These symptoms points to a bad hardrive. Replace the hardisk and reload the latest firmware.
If your out of warranty with your Neeon, open it up. Loosen the 2 screws at the bottom of the player and remove it. Then carefully pry open the back plate using a small flat screw driver and remove the battery (it has a mini connecter on the top left, inline with the USB connector).
Remove the front cover. You'll find the hardisk on top of the board below the LCD. Remove it carefully from the connector. on its right side.
If you got a new HD, replace the old one and reassemble your Neeon.
Next download the latest Neeon Firmware Upgrade here:
Firmware above is for Windows XP. You can download a version of the Firmware at Creative site in your region for your specific OS requirement...
To install this firmware upgrade:
1. Press and hold the Play button while connecting your player to your computer's USB port.
2. Continue to hold the Play button for 10 seconds after connecting your player to your computer.
3. Release the Play button when the Find New Hardware dialog box appears on the screen.
4. Follow the instructions on the screen to install recovery drivers for your player.
5. Download the ZenNeeon_PCFW_LF_1_011_FM.exe file into your local hard disk.
6. Double-click the firmware upgrade file and follow the instructions on the screen.
I found the above instructions with other Neeon's forum here:
You'll have the option to format and reload firmware. Choose that option. Wait for the upgrade progress to finish.
When it's done, your player will connect and recognized by your computer. If it shows in MY COMPUTER as removable drive, then your in luck!
Proceed by drag and drop method of transfering your music files or using the CREATIVE MEDIA SOURCE ORGANIZER.
I'm currently looking for a way to hack the Neeons Hard Drive and replace it with a CF card just like what I did with my Zen Micro. Unfortunately the first CF card I bought (1 Gbyte) did not work on the Neeon, the XP wont recognize the player.
But I'm not giving up, I had to find a better replacement that match the compatibility requirements of the Neeon. I'll try different brands and speed. The CF card is much more robust and shock free. It reads faster with no hang-ups.
I'll post my results in the future if I succeed.