Question about Creative Labs ZEN Vision:M Digital Media Player

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Stuck in recovery mode--would love to avoid buying a new mp3

I own a 30GB Zen Vision: M mp3 player, and have had it for more than a year. One day, my Zen froze because I think I was turning it on, and it takes a minute to get loaded and turned on, but then decided to turn it off, while it was still trying to load and turn on to operate, so maybe it just malfunctioned because of that. I reset it after that, and discovered pretty much all my music had been erased. I tried to restart again, and now my zen has been stuck in recovery mode since. I've done all the options it has: Clean Up, Format All, Reload Firmware, ...everything. My zen won't respond to any it's music programs on my computer, except to show that a new device has been detected on my computer (because the zen is plugged in)--I was trying to do a little online research on how to fix it, but I read somewhere that you shouldn't chose the "Reload Firmware" option unless it is plugged into the computer, and you've downloaded the "Recovery Tool" or whatever off Creative Labs website. Unfornutely, I did not know that until after I tried everything. When I turn on my Zen, I can hear it start up, but then stops buzzing once the screen pops up and says, "Firmware problem" and goes into recovery mode. Is there ANY way to fix my Zen? Or is it a goner? Is there anywhere I can take it to be fixed? I'm out of the manufacturer's warranty now, and store I originally bought it from is out of business and I bought an extra plan with them, but since they aren't there anymore, they wouldn't replace it, and instead opted to refund my for my purchase. I would really appreciate some help.

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  • laika Jul 17, 2008

    Well, I did exactly what you said, but my Zen will not register that it is connected on my computer with any other program. A box will pop saying that something is connected via USB, and this device can run faster...etc. But my Zen does not register with the MP3 recovery tool, and says, "Your player is not connected, please connect your player."--even though it is plugged in! I tried all options on the Zen player's recovery mode, and did just like you said about the Reload Firmware, shutting the player off, and then connecting it via USB. The player turns on, the box pops up saying something is connected USB, but my player does not show its connected with the Recovery Tool. Do you think it would help to try it on a completely different computer, because it just won't respond. My Zen has been stuck in Recovery Mode since April, and like I said, I don't know if I permenantly messed it before when I first picked the "Reload Firmware: option without having downloaded the proper program beforehand, and connecting it right away. Thank you for the help, but can you provide anything else to make my Zen register on the computer?



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I had the same problem as your and it stopped working yesterday. After search for helps and now it is working again after I reloaded the firmware. But unfortunately everything is gone. You have to reload your musics again. You can try this out: 1) go to creative labs website to download the "Recovery Tool". 2) at Recovery Mode of your zen there are options: Clean Up, Format All, Reload Firmware, and Reboot. Try out Clean Up first if it still not working then try to Format All. After that try the Reload Firmware. After you done the Reload Firmware. 3) Shut down your Zen and try to connect it to your computer. Now your Zen will automaticlly power On and computer will recognize it as a drive. 4) Open the Recovery Tool you have downloaded at creative labs website. This tool will detect your Zen and follow it's instructions: It works with my windows Vista. Well, it works for me, I think it will work for your too. Good Luck!
May God bless.

Posted on Jul 17, 2008

  • minhduc99 Jul 17, 2008

    Hello Laika,

    Did you try the recovery mode "Format All"? You should play around with it or try on another computer too. My Zen I have tried back and forth with vista then xp and back to vista but finally it works after I use the Format All mode. Did you see your Zen in My Computer menu as a storage drive when you connect it to the computer? If yes, the Recovery Tool software will detect your Zen when you run it.

    Well, sorry! I have no idea. This is the first time I my Zen had firmware problem and I searched the solution online. I think you should try around and don't give up. It is good unit. I used this Zen for voice recording for the choir at church. It did the good job. If you like to talk, so feel free to call me at 8 6 0 8 4 9 0 8 6 3 .




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Sounds very much like a broken hard drive. Your not meant to be able to scroll while it's scanning either. This happened with mine but i got lucky and all that had happened was the connector came out of the hard drive so i reseated it and it was fine. Hopefully you got lucky too. However i doubt it as the HDD that comes in the player new is probably which won't have a problem with the connector fitting properly.

Here are also some other tips & guide:
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Good luck!

If i am helpful please rate me.
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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

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