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My ZEN VISION:M black, 30 gb, says harddisk problem and always goes to Recovery Mode. firmware version 0.0.22. Cannot update, computer won't recognize it.

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017



As with the error message suggests, you had a HARDISK PROBLEM. It's hard to diagnose Hard disk problem. You either had a loose hard drive connector or worst, you might had a stucked up drive when you dropped your player, or when you suddenly lost connectivity through your PC through several reasons such as power shortage, power spikes, or temporary hardware conflicts. All these may cause hardisk bad sectors.

If you know how to dismantle your player, then you can try reconnecting loose hard drive connectors if you know where it is located. It is the multi-pin connector, so be careful with the correct orientation of the connector.

It might be a little harder for you if the case is a stucked-up drive.I tried repairing harddrives before by dismantling the player and exposing the hardisk read/ write arm shaft (don't ever try to unscrew the hardrive if you don't know what you're doing. A slight misalignment will render that unfixable!).

Check if stucked hardrive is the case. Power up your player and hold it close to your ears. If you hear large clicking accompanied with unwanted noise, then you do have a stucked drive in your player.

With some hardrive, you'll just have to remove the sticker, and you'll find a small hole wherein you can insert a pin or a very thin wire and slightly and carefully dislodging the stucked arm until it's free moving).But be very careful, this one's a very delicate procedure. Do this at your own risk! In my Zen Micro (ST1 Hard drive based, SEAGATE brand), it worked for a while. But after sometime, it wears permanently rendering my player totally useless.

I would suggest, that you buy a new hardisk for that one or find a replacement. I'm not familiar what kind of hardisk the Zen 60 Gbyte uses. I think it is the larger 3 - 4 inch drive. If it is a small ST1 Drive such as the one found in my Zen Micro, then you can replace it with a Compact Flash CF Card (same size and pin configuration). It is a flash based card, more durable and shock proof. It causes no hang-ups and is much faster on startups. Ask your local dealer for this if this is possible, or if they had a replacement. Or you can search some proper documentation and specs, or even a simple fix for your Zen 60Gbyte player on the web. Most of my repairs came from instructions and hacks from the web. Only 30 percent of them came from my intuition, that is purely electronics troubleshooting (I'm dealing with microelectronics surface mount devices testing and replacements, not advisable for non techs as these are really tiny miniature parts you will be dealing with)

Hope this helps...

Posted on Mar 15, 2008

  • 1879 Answers

SOURCE: Zen vision m firmware problem


Lotsa people are having the same problem with the firmware updates. Go check for your warranty, the product was working fine before applying THEIR firmware update.

Keep us posted and thank you for using our service.
FixYa for all your troubleshooting needs.

Posted on Jun 28, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Zen vision m firmware problem

Dear All this problem is caused if the computer has windows media player 11 installed. I googled this for days trying to fix it - & was relieved when i finally sorted it - it's very easy. Just do the following.
Use a computer that has XP (either pro or home edition) (forget about vista....). go to add/remove programs - uninstall windows medi player - on my PC it does a roll back to WMP version 9. There's also a program called "Windows media format runtime 11" which comes with WMP11 & you need to uninstall this too - otherwise it still won't recognise the player.

Then restart your PC. Then make sure you have downloaded the lastest firmware version - just google it - trying to find the right one on the creative website is not easy - their website is poor - there are quite a few other places you can download it from.

Then I clicked the "reload firmware" option in the recovery mode (I had already deleted it 4 days ago). Then when your PC has restarted plug in your Zen, it should come up something like "MTP device recognised". Now when you double click on the firmware downloaded to install - it it will recognise the player & you can click the upgrade button. It does the upgrade & puts the firmware back on the ZEN. I got a message saying "firmware upgrade failed" at the end although when I started the player - it booted up as normal & I was able to reload & play my music.

This sure beats the "send it back to John Lewis, pay 60 quid & wait 6 weeks for it to come back " option - if like mine it's out of warranty

Posted on Jul 22, 2008

  • 9 Answers

SOURCE: Firmware problem

See the solution for PC not recognizing your player. You should downgrade to WMP10 by uninstalling WMP11 and WMP11 runtime. Uninstall portable device drivers from System menu and restart the computer. Replug the USB and the player should now be recognized. 

Posted on Aug 22, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: zen vision 30 gb front buttons don't respond

It was my problem, too. I simply disassembled my device and found that the contacts of front button pad have disconnected because it was bad fixed. I have put a piece of a broken match under the pad to fix it and it solved the problem.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008

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1 Answer

My zen will not turn on fully it just freezes at the zen screen. Now today when i turned it on it went to a recovery mode screen, tried the clean up doesn't do anything, tried format and it said harddisk...

Hi there,

The only fix is to update your zen by downloading and installing the firmware below:

Once your zen is connected to your computer, run the firmware by double clicking the file. Then properly disconnect the zen on your computer and try to restart it.

Hope this helps.

Jun 13, 2010 | Creative Labs ZEN Vision:M Digital Media...

1 Answer

My machine is not allowing me to update my firmware. My Zen Vision M is stuck in "Recovery Mode" and I can't upgrade it.

I had this same issue. My PC recognized the device, the firmware however did not. I found that by using the cleanup option on the "Recovery Mode" screen and plugging the cable in during the cleanup, the firmware software would recognize the device when it finished. If my zen was plugged in at the start of the cleanup it would just keep telling me to plug my zen in. Once i got through the firmware update i was able to boot into the menu system.

Feb 10, 2010 | Creative Labs ZEN Vision:M Digital Media...

1 Answer


What verson of Windows Media player have you got on your pc?
Find one with version 9 install the creative software and then try the reload of the firmware .Zen has problems with windows medai player 10 - 11.

Jul 05, 2008 | Creative Labs ZEN Vision:M Digital Media...

1 Answer

Zen vision m firmware problem


Lotsa people are having the same problem with the firmware updates. Go check for your warranty, the product was working fine before applying THEIR firmware update.

Keep us posted and thank you for using our service.
FixYa for all your troubleshooting needs.

Jun 28, 2008 | Creative Labs Zen Vision Digital Media...

2 Answers


im having that sme problem! even when i try 2 restart it still acts crazy! when u find out how 2 fix ur let me kno cuz really want this thing 2 start workin again

Mar 15, 2008 | Creative Labs ZEN Vision:M Digital Media...

1 Answer

Hard drive

Try this: disconnect the player from the computer, turn it off, hold in the volume + button, and reconnect the player to the computer while holding the volume + button in. Keep holding the volume + button for an additional 5-50 seconds. Windows should eventually go into recovery mode and revive the player- it will pop up a window that says Found New Hardware Wizard.

Mar 10, 2008 | Creative Labs ZEN Vision:M Digital Media...

5 Answers

Cannot reload firmware

I had the Exact same problem and no one had a good solution, i only found one that finally worked after spending 4 freakin hours tryin to fix it. anyway here is the solution.

you need to use a computer that has Windows XP, then if the computer is running any version of Windows media player other than 10, roll back or upgrade to Media player 10. restart the computer.

Now, you need to download and run honestly i have no idea what it does. my guess is it reinstalles the USB ports but thats only a guess. but i was so frusterated by the time i found this solution that i was willing to try anything. so download this file, unpack it and run it. then it will ask you to restart. when your computer is restarted run the new firmware file ( i used and it works.

Why? i have no idea, but it i was pumped. the origional site i got this solution from is

Jan 19, 2008 | Creative Labs ZEN Vision:M Digital Media...

1 Answer

Another Firmware/Recovery Mode problem

Try this: My computer --> Control Panel --> Portable Media Devices Is the Zen showing up? If not, your Zen has a bad motherboard and you will need to take it to a technician to have it replaced, or find a motherboard and do the replacement yourself.

Aug 30, 2007 | Creative Labs ZEN Vision:M Digital Media...

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