30GB Zunes failing due to software glitch (updated)

Microsoft has posted a solution to the problem... unplug the Zune and let the battery drain out, wait until noon, GMT, on Jan 1, 2009, then plug it back in. Once the battery has sufficient power, the player should start normally.

According to hundreds of reports from users worldwide, 30GB Zunes are freezing and locking up due to what appears to be a new years date bug.

One poster summarized the issue on Microsoft's support forums, "At exactly 2am CDT (12am PDT), the docked Zune made the "unplugged from USB port" bong-noise and went to the boot-up screen with the 100% loading bar...and froze. At 2:30am CDT, I decided to check the other Zune. Turned it on and...frozen at the 100% loading screen."

It appears as though only 30GB Zunes are currently affected and some reports indicate that only Zunes with the latest firmware are affected, but this hasn't yet been confirmed.

Microsoft has not yet commented on the matter and is currently unavailable for comment due to time zone differences.

Update: Microsoft's official response so far is "Thank you for your inquiry. We're looking into the situation and will update you as soon as possible." Microsoft has also updated its Zune support service page, "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. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for your patience!". Microsoft's Zune insider twitter page has the following, "Hey all. Yes it looks to be quite a day. Thanks for all the heads up. we are on it working to isolate the issue and I will keep you posted." More as it follows.

Update 2: Microsoft has now additionally stated that the Zune Social "might be slow or inaccessible."

Update 3: On the ZuneInsider Twitter, Microsoft says they are making progress and close to being able to ID the issue. Hopefully for the many users being hit with this bug, that means a fix is forthcoming.

The Zune freezes as pictured below:


Image courtesy of Gizmodo

Thanks to QuietStorm21A for the news tip.

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ahhell said,
Enlighten us on how a company can test for every possible error that could possibly be conceived. Be realistic.


While a company generally can't test EVERYTHING, you would think that they would at least make sure the clock works right during leap years. That's first year (hell, first semester) programming!!

roadwarrior said,
While a company generally can't test EVERYTHING, you would think that they would at least make sure the clock works right during leap years. That's first year (hell, first semester) programming!!

Microsoft didn't actually write anything dealing with the clock. They would have only called a function that says "Tell me the time", and another that says "Set the time". They didn't implement them.

It'sa ZUNE...aka iPod...really....who cares...."Gasp I lost my music" .. hey there are other things that anyone can PO'ed about.
Like my neighbors Airbook thingying that gets a color spinning dick when they plug in their new sony camera. Talk about wasting $900 on a camera and $2700 on a laptop to do videos and being f'd...... but it's all the same... apple stops and zune stops...... amazing that all the money spent on a weekend habit slaps the owners in the face , huh?

atari800 said,
Like my neighbors Airbook thingying that gets a color spinning dick when they plug in their new sony camera

Sorry but LMFAO, what a typo

I'm in the UK and its 14:00 GMT and mine is still not working.

When I try to switch on I just have a blck screen showing a white outlined battery with a white exclamation mark in it???

When I plug the USB cable in, the exclamation mark is replaced with a two-pin plug.

Anybody else have this???

roadwarrior said,

Freescale wrote it, but Microsoft chose to use it without first verifying that it actually worked right for something as obvious as a leap year.

I don't know about you, but I've never bothered to check a standard library for working properly. Most likely, Microsoft didn't write a single line of code for date handling: Only display and set, which I'm sure are standard functions from Freescale. So why test it?

MioTheGreat said,

I don't know about you, but I've never bothered to check a standard library for working properly. Most likely, Microsoft didn't write a single line of code for date handling: Only display and set, which I'm sure are standard functions from Freescale. So why test it?

I agree. You cant blame MS and I thank the zune team for finding the problem and resolution in timely manner.

QuietStorm21A said,

I agree. You cant blame MS and I thank the zune team for finding the problem and resolution in timely manner.

You always blame the company, regardless. Whether Apple, MS, Dell, etc. It keeps them accountable. Besides, while MS might not be at specific fault, it's still their responsibility.

Overheating Nvidia GPUs in Macbook Pros? Not Apple's fault? Too bad, Apple is still responsible. As a consumer I don't care how far down the line the issue occurred, if it has an Apple logo on it, they are to be held responsible. It's all about accountability.

LTD said,
You always blame the company, regardless. Whether Apple, MS, Dell, etc. It keeps them accountable. Besides, while MS might not be at specific fault, it's still their responsibility.

Overheating Nvidia GPUs in Macbook Pros? Not Apple's fault? Too bad, Apple is still responsible. As a consumer I don't care how far down the line the issue occurred, if it has an Apple logo on it, they are to be held responsible. It's all about accountability.

Absolutely right...

LTD said,
You always blame the company, regardless. Whether Apple, MS, Dell, etc. It keeps them accountable. Besides, while MS might not be at specific fault, it's still their responsibility.

Overheating Nvidia GPUs in Macbook Pros? Not Apple's fault? Too bad, Apple is still responsible. As a consumer I don't care how far down the line the issue occurred, if it has an Apple logo on it, they are to be held responsible. It's all about accountability.

Let me know when you actually start living up to this statement. I will certainly not be holding my breath.

39 Thieves said,

Let me know when you actually start living up to this statement. I will certainly not be holding my breath.

I already have. But it depends on whether I identify something as an actual problem.

LTD said,
Overheating Nvidia GPUs in Macbook Pros? Not Apple's fault? Too bad, Apple is still responsible. As a consumer I don't care how far down the line the issue occurred, if it has an Apple logo on it, they are to be held responsible. It's all about accountability.

I fault nVidia on that one, but that's just me.

MioTheGreat said,
I fault nVidia on that one, but that's just me.

I would also. Its one thing to blame and another thing to hold accountable for a solution. I dont blame MS for the glitch but i will hold them accountable to fix the problem imo.

Congrats everyone on the zuneboards for finding & fixing the 30GB zunes for free for MS.

I find it funny when hackers and coders have to write code to fix expensive & heavily DRM'd corporate junk, then they just go thank you, compile and distribute it taking all the credit.

A class action lawsuit should be launched against MS for deliberatly disabling all 30GB zunes for 12 hours on Janurary 1st 2009, and imposing strict DRM measures preventing the problem from being rectified other than 'waiting it out'.

They used the code, not written by them, but they approved it. Imagine if GM did this with their vehicles, never worked for 12 hours, or your cable company cut everyone off for 12 hours for no reason - I know you wouldn't sit back and be like aww, well it happens... Yet its likely 75% of people who own a 30GB zune won't even realize this bug was there.

Ruciz said,
or your cable company cut everyone off for 12 hours for no reason -

This happens a lot for me with Mediacom cable... not 12 hours but sometimes hours at a time and you can't call them because they either put you on hold for long enough for the problem to go away while you're on hold, or it's busy

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