Zune Syncing Issues

After receiving my refurbished Zune 80 from the Microsoft Repair Center, I began the process of syncing my music, picture, video, and podcast files to it’s empty 80 GB drive. Everything seemed to work smoothly (at first), but then I ran into problems. It seemed that certain music files wouldn’t sync, and my video files would get stuck at “7%” during the syncing process. I tried everything I could think of to correct this: rebooting the Zune device, reinstalling the Zune Software on my PC, rebooting my PC, etc. Nothing seemed to correct this syncing issue. My fear, was that this refurbished Zune unit was defective and I would have to send it back and wait another 2 weeks to get a replacement!

So for the next few hours, I scoured the various Zune forums and Microsoft Knowledge Base looking for a possible solution. It seemed that a few others had the same problem, but I tried all the steps that were recommended for resolution. Ultimately, I concluded that the culprit was most likely a defective USB hub that I was using for my Zune connection.

To reduce the number of wires and cables running from my desk to my PC, I installed a powerstrip and small powered USB hub to the bottom surface of my desk. I then plugged my Zune dock into this USB hub, and it seemed to work fine up until I sent my Zune in for repair. Over the past two weeks, I noticed that my CD Card reader (which was plugged into this USB hub) wasn’t working consistently, and I had to unplug and replug in the USB-to-PC cable for the USB hub to get it working again. So, putting two-and-two together I concluded that the problem may be with this hub.

So, I connected my Zune directly into my PC using a front USB port and volia the Zune syncing process began working again. Since making the connection change, I was able to sync all of my files without any issues (and very speedy).

In summary, if you have problems with slow syncing, or if you get an error message from the Zune Software, or if it appears that certain music/video files just won’t sync, you should try the following:

  1. Do a reboot of your Zune device (by pressing the Back Button + Up Button)
  2. Use the program called “UnZoone” to completely remove the Zune Software from your PC. This utility will not only remove the program, but also all installed Zune DLL files and registry settings.
  3. Reboot your PC
  4. Download the latest version of the Zune Software from the Zune.net site, and install it on your PC.
  5. Go through the setup process for the Zune Software, selecting all the default settings for the time being.
  6. Connect your Zune to your PC using a sync cable, connecting it to what you believe is a “good” USB port (usually in the back of your PC).
  7. Continue with the setup process for your Zune (e.g., giving your Zune a name, etc.)
  8. At this point, you can fine tune your settings by adjusting the music/video/podcast sync folders if you wish.
  9. Start the sync process.

Hopefully, this will help resolve any of your syncing issues. The two things you should check when having sporatic syncing problems is the sync cable and the USB port you are using. So I’m now crossing my fingers that I found the problem, and that I won’t have to send my Zune back in for repair anytime soon!


13 thoughts on “Zune Syncing Issues

  1. Ricky says:

    I’ve been reading your whole dilema about your zune screen not working. i had a similar problem 3 days ago, and i’ve only had my zune for 2 weeks. Luckily i was able to do a hard reset and the screen and zune booted up. i know this is off topic from your recent post, but i didn’t know if you would check old posts for new comments.

  2. zunetips says:

    Ricky: I tried everything I could think of to get my Zune screen working again. My Zune would turn on and I could blindly select music to play, and the backlight even came on. The LCD screen was just not functioning. I’d rather try to fix it myself with resets, etc. than send it in.

  3. Javier says:

    I found out why the Zune will not sync some video files, I found that the videos that have a audio bit rate of 44 Khz will need to be converted by the Zune program which sucks because it does not allow you to cancel the transfer and if you do you have to remove the file form the Zune library….

    To have videos correctly sync they audio bit rate has to be 48 Khz… videos with this bit rate sync fine.

    – Javier

  4. zunetips says:

    Javier: I create WMV files with an audio bit rate of 44.1 kHz and they sync fine with my Zune 80 (with no transcoding). Are you creating WMV files or MP4 files?

  5. Javier says:

    Im creating .WMA files, I had some that would sync and others that would make the Zune program try and convert them… I looked at the properties for each files side by side and noticed that the only thing that was off was the audio bit rate, the ones that had 48 Khz audio would sync with no issues and the ones with 44 Khz audo would need to be converted

  6. zunetips says:

    WMV and WMA files are two different things. WMV is for video, and WMA is for audio. The Zune.net web site states the following recommendations for WMA audio files:

    * WMA Standard – 128 Kbps, 44 kHz, CBR (Recommended for best battery life performance)

    Alternative formats suggested for encoding:

    * WMA Standard or Pro 2-channel – 2-channel, up to 384 Kbps, CBR and VBR, up to 48-kHz sample rate.
    * MP3 – up to 320 Kbps, CBR and VBR, up to 48-kHz sample rate
    * AAC (.m4a and .m4b files) – up to 320 Kbps, up to 48-kHz

  7. cat says:

    My 4GB Zune will not connect to the computer, yet it makes the sound of it connecting and disconnecting… I did the hard reset (back button + up button) a few times… It recognizes the Zune on the program, yet doesn’t sync… not letting me add new music… How can I fix it?

  8. zunetips says:

    Cat – I suggest you try downloading and install (or re-install) the latest Zune software for you PC. Also, you might try using a different USB port connecting your Zune sync cable directly to your PC. I had a sync issue with using a bad USB powered hub, which I fixed by connecting my Zune directly to my PC’s usb port.

  9. Lola says:

    I need help…. Ive had my zune for less than a year and recently it stopped syncing to the PC. I tryed stalling new software and its up to date and all. I even tried reinstalling it and nothing. It wont even show up. All it says is device unknown. I also tried rebooting it by using the back button and the up button but its still nothing. Can anyone help?

  10. zunetips says:

    Lola: Have you tried installing the latest Zune software on a different computer, and see if your Zune syncs with that? If it does, then the problem isn’t with your Zune device but rather the computer system. Have you tried doing a hard-reset (which wipes out everything on your Zune and resets it)?

  11. Julie says:

    My boyfriend just bought a zune and is having trouble syncing his videos. Although his video folder shows content it won’t sync to the zune?? Any advice?

  12. zunetips says:

    Julie: I suspect that the format of his video files to not conform to the require format for the Zune, and that is why it won’t sync. What is the format of these videos, and their specs?

  13. Tim says:

    If you use external hardrives make sure your conversion
    folder is set to the correct letter drive. I had all my file
    folders on my F: drive but forgot to create a conversion folder on
    F: drive. My conversion folder was still set to I; drive which was
    not hooked to computer which made all video files

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