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!