30GB Zunes simultaneously fail

Beginning around midnight last night Pacific time (2008-12-31), 30GB Zunes everywhere started freezing at their boot screens, with the progress bars ironically at 100%.  Zunes that were in use at that time spontaneously rebooted in order to get to that frozen state.  Obviously, this was due to a disturbance in the force, emanating from Cupertino.

OK, maybe not.  Users are calling this event Z2K9, because of its proximity to the beginning of the new year — but it’s unlikely to be related to the calendar rollover, because Microsoft never releases anything ahead of schedule.  However, a relationship with the calendar is not out of the question.  One commenter on Gizmodo suggested that it might be related to the fact that today is the 366th day of the year (due to the leap year), and that the Zune’s firmware may not have accounted for that.  The problem only seems to affect 30GB Zunes running later versions of the firmware.

Users have found that the problem can be corrected by disconnecting and reconnecting the battery and hard drive.  However, this could endanger your warranty or possibly invalidate some sort of permanent fix from Microsoft.

The Zune support site reports the following status (11AM PST):

Customers with 30gb Zune devices may experience issues when booting their Zune hardware.  We’re aware of the problem and are working to correct it.  The Zune Social might be slow or inaccessible. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for your patience!

“Issues” might be a bit of an understatement.


10 Responses to 30GB Zunes simultaneously fail

    • Looks like the commenter I quoted above was right — the Zune doesn't know how to handle December 31 of a leap year. What an embarrassing bug for Microsoft.

  1. Great post, mano!:

    Just the right mix of true information, links for backup, and lovely, barely-this-side-of-snide attitude! Love it!



  2. Funny because I thought the drive in mine failed, so I took mine apart and figured if it was easy to remove I would just go get a new drive for it. But Decided to buy a itouch come Friday but glad to see I can use my year old zune a bit longer =) Come tomorrow that is.

  3. I called zune support and they had me hold the left arrow left circle and the center circle button all at the same time and it cleared my zune and reset it to factory settings. It reloaded the current firmware and seem to work as of now. Sucks I lost all my music, some of it I no longer have on my current PC but at least I have a working zune again.

  4. I don't have an iPod. But I think i can figure out why they are so damn popular.

    Look at Apple. they've put all their marketing power into one device, or at least multiple versions of that device. That way they can make everything compatible with that device. The iPod strategy is what Microsoft should emulate.

    Microsoft, simply put, has too many crappy mp3 players. If they were to make one that, you know, is actually WORTH BUYING, and then make ONE VERSION of it, instead of fifty thousand different ones with obscure, stupid names like the Microsoft MP3 Super Extra F-6547 512 mb X400 series.

    The zune COULD work. IF they decide to put that player to the forefront of mp3 players and just STICK WITH ONE GODDAMN FORMAT. its not that hard, people. just make the player worth buying and then make one, maybe two versions of it. not 50 versions with stupid names and prices.

    The zune is a capable machine. Probably comparable to the iPod. But unless the zune can get a large enough following without Microsoft's ADD-prone marketing team making some stupid zune clone, then it's gonna fail.

    like it did.

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