Early this morning we were alerted by our customers (we don't actually use these things or keep old ones around for testing, and needed customers to let us know) that there was a widespread issue affecting our 2006 model Zune 30GB devices (a large number of which are still actively being used (can you believe it?! People not only bought, but continue to use these things!!). The technical team jumped on the problem immediately (we knew this was going to be some major bad press) and isolated the issue (blamed folks not longer working at MS): a bug in the internal clock driver related to the way the device handles a leap year. The issue should be resolved over the next 24 hours as the time change moves to January 1, 2009 (which is to say we're not doing anything now). We expect (but we're not sure) 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 (ie, you won't be able to use your Zune for hours, and if you've had it plugged into your PC while it's frozen, you've only delayed your ability to use it again) before the unit can restart successfully then simply (any time you see a word like "simply", you know it's not going to be fun) ensure that your device is recharged (that is, wait several more hours), then turn it back on. If you’re a Zune Pass subscriber, you may need to (do a lot more esoteric jive than someone not sucked in by our marketing) sync your device with your PC to refresh the rights to the subscription content you have downloaded to your device (which is to say the bug borks all the stuff you had on your Zune).
Customers can continue to stay informed via the support page on zune.net (zune.net/support). (we're not real sure we're at the bottom of this yet)
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. (this, of course, is an age-ole trick; the line presupposes that you'll be patient in an attempt to cause many of you to be patient, herdies)
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. Dodged a bullet there, didn't we? Good thing we scrapped brown so quickly.
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. Aka, we're doing nothing that would help you now.
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. Again, if this wasn't clear from our last answer, we're doing nothing at this time.
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. Our engineers are idiots who don't bug check their code.
Q: What is Zune doing to fix this issue?
The issue should resolve itself. G*dd#mm!t, folk, haven't you been reading this Q&A? We're not going to do anything right now. Sheesh. We figure by the time you actually hear we could've done something, you'll either have escaped unharmed or had your computer freeze and your Zune rendered useless until you accidentally unplug it and let the battery die. You think I'm coming in during my vacation to post a fix for the five percent of *coughcough*theNumberOf30GigZuneUsers*coughcough* that'll actually find this page? We both know that's not happening.
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. Did someone know this would happen before now? Who fixed this later on? Ooops, did I say that out loud?
Q: How many 30GB Zune devices are affected? How many Zune 30GB devices were sold?
All 30GB devices are potentially affected. Um, how many did we sell? We'd rather not say. More than two, less than the iPod shuffle. Potentially.