Technology & Science

Time heals wounded Zunes, Microsoft website says

Microsoft's 30-gigabyte Zune music players should have recovered at 7 a.m. ET Thursday, Zune tech support said in a posting on the device's official discussion site.

Microsoft's 30-gigabyte Zune music players should have recovered at 7 a.m. ET Thursday, Zune tech support said in a posting on the device's official discussion site.

Thousands of units of that model of the player suddenly froze up late Tuesday night, users complained.

Microsoft acknowledged the problem, and then late Wednesday evening, posted an explanation and a fix.

The problem was a timing bug related to the fact that 2008 was a leap year. The bug caused the players to disable themselves on the last day of the year.

Zune tech support said in a posting on the Zune forum that users should:

  • Disconnect the player from USB and AC power sources to drain the battery.
  • Wait until after noon GMT on Thursday (7 a.m. ET or 4 a.m. PT).
  • Connect the player to either a USB port on the back of a computer or to AC power and let it charge.

"Once the battery has sufficient power, the player should start normally. No other action is required," the posting said.

"My pumpkin turned back into a beautiful coach!" one poster said Thursday morning after the deadline.

But others were critical. One complained about a poll that Microsoft put at the top of the page asking whether the company had fixed the problem.

"They did not have a solution and still don't have a solution," the poster said. "They got lucky and guessed that the issue would resolve itself with the time change."