MS offers Zune fix after New Year crash

Users of Microsoft's Zune digital media players found themselves unable to start up their devices over the New Year, stymied by a serious flaw in the underlying OS.

Resetting the device will not fix the issue, nor will connecting or disconnecting the device to a PC.

But Microsoft has detailed a solution on the Zune website, which involves allowing the battery to run out of power. If the devices are then switched back on during the New Year, the internal clock will reset and the player will resume operation.

Microsoft has blamed the problems on a mishandling of the way the player deals with leap years - which indicates that the player expected there to be 365 days this year, instead of 366.

Only the Zune 30 GB model was affected by the glitch. Microsoft claims to have shipped 3 million Zunes overall, but has not specified how many of these were 30GB model.

According to the New York Times, some users have dubbed this glitch "Z2K9" due to its end-of-year timing.