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#252364 - 01/01/09 11:08 AM Zune Freeze
btweengigs Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 2204
Loc: Florida, USA
Part of my big New Year's Eve gig was going to be dependent on my Zune MP3 player for pre-recorded dinner music and a few contemporary dance numbers I don't do...or don't want to do live.

It wasn't to be because of Zune Freeze...and UNBELIEVABLE phenomenon that I just learned about. I'm still shaking my head. Here is the story:

And on the 366th day of the year, the music died.

Thousands of Zune portable media players made by Microsoft Corp. suddenly froze up early Wednesday, Dec. 31, labeling Internet wits to label the phenomenon "Z2K."

The model affected was the Zune 30, which sports a 30-gigabyte hard drive and was first released in November 2006, though it is still sold.

Later models, including the flash-memory-based Zune 4, Zune 8 and Zune 16, as well as the hard-drive-based Zune 80 and Zune 120, were spared.

"Apparently, around 2:00 AM today, the Zune models either reset, or were already off," one user wrote in to the Gizmodo tech blog early Wednesday. "Upon when turning on, the thing loads up and ... freezes with a full loading bar. I thought my brother was the only one with it, but then it happened to my Zune. Then I checked out the forums and it seems everyone with a 30GB HDD model has had this happen to them."

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Some online techies recommended taking the thing apart, disconnecting both the battery and the hard drive, waiting a few seconds, then plugging them back in.

Later in the day, Microsoft finally figured it out. While writing some of the driver software, the world's biggest software company had forgotten to compensate for leap years.

The solution? Wait 24 hours until Jan. 1.

"We expect the internal clock on the Zune 30GB devices will automatically reset tomorrow (noon, GMT)," reads a posting on the official Zune support forums. "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."

Even then, there may be a pesky digital-rights-management issue.

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

The Microsoft posting promised a fix by the end of the next leap year in December 2012.

#252365 - 01/01/09 04:27 PM Re: Zune Freeze
Riceroni9 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/15/04
Posts: 1298
Loc: TX, USA
Hi "tweengigs:"

Sorry you encountered this problem. I looked long and hard at Zune but factored-in the Microsoft propensity for failure or rotten programming and decided on Creative Labs "Zen." It has served me well. I keep about 75% of my 700+ original songs on it plus other songs I enjoy.

I hope they get this problem solved for you quickly but it really grinds me that they continue to get away with ripping off the buying public. I still wish the current administration had split this invasive and mostly ineffective beast into several smaller companies. When it comes to corporations, big is never good for consumers, employees and taxpayers.

Good luck,

Dave Rice

#252366 - 01/01/09 05:01 PM Re: Zune Freeze
btweengigs Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 2204
Loc: Florida, USA
Dave, I agree with you. However, prior to getting the Zune I had a Zen which was a lemon and returned it. The Zune was actually my 3rd MP3 player and I am only mildly satisfied with it. What I really do like about it is the oversized screen.

But this Zune "Freeze" thing blew my mind. The official explanation is "It couldn't handle leap year"..( ROFL) it just refused to work on day #365 of a Leap Year. After draining the battery dry... it "fixes" itself. Once the miraculous reset happens, all you have to do is charge the battery.

I plugged my Zune AC adapter in and it started recharging...just as the MS engineers said it would. Now they say they will offer a software upgrade prior to the next Leap Year (2012).

Considering the unit will be 7 years old by 2012 I admire the engineers' optimism. I'm not that optimistic about ME WORKING by then.


#252367 - 01/01/09 05:32 PM Re: Zune Freeze
Tom Cavanaugh Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/06/99
Posts: 2133
Loc: Muskegon, MI
Eddie, does this mean you had to do "Inna Godda Da Vida" live?

Happy New Year my friend!



#252368 - 01/01/09 06:35 PM Re: Zune Freeze
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703

#252369 - 01/03/09 09:13 AM Re: Zune Freeze

Wow! The two people on earth who actually bought a Zune, together in the same thread! What are the odds?!?!


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