Question about Creative Labs Zen Touch MP3 Player

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Stuck in "Recovery Mode"

I just acquired a 40 GB unit on Ebay. After charging it up I turned it on and it went through the Creative splash screen and went directly to recovery mode. I've tried re-loading and upgrading both software and firmware and every time I try to re-load the firmware I get one square away from completion and it hangs, generating a "Firmware Upgrade Failed" error. I've tried formatting the disk, tried all of the above plugged in and on batteries, tried to format through My Computer in XP and each time I end up in recovery mode. Another quirk that alarms me is that XP sees the drive as only 20 Mb, not the 40 Gb the model number indicates. The drive makes some mild grinding and ticking noises... not unlike a hard drive with problems. Any assistance would be most welcome... I wrote to Creative Labs support and their suggestion was to send it back with $127.00. Finding the complete contents of the install disk has proven to be a major obstacle as well. Be very wary of purchasing from Connect-Comp if their description includes words like "As IS"...

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Detach your player from the PC if it is connected, and turn off the player.
If the player stops responding, you can reset the player. To reset the player, gently
insert a thin object into the Reset hole located below the power switch.

2. Press and hold the Play button while powering on your player.

3. When the player displays the Creative logo, release the Play button.
It will display the following options:
Clean Up
Scans the player and removes invalid links from its music library.
Does not affect music files themselves.
Format (All)
Caution! Erases all content!
Save a copy of your player's content before formatting.
Reload OS/ Firmware
Caution! Erases your player's firmware.
DO NOT select the Reload Firmware option unless you have access to a PC and you have downloaded the necessary firmware to install.
Reboot Reboots the device.

I actually had this exact problem a little while ago with my Zen Sleek-- Booting straight to the Recovery menu, and only getting a generic "Harddisk problem" error screen any time I would try to do anything.

Posted on Jan 21, 2008


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1 Answer

When i try to turn on it keeps sayin low battery even tho i charged all night

Hello Brittany Martin,

It appears that there are quite a few after market retailers that have replacement batteries for your unit
(Creative Zen V Plus 2 GB) for sale...

If your unit was recently purchased ... you should probably consider returning it from whence it came... If however... you have charged it a couple of hundred times... the battery has reached the end of it's life-cycle... (not unlike your cell phone... if you have ever kept one long enough).

Battery replacement services are available...

The batteries are not terribly expensive... some come with complete kits for the BREAK-IT-YOURSELFERS

Al depends if you are a gambler or not... If you have never done electronics before...

First buy SHOULD BE... an anti-static wrist-band

(my favorite topic)...
Everybody always has to start someplace.

Good luck...

Apr 12, 2016 | Creative Zen V Plus 2 Gb Portable Media...

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Screen display not working


In my opinion, Replace battery & try again if its not working yet then check this is its working but display blan so then you have to change display of MP3 player.

Sep 23, 2009 | Creative Technology ZEN V Plus (1 GB)...

1 Answer

My mp3 player went blank but its still on

Creative knowledge base gives this answer for blank screen on a Zen MX:
White screens or blank screens could be easily resolved with a firmware reload. The following steps will take you through the troubleshooting steps.
  1. Reset your player and verify if the screen is able to display its contents
  2. Make sure that the player has fully charged battery
  3. Finally, perform the recovery tool if the screen still does not display any contents properly through the following site:

Sep 20, 2009 | Creative Technology Zen MX Black (8 GB)...

1 Answer

My Creative Zen keeps giving me the message ''shutting down'' but just stays on, even after the reset feature is used. Any ideas how to solve ?

Sometimes manufacturers release firmware updates to fix issues in the units. I would suggest attempting a firmware update if your firmware is not the latest version. (The Creative website lists the current firmware revisions in their support area for their players.)

If you are able to connect to the PC via the USB cable, I would try the Creative MP3 Player Recovery Tool available through their support tab as soon as the unit has at least 50% charge.

If the Zen player is completely locked and will not connect to the PC, you may have to let the battery go low and allow the unit to turn off by running out of power. Then plug the player into the PC to perform the initial slow charge and after some time (15min), the player will attempt to turn on the screen when it has enough charge. When it turns on, you should be able to tell if the PC connects to the Zen as well. If it connects, continue to allow the Zen to charge until you have at least 50% charge and then attempt the Creative MP3 Player Recovery Tool.

If the Zen doesn't connect to the PC, there is a deeper problem.

Sep 01, 2009 | Audio Players & Recorders

4 Answers

Getting out of recovery mode

The recovery tool mentioned above is not designed for the sleek photo. You need to download the firmware for the sleek photo from creative's site. Now we need to get your player recognized to get the firmware loaded. If you have Windows Media Player 11, it needs to be removed. Also remove WMP runtime. After that, restart the pc and your player should be recognized. You can then double click on the firmware program to run it. It might say something like, this firmaware is already you want to reload it? Click yes to reload.

I had the same problem with my sleek photo. Once I got rid of WMP and the runtime everything worked like a charm.

Jul 02, 2008 | Creative Labs ZEN SLEEK MP3 Player

5 Answers

Getting out of recovery mode

I have the sleek photo and mine bugged out yesterday. It would go to the splash screen and then go blank and just sit there. Nothing would respond. I tried reset, reboot and other things too. My pc also would not recognize the player. To make a long story short, I tried other suggestions I found on the web. They didn't work and my player would now only go to a garbled splash screen and go right to the recovery screen.

I had the new firmware, but I couldn't use it because the pc wouldn't detect the goofy player. Then I ran across a site that mentioned that Windows Media Player can cause player recognition problems. I removed both WMP (mine was 11) and WMP runtime using the add/remove programs option on the control panel. I restarted the pc and BAM! the player was now recognized. I ran the new firmware application and the player works fine now. The key for me was getting rid of WMP and the WMP runtime.

Jan 30, 2008 | Creative Labs Zen Sleek Photo MP3 Player

1 Answer

Problems with turning on

Sounds like it may be the index in your Music Library. Try going into Recovery Mode the routine way; remove battery(are they charged and good?), hold power switch to ON, replace battery, release power switch when the Recovery Mode screen appears on the screen. Run Option 1 CleanUP, after it completes run Option 4 Restart/Reboot. You will get a Rebuilding Library screen when it reboots, that's normal, then it should go back to your startup screen. Good luck and let us know what happened

May 28, 2006 | Creative Labs Zen Micro MP3 Player

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