30GB Zunes go on strike for New Year

30GB Zunes go on strike for New Year

Summary: Judging by my inbox, there's truth to the story that 30GB Zunes are failing big style.

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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Judging by my inbox, there's truth to the story that 30GB Zunes are failing big style.

The problem seems to be date related and affects the latest firmware. There's rumors of a fix which involved removing the battery but a couple of 30GB Zune owners have told me this doesn't work, so in the meantime I'd advise against doing anything that might void your warranty.

For now, if you're affected I'd hold back and see what Microsoft comes up with.

[UPDATE: Zune Insider has an update on the situation (thanks Coffeeshark!):

Early this morning we were alerted by our customers that there was a widespread issue affecting our 2006 model Zune 30GB devices (a large number of which are still actively being used).  The technical team jumped on the problem immediately and isolated the issue: a bug in the internal clock driver related to the way the device handles a leap year.

The issue should be resolved over the next 24 hours as the time change moves to January 1, 2009.   We expect the internal clock on the Zune 30GB devices will automatically reset tomorrow (noon, GMT). By tomorrow you should allow the battery to fully run out of power before the unit can restart successfully then simply ensure that your device is recharged, then turn it back on.  If you’re a Zune Pass subscriber, you may need to sync your device with your PC to refresh the rights to the subscription content you have downloaded to your device.

Customers can continue to stay informed via the support page on zune.net (zune.net/support).   We know this has been a big inconvenience to our customers and we are sorry for that, and want to thank them for their patience.   Q:  Why is this issue isolated to the Zune 30 device? It is a bug in a driver for a part that is only used in the Zune 30 device.   Q:  What fixes or patches are you putting in place to resolve this situation? This situation should remedy itself over the next 24 hours as the time flips to January 1st.   Q:  What’s the timeline on a fix? The issue Zune 30GB customers are experiencing today will self resolve as time changes to January 1.   Q:  Why did this occur at precisely 12:01 a.m. on December 31, 2008? There is a bug in the internal clock driver causing the 30GB device to improperly handle the last day of a leap year.   Q:  What is Zune doing to fix this issue? The issue should resolve itself.   Q:  Are you sure that this won’t happen to all 80, 120 or other flash devices? This issue is related to a part that is only used in Zune 30 devices.   Q:  How many 30GB Zune devices are affected? How many Zune 30GB devices were sold? All 30GB devices are potentially affected.]

Topic: Microsoft

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40 comments
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  • BUWAHAHAHAHAH!!!! This Is TOO Funny

    How's that social coming???

    My IPod and IPhone are still rocking!
    itanalyst2
    • Our Zunes are still rocking too, holding up better

      then Apple's. Even their own 30 Gig units were failing BIG time.

      http://lowendmac.com/zisman/06/0911.html

      or
      http://tech.kateva.org/2007/09/ipod-diagnostic-mode-and-failure-code.html

      or
      http://www.girardgibbs.com/ipodsettlementfaqs.asp

      BUWAHAHAHAHAH!!!! This Is TOO Funny. The MacZealots will gladly accept a broken iPod, but complain when someone else's breaks!

      ROTFLMAO!!!
      GuidingLight
      • Even you must admit...

        that a hardware failure, such as a hard drive, is not the same
        as a firmware update that contains a time bomb.
        msalzberg
        • Time Bomb?

          A time bomb would be intentional.
          This seems to be more something missed, or a careless mistake.
          Still a bummer though.

          What will be more interesting is how MS handles it. With companies like Apple, they tell their customers to piss off when things go wrong until enough pressure is applied.
          Will MS choose the correct path, eat their pride, and do the right thing?
          We will have to wait and see.
          mdemuth
          • The phrase "time bomb" doesn't always apply..

            to something that's intentional. Haven't you ever heard of
            something like high blood pressure referred to as a 'ticking
            time bomb?'

            This was apparently a programming error that went
            unnoticed until a certain time, when it blew up.

            That's a time bomb.
            msalzberg
          • Got to love sloppy American English

            turning something intended, aimed, and directed into pure random happenstance...
            Or the results of fatty foods shoveled into one's face...
            "I had nothing to do with that!"
            mdemuth
          • just a correction

            Ticking time bomb would indicate a problem that results in the ultimate death of the item being referred to.

            A music player being out of commission for 24 hours does not a "ticking time bomb" make. Embarassing? Yes. Fatal to device? Hardly.

            This coming from someone who owns neither a Zune nor an iPod, and has no desire to have either.





            Also...isn't this an old version of the device? Logic would indicate that the problem has been fixed quite some time ago if the newer devices didn't suffer the same fate. We're talking about a very minor issue here, not a major tragedy that requires immediate attention so the world won't come crashing down.
            laura.b
          • A bomb is something that explodes..

            it neither has to kill or destroy to be defined as a bomb (if
            a bomb goes off in the middle of an empty field, isn't it
            still a bomb?).

            While this is an old version of the Zune, it was the latest
            update that had the problem, so it's actually something
            that worked before, but was broken recently.

            Yes, this is a very minor issue. I'm sure the fix is trivial,
            and Microsoft will get it out quickly. The moral of the
            story is that programmers sometimes make mistakes. In
            this case no one was injured, but it's still sobering.
            msalzberg
        • I'm sure the battery one

          trumps the logic chip one,

          Even companies like Intel have released chips with defects (remember the MCP portion of their CPU had the floating point error?)

          Chip issues happen on a larger scale then most people realize, but the issues Apple is having with the batteries is something that should've been easier to catch then an issue programed into an IC.

          Things happen.
          AllKnowingAllSeeing
          • This isn't a 'logic chip' issue...

            it's a mistake in the programming of a firmware update.

            The difference between this and the battery issue is who
            had control of the flawed part. In the case of defective
            batteries - in the iPod case, and in the case of all of the
            laptop batteries that were recalled - the purchasing
            company (Apple, Dell, HP) didn't have control over the
            manufacture of the parts. While they probably all did some
            source inspections, the problems that developed were not
            easily detectable.

            The bad code was completely in MIcrosoft's control. It was
            their programmer who made the error, and any rechecking
            of the code was completely in-house.

            I might add, by the way, that the hard drive issue cited
            above is from 2006, and the battery issued is from 2004.
            It's inaccurate to say that this is an issue "Apple is having."
            msalzberg
      • Sure they are

        Good luck with your POS digital accordian.
        SkateNY
    • I'm glad you were not one of those who bricked them

      with a firmware update or from a jailbreak software or even worse hooking up to a non three ringed Xbox sitting over there in the corner waiting. . .
      Boot_Agnostic
  • Loverock Is Hitting His Zune With A Hammer

    Screaming WHY?!!?? WHY HAVE YOU FAILED ME ZUNE!?!? WHY!!!!???
    itanalyst2
    • Very Funny

      Too bad that loverock lives in the MS Realm, and will belive that this is not a failure, but a feature, that will provide you with more time to enjoy the real world..... or some other crap like that.

      "Pay me a lot and I'll not work, so you can live your life with out the noise of your favorite music"

      That's the loverocks kind of MS propaganda.
      maalmike
      • Go To zune.net

        The forums are hilarious...thousands of people with useless paperweights. The stampede alone to download the fix will crash the servers....

        This is going to be fun to watch.
        itanalyst2
        • Just as much fun as when it happened to the iPod

          on numerous occasions!

          You are correct, that was quite humorous!
          The sad part is that Apple now takes down any blog that harbors a complaint. :(
          GuidingLight
          • Did you buy the puck green one?

            Never heard of a mass failure of iPods, so this certainly is a Zune feature.
            GoPower
          • Green was a failure the moment it was approved

            Which is why we went straight to the black ones. Kids can't even get that color dirty!
            White? you gotta be kidding: "Dad my Zune has fingerprints on it. buy me a new Zune!"
            AllKnowingAllSeeing
          • I liked the original Toilet Brown one myself....

            Seemed to say it all too me:)

            Pagan jim
            James Quinn
          • Now hold on there buddy......

            You have mentioned iPod failures a couple times now and
            I've not heard of these issues. I'm on Zdnet and other
            sights fairly often over the years and I can't recall a singe
            article of a mass failure like this Zune one here or on other
            sights. NOw you again claim that Apple is keeping on the
            low down but I'm not talking about any sight controlled by
            Apple. I've even kept a watch on CNN's tech sight over the
            years and again while Apple's iPod were not mentioned at
            least in the mass failure category the Zune was.

            So there iPod issues you point to how many were effected?
            Was it an iPod failure or an OS failure two different cases.
            What ere the percentage numbers .01% or en entire model
            line? Rate the impact here.....

            All that said I have to admit I'm amazed I've read there at
            one work sight there was at least 4 co-workers effected
            with this failure. Imagine that you can find a work place
            with 4 Zunes being used. I'd not have thunk it myself...4 in
            one place. I wonder if they squirted one another?

            Pagan jim
            James Quinn