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Zune music players crashing en masse
Published: 2008-12-31

A software bug or malicious code?

For reasons unknown, at least one model of Microsoft's Zune music player freezes up, if the owner powers up the device on Wednesday, according to numerous reports on support and fan forums.

The issue, which appears to only affect the 30GB Zune player, causes the device to freeze on its start up screen, according to dozens of posts across support and fan forums, which have confirmed the issue. Users have dubbed the incidents ZY2K9, Zunicide and The December 31st 2008 Zune 30 Meltdown.

"I had my Zune docked on it's iHome ZN9, charging, and all the sudden I hear it start whirring as I'm sitting here at the laptop," wrote one user on the forums. "I looked up just in time to see it restarting itself at exactly 12:00 midnight, watched the loading bar, and then, the freeze. Great. WHAT is going on!?"

While software flaws and viruses have already appeared on the Zune, Microsoft, so far, had avoided any significant support incidents. In one such case, Apple shipped iPods with Windows viruses on them. In other cases, devices such as digital picture frames have also shipped with malicious code.

The cause of the issue is still not known, however. Microsoft's support site for the Zune acknowledges the issues, but contains no explanation.

"Customers with 30gb Zune devices may experience issues when booting their Zune hardware," Microsoft said in a statement on the site. "We’re aware of the problem and are working to correct it. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for your patience!"

A Microsoft representative said the company is currently investigating the issue.

If you have tips or insights on this topic, please contact SecurityFocus.

Posted by: Robert Lemos
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