You have to love troubleshooting.
As a mentioned earlier, I’m doing a hard drive update on my Zune to bring it up to 120gb. In the first chapter of this crazy process, I simply bought a 120gb 1.8” drive that was supposed to be IPod and Zune compatible. I got the drive and prior to installing it, I erased the Zune completely, firmware and all.
After installation, the Zune wanted to be connected to the PC to install the new firmware. After doing so, the Zune software registered a hard drive problem – not enough space on drive. Hmmmmmmmm. After thinking about it for a while, I considered that the base level of firmware back when the Zune 30gb came out might not support a 120gb drive, since they didn’t exist at that time. So I thought I should bring the firmware up to the most recent, then install the new hard drive.
I put the old drive back in, upgraded the firmware, then put the new drive in and restarted. Then I get a obscure (and yet common) error code. So I think some more. The new hard drive is a different brand – Samsung instead of Toshiba, and it uses more power – 4v instead of 3.3v. Maybe it’s the drive that’s just incompatible?
So, I order a second drive, a Toshiba this time. Without erasing the firmware, I install the drive. The Zune boots to a “Please Wait” screen. I wait for a few minutes and decide it’s not doing anything. I power the Zune down, check the drive connections and start it up again. Same screen. I look online and the Internet says that that screen is shown during drive format and initialization (Do not disconnect or turn off the device). Oops. So I leave the Zune plugged in overnight. The next morning, I left without remembering to check the status, so it ran all day while I worked. When I get home, no progress.
I put the old drive back in and everything works just fine. I put the new Toshiba in again and it doesn’t. I put the old drive in, wipe out the firmware, put the new drive in and I get stuck at the “Please Wait” screen. Hmmm. The Samsung got past that screen but failed when writing the firmware. The Toshiba doesn’t get past the drive initialization. It’s actually a worse situation.
The next step of my troubleshooting is going to be at a lower level – the drives themselves. One possible theory is that the drives can’t be formatted because they are not partitioned. The company that sold me the drives may have run a diagnostic test that erased the drive’s file system. So, I’ve ordered a ZIF to USB adapter so I can connect the drives to my computer and verify for myself. Maybe I will need to create a partition and/or format the drives myself before installation. As a side project, the adapter would let me see what kind of files are saved on the Zune itself. That could be interesting information, too.
Running cost for this project: $70 for the two drives, $10 for the adapter.