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Microsoft's Zune player, with the 16-gigabyte version pictured here, competes against Apple's iPod. ((Associated Press/Microsoft))

Owners of one version of the Microsoft Zune music player are complaining that their devices have suddenly stopped working.

Technology websites are reporting "thousands" of  complaints about the 30-gigabyte Zune, many saying their players "bricked" — froze — at about the same time late Tuesday night.

Others found out Wednesday morning when they tried to turn the devices on.

On a thread at the official Zune discussion site, a posting from Zune tech support says: "We know there is a big problem with the Zune30s. Please be patient and post here if you have any updates."

Posters have been taking that advice. "Its like someone killed our zunes," one said.

Another gave a more detailed history: "I was plugging in my Zune to my computer so I can put music on it about 10 min ago. It's stuck on the Zune screen and I cant do anything. Can't reset it or anything."

The tech support notice gives some advice:

  • Don't open the Zune and do a hard reset. It won't work.
  • Don't post "solutions" to the problem. "If you believe that you have a solution that works, send me a private message and I will verify that the solution works. We want to avoid confusion and potentially harmful instructions." 
  • Don't post instructions on how to take the Zune apart to fix it.

The support note says anyone who does post instructions on how to take the device apart will have his or her account disabled.

Taking the Zune apart voids the warranty, the note says.