Thursday, January 1st 2009

30GB Zunes Fail at Midnight on New Years Eve. Microsoft Releases a Fix

As the New Year began early this morning, Gizmodo started receiving lots of reports that people's 30GB Zune's were failing. What was happening, was that at 12:01am PST on 31st December 2008, a bug in one of the drivers unique to a 30GB Zune was not allowing the calendar to update properly. For players that were already on, this resulted in a hard reset at that exact moment. Upon restarting or for those who turned their Zune's on after midnight, they were presented with a locked up Zune which would simply stop at the end of the loading screen and stay there. Microsoft have now released an official statement for how to resolve this issue, which follows below.

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. That being the case, 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

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.
Source: Gizmodo
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36 Comments on 30GB Zunes Fail at Midnight on New Years Eve. Microsoft Releases a Fix

#3
Darknova
Update guys. They are working now.

I had to reinstall the firmware though, might "just work" for you guys, but just in case here is how you do it.

Either let the battery run flat, or disconnect the battery (google), then reconnect the battery/charge up. Then BEFORE the loading bar comes up on the startup screen press Back + Left + Centre. This will put the Zune into recovery mode, unfortunately this will wipe everything on the Zune.
Posted on Reply
#4
alexp999
Staff
by: Darknova
Update guys. They are working now.

I had to reinstall the firmware though, might "just work" for you guys, but just in case here is how you do it.

Either let the battery run flat, or disconnect the battery (google), then reconnect the battery/charge up. Then BEFORE the loading bar comes up on the startup screen press Back + Left + Centre. This will put the Zune into recovery mode, unfortunately this will wipe everything on the Zune.
Microsoft have said it will fix itself in the next 24hrs, so it wont require you to loose your data.
Posted on Reply
#5
Darknova
by: alexp999
Microsoft have said it will fix itself in the next 24hrs, so it wont require you to loose your data.
I repeat "I had to reinstall the firmware though, might "just work" for you guys, but just in case here is how you do it."

That is what I had to do, because I'd already pulled the battery and tried to recover the firmware. I'm assuming anyone who didn't will have their Zune working fine, but at the same time in case it doesn't I posted that as help for anyone who might need it :)

Oh, and btw, you have your dates wrong. It was the 31st December at 12:01am PST, not January 1st. Also Microsoft said it should fix itself by 12pm GMT, it's 11:50am here and they are now working.
Posted on Reply
#6
alexp999
Staff
by: Darknova
I repeat "I had to reinstall the firmware though, might "just work" for you guys, but just in case here is how you do it."

That is what I had to do, because I'd already pulled the battery and tried to recover the firmware. I'm assuming anyone who didn't will have their Zune working fine, but at the same time in case it doesn't I posted that as help for anyone who might need it :)

Oh, and btw, you have your dates wrong. It was the 31st December at 12:01am PST, not January 1st. Also Microsoft said it should fix itself by 12pm GMT, it's 11:50am here and they are now working.
Thanks, updated. And good you have found a way of doing it. Just wanted to point out to anyone reading, that if you have not done anything with your Zune yet, its best to leave it be.

:toast:
Posted on Reply
#7

thanks God that there arent any Microsoft systems on a Planes control system or in a Nuclear silo! :D Microsort would scribe a statment! Yes we hade som issues in planes and rockets they started to freeze or launch after midnight! But don't worrie! In 24ours it's all done! LOL :D
#8
hv43082
I was wondering why my Zune froze today.
Posted on Reply
#9
lemonadesoda
IDIOTS!
Someone needs to fire the idiot who developed such a poor firmware/driver.
Posted on Reply
#12
TheMailMan78
Big Member
I had my Zune fail on me once. However I had been drinking heavily.
Posted on Reply
#13
hat
Maximum Overclocker
I heard from a very reliable source that nuclear reactors all over the world are going into meltdown. Of course, the governments of the world aren't saying anything so that they won't spread panic and/or alarm.
Posted on Reply
#14
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: hat
I heard from a very reliable source that nuclear reactors all over the world are going into meltdown. Of course, the governments of the world aren't saying anything so that they won't spread panic and/or alarm.
You heard that too? The little pink elephant told me I was special!
Posted on Reply
#15
hat
Maximum Overclocker
WHAT?! I thought I was the only one!! It's so over between me and that elephant. :roll:
Posted on Reply
#16
alexp999
Staff
Now, now guys, keep on topic, I dont want to call the mods in. :shadedshu
Posted on Reply
#17
hat
Maximum Overclocker
by: alexp999
Now, now guys, keep on topic, I dont want to call the mods in. :shadedshu
oh noes!
we were just having a little fun with it... :eek:
Posted on Reply
#18
alexp999
Staff
by: hat
oh noes!
we were just having a little fun with it... :eek:
np, but I know what mods are like ;)
Posted on Reply
#19
Guru Janitor
wow my zune 30 didnt freeze...I got scared reading this..turned it on and its fine. 11:17am here, not yet noon. Oh well, I guess it didn't affect everyone.
Posted on Reply
#20
Darknova
by: Guru Janitor
wow my zune 30 didnt freeze...I got scared reading this..turned it on and its fine. 11:17am here, not yet noon. Oh well, I guess it didn't affect everyone.
From what I saw Zune's running older firmware's were unaffected, and 12am was GMT time, not New York. Mine started working again around 11:20am GMT time.
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#21
Flyordie
I seen the issue coming for about 2-3 weeks... lol. Tried tell'n them but MS just said they fixed it in 3.1. So no biggy.
It has to do with the clock engines in the 30GB Zune. The 30GB Zune's clock engine isn't digitally regulated. The revisions after that are. It also had to do with the "leap second". lol.

Fly
Posted on Reply
#22
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
From what I have hear, the problem wasn't entirely Microsoft's. It was actually cause by a driver provided to them from the 3rd party that produced the piece of hardware in the 30GB Zunes that caused the issue.

While it was up to Microsoft to test the driver, and obviously this little bug slipped through testing, they didn't write or directly cause the bug.
Posted on Reply
#23
Guru Janitor
by: Darknova
From what I saw Zune's running older firmware's were unaffected, and 12am was GMT time, not New York. Mine started working again around 11:20am GMT time.
I'm on 3.1... I don't know, maybe it just started working before I even knew about the problem...I really don't care at this point anymore...I mean its working fine for me. I feel bad for those who it didn't work for. Gotta find out if this happened to my friends.
Posted on Reply
#25
thebeephaha
ahahahahahahahahhahaahahahahahahahahaa

My iPod is fine.
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