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  #1  
Old 04-13-2008, 12:36 AM
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Unhappy Recovery Mode / Firmware Issues

I scanned the forums first and nothing worked so sorry if this has been covered.

Let me give a bit of a background. I turned on my ZVM30 today and it booted directly to Recovery Mode. I rebooted first and it went back to recovery. I ran the clean up and it says scan disk and just sits there. I can still scroll while its doing this. Either way i let it go for prob 10-15min and still the same thing. I reset and tried the format. Did the same thing, except I can't scroll while its doing this. Gave it another 10-15 and reset. Then tried the firmware. Same thing. Also I don't get any kind of error messages on the ZVM itself on any of the recovery funtions

When I hooked it up to my computer that I use it on it wouldn't recognize. After scanning this and the creative forums I tried it on another computer and it would recognize. (It shows the volume as 50mb) Downloaded the new firmware (It has 1.40 something now and updating to 1.62.02) and ran it. It will load all of it till the last bar and then it gets held up and eventually fails. I tried the auto firmware update from creative with the same results except that one says update timed out and then fails. After the firmware fails the ZVM freezes and I have to reboot it.

I have a feeling that the hard drive crashed for unknown reasons....creative wants $25 to tell me this. I believe I still have till July till the warranty is up so I am willing try anything to fix it till then.

So question 1.Anyone have any ideas on this. I spent a good 4-5 hours reading and trying everything. Question 2. If the hard drive is dead anyone know what the cost is to have this replace.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-13-2008, 10:10 AM
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It looks like you've done some good troubleshooting. It does sound like the hard drive is having issues (maybe a ton of bad sectors). Since you haven't gotten any error messages, maybe let it sit overnight while letting it do a clean-up or format to see if it eventually does generate one.
<O
It looks like a good time to use this as a reason to upgrade the hard drive. When you take the ZVM apart, just take note which kind of connection is used for the drive. Take a look at this thread for information on what drive(s) can be used; especially the posts within the last month or so. Here's a video of how to replace the drive. When you get the hard drive removed, you could try using an adapter or enclosure to hook up the "bad" drive to a computer and try formatting using the Windows format utility to see if you get a different result. Good luck and welcome to ABI!
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:25 PM
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I like the reason for upgrading, i tend to do that when anything else is on the fritz. I'll give the overnight approach a try first though. Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-13-2008, 07:08 PM
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Seconding the bad hard drive diagnosis.
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:27 PM
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Well it's not the hard drive got a new one and it's doing the same thing. I went through all the steps to replace a hard drive on this forum. The format still does the same thing. Same with the remove firmware. I'm out of ideas.
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:35 PM
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What happend to the old drive? Did you try connecting it to the computer to see if there was a problem with it (maybe reformat it)?

Did you connect the new hard drive to the computer to see if it would take a format before installing in the ZVM (verify that the new drive even works)?
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Old 04-19-2008, 04:36 AM
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Hmmm....

I agree with BobbyRS's implications there. To me it does kinda sound like you've encountered the unlikely coincidence that you had a dodgy HD in your Zen that was dodgy due to age... and now you've bought a new HD that just happens to be faulty in some way and is giving you the same problems.

I'd recommend attempting BobbyRS's suggestion of hooking the new drive to your PC. If you have problems with that, consider sending the new drive back and get a replacement sent.



All this talk of replacing the HD in the Zen has got me depressed. Been looking for a new job for like a month now. I have no money left to buy a 100GB Zif HD for my ZVM30. 100GB would kick ass. I could feesibly put a load of Lossless WMA files on it. Not that I can hear any great difference between WMA CBR @ 320 and lossless on these cruddy Sennheisers.
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Old 04-19-2008, 08:04 PM
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My hd shouldn't be that old. (I wouldnt think) I got it in July of 07 and don't really use it that much. I only use it on Sat. at work. Other than that it doesn't get a lot of play.

Well to be honest I dont think I have a way of hooking the drives up to my computer. (Unless I am completely overlooking something.)I was looking into getting an enclosure, was actually going to micro center tomorrow to see if they have one. Other than that I don't know how to hook it up to my computer without it being hooked to the zen.

If I am overlooking an easy way of doing it please let me know. Otherwise I hope to have the enclosure tomorrow(if they carry them) and I can report back then.

Thanks all
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Old 04-20-2008, 03:56 PM
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Well of course they didn't carry 1.8 drive enclosures. Starting to think it isn't meant to be. Any one know where I can get a cheap (less than $20) enclosure or adapter so I can test these hds?
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Old 04-20-2008, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaricL7 View Post
Well of course they didn't carry 1.8 drive enclosures. Starting to think it isn't meant to be. Any one know where I can get a cheap (less than $20) enclosure or adapter so I can test these hds?
Pick one from this list

http://search.ebay.com/search/search...ure&category0=
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Old 04-20-2008, 06:01 PM
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NewEgg has a ton for under $10 here.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaricL7 View Post
My hd shouldn't be that old. (I wouldnt think)...
Yeah. It's quite easy/possible to ruin a perfectly good HD in 9-12 months of light-to-moderate use. It's all about repetitive patterns of wear. Same goes for corrupt files on your PC.

Say you write a program to re-read a small file 5000+ times in rapid succession and each time check the file content with the previously-read copy loaded to memory and if it's different, stop (and say so, obviously). With WD drives, the number is closer to 10,000+ but most cheap drives will have a corrupt file after about 5000+ reads.

That's what I mean by "repetitive patterns of wear". And it's quite easy to achieve that without even being aware of it.

Don't think it's an issue? Get a tin of beans. Shake it vigorously. Keep shaking. Don't change hands and don't change the direction of the shaking. Just keep shaking. See how long you can keep that up without having to stop and eat a sandwich

Regular reformats of a media/data drive like your Zen's (after making backups, then restoring the data again) can avoid corrupt files. Changing the content (eg, adding some media) each time you upload your full library after reformatting will help maximize the lifespan of a HD. Why? Simply because the files will end up in different places on the disk. Yeah, I know it takes ages, but it's worth it... just once in a while.

Just a few tips.
Just my two cents.

Obviously, I may be wrong. It may well be there is a problem with the Zen itself. But IMO it sounds like a fluke that you've got a worn out HD and are trying to replace it with a faulty one, hence achieving the same symptoms. So, I guess this post is my two cents on maximising the lifespan of your new HD when/if you get it working.

Good luck, dude

Let us know what happens when you get your adapter and test your new HD on your PC.
Oh, and test your old HD via your PC, too. You might be able to do a FULL reformat (the zen's reformat never does a full one) and bring it back from the brink. Time consuming, but worth a try.
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:25 AM
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Besides the possibility that the new drive could be bad as well, it could have also come with no Partition on the drive either. This would cause the same outcome when inserting it into the ZVM because it would be seen in a simular way a bad drive would not be seen; not there. Without a Partition, the Zen (or computer) cannot perform a Format on the drive. Either way, the drive will need to be connected to a computer to verify it does work and that a partition exists for it to be formatted.

Quote:
It's quite easy/possible to ruin a perfectly good HD in 9-12 months of light-to-moderate use. It's all about repetitive patterns of wear.
..... Not to mention if there is a defect present either with the drive itself or the controller. Or any external factors like sudden impacts possibly due to shipping/handling, retailer, etc...
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Old 04-23-2008, 05:12 PM
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Well I have an enclosure on the way prob get it sometime next week. I will report back with my findings.

Thanks for the help all
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyRS View Post
Besides the possibility that the new drive could be bad as well, it could have also come with no Partition on the drive either.
That's a good point. I must admit I didn't think of that one.

But I've never known an internal or external HD to come off the production line with no partition at all. But I've never bought a ZIF drive or anything like it (though I intend putting a 100GB drive in my ZEN soon ), so I don't know if it's common with those HDs.


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This would cause the same outcome when inserting it into the ZVM...
Indeed, it would.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyRS View Post
Not to mention if there is a defect present either with the drive itself or the controller. Or any external factors like sudden impacts possibly due to shipping/handling, retailer, etc...
Yep. Lots of contributory factors. Like I said, it's pretty easily done (wearing/trashing a drive in 9-12 months, I mean). Never buy cheap-ass drives. I always go Western Digital. Hmmm, do WD do 100GB ZIF drives that would work in the ZEN.....?
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
But I've never known an internal or external HD to come off the production line with no partition at all. But I've never bought a ZIF drive or anything like it (though I intend putting a 100GB drive in my ZEN soon ), so I don't know if it's common with those HDs.
I see it all the time, but it is usually with replacement, OEM, etc., basically any that's not a retail aquired drive.

Quote:
Hmmm, do WD do 100GB ZIF drives that would work in the ZEN.....?
Not that I'm aware, but I could be wrong. I believe Toshiba, Hitachi, and Samsung are the three main companies. WD does have their Scorpion drives for mobile devices, but I believe they are too big (thick: 9.5mm).
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Old 05-04-2008, 04:42 PM
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Well both the drives work perfect on my pc, i formated both, they both can save files on them fine. So when i hook them back into the zen it has issues loading the recovery screen now. Most of the times it just shows the ZEN screen and stops there. I have been able to get to the recovery screen a few times but it has the same probs as before, im sometimes getting a harddisk error now, and the scan doesn't seem to do anything. And when doing a firmware upgrade on the pc it gets to the last bar, stops there for a couple min then says firmware upgrade failed. (Same as before) On the firmware upgrade note, the only pc i can get to recognize the zvm i only have usb 1 ports could that cause an issue when upgrading? I have gotten a "firmware upgrade timed out" error before but usually just fails in general.
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Old 05-04-2008, 09:36 PM
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What size drive is it and what type of file system did you format it too? Did you format the drive in the Zen Recovery Mode before you tried to reload the firmware? The firmware is stored on the hard drive, so formatting it in the Zen will make sure the drive has the correct file system and is in optimal working order for the Zen to utilize. Without the correct file system, the ZVM could be intermittently failing the POST (Power On Self Test) when trying to test the hard drive. I would at least try the above first before beginning to question the mainboard or the ROM on it as being the problem.
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:13 PM
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Both the harddrive (new one and old one) are 30gig. im not sure what file system it is. What should the file system be set to? I get the harddrive error when formating on the zvm. Same for the reload firmware option, and the scan disk does nothing.
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Old 05-04-2008, 11:02 PM
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Do a right click on the drive, when connected to the computer, and check what is listed next to File System. I am wondering if it is formatted to NTFS and if formatting it to a FAT32 file system would get a different result when inserted into the ZVM and formatted again in Recovery Mode. Many portable devices have problems recognizing and formatting over NTFS volumes/drives.
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