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I've had this trouble with mine. I keep it in my vehicle. Seems to be worst when there are temperature swings or high humidity, so I thought maybe it was condensation inside. Set the Zen on my woodstove for a few hours. This got mine working again. If you do plan on changing hard drive, I would pick one up soon. They use 2.5" IDE drives, which are getting harder to find.
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 installed...do 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.
I was having the same problem.
Go to SYSTEM/PLAYER SETTINGS/IDLE SLEEP.
The default setting is 5 min, change to OFF and it seems to work.
When playing a track, press PAUSE and either leave it alone or, LOCK the player and when you UNLOCK the player it should continue were you left off.
Hope it works.