A few days ago, I decided to update my Zune with some new music I had got. When I double-clicked on the desktop icon, there was no sign of the Zune window, and instead given a friendly message saying “Microsoft Zune has stopped working”. Clearly, this was a problem.
I tried the usual troubleshooting steps – reinstalling, clearing program settings in my user profile, etc etc. I did the stuff that I knew how to do, but I still wasn’t getting anywhere. My friend cluberti from the MSFN Forums is far more versed in debugging Windows applications than I am, so I asked for some help in figuring out what was going wrong.
Where I would be tippy-toeing from one event to the next, cluberti was dancing around the logs fast enough to make my head spin. Ultimately, he managed to boil the problem down with Vista’s DRM provider. For whatever reason, it looked like the request for my local DRM key was failing.
We managed to fix the problem though, so not all is lost. If you’re running into the problem, here’s a possible fix.
- Browse to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\. Make sure you are able to view hidden and system files.
- Make a full copy of the DRM folder. Store it somewhere safe.
- Delete the contents of the DRM folder – NOT the folder itself.
- Browse to this site (Use IE for this – not Firefox/Opera/whatever) and follow the instructions.
- Close IE.
- Open Zune.
Voila! It should (hopefully) be working again. Again, many thanks to cluberti for fixing a problem that I would have had no clue where to even begin looking.
For those interested, I’ve switched from my 60GB iPod 5G to a 120GB Zune, and I honestly couldn’t see myself going back anytime soon. The interface is simpler and easier to navigate*, it’ll play more audio and video formats than the iPod, the screen is larger, and it doesn’t feel like it’s going to break apart in my hands. If you haven’t played with one yet, do so now. You’ll think twice about asking for the new iPod for Christmas… 😉
*Most iPod users would say “How much simpler can you get?” Believe me, Zune is it.