I've spent many hours this year trying to fix my Creative Zen Vision:M 60GB. It died in January after I connected it to my laptop to charge it up (using a cheap adapter that I bought on ebay). Ever since it wouldn't turn on, just had a solid blue light (or a blinking blue light when it was plugged in to the computer or wall charger). And it was not recognized by the computer either.
My first thought was that the motherboard had died (probably because of my cheap usb adapter cable), but motherboards are quite expensive to replace, so instead I bought a new battery (off ebay too!) just to make sure. When the battery arrived I installed it and nothing changed - exactly the same scenario. So then I went back on ebay and bought a motherboard (not as expensive as I thought - only $20 USD plus shipping). The motherboard arrived this week and I took the old one out and put the new one in. See below for links on how to disassemble the ZVM. It isn't that difficult as long as you have a tiny Phillips screw driver, and steady hands.
After the new motherboard was installed I first connected it to the computer with the real cables that came with the player and charged it up. The computer instantly recognized mp3 player, and installed the drivers for it. But when I went to the properties in Windows Explorer it said it was only 50mb (instead of 60gb!). After searching google it appears that many other people have had this scenario. The reason for it is the firmware isn't correctly loaded, or is out of date, or the hard drive is faulty.
When I turned on the mp3 player the screen then showed an error message saying incorrect firmware version (0.0.15) and gave me the option to clean , format, reload firmware, and reboot. Cleaning did nothing - the screen said "scan disk..." forever. So I tried to reload the firmware. I downloaded the latest version from the Creative support website (linked at the top) and ran the exe (version 1.21.02), but every time it said "Your player is not connected. Please connect your player." even though my player was connected AND was recognized by Windows Explorer. A few people mention that this error happens on Windows XP when you have Windows Media Player 11 installed, so I rolled back to Windows Media Player 10 and still the same problem.
So, next step was to find a way to get the firmware onto the player with out using Creative's default firmware updater. I came across a support forum on www.epizenter.net mentioning that some people had hacked/cracked the Zen Vision:M firmware and had been able to change the fonts, colors, themes etc. So after days of searching I finally found some tools which helped me fix my zen. I haven't been able to find an original version of my 60gb firmware, so instead I'm using a modified version that uses a different font (Comic Sans MS). It works, so I don't care :)
Here are the steps I followed:
- Download the hacked Firmware Updater (it is for the ZVM 30gb but also works with the 60gb)
- Download the modified firmware nk.bin and put it in this directory (on Windows) C:\CtJbFW\newbin
- Connect your zen, and run the updater. All being well it will update the firmware and reboot your zen and it will work!
- Creative Zen Vision:M homepage
- anythingbutipod.com - an awesome website
- Epizenter.net - another amazing resource for Creative Zen products
- Rockbox - Creative ZVM Port
- anythingbutipod.com - Creative Zen Vision M Firmware Cracked
- Epizenter.net - ZVM Firmware Mod Thread
- Anythingbutipod - How to Disassemble the Creative Zen Vision:M
I've recently bought the new Creative Zen X-Fi2 mp3 player, with the touchscreen interface. At first it was a little sluggish (the touchscreen), but Creative has released a few patches that greatly improve the performance.