Zune Guts

“Would you like the extended warranty on that, sir?”

“No”, I say breaking a wry smile. What is so darn funny about that question? She seems to be thinking.

Anyways, long story short, I have a Zune. I have it apart. I can’t really say why right now, but I thought it was neat enough to share a few shots of its guts.

You can click the above for a much higher resolution version. The images below are just screen-res photos to save on bandwidth:

[edit: by request, a macro shot of the Wi-Fi module; note there is normally a metal shield over it, I have removed it to see what is underneath, and simultaneously marred part of a component in the upper right hand corner, although it still seems to work. Info on it here and here]

Back up regularly!

Note that it uses the Freescale iMX31L processor at its core…

I’m just sayin’ ;-).

161 Responses to “Zune Guts”

  1. Nate says:

    Guh, what is with all the discrete components? And the daughterboard? Is this just a prototype or they havent got around to cost reduction yet?

  2. Jose says:

    Discrete components… well now we know why the battery life sucks.

  3. Grumma says:

    great pics
    can you photo that module in the left – bottom corner
    its seems like the RF module so if you can do a macro photo it will be great

  4. og says:

    On the bottom left of the first photo is what looks like the wifi antena

  5. Adam says:

    Great photos. You might want to think about hosting the hires photos on Flickr or tarring them up and making them available through BitTorrent. The reason I recommend this is because this dissection *will* end up on Slashdot or some other such site and you’re going to end up getting pounded.

  6. Alex says:

    It is now on hack a day ;)

  7. […] I was expecting it to take a little longer, but, you can now see what the inside of your Zune looks like (without voiding your warranty) thanks to bunnie: http://www.bunniestudios.com/wordpress/?p=131 […]

  8. Aaron says:

    Less then 24 hours and the thing is gutted… NICE!

  9. Tom Parker says:

    [merged per poster request]
    I’ll post the next obvious link


    Is it just me or does the assembly of this remind you of transistor radios from the 70s. It is loaded with dry joints and joints with too much solder. I’d almost suggest it was hand assembled, doesn’t look consistent enough assembly for a machine. This is version 1.0 hardware for sure. That wireless antenna looks really shoddy too, given this is a portable device is really needs better anchoring to the PCB. Here’s another link for you all


    looks like 16M ram

    K4M51323LE-L – 4M x 32Bit x 4 Banks Mobi

    (sorry can’t edit my posts, Bunnie, perhaps combine them? Loved your xbox book BTW).

    [more info to share…]

    K4M51323PC-DG75	        64 Mbytes x32 Mobile SDR DRAM / 133 MHz / 90 mA
    PH28F160C3TD	        1Mx16 Boot block NOR flash, 3.3V
    FS456LF	                PC to TV video scan converter (Macrovision 7)
    CN211/SN74CBTLV16211C	24-bit FET bus switch
    WM8978G	                Stereo CODEC with speaker driver / 0.9W power out
    P003 / 620A5	        8-bit bus transciever/driver for ATA standard
                            (hypothesized, more info appreciated...)
    MC13783	                Power manager
    ISP1504	                USB2.0 PHY
    CL245/SN74CBTLV3245A	Low voltage octal FET bus switch
    KS3021/KS7010	        RF/BB/MAC 802.11g WiFi (KeyStream) module
  10. Eric says:

    Would it be a M$ product if the first release was not beta quality?

  11. bunnie says:

    I wish I could comment more…I actually have a purpose for taking this apart but I probably should not say. There are a couple of *very* interesting facts and…er…facts about the device.

  12. I hope it has something to do with the Chumby. I like it when my toys can play well together.

  13. bunnie says:

    Also, if they did it right, they will have enabled the built-in security features of the MX31 so you can’t/it is very difficult to hijack the boot–but it is still vulnerable to buffer overruns, etc. as far as I can tell. Haven’t bothered to test it either way, but the High Assurance Boot (HAB) feature is worthy of caution if you are thinking about trying something.

  14. amd says:

    Also, you can see that all the solder points of the main chips have been made hacking-proof with this black-epoxy like compound. :( I also couldn’t spot obvious JTAG contacts.

  15. bunnie says:

    The black-epoxy like compound I believe is not there for hack-proofing. It’s an underfill that is used to improve the reliability of the high-stress but very fragile BGA solder connections in the face of repeated shock and thermal cycling. It does have the additional benefit of making it more difficult to work with.

    Can anybody find the FM radio tuner on this board? I can’t seem to unequivocally identify that chip. Also curious if anybody knows for sure what the P003 / 620A5 chips are that are lined up near the ATA connecter. I’m guessing they are level translators or buffers to the hard drive based on their location and connectivity, but I couldn’t get a positive ID on the part number.

  16. bunnie says:

    Nevermind, I just figured out which one is the radio tuner. It’s the chip in the upper left hand corner near the WM8978G, labelled 4701A15, for the Silicon Labs Si4701 single-chip radio tuner.

    Still wondering about the P003 / 620A5 chips, 4 of them in a row, near the hard drive connector on the left–actually, on the hi-res image they look grey because the part number is illegible due to a lack of contrast from light reflecting off of the package.

    For the record, these questions are to satisfy my curiosity. I’m always afraid these days to post tear-downs of high-profile stuff…life was much simpler a few years ago.

  17. changocool says:

    hey i want some linux on it!! i want to access the 30gb hd!! i want real wifi!! i will only buy one if i know i can boot it into linux

  18. Nick Charlton says:

    You will have to wait a while for Linux, but I bet people are forming groups already….


  19. goudabob says:

    just a thought, i wonder if you could replace the hard drive with a bigger drive. toshiba makes an identical 40gb drive.

  20. goudabob says:

    btw, they also make a 60gb and an 80gb drive but they are 3mm thicker according to the documentation

  21. DCFluX says:

    If I was going to design something like this, I would think about software defined radio as an IF decoder, but that would mean you still need a front end, mixer and local oscillator.

    I saw a chip close to the MC13783 that was a Philips, and I think it said 504A. I am not sure what that is but SA604A is an FM IF decoder IC. Although it would be smarter to use the SA605A which is basicly a FM receiver on a chip, combining a SA602 mixer/vco with a SA604 in one package.

    Walkman style devices love to use the head phone leads as an FM antenna, It may be worth checking if the ground is left floating and there should be a AC coupling cap to get RF down the ground leads, that should lead to the first stage at least.

  22. ejonesss says:

    looks like it may use an ipod hard drive or ipod compatible because toshiba drives are used in the ipod.

    now me having said zunes and zune parts are probably going to be sold at high prices on ebay

  23. daqq says:

    poor little zune…
    iPod looks much cooler from the inside than this thingie.


    Fewer components, less discrete components etc. Fully tinned board and more simpatic.

  24. Cathedrow says:

    There seem to be an awful lot of SMDs around the processor. Far too dense for decoupling caps. Bus termination resistors?

    I’m guessing the designers weren’t aware just how vulnerable the naked hypertransport bus made the Xbox. Maybe they’re about to find out.

    Very kind of Microsoft to put them all in a nice neat row. Still got that FPGA dev kit lying around?

    And as for those P003 / 620A5 chips. I’d guess they were for bus voltage conversion. That processor is probably on 1.8 or 2.5V I/O, but the drive will be expecting 3.3V.

  25. A.A. says:

    Looks like one of the audio chips is from Wolfson-also seen in many iPods.

  26. bunnie says:

    Site went down; web hoster firewalled the IP because it crashed the server. Should be back up now.

  27. toffe says:

    Can you make a hires picture of the backplane, I think there is a jtag connector or something like this.
    It seems to be the row of solder point in the top center of the backplane.

  28. […] working link…. Here’s a link to someone that took his apart, which is also the same person that helped put together the specs that allowed the original Xbox to be modded: bunnie’s blog Blog Archive Zune Guts […]

  29. Ward says:

    As for the mystery ICs, they’re 24-QFN (or MLF), and the eight series termination resistors on the left and top sides of the top two ICs would seem to indicate that they’re octal. The 74*620A is an octal bus transceiver, so that would seem to fit with the “620A5” on the package. It also looks like there’s a bypass cap above and below each package…might that point to two supplies as one would expect in a level translator? It would be interesting to know the voltage across each of those caps.

  30. […] Lot’s of excitement in the gadget world lately. Microsoft has released their new music player, The Zune. It touts Wi-Fi between Zune units, and a radio receiver. However, beamed songs are only good for three days and you can’t send them to anyone else. Kind of a bummer. Is it the Ipod killer MS claims it to be. Better yet, is it worth the money? Well, CNN doesn’t think so. However, if the Wi-Fi file sharing catches on I’m sure Apple will be quick to follow in later Ipods. While you’re at it, check out it’s dissection! […]

  31. TheRandomDude says:

    I’ve lately been extremely interested in what’s called tempest attacks, and many voting machines have been hacked in this form. Could you conceivably sniff the circuits in a zune or xbox by studying the circuits’ electromagnetic resonance?

  32. Dotnix says:

    Man, terrible!!!
    Low quallity thought…..look at those soldering point all over the pcb main….TERRIBLEEEEE….
    Well, its MS….y ohhh y am i surprised? lol

  33. […] Tava demorando! Zune escancarado. […]

  34. “Is it just me or does the assembly of this remind you of transistor radios from the 70s. It is loaded with dry joints and joints with too much solder.”

    Remember that due to RoHS regulations in the EU, most consumer electronics products (even those destined for the US) no longer use lead-based solder. It’s normal for lead-free solder joints to look “dry” or “cold” compared to what you’re used to seeing from good old 60-40 Kester.

    The soldering work looks fine to me. That said, wow, yeah, that’s a whole lotta discrete components.

  35. vk says:

    you do mean passive, right? there’s a (big) difference between passive and discrete; passive = resistors, capacitors, while discrete = transistors.

    the fact that there are so many resistors doesn’t mean at all that it gobbles up more power. the transistors i spotted don’t necessarily mean that it uses a lot of power. Having this many chips compared to using SOCs probably does increase the power drain, though.

    However, it does seem like whoever designed this board (microsoft or someone else) isn’t very experienced at miniaturization. I’m sure that if they actually looked for nicer ICs which didn’t need so many passive components, or got their hands on some SOCs rather than relying on so many chips, they could CONSIDERABLY reduce the size of this monster. If you’ve been reading all the cellphone ICs they advertise these days on EDN, you know this is quite possible.

    Well, it [i]is[/i] microsoft’s first miniature hardware thingamabob.

    though i have this suspicion they actually left the job to some inexperienced chinese firm to do it. . .

  36. Beaker says:

    DCFluX: The 504A is the Philips ISP1504A, a ULPI transceiver. This is needed for the USB 2.0 OTG controller on the i.MX31L.

    John Miles KE5FX: The soldering work looks fine to me as well. No way that anything like this is hand assembled for production. The i.MX31L and MC13873 are both 0.5mm pitch parts. A nightmare to deal with when prototyping.

    Cathedrow says: “There seem to be an awful lot of SMDs around the processor. Far too dense for decoupling caps. Bus termination resistors?”

    Exactly. The i.MX31 reference designs use 10ohm series bus termination resistors for the DDR bus. Not sure that they are absolutely necessary, but this is a fast bus (up to 266Mhz for DDR). And you are right about the I/O voltage conversion needed for the ATA. The MC13783 provides 2.775V for the I/O supply of the i.MX31L. I’m finishing an i.MX31 design right now, and I didn’t use the MC13783, instead using a Linear Tech LTC3440 @ 3.05V for the I/O supply so that I don’t need conversion for my peripherals that will only operate down to 3.0V.

  37. Beaker says:

    vk Says: “a bunch of stuff”

    I was with you through the first two paragraphs, but the comments about miniaturization are…well….for want of a better word…uninformed. Have you designed something like this before? I mean right now with the state of the art, as it applies to the specific requirements of a PMP?

  38. Coyote says:

    “though i have this suspicion they actually left the job to some inexperienced chinese firm to do it. . .”

    Didn’t Toshiba design the Zune?


  39. […] Actualización 2 Atención a la jugada, ya se sabe que el micro del Zune puede correr Linux, en concreto Linux BSP. ¿Seguro que es imbatible el iPod? […]

  40. kurtdiver says:

    Can we get close up shot of the backside of the PCB? I’d like to figure out who manufactured the PCB….

  41. Mike Arnold says:

    At ipodmods.com, we now offer to upgrades to the Zune. First is the battery upgrade that installs a new Li-Io battery into your unit whihc also has a 30 % longer life than the stock battery. You can also hold onto it until the original battery dies. The battery we have also comes with a self installation kit/tools.

    The second, more impressive one is the hard drive upgrade. We take the standard 30 gig drive and replace it with a 40 gig drive (Don’t worry, we tested it and the unit still works great). We offer free installation and a 90 Day warranty.

    If your interested in either upgrade, you can read more about them at:


    Mike Arnold

    iPod LCD screens fixes Zune Hard Drives
    iPod Harddrive repairs Zune Batteries
    iPod Battery Replacement Zune repairs
    iPod mods Zune Mods
    iVue Crystal Clear Front Panel
    iPod Repairs

  42. […] Fotos del Zune por dentro [vía bunnie’s blog] linux, tech, win32 […]

  43. RogerBacon says:

    Hi, before trying to hack the Zune read this : http://www.freescale.com/files/32bit/doc/white_paper/IMX31SECURITYWP.pdf

  44. […] I sam sebi postajem dosadam ovim plejerom ali neko se potrudio da ga otvori i otkrije šta se krije unutra. Pogledajte ovde! […]

  45. Tek-Guru says:

    […] Check out more pictures over at Bunnie’s Blog. […]

  46. […] Just hours after I had scoured Toshiba’s website for pinouts, I found that engineer and Xbox hacker extraordinaire Andrew “bunnie” Huang had received and disassembled a new Zune (as I noted on MacUser). Looking at his pictures, you’ll note that the Zune uses a new Toshiba ZIF hard drive, just like Apple’s 5th Gen iPods. No surprise there. The drives reliable and small enough to accomodate most handheld players. However, the ribbon cable Microsoft uses appears to be the exact piece required to adapt the YEC adapter to the Toshiba ZIF hard drives: […]

  47. […] With all of the talk floating around about the Zune and how hi-tech it is, I was little surprised when I saw this blog post where some guy took apart the Zune media player from Microsoft. […]

  48. […] Filed under: Portable Audio, Portable Video […]

  49. Wodrok says:

    Nice job you did here.
    there is a wrap-up on hardware and UNIX on Zune at: http://happymac.ch/happyMacEN/News/1C1515C1-A47C-4ADD-8A16-9B3A21C9AA5A.html


  50. SomeChipGuy says:

    The combination of Freescale chips and WiFi module has me thinking…how long before a software hack is available to turn this device into a WiFi voice-over-IP mobile phone?

  51. That site mentioned by Wodrok is great. Bookmarked.

  52. […] The Zune already runs a stripped down version of Portable Media Center, which is based on Windows CE 5. They’ve already announced plans for a Zune phone, which would undoubtedly leverage their experience with the Windows Mobile platform. The Zune 1.0 may run a stripped down OS, but the hardware has tons of potential. […]

  53. me says:

    Coyote Says:

    “Didn’t Toshiba design the Zune? ”

    Exactly. Think Gigabeat S in a different plactic wrapper. It is rather funny how MS branding can turn a highly rated device into something that is ‘TERRIBLEEEEE….’ Heh, so much power to sway perception in one name…

    The fact that Toshiba chose to use a ODBC coated board as opposed to HASL is to their merit. It also means the Solder used is not SN63/PB37 but more likely something like an SN 95.5/AG 3.8 CU .7 or so which has a much higher melting point (~219 c vs 187c) so the flux gets worked harder on a surface that is harder to wet. This is a typical RHOS assembly practice. A more costly and potentially brittle approach is, of course to use an AU plated board but gold embrittlement becomes a concern. Simply tin plating a PCB is a problem as tin has a short shelf life but it is done. Bottom line test? Tear a Gigabeat S down. Post it’s pictures under the premise of it being a Zune and watch the response. The do the opposite with a Zune. I suspect you will get some real joy out of seeing the silliness people tack onto a name!

  54. Ken says:

    AMD says:
    > Also, you can see that all the solder points of the main chips have
    > been made hacking-proof with this black-epoxy like compound.

    Actually potting (epoxy) is often used around the periphery of BGA
    packages to keep moisture and crud from collecting underneath and
    interfering with the pins. It can also enhance heat dissipation, though
    I doubt it’s an issue with components in this device.

    BGAs are inherently hack-resistant. If you have the capacity to lift a BGA
    and reball/resolder it, a little epoxy isn’t going to slow you down much.

  55. “If you have the capacity to lift a BGA and reball/resolder it, a little epoxy isn’t going to slow you down much.”

    Actually, anyone with a toaster oven can desolder/resolder one. The epoxy may or may not present a problem, depending on whether it’s the kind that softens when heated. BGAs are not as scary as they’re made out to be.

  56. Iain says:

    >you do mean passive, right? there’s a (big) difference between passive and discrete; passive = resistors, capacitors, while discrete = transistors.

    This is incorrect. Discrete means “not on a chip” – it doesn’t matter if the components are passive or active (like transistors).

  57. Hydrocodone says:

    Very cool design! Useful information. Go on!

  58. […] An interesting comparison is the display of the Zune. I also took apart the Zune display after I tore it apart. Below are some photos of what’s inside it. It actually embeds all of the driver and decoder circuitry on the glass using polysilicon TFT devices; if I am not mistaken, these devices are deposited as amorphous silicon and then laser-annealed to form devices of sufficient performance to build logic, as evidenced by the very logic-looking transistor structures in the photos below. The color gels on the Zune display look faded, but I think that is because of some of the contrast-enhancement coatings applied to the display that aren’t present on the Chumby display. Despite the presence of the more sophisticated logic on the glass, one decoder chip was still required to complete the host interface. […]

  59. […] questo che significa? che a breve qualche geniale smanettone riuscirà a metterci sopra linux e aprirà un mondo di interessanti (molto interessanti) possibilità di zune hacking. Valutazione post: (Non ancora valutato)      Loading … […]

  60. […] Bunnie (one of the original XBox hackers) has something planned for the Zune. Could be linux, but I have a feeling there is more to it than that. […]

  61. Bunnie, could you censor the spam posts?

  62. is ther any way you could tell me what the dock connector has written on it. I need to find the manufacturer. Thanks

  63. Wander907 says:

    Hey I just accidently broke the LCD screen on mine. I had it in my pocket and barley closed it in the door of my Jeep. I found a replacement for $149 but I’m not sure about taking the face off of it. Did you just carfully pry anound the outer edge???

  64. rockstar says:

    i am willing to use my zune as a guinea pig for any future hacks or mods i can do any of the mods but any hacks you’ll have to walk me through like a three year old, especially anything that linuxizies me or maybe a battery mod beside an external chopper supply…oooooh or maybe something to liberate the wifi

  65. mark says:

    hi just had a question what kind of lcd does the zune have inside is it made by sharp? sharp makes a 3 inch tft lcd display not sure if this part will work sharp part number LQ030B7DD01. since you opened it maybe you can post pictures of it . thanks

  66. Free kevin! says:

    I have done some of my own ‘research’ on them (zunes) and they are acceptible to buffer/sack overflows, (because it is written in c) although you must attian level zero (root) access to change any processes, M$ did add a little security to it, mainly for pirates of the rom tech,. the wireless is 802.11FAXK which just means they have marked that Fq with other devices (zunes),,. but note its
    133/56 Processor, it has no L2c and thus, can’t run multi-level bit cross-over programs, however you can still partition vrt mem,. and ‘add’
    it under the processor, this of couse would take a good “detectible” amount of hd space,. you could then,.. config the 802.11 to a
    ‘denoted’ or scanwise process in which treating the device as a network adapter, and useing a temp folder in vrt mem, can access the web,. via other wireless networks in range,.
    note that no wep enrip. is validated here because the device is subroutine
    and ‘logical’,. as it opperates on a fine set of code,….

    Oh yeah and Free Kevin !! damni..

  67. […] Prototype Zune A friend of mine here walks around with an early Zune prototype: These never went into production, so this blog might be the only place you ever see one. And I know many of you have seen the Zune guts, but here’s a chance to see them inside of a Zune player. Cool huh?  |  Friday, February 16, 2007 12:52 AM  |  0 Comments Tags: Zune, gadgetry  […]

  68. Michael says:

    After reading through the Freescale data on the iMX31L, I’d say it’s no wonder the battery life sux with all the encrypting and decrypting that’s going on inside. What a POS the Zune really is. Screw it; get an iPod.

  69. MadHatter55 says:

    Any one try to overclock the thing yet?

  70. […] Zune Analyzed: Design Motivations Hypothesized Almost three weeks back I alerted you to a number of system dissections that had popped up on the ‘Net, among them ‘bunnie’ Huang’s disassembly of a Zune. In a follow-up interview with Digital Media … (more) […]

  71. […] Original post by the buzz, from chuquet.com […]

  72. kunzy says:

    Hey, if that wireless antena is just chilling there all lose and all, Would it be possible to put in a bigger wire and getter better range?

  73. cragoo says:

    how did you manage to open up the zune?

  74. Mike says:

    Can anyone tell me how to open the zune without cracking or leaving any blemishes on the case?

    Please email me at rcg1980@gmail.com
    Thanks in advance!

  75. Marcos Andersen says:

    Hey, i was playing with other batteries on my zune and i think i toasted the power management chip (7.2v apllied to the battery terminals)
    how can i have some information about the circuitry?
    i’ve found an SMD fuse that’s not blown but it’s does not function indeed. i also removed accidentaly one small smd comp near it (can send photo) and need help to identify that piece.
    can you help me?

  76. I sacrificed my Zune today to trace down the JTAG and serial connection points. See link for more info…

  77. Great Shots, I’m running Ubuntu Linux and have to use my XP partition just to use the Zune…. Does anyone have any news about getting these to talk with Mac and a Linux box???

    I’ve noticed that the displays stays on during the charging of the Zune.. Is that normal. I’ve only found one reference to it. It will not turn off when I hold the play/pause button 100% of the time during a charge. Does anyone else have that problem?

  78. aishwarya rai photo gallery…

    shit-happens 1756401 Eye of aishwarya rai photo gallery…

  79. Virginia Frazier says:

    Has anyone heard of the Zune LCD screen cracking for no apparent reason? The protective glass has not a scratch but the LCD screen cracked. I have only had it about 3 weeks and Microsoft says it is not a defect (of course). Just wondered if anyone here has had the same problem?

  80. Virginia Frazier says:

    I just posted the above post and was trying to find out more about the Zune LCD and I found a site that owners are complaining of cracked lcd screens:
    Is this realistic: that the problem of the screen cracking is caused by thermal expansion of the Zune’s battery, (which happens to be located directly behind the screen), as it is recharging. because the battery expands from it’s own heat, it stresses the plastic of the display, which may result in cracking.
    thanks for any help.

  81. bunnie says:

    I’d say possible, but not plausible.

  82. Jacob says:


    As the proud owner of a laptop computer, you’ll want to keep your…

  83. Rob says:

    One person mentions “discrete” components then all of a sudden, like a bunch of lemmings, several of you start critisizing Microsoft on the same thing. It’s obvious that several of you really don’t know why, you just see “Microsoft” and jump on the bandwagon.

    Some of you arm-chair wannabe techies need to learn the definition of “discrete” components. A bunch of surface mount resistors and caps is actually not too uncommon in alot of devices and has little effect on power consumption.

    Also, comparing a harddrive based Zune to a flash based Ipod Nano is not exactly a fair comparison. The fact that some components are common between iPods and Zune is only a score for that individual vendor, not Apple.

  84. Personally I love the Zune “discrete” components or not I’ll take it over an iPod any day!

  85. BAP says:

    I bought one zune that is not recognized by the PC through the USB connection. I am afraid the warranty is lost because I opned it.

    Could the 504A be changed? I think the problem could be there.

  86. Visitor361 says:

    I have visited your site 680-times

  87. Dave C says:

    A couple notes-

    First the wi-fi module approach is common practice in production devices. This part has to be FCC certified as an “intentional radiator” radio device, which is an expensive process ($50k or more for gamut) and retested every time there is a change to the radio section. If the module was built in to the main board, any change on the main board would require a more thorough testing of the entire board. Also, since this is a high frequency (2.4GHz) module, the manufacturing tolerances are more critical – there are probably controlled impedance lines for instance, which are easier to maintain, and cheaper to manufacture in a smaller board.

    Second, the comment about discrete components “shortening battery life” are simply not true. In fact, parasitic capacitance and higher resistance of larger dies on big chips will make them LESS efficient than the smaller dies and structures of discrete components in almost all cases. Discrete components are a “necessary evil” so to speak to handle power requirements, filtering/snubbing, and interconnecting. Any design that doesn’t have some discrete snubber/local charge caps, EMI/ESD filters, and input power filtering is highly questionable, and probably neither reliable nor legal to sell in the US (almost certainly not FCC or CE tested).

    Third, this is also using the “Atlas” MC13783 part, which is the i.MX31 companion “Power management and Audio” chip, which provides dynamic power scaling, audio codecs, and interface channel options for cell phones (thus, perhaps in part feeding the Zune phone rumors).

  88. lpforlfie says:

    for those asking about the larger toshiba harddrives, dude on ebay has been sellin 80 g zune’s, which are larger in size. i been lookin and i am gonna buy either the 100 g toshiba or the 120 samsung (same set up it looks like) they are the same phys. size as the 80 g, so i assume they will work (but we all know what happens when you assume). we will see, i will repost after i try it. the HD’s are fairly cheap on ebay

  89. ken says:

    as far as discrete components go..

    its generally a better idea in alot of cases with amplification beacuse when you have everything in one chip the heat gets dissipated into alot of components that dont normally get hot when discrete

    this is really cool and im stoked for some custom firmware!

  90. BVR says:

    This is really good site.

    Can someone help in how to open the ZUNE device to see inside it? Any pictures or helpful.

  91. Nick Chace says:

    Im trying to find the location of the internal radio antenna on the zune motherboard. Can you point out the chip or antenna. Im looking to bypass the external frequency booster and have an antenna built right on the zune

  92. zune says:

    thanks because i have some problems with my zune and your photos help me
    very much

  93. Curtis Veit says:

    Has anyone that has dissected a zune looked to see the following
    1. Could the Rom be replaced by a larger device?
    2. Could the Ram be replaced by a larger device?
    (Many circuit boards today are designed to accept larger chips that are not actually used in production because they decide to keep costs down. I am wondering if this is the case with this board. after all it was designed as a platform for multiple branding by Toshiba.)

    3. Has anyone used the JTAG info above to get a dump of the ROM?

    What I am thinking of doing…
    The protection that was put into the microprocessor is one of the big hurdles with hacking the Zune. There are firms that do repair work on surface mount devices. I am thinking about replacing the processor and possibly also upgrading the ROM and RAM to whatever is maximum for these devices.
    Just another note… The iScale processors are available from Digikey in two versions (about $25 US) If replacing the processor you can opt for the better one that includes 2D and 3D Graphics excelleration. it is only a couple dollars more than the original processor.

    If the processor is replaced I can’t really see anything barring a person from loading any desireable software (read Linux and Rockbox) on these devices and having the device boot and work like native software.

    What do you think?

    Anyway if anyone has info about the maximum allowable memory (ROM and RAM) I’d be very interested. I have not shopped around to find a place that does surface mount work so I still have no idea what that service would cost, but it seems like it would be worth it as the original software has almost no value to me.

  94. Jack says:

    I would be interested if anyone has tried to replace the Zune 30 processor with a better one that can support the TV-Out of DVD-Quality dvd’s. I was successful to put DVD-Quality DVD’s on the zune to find out it lags quite a bit. As I am more programming oriented I am not too keen on the hardware aspect if that is even possible. For $90 for my Zune I would be interested in seeing if this is possible to do than there is no need to by the 80g zune…

    Any feedback is appreciated.

  95. Julia says:

    MY zune has like a crack or like a scratch on the inside if the screan! u cant even feel it or anything its just there and it messes up the hole thing its really annoying can some one help me out???

  96. Kevin says:

    hey, can anyone help me, i opened up my zune for god knows why, and when i closed it the buttons were off center. i opened it again and fixed the buttons but wanted to test it b4 closing it all up. i tested it w/ the guts spilled out, and it turned on for like 2 seconds then winked out. now it doens’t turn on even when plugged into my PC. help?

  97. Kevin says:

    i guess my question with my other post really is, why did the unit turn off suddenly? was it like a short or something? i need to know to decide wat to do! some pro advice will be greatly appreciated! thanks.

  98. Suffice says:

    Hey i was just wondering how you guys learn all this stuff. I would really like to get into this kinda techie talk and was wonder if you had any references.

  99. steve says:

    I have a zune and need to replace the LCD. can you tell me how you got the case apart without scaring it up?? thanks

  100. IL_MORO says:

    Well, Sorry for bothering; But I would like to ask (again) about the ZuneLinux Project. I’m from the Dominican Republic (my English is a bit rusty, so forgive any mistake on my writing); here, just like me, many of my college fellows prefered and have adcquired the zune; And just as I do, they are pretty worried about the limitations. We are Linux users on PC (some Ubuntu, Some SuSE), We have seen It’s potential, and also on the Ipod (by the iPod-linux).
    Almost One year ago, I readed about this project that you are deploying and got pretty excited about it… And i would like know if the project really exists and if we can wait for it. We like linux and We need it to help us free our Zunes. if someone can answer me can do it (nestor.fajardo@gmail.com) and I will really appreciate it. Thanks a lot.

  101. Thanks a lot! I had a few problems with my zune in the past but these are very useful photos!

  102. I am an attorney with a consumer protection / class action law firm in North Brunswick, NJ.

    My firm is currently investigating consumer complaints concerning the cracking or breaking of the internal LCD screen of the Microsoft Zune during normal use.

    If you or someone you know has experienced this problem, or have information you believe could be helpful, you may be eligible to join our investigation. Please call Jon of Galex Wolf, LLC at (732) 257-0550 or e-mail your name, contact information, and circumstances to info@galexwolf.com. For more information, you can also visit http://www.galexwolf.com/sub/microsoft-zune-galex-wolf.jsp

    Thank you.

  103. hardware hacker says:

    is it possible to hack this thing (I mean the Zune) so that when you send a song to someone elses zune it doesnt protect the song like it does, the 3 day 3 play restriction thing hack the zune to remove that

  104. Melissa says:

    Hey everyone! I need help from someone…
    I have a zune that is a 30g and it is now broke at the bottom (where you plug it in to charge). I can’t find anyone that will work on it for me without them telling me its gonna cost me around $100 dollars. ergh!!!
    I bought this the day after thanksgiving for $99.00, and yes just in case you are wondering I DID buy the warrenty from Radio Shack.
    Heres the kicker on that, they only want to give me my money back and not repair or replace it as the warrenty stated. I have been in huge fights with them over ths! But noting to any avail.
    Any advice would be appricated

  105. agus says:

    son los megores chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

  106. cody says:

    Is it possible to bypaass the pins and directly solder the data + and – wires on the other side of where the pins are? mine are destroyed , but dont wanna compromise any future spare parts if I cant

  107. Paul says:

    I got my Zune Music player at http://www.consumerdepot.com

  108. Pti-designs says:

    Hi ,

    I have a zune 80G and Like any other MS product it crapped out, entirely on its own. The microsoft suport and the zune.net support are quite frankly crap.

    I need help from a more tech savy intellegent person such as yourself.
    the error in question is”Can’t sync because there isn’t enough space on your zune. Delete some items and then try again. Error code: C00D124F”

    basically after it crashed I was told by all googled help guides to reset and re-install, which made sense. After resetting, it has uninstalled the firmware on the device, and now through reasons unknown to me i cannot re-install the firware. through a Semi-hacking way is there a way to manually re-install the firmware without using the zune software which does naught but bring up this error over and over.

    Maybe having it hooked up I can send some kind of signal through usb to it (like a cmd prompt message telling it to delete the firmware, or files etc) I’m really frustrated with MS, releaseing a half baked piece of hard where, Its bad enough they do it for untested OS systems, but a hardware device is a little much. I’ve only had the damm thing 1and a bit months.

    I live outside of the US so support in my country is bugger all.

    Any help would greatly be appreciated.

    I was wondering by opening it up if removing the battery would help thus I stumbled upon this site. Nice pics of its guts BTW.
    Nathan R

  109. zuneclan says:

    64gig SSD are now becoming cheaper, does this mean the zune will have a SSD storage instead the breakable platter hard drive?

  110. Bacon says:

    if u still have trouble with this problem than you will need to

    1 reset and fully delete info (youve already done this)
    2 be sure that the program on your computer is running the same version that it was when you bought it; if not then you will need to download the older version… more than likely V.2.0
    3 reconnect zune while zune is open; if this doesnt work… try googling the hard drive hack and be sure that when u are done to see if ur computer is recognizing it as a portable drive; if it can’t be found than a running error has occured and your zune more than likely needs a new configuration; this can more than likely only be done by MS
    4 if this works than you should be able to look through all of your files… manually be sure that there are no encripted or left over files on the zune… all impotant ones will be hidden… be sure not to find and delete hidden files (they may be codec support)
    5 unplug and replug zune with zune software running
    6 hopefully zune will now recognize the drive and install v 3.0

  111. Bacon says:

    do u guys know who’s still on the linux project
    i’m tryin to gather some specs on it
    but i can’t find anything about it
    if u guys have a site about it or that justr seems cool (related to the zune projects) please email it to me at:

    that way the posts stay off the net

  112. Bacon says:

    the email’s deathrive4@yahoo.com
    it didn’t show in the last post

  113. So Zune has a hrd drive? That sucks.

    Till now I thought Zunes had flash memory. :/

  114. zune says:

    Thank you. Nice post! Also great pictures.

  115. Wren says:

    Here is the website which host the official Zune Linux Project, but nothing new since … a moment !


    The guy working on apparently stop the project because nothing found …

    Post on this forum to restart the project !

  116. Looks like one of the audio chips is from Wolfson-also seen in many iPods

  117. Britany says:

    It’s so new for me! Thanx!

  118. Vichka says:

    Nice idea, grazie!

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  121. Escanuall says:

    Либо пан, либо пропал. Либо пан, либо пал.

  122. Efforsfotte says:

    Солдат ухватит, а поймают – нешто это твое? говорит; а твое, так

  123. Gregg says:

    Hello, my zune 30gb (classic) 3.5mm stereo jack is cracked. Need exact replacement part so i can replace. Found many but need to know exact one. Looks like a 5 pin on mobo…help a brother out…$1 part at best…

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  147. Nicole O says:

    My son has a Zune that will not charge anymore. It seems as though he bent some internal “prongs” where you plug in the cable to charge it. Any idea what I would need to purchase to fix it? Microsoft would like to charge me $130 to fix it.

  148. Sang Chirdon says:

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  150. Bacon says:

    Havn’t been on the projects for a while. New ideas for a project and would like to know ANYONE who has an OUNCE of information or code on the ZUNE 30 gig. With the new Zune updates the bootloaders have all been changed and make a standard c# programmer kind of difficult unless someone writes a small packet that will automatically look for it when debugged. So, instead of focussing on all of the small things that we could do with this. I’d like to go back and just make this a straight hand held. Not sure if it can be done… i don’t completely understand the specs on the chipsets and would like to know if it’s even possible.

    What i’d like to do:
    1. rip all the crap software off and start over
    2. new os (linux platform? could a mobile ubuntu base be developed?)
    3. make the zune act like a portable hard drive when plugged into a pc, but when disconnected can be searched straight from the new os, as in can play music, video, radio, and have internet searching capabilities
    4. when plugged into pc, could run as a wireless card

    OR (a more useful and practical application)
    the possibilty of using the zune as a platform for an automatic ubuntu or other linux base (as in can use the zune hard drive as an external hard drive from the computer so as to have a portable computer right in your pocket; all that would be needed to use is to plug it in a pc and boot from BIOS) (i’d also like to save all work straight to the device just as if i was running from a regular hard drive) * this would allow for a hidden computer and would disguise all work as a media player and could be taken on the go.
    *a thought would be to disguise the portable computer software by still allowing the zune to function as a media player… but only if possible.

    I’m VERY interested in the second program for myself, but the first could be fun too. Any ideas? or is it even possible? start posting links. All info, ideas, and help will be helpful.

    Thank you, Bacon

  151. amplifiers says:

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  152. techer says:

    I can get the frimware out of the chip, its a 4GB nand flash, will have it done soon. jdwcomp@hotmail.com

  153. maria says:

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