The same thing happened to me- I have a Creative Zen that I hadn't used in a few months. If the mp3 player has not been used for a long time the battery will be depleted. You will need to plug in the mp3 player for a long time- hours - see this website for details:
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I wound first suggest you get a similar power cord to charge your mp3 player before concluding that the power cord is bad, if the similar power cord did not charge your mp3 as well, then, it means the power cord is defective. you can now go ahead to get a replacement for the power cord.
I had a similar problem, mine wouldn’t turn on unless I plugged it in the computer and then it still wouldn’t work!
I found this on Sony’s trouble shooter -
Battery is 100% discharged. Therefore, PC's USB with 5V/500mA set up has not enough power to start up the charging process because loading current is greater than the set up, therefore USB is disabled immediately due to sudden current load.
Battery must not be discharged 100%
If it happens then the supplied AC adaptor must be used firstly because it is providing 5V/800mA power. After a couple of minutes the unit can be connected to PC without problem then it can continue the charging during file transfer, etc.
So I bought a USB adapter charger! Plugged it in and now it is working!
HOPE IT WORKS FOR YOU!
Hello camerorunner, Most MP3 players can be charged by connecting them to a computer's USB port using the supplied cord. Make sure you are plugging the MP3 player into a USB 2.0 port directly on the computer itself, not on a USB hub. Most USB hubs do not have enough power output to actually charge your player. The player may also be supplied either a wall adapter or car cord that can be used to charge the unit. However, most manufacturers sell these items as optional accessories. Best Regards, Ken "Go Ahead. Use Us."
If iPod shuffle won’t turn on or respond â If the status light blinks orange when you press a button, the iPod shuffle buttons are disabled. Press and hold Play/Pause (’) for about three seconds, until the status light blinks green. â Connect iPod shuffle to a high-power USB port on your computer. Your iPod shuffle battery may need to be recharged. â Turn iPod shuffle off, wait five seconds, and then turn it on again. â You may need to restore iPod shuffle software. See “Updating and Restoring iPod shuffle Software” on page 26.
The error message you are talking about occurs when a device tries to draw more power from the USB port then the port can provide,
Make sure you are connecting the MP3 player directly to a USB port on the computer or a USB hub that has an independent power source (one that you plug into an electrical outlet). If you are plugging your MP3 player into a USB keyboard or a non-powered hub the port may not have enough ower to charge it.
I am assuming tha tthe Zen was working before? And that you are sing the exact same USB port and cord that you were using to charge the item previously? If so, then what you are experiencing might be a sign that the unit has failed and is in need of repair.
Try a different USB cord if you have one and plug it in to a desktop computer (not a laptop). Leave it plugged in for a while and the battery might be charged enough to display the screen (happened to me on my zen vision M and this fixed it)