Zune 30Gb ‘worldwide meltdown’

Zune Freeze at startupI went to grab my trusty 30Gb Zune today and it froze on startup – the “Zune” logo stayed stuck on the screen indefinitely. Hitting the web to look for techniques on how to reset the device yielded a few tips but nothing that solved my issue.

I did spot that I wasn’t alone, however – and the newswires are currently hot with the word that this problem is affecting many – if not all – of the original 30Gb Zunes. The support forums are getting pretty busy.

UPDATE: Official confirmation says here that the issue will resolve itself after the date ticks over to 1st January. This is an issue relating to the fact that 2008 was a leap year.

Microsoft has at time of writing, not said anything other than “we’re aware there is a problem and are working to fix it”: how some potential fix might manifest itself remains to be seen – hopefully, the customer experience will be similar to the so-called XBox “ring of death” scenario – I’ve had that happen on 2 XBoxes, and I have to say the smoothness and quality of the return experience is the best I’ve ever had from any company. Maybe that’s where the $1bn was spent…

Anyway, to Zunes… (and note this is the original, 30Gb Zune only – later models – 80/120 and the flash models – are unaffected). Reportedly it only affects the latest firmware – from November 2008 – too, so if you’ve a Zune that’s been sitting in a drawer for a couple of months then it’d probably be OK.

How to reset the device – in essence, reboot it by holding the back button and pressing up on the D-pad. This didn’t work for me in the “frozen” state.

P1010106P1010104How to reformat the device – I could only get this to work by waiting for the device to run out of power, then plug it in (and get the battery charging icon) and as soon as it began its start up procedure, press the back button and hold both the left part of the D-pad and the button in the middle of the pad. It did start the procedure but appeared to hang at stage 4…

A reported fix is available by opening the Zune up and disconnecting/reconnecting the battery – instructions for the brave, here. This would ordinarily void any warranty, though my device is about a year our of warranty anyway. Maybe I’ll wait for a few days and see what Redmond says, though…

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