Zune Not Playing Media

So, I took my Zune out today so that I could listen to music while I worked.  It has been in my backpack for a couple of days now.

This is the original 30GB Zune model and it has worked exceptionally well since I have had it.  I installed the new desktop software the other day and as a result, my next sync told me there was a new firmware update for my Zune.   No big news as we knew it was ready and I had just gotten around to installing it.

For what it's worth, I liked the old desktop software better, but I do I like the new UI on the Zune itself.

Well, the unit has been working well since I installed the new firmware with the exception of today.  I guess it started as a result of the battery going dead, or what I thought was a dead battery.

When I turned the unit on, I got this wonderful black and white icon that indicated to me there was a problem.  What the problem was, I had no idea.  I assumed it meant "you have a dead battery moron, please recharge".  So, I plugged in the USB cable and noticed another icon, slightly different and sideways this time.  Interesting, but still no idea as to what it means.

After about a minute or so, I finally see the UI for the player and I think things are okey dokey.  Not so.  When I try to play music, it shuts off and I see the icon again.  I say to myself, "self, let it charge".  And I do.

Off an on through the whole charging cycle, the unit turns on and then off, messes with the desktop software as it wants to sync each time.  I also notice about 5 minutes later that it is staying on now and showing my battery at about 2/3 charged.  NOT!

I couldn't get it to play anything at all plugged in, so I unplugged the USB cable and started to play some music.  It lasted about 2 songs and told me my battery was low.  Ok, so I let it charge now for the better part of an hour, then unplugged it and headed for home.

I plugged it back in at home to complete the charge cycle and then tried to play some music.  I could highlight my playlists, songs, videos etc, but pressing play, did absolutely nothing except make the screen flicker.  Nothing would play.

I started a search on zune.net for similar issues and found nothing close in my initial searches so I started to blame the firmware upgrade.  As a result, I found an entry to reset your software and thought I might try that.  I missed the second step somehow and only managed to get step one complete.  As luck would have it, that fixed my problem.

So, pressing the back button and up on the Zune pad at the same time was step one but also seems to be the button combo to perform a "reboot" or at least a soft reset of the device.  The second step was to immediately hold the left key and Ok button to restore the software.  I never made it that far but at any rate, the reset worked and my Zune is now functioning again.



Comments (11)

  1. So, I took my Zune out today so that I could listen to music while I worked.  It has been in my

  2. TMaxim says:

    I’m listening music too while I working.

  3. Trika says:

    Dude, I have that same icon (is it kind of a white exclamation point on black background?) on mine now, too. I assumed it was dead battery, and haven’t recharged it.

  4. So here’s the deal.  If you have updated your Zune to the latest firmware, there is an issue with the software not shutting the unit down, even though you held the Play/Pause button.

    The current workaround is when you shut the unit down, press the back and down buttons at the same time for about 3-5 seconds.

    I hope there is a patch in the works for this.

    However, plug your Zune in to a USB port or the wall charger, and let it charge completely.  You should be ok after that.

    Also, note that it is recommended that you are using a high power USB port.  Apparently some computers don’t have USB ports that can provide 500+ Ma on the front ports but do on the back ports.

    Plug your Zune into a USB port, go into Device Manager, locate your USB hub entries, right click and choose properties and see which one your Zune is plugged into.  

    Check the power consumption and ensure that your Zune is getting 500 Ma or better.  They won’t charge very good otherwise.


  5. Messaline says:

    I have a Zune 30GB and had a Different problem with the 2.2.1 firmware , the day after the update was released/installed.

    My Zune was fully charged, and plugged into the Altec 604 Dock/Speakers and suddenly the speakers started playing DTMF tones, like a touch tone phone, mixed into the music.  then the music died and the DTMF continued.   then the whole Zune went dark .  I tried hard reset.  I tried the external AC adapter.  nothing.  I then tried docking to PC.   PC Software popped up, like it was detecting a Zune….but the window had a large grey bar, like when you type in the PC’s Zuneware.  and it was filled with a continuous string of Zeroes.  I then got a bit spooked as maybe there was a n electronic issue with the boards or IC, or maybe changing the recharge rates in firmware blew a resistor or such.  Microsloth support was terribly unhelpful, even the second level tech stuck with the script and then needed approval to call it a dead zune.

    they agreed to RMA/repair the unit w/no exchange or loaner.

    Lo and behold, the very next morning, the Zune came up, and has been working 100% ever since.  

    maybe a "thanksgiving" date-bug-virus in their new firmware?

    Still using it without having had to send it back.

  6. kim childs says:

    new zune 80 – just loaded it and started using it.  it randomly shuts off while playing music.  no rhyme or reason – does it about 30% of the time.  any ideas?

  7. Cale says:

    I had the same problem with my Zune 30.  The 2.3 firmware has resolved it.  It will not prompt you to install the new firmware, it under settings and updates.

  8. Yep, you are correct.

    I installed it the other day and the problem has gone away.

    You are also right, you need to go into the device update manually to tell it to upgrade.


  9. hamdi says:

    i got my 120gb zune and i was listening to it and it fell, the battery icon truned gray i was wondering is it orginally gray or somthing is wrong it tryed connecting it to the USB it showed me it was recharging but when i unplugged it the sign didnt change any advice plz????

  10. Hamdi,

    Try plugging it into a wall receptacle charger and leave it for 24 hours.

    If it behaves the same, I’d say it needs a repair.


  11. oswald says:

    hi i have a 80gb zune and  when i wnat to play music  it may play some traks but some times it takes a long time to change the song and no sound, it frezes or somthing like that, iit bothers me  so can someone help me please  tanks

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