iPod Touch. Creative Zen Touch on Vista

September 7th, 2007 by Kat Kingsley-Hughes

Apple 16 GB iPod touch OK so I’m not going to get an Apple iPod Touch today after all like I’d expected … turns out they’re not going to be in stores till the end of the month. D’oh! As recently as yesterday the Apple store were expecting them to be on the shelves before the weekend.  I was so excited.  I had dreams about it last night.  (Which is really weird because just the day before neither I nor the world even knew they existed – hmmmm the Apple hype machine must be set on hyperspeed this time round!)

Synching the Creative Zen with Vista

So to avert the waves of disappointment I figured that instead I’d synch my old Creative Zen Touch. I’ve added a fair bit to my library since I upgraded to Vista and I just haven’t got round to installing the Zen driver yet, but I got a new Creative X-XFI sound card just the other day and I noticed it had installed all the drivers and software to go with their MP3 players (normally I’d find that sort of presumption offensive, but just this once I thought it was convenient).  As it turned out though it wasn’t just a matter of plugging the Zen into Vista as it gave me the “unrecognized USB device” message. Just dandy! 

Get the latest Zen firmware!

A little research led me to the conclusion that not having the latest firmware on my Zen was the problem stopping Vista from recognizing the Zen.  Of course there’s no way to install the new firmware via Vista as it won’t connect.  Lucky for me I had an XP machine as well, but not everyone will. (If you do have access to an XP computer you’ll need to install the driver so it recognises the Zen.) 

Bricking it when firmware update goes wrong!

But that’s where things started to go really wrong.  Installing the firmware starts out OK but after 20 minutes it was still not finished so I came to the conclusion that it had hung because the Zen was showing the dreaded “Recovery Mode” (I’ve seen friends’ Zens do this before and it wasn’t a good sign as they were just the owners of Creative Zen Bricks after that).   Choosing the option to Reload Firmware first deletes the firmware then gets ready to reload at which point you connect it to your PC.  But while Windows recognises that the Zen is connected the firmware installation program returns the message:

“Your player is not connected, please connect your player”.

This problem is caused because the PC you’re using has Windows Media Player 11 installed.  So now I had to find an XP PC that was still running Windows Media Player version 10.  (This is because of issues with PlaysforSure in version 11.)

Luckily Adrian doesn’t play music on his laptop much and so still had the old version and the firmware upgrade went through successfully in seconds. 

Vista Woes instead of Wows!

So alls well that ends well it works fine on Vista now, but it’s yet another in a long line of Vista-related woes (although not really Microsoft’s fault this time) and another in the collective sigh that it isn’t really Wow.  Yet at least… but I’m still hoping. (Update: OK, when I plugged in the Zen Vista started synching it straight away without me having to tell it to… so yeah I’ll give it a bit of a Wow! for that. For now… )

Luckily for me I was able to borrow a second XP PC to do the firmware upgrade.  Again not everyone will have access to an XP computer with the right version of Windows Media Player.  If you’ve only got a Vista PC it’s a big problem for Zen owners. 

And likewise for XP users with Windows Media Player 11 it’s ridiculous that the firmware installer will delete your firmware but not allow to install the new version, effectively leaving you with a bricked player.   Creative need to get their act together to address both these issues.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 7th, 2007 at 12:53 pm and is filed under Hardware, Windows. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

20 Responses to “iPod Touch. Creative Zen Touch on Vista”

  1. Creative Zen “Your player is not connected, please connect your player” fix » The PC Doctor’s blog Says:

    […] We did a bit of digging around and found a solution – update the firmware on an XP system not running Windows Media Player 11  (WMP 11).  It worked. […]

  2. Dave’s Blog » Blog Archive » Creative Zen Issues Says:

    […] http://www.vexentricity.com/?p=104 […]

  3. Heather Says:

    OMG this sounds familiar. I have XP and tried to update my firmware for my zen touch, it too is in the dreaded recovery mode,and I am also getting player is not connected messages from every which way….The difference is that I DO have Windows Media Player 10….Any suggestions???

  4. Rejk Says:

    I have a friend who is having this exact problem, you’ve helped her out. One idea i thought of before finding your site, was installing a virtual copy of windows xp and using that, i have not clue if it would for sure work or not, but thought it might help someone who doesn’t know anyone with a XP box without WMP11 out

    First download virtualPC for free from here:

    then you need a windows XP disc, there are some good tutorials about setting up virtual pc, then you’ll have XP running inside of vista, and i’d assume it would work… but takes a lot more effort.

  5. Rejk Says:

    addendum, a forum i said suggested about my idea that worked for them, but said that virutalPC doesn’t support passing in USB ports, so you’d have to use VMWare, i’m fairly sure they have a free version as well, not sure which one it is tho:

  6. Madmardigan Says:

    Hey Cool thanks Worked great!!!!

  7. claud Says:

    all the problems aired in blogs with Zen V plus terribly wobbly music playback plus the thing is stuck on music and I can’rt get out of it. A losuy present I gave someone…

  8. thom Says:

    hey recently got a zen touch and im having these same problems (recovery mode on zen and …not connected on pc) i uninstalled mediaplayer11 and rolled back to version 10 but im still having no luck. what am i doing wrong? any help would be very much appreciated!

  9. Dave Says:

    Is it possible to operate my creative zen nomad (3yrs
    old) on my new vista home premium using xp in virtual pc? Bless you.

  10. Kathie Says:

    Sadly Virtual PC doesn’t support USB. VMWare (which is a commercial product) does support USB, but that’s going to cost more than a new Zen. The simplest solution would probably be a dual boot of XP and Vista.

  11. ian Says:

    i’m having the same issue as thom and heather – i rolled back to media player 10 and the zen touch is getting stuck in firmware recovery mode. anyone figure this out yet?


  12. Mark A,Brewer Says:

    Thanks. Finding a pc with Media Player 10 really saved my bacon!!


  13. Dr. Grim Says:

    Thanks a lot! My “new” Zen Touch is up and running in Vista. Installed a temp. XP on a spare IDE-disk, and bada-bing! Firmware updated.

    Now, the really hard trick was to get vista ultimate back on again, since XP home basic now was my only choice when booting. However, that is another story, which, i’m glad to say, ended happily just a few minutes ago. Phew!
    Thanks again!

  14. Mick Says:

    Solved!! Had all the same problems as most of the above, including “not connected” after removing WMP 11. However, removing WMP 11 is not enough, you also have to uninstall WMFormat 11 and another supporting program. All described nicely in the support pages of microsoft.com: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/player/11/readme.aspx#RollingbacktoapreviousversionofthePlayer

    Worked for me!

  15. Waseem Says:

    hi my i pod is not working like it does not ge charged and now the songs are also not downloaded on Ipod what to do now you tell me

  16. David from HK Says:

    Hi everyone, I have experienced the same thign with firmware, creative is sadly not GOOD at all. By the way, I even tried with WMA 10 and XP, yet still not detecting my creative ZEN vision: M player.

    Can you help please?

  17. Macedonian Says:

    Yes, following the microsoft recomendation to uninstall all three things from your programs, then re-install the drivers, then upgrade the firmware and then reboot would do the trick!


  18. Jahon Says:

    Hey, I have a Creative 40GB NOMAD Jukebox Zen Xtra. I’ve been through a lot of forums and my little crick still is a brick.

    I’m running XP Home, WMP10 installed, never tried to install the unfamous latest version for the brick’s firmware. Already uninstalled all the three things the Microsoft page reads about. Already uninstalled the driver and reinstalled them again, so the PC thought she’d never talked to the brick before. After the “Unplug n’ plug your player again, so the driver can take effect” message, I did and afterwards tried to install the second-to-latest version of the firmware from the Creative web site.


    I’m feeling in hell here. Someone, please, help us out. What is that that my NOMAD want from me?!

  19. Paul Says:

    Great article, but I was still getting problems even when I rolled back to VM 10.

    Following helped me: http://flexdevtips.blogspot.com/2009/06/repairing-my-creative-zen-visionm-60gb.html

  20. Tashia Rasey Says:

    Alot of bloggers not really pleased with this new iPad.There was just 2 much hype about it and lots of blogers got turned off.Thing is, I actually see lots of the cool potential uses of this device. Third-party applications for playing tunes, games, papers and magazines and books, all kinds of awesome stuff, but they failed to sell it right (aside from the books). It feels kind of undercooked

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