So you want to fix up a Zune…

You remember the Zune, right? I was an iPod shuffle gal back in the day but when I went to plug mine into my computer I discovered it’s no longer readable by modern operating systems. After a few minutes of combing through eBay for a sub $50 mp3 player I stumbled upon the little flash memory Zune models. $50 later I ended up with three Zune’s that could, according to the sellers, no longer hold a charge yet the photos showed them powering on when plugged in.

These are in no way difficult to pop open as they’re Microsoft products which means it has those lovely tabs they enjoy so much. (For those who have popped open an Xbox 360/One you’ll know what I mean.) Unlike some folks who insist on gluing everything together these were straightforward to open given you have a basic mini screwdriver kit that contains a 00 sized tri-wing screwdriver. A few plastic spudgers to pop open the case and you’re gold.

The hardest part of this whole replacement issue is the battery. Since they’re so old and the original owners loved them to death these batteries are toast, the red one was even leaking. (Be sure to take your dead lipo’s to a shop that recycles them like BestBuy or an Apple Store, don’t just toss them in the bins up front, hand them off to a person.) The thing is that these bad boys are soldered in place. Microsoft had no intention of you replacing this yourself but it’s not hard to do if you have a good iron and some helping hands.

Here is where this post took two weeks to finish. I bought cheap batteries on eBay without researching them first. Don’t do this. Avoid the HQRP batteries with green wires. Steer away from the ones on Amazon with 2 star ratings. Just don’t. Buy them from this place while they still have them:

The video below will show you how to open up the device and change the battery:

Connecting the Zune to a computer becomes the next issue. Microsoft took down all the links to the Zune software when they ended support for them. That’s totally understandable. Unfortunately if you want to add songs to it you’ll need to use the Zune software. Thanks to r/Zune I found out how to trick the software into thinking the old Microsoft links are still live:

How to get Zune software running without MS servers

Out of the three eBay Zunes I now have two working ones. The pink one is now a donor for parts that are broken in the black one. These little things are fun to play with and, unlike your phone, aren’t connected to the internet. I’m attempting to avoid streaming services and making sure I own physical or mp3 versions of my music.

If you have any questions on the flash Zune models let me know. I have not messed with the larger models but r/zune is a great source of info.

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