Has my dinosaur of an mp3 player become a paperweight?
January 20, 2010 8:25 PM   Subscribe

Help me fix my circa 2004 Creative Zen Micro and save a few square inches of landfill space!

I have a circa 2004 Creative Zen Micro mp3 player (like this). My laptop was in the process of dying last week, so I plugged in the zen in external drive mode to try to pull as much data as I could off of the computer; I plugged it in and the computer seems to have killed it somehow.

The computer shut down mid-transfer, never to start up again, and the Zen has since refused to start up. If I plug it in to charge (wall or usb) it lights up and displays the 'Creative' load screen and then displays 'firmware problem' or a dark square and refuses to shut down. I've tried several computers since, and they don't process that it is plugged in, though the Zen charges from it.

Things I've tried:
1. Downloading all the drivers and firmware from the Creative site to this computer
2. Downloading the 'mp3 player recovery tool' from creative - which isn't helpful as the mp3 player isn't recognized
3. Pulling the battery (which is also the only way the thing will turn off) and then holding the power to 'on' and replacing the battery to access 'recovery mode' - recovery mode never shows up.
4. Leave the battery out hoping that it will suddenly be fixed
5. Leave it plugged in for days hoping that it will suddenly be fixed

It kills me to just chuck it when it still lights up. Any suggestions would be so appreciated!
posted by Acer_saccharum to Technology (5 answers total)
Obvious question (although it's not on your list): Does it have a "reset" hole? My (newer) Zen does. I poke a staightened paperclip down the hole and it, er....resets. It's always got me out of trouble.
posted by JtJ at 3:33 AM on January 21, 2010

Response by poster: No reset hole unfortunately! Theoretically I can reset it using step #3, but it isn't happening in practice.
posted by Acer_saccharum at 7:41 AM on January 21, 2010

I managed to mess up my Zen Stone Plus somehow so it got stuck on the load screen. Windows couldn't detect that I had plugged it in, but I could get a Mac to see it and use the Disk Utility to repair it, so it might be worth trying it on a different OS if you have access to one.
posted by penguinliz at 8:28 AM on January 21, 2010

If you can't get it up and running again, absolutely do not throw it in your regular trash. There are toxic materials in there that need to be handled responsibly, and not left to leach out of a landfill or burn in an incinerator. In many places it's illegal to throw stuff like this away. Your city/county/state/whoever should have a list of places you can take this.
posted by look busy at 11:08 AM on January 21, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks penguinliz, I'll try that - sounds reasonable! Just need to track down a mac...

look busy, please don't underestimate how capable I am of disposing of my own waste materials.
posted by Acer_saccharum at 7:36 PM on January 21, 2010

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