30gb zune freezing unresponsive.pngIt sounds almost surreal to actually happen, but many Zune owners are waking up this morning to find that their 30 GB Zunes aren’t working. Upon first reading the headline over at Gizmodo, we were thinking that it was just a few isolated cases, but after further investigation, it’s happening to many, many people.

If you visit a Zune forum, you’ll see topics like “Z30 Frozen” or “Zune won’t do anything” or “Unresponsive Software.” Microsoft has yet to make any comment on the issue, likely because it is so early in the morning and they haven’t had the chance to determine what the issue is.

While it may be New Years Eve, it looks like Zune team members who thought they were going to get the next day or two off, will be working frantically to come up with a way to solve the problem. It’ll definitely be interesting to see how Microsoft releases a fix. Since the devices are freezing up, users are going to have to take it apart to reset it, or let the battery die completely because an update won’t work on a frozen Zune.

So far, one person has found a fix, at least a temporary fix. It requires taking apart the Zune to reset it. A member of the Zune Scene forums named “hans” says,”

To do this [taking the Zune apart], use a small screwdriver to pop off the plastic shielding where the zune cable plugs into and remove the two screws on either side of the plug. Next pop the cover off and locate the battery plug at the top left corner of the zune, using your screw driver, pop the cable connection half way off, and do this to the other plug on the right side. Wait 3 seconds, then push down the right connector and then the left battery connecter. Your zune should start up immediately. Press the backing of the zune down (make sure headphone jack is aligned) and put the screws and cover back in place.

Definitely a big problem here for Microsoft to fix on New Years Eve, but hopefully it will be a fairly easy fix. Before it looked as though this was a wide-spread problem, people were commenting that they were out of warranty and bummed that their device was unresponsive. I don’t think anybody has anything to worry about, in-warranty or not, simply because it’s happened to so many people. As people wake-up this morning and go to use their devices, the number of Zune issues will only continue to rise.

Any 30GB Zune owners out there? Fill us in, are you having the same issue?

Update: On Microsoft’s Zune website, they say: Status: “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!”

Update 2: Microsoft has posted their solution…

  1. You will need to reboot your device after noon GMT (that’s 7 a.m. Eastern or 4 a.m. Pacific time) on Jan 1, 2009.
  2. Please unplug your Zune (no AC or USB cables).
  3. Because your Zune is frozen your device battery will begin draining, this is good.
  4. The battery will eventually be fully depleted and the screen will go black.
  5. After noon GMT on January 1 connect your AC power or USB cable such that the battery can begin charging again.
  6. Once the Zune has enough battery to boot it should do so normally and you can go back to enjoying your Zune!

There Are 54 Comments

  1. I am having this same problem. my batt just died and i’m at work. i will have to wait untill i get home and see if a fix is avail

  2. Yep, frozen at startup. I think I’ll wait before taking it apart though. :)

  3. Yep, I woke up this AM to have this problem with my 30gb Zune. Pretty surprised to find out it’s not just me. (Pleasantly surprised because it means there will be a fix.) I’ve been on hold with Zune customer support for about 1 hour, so there are a lot of people calling in.

  4. believe it, same deal, this morning ( Dec 31, 2008 ) i had the freeze on start-up issue. Never had an issue before and my zune stays full. I hope there is a fix soon…

  5. Threw mine in the dock last night, woke up to a frozen load screen this morning. I was really worried, then I found out everyone else is having the same issue, now I’m just angry.

  6. Same problem. Glad I’m not alone but I really don’t want to be fooling around inside the thing. Hopefully there is a non-surgical fix!?

  7. Same thing here- just stops at the startup screen. I hope we get an answer soon.

  8. Ever since I updated my firmware from 3.0 to 3.1; I’ve had absolutely no freezes. It was awesome. 3.0 used to freeze every 5 minuets or so; even on start-up. Looks like I’m on of the few people who don’t have this problem?


    That link has helped a lot of people with the freezing; but I’m not sure if it’ll help with the start-up problem.

  9. zune service status


    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!


  10. Yeah, my zune froze about 15 minutes ago. I’m going to try to pull it apart. :?

  11. On second thought, I may not try to remove anything. I’m pretty clumsy… :lol:

  12. My 30GB Zune also is stuck at the start up screen. It’s Y2K, 8 years later! Nothing to do @ work today and no music either!

  13. Yup, my zune is frozen. Turned it on this morning, and there it goes, stuck on the startup screen. I’m waiting for the battery to die now. No way I’m taking it apart…

  14. Yes, I too had my zune lock up at startup screen and has not released. I don’t relish having to mutilate device to get operational again. Maybe a conspriacy to drive 30 gb owner to newer zunes. It would figure!!!!

  15. Let’s hope that whatever the reason, it gets repaired soon. or maybe MicroSanta will give us all new Zunes…

  16. this is not kool how the heck all of use having the same problem they need to fix this asap.. :(

  17. Same here. My daughter turned on her Zune this morning and it is still frozen on the Startup Screen.

  18. Same here, thanks for posting, I was looking around for the solution, to bad I have a very long drive ahead of me today and tommorow :cry:

  19. im 34thing it. my OG zune is frozen.

  20. Froze at startup slash screen. Followed “Hans’” directions for disconnecting the battery, and it worked like a charm. The Z30 is back up and working.

  21. Same thing here, I am on the 3.1 firmware and still frozen.

  22. Nothing but oldies today!

  23. Mine froze. I just followed the directions in the fix and it’s working fine now. You will need a VERY small screwdriver in order to do this- the screws it tells you to remove are like watch screws.

  24. Yeah it just happened to me now. I am a little pissed off, but seeing how everyone else is having the problem, then it’s not my fault. Hope Microsoft finds out what to do. Please someone e-mail me what is going to happen if anything. Thanks to who does.

  25. another zune frozen on startup. happy new year microsoft.

  26. Mine is locked up also. Woke up this morning and the Zune was shut down. Powered it up and it locked up at the end of the start up sequence. Now I can’t reset or do anything. Will have to wait for the battery to die which probably won’t be for 10hrs. B.S.

  27. Sort of glad that this is widespread and not localized to me. At first I thought somehow my Z30 died on me, can’t even reset (back button + up button)

    Hopefully a fix will be out. Same as others, at work with no music.

  28. mines frozen since this morning…sucks to be honest..pretty bummed at work..but hoooraayy!!! for new years eve..time for the festivities :D…hope microsoft comes up with a solution soon enough..cant live without my zune at work

    from the far far away maldives ;D

  29. Hmmm. When will Microsoft learn from Apple? I don’t recall the Apple iPod ever had this kind of problem. :mrgreen:

  30. Mine is having the exact same problem. Even after letting the battery die, it still had the same problem. Well, I’m at least glad I’m not the only one having this problem.

  31. My Zune was on last night and was working fine woke up this morning to find it turned off for no reason and is frozen at the start up. Sounds like a virus to me if it’s wide spread and is just happening this morning.

  32. Yeah im having the same problem. It froze at the startup screen. I tried to reboot it two different ways, I let it die out and tried charging it, nothing. I hope theres a fix soon cause I need it for tonight. D: :|

  33. Yup Same Thing here. I think it started sometime after midnight. Cause Mine has been frozen since 1AM. Let the battery die, and plugged it back in. Still Frozen. There better be a fix, or we all better get new Zunes…

  34. ya i have the same problem, its crazy that everyones getting the same problem right around this time

  35. i got the same problem happenin. i went to start it up and it got stuck on the boot up. i took it apart and disconnected the harddrive and battery then connected them again and it still gets stuck.

  36. 8O omg I’m soo pissed I woke up at 8am this moring check my zune 30gb and it foze at stat up..I tryed everything and nothin works…I checked every site and everyone is havin the same situation..then I let the battery died and nothin…I hope u find a soultion for all of us soon

  37. i plugged mine in and it started to restart up and then it froze again. )=

  38. thanx microsoft!
    great way to begin 2009…

  39. Yes I have the same problem, had to work all day with no music. That sucked :twisted: :evil: :x :( :cry:

  40. Yep My 30GB Zune froze up this morning to.I let the battery die and powered it back up and it froze again.

  41. I’m going to wait until tomorrow before turning mine on and then see what happens. Thankfully I use mine very intermittently so not a big deal. Nice to know ahead of time what might happen.

  42. Just updated the post with Microsoft’s solution. Basically drain the battery and wait until after January 1st to turn it on.

  43. yeah…….on 31st december at 1 pm my 30 gb zune froze up……..

  44. Same issue. It REALLY bugged me. My xbox broke, my computers (mine and my sisters) have repeatedly broken, and now my Zune, my only source of portable music (my iPod broke 10 months after I had it, Zune I’ve had over a year, works like a charm). I was pretty upset. But seeing this really helps. Hopefully it’ll work!

  45. You’ve got to love the way Microsoft makes no mention of why this SNAFU occurred. By design, by incompetence, or what? 8O

  46. lol guess i will go to sleep was waiting on someone else to try it first (hate being let down) hopefully when i wake up they’ll be something here

  47. OH yes! My Zune30 is back! Damn I really thought it was a goner. Both my bros and mine came back round the same time. I just left it to charge and when I came back to check up on it I found it charging in the screen lock. Hope this “bug” does not cause another Zune30 blackout!

  48. According to Microsoft, the problem was caused by a bug in the internal clock driver causing the device to choke on the last day of a leap year.

    When January 1st rolls in, the Zune will perform as usual. For more information, please read here:


    Happy New Year Folks!

  49. I broke my zune…..Took everything apart, and lost most of the peices, now its in the fireplace…Warming up… :( Any hope for me???

  50. I have a toshiba gigabeat and it runs on microsoft’s platform as well and I turned it on last night and NOTHING! The same description as what you all have said, you reset the switch it acts like its loading up and it just freezes on the last bit of the bar. Its not just zunes, we should be lucky anything from Microsoft worked today! Its their glitched programers.

  51. Well it’s January 1st and still have a frozen zune 30gb. I have let it run down on battery power and when it tries to charge after about 10 minutes it starts back up on it’s own, and freezes up again. I’m actually on the phone with microsoft as we speak on hold waiting for a tech team. I don’t know what they’re going to do but with alot of us people without a warranty where it’s a older device if they don’t get it fixed I think they should have to give us an upgrade for a free zune or a gift card for one. I think it will be very unfair if they do nothing.

  52. 8O Zune is Frozen!! Going to try to died out the battery then hopefully charge and reboot itself to start normally. Thanks to this site. Happy New Years all!!

  53. :D My Zune is Working great. Just let the battery die til the screen goes blank with dead battery picture then reconnect the charger and within a few mins the Zune will reboot as if nothing happened. lol This method worked for me!! Good Luck guys!

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