover back in place."

Some users reported success with this method, but when they plugged their Zune back in to charge, it froze again. Others were concerned with trying the hard reset for fear of turning the Zune into a fancy paperweight. Still others are hinting that Microsoft should compensate Zune users with a free Zune Pass.

A Black Eye for Zune
"This problem is something that never should have made it out of testing. I've been with the Zune Pass since day one and I'm seriously looking into other devices and services due to this. We at least need some kind of acknowledgment or statement from MS that clarifies the issue and puts in place a plan of action," a user named Furious Mittens wrote on the forum.
Those comments aren't something Microsoft wants to hear. Indeed, frozen Zunes after the holiday shopping season is not welcome news, according to Phil Leigh, a senior analyst at Inside Digital Media.

"Microsoft has got to close the ground on the iPod, and the only way to do that is with a superior product," Leigh said. "It takes time to recover from something like this. First impressions are important for new buyers, and this is a bad first impression."

Microsoft blames leap year glitch for midnight lockup of Zune players

Owners of Microsoft's older 30-gigabyte Zune music players experienced failures today after a leap year glitz caused them to lock up at midnight Pacific time. Users said the units spontaneously rebooted and then froze during the start-up process.

Microsoft says the problem is related to a leap year bug and has issued instructions on how to fix the lockup.

Reports are worldwide and filled popular Zune discussion boards. Some were using their players when it occurred, like a user named Chuck who posted on a Zune fan site called onlydarksets (

My wife and I both have zune 30mg … and were both listening to music at about midnight when both, almost like a script, stopped playing the music, returned to the zune logo screen with solid white bar, and froze. Both batteries died in about 2 hours … recharged one over the rest of the night, but all I got was the same frozen screen."

Same thing with a user named Tina, who posted: "I just got a zune yesterday and I was playing some music and all of a sudden I went to a different song and it just froze and I’ve tried reseting it and I’m currently waiting for the battery to die, but I don’t think its even on because the music menu is faded."

Others woke up this morning to find their Zunes useless. The issue appears to especially affect the 30 GB Zune models.

Microsoft issued the following statement:"Early this morning we were alerted by our customers that there was a widespread issue affecting our 2006 model Zune 30GB devices (a large number of which are still actively being used). The technical team jumped on the problem immediately and isolated the issue: a bug in the internal clock driver related to the way the device handles a leap year.

"That being the case, the issue should be resolved over the next 24 hours as the time change moves to January 1, 2009. We expect the internal clock on the Zune 30GB devices will automatically reset tomorrow (noon, GMT). By tomorrow you should allow the battery to fully run out of power before the unit can restart successfully then simply ensure that your device is recharged, then turn it back on.

If you're a Zune Pass subscriber, you may need to sync your device with your PC to refresh the rights to the subscription content you have downloaded to your device.

"Customers can continue to stay informed via the support page on ("
In a seemingly coordinated crash, 30GB Zunes across the world seem to be failing, frozen on startup, in what some have snarkily called Z2K or Z2K9. The device can't be reset, and the best efforts at troubleshooting seem to point to an issue with the latest firmware.

Reports of resets, and then the Zune being frozen on startup, started surfacing overnight. You can find threads in several forums. Note that all the forums are busy, and slooooow to load, at best.

I have to emphasize, this appears to only be occurring on the first-gen, 30GB Zune. It seems the issue started to happen as devices passed midnight locally across the world, though times don't seem to be exactly synchronized. One can imagine a "wave" frozen Zunes moving across the planet.

Z2K makes sense as a moniker for this: the theory that immediately came to my mind because of the seeming synchronization with midnight was that this was the first leap year since the 30GB Zune was introduced. Others have come up with that idea as well. It has also been reported, though unconfirmed, that older firmware does not have the issue.

There are troubleshooting links on Microsoft's Zune set, here, but I have to repeat: you can't reset the device, and it seems to be a firmware issue. It's probably best to wait for a Microsoft response.

However, due to the timezone differences, there's no official word from Microsoft yet on why Zunes with the newest firmware have frozen. Let's be honest though: the Zune has had enough problems trying to gain market share against the iPod. This can only hurt.

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