30GB Zunes Globally Freeze: Leap Year Bug?

In what is the first such bug we can recall, where devices of one type worldwide have seemingly frozen, 30GB Zunes globally are freezing.  Reports are the freezing issue is only affecting 30GB Zunes.  It has also been reported (though unconfirmed) that the freeze is isolated to the 3.1 firmware.

This has to be the greatest New Year's gift ever for a large tech company.  Wait, it's not New Year's yet, you may say. Ah, but it would be, if it were not for Leap Year.  And that is a solid theory that has been posited.  Some are theorizing that the bug is because of Leap Year, due to the almost synchronized wave of failing Zunes crossing the world as the time zones all entered Dec. 31st.

That seems to be a very good working theory.  However, it's not 100% in sync with 12 midnight, as far as we can tell from reports.  And reports are all over the place, like here, here, and here.  Be aware, any attempt to reach those forums will be slooooow. 

The normal hard reset procedures do not seem to work, and although some have tried taking the device apart to force a hard reset, that would void your warranty, and if Microsoft were to need to recall these devices (hopefully a software fix will do the trick, rather than that), they may not look kindly on such disassembling.  We would recommend holding off on that sort of attempt.

There's no official word from Microsoft yet, but you have to assume they are scrambling.  This has to be a major blow to Microsoft's already unsuccessful try at taking market share from Apple.  Granted, these are older devices, but this will definitely hurt the company's reputation, even if (when?) they fix the problem.

Have any of you readers had this issue?  If so, let us know.  And if so, you can relate to the video below.

Update: Microsoft says their brilliant fix will be here at 12 midnight, when we reach January 1st.  After that, your device should recover, though they recommend you let the battery run out.  More details here.


Tags:  Apple, Microsoft, iPod, Zune
Via:  Various
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