updated 10:15 am EST, Wed December 31, 2008
Mass 30GB Zune lockups
Hundreds or thousands of Zunes appear to be failing simultaneously, according to accounts from official forums and other websites. The errors began at approximately midnight Eastern time, after which turning on a number of 30GB players results in them locking and hanging towards the end of the initial boot process. Critically, none of the standard reboot or reset commands appear to be useful in troubleshooting.
The cause of the hanging is unknown, but some Zune owners have suggested that the issue may only affect 30GB players with the most recent firmware, particularly as second-generation Zunes are so far unaffected. The coincidence of so many simultaneous failures may hint at a programming mistake connected to dates, but this is so far unconfirmed.
Technically-inclined Zune owners may be able to fix the problem by opening the casing, and then temporarily disconnecting the battery. This risks invalidating any warranties however, and could risk damage. Microsoft has yet to issue any formal reply or solution to the situation.