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Zunes Ring In New Year by Not Working

2 Jan, 2009 By: John Latchem

A programming bug resulted in about 1 million 30GB Zune devices not working on Dec. 31, 2008.

The glitch in the 2006 edition of Microsoft’s portable music player was traced to the internal clock being confused by the extra day in 2008, which was a leap year. The error, dubbed Z2K, manifested on the last day of the year by freezing the devices.

A FAQ on Microsoft’s Zune Web site suggested the problem would correct itself once 2009 rolled around, and recommended users disconnect the device from their computers, let the battery drain, and wait until after noon GMT on Jan. 1 to reconnect the player to their systems to recharge.

The date issue also seeped into the Zune forums, where posts were reported as being made on 12-13-1901.

According to reports, most devices were back to normal following New Year’s Eve, though some users reported the problem recurring on Jan. 2. Message boards were filled with instructions on how to dismantle the device to achieve a workaround solution.

Microsoft reps said a firmware update would correct the problem by 2012 on any devices still in operation by then.

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