Zune Users Get Winter Freeze – UPDATED!!

Posted by at 12:08 pm on December 31, 2008

UPDATE – Frozen Zunes should all be working now, according to Matt Akers from the Zune product team, in a post on Zune.net.    The issue stemmed from the way the device;s internal  clockhandles a leap year.   Microsoft has released information about how to get frozen Zunes working again one the Zune Website.   Included in the FAQ is advice for those users who took mistaken advice from internet forums and tried to unfreeze their Zunes by removing the battery which was not meant to be removed by consumers.   Microsoft has done a  good  job keeping feature parity on the  original Zune 30  with the models that have come after it  by providing firmware upgrades.

Thousands of Zune users (including yours truly)  got a winter holiday surpise when they turned on their 30Gb Zune players and the units froze up.    The have been numerous reports on Internet message boards from users who are now unable to access the content of their players.   Users who attempt to cure the condition by rebooting the device are finding that it has no effect and the device freezes up again when it is turned back on.  

Speculation is the the defect is somehow related to the date, similar to the nearly decade old Y2K problem.   The only official comment from Microsoft can be found on the Zune  Website Press Page:

“Customers using the Zune 30 might experience problems starting their players. We’re aware of the problem and are working to correct it. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for your patience!”

I have been a contented Zune owner and have found the response to defects in the past to be quick and well handled.   There was an issue with early Zunes where DRM’d songs skipped for Zune Pass users and that was fixed quickly.  As the owner of a now frozen Zune I hope Microsoft will respond quickly with a fix.

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