Two Vista issues remaining- an update on my clean install

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When we last left our intrepid hero he was fresh from a four day period of wrestling with a Vista upgrade on his Fujitsu P1610 Tablet PC.  After hours of wasted effort with a bad upgrade install, our hero performed an inline clean install to save the world (at least on his PC).  At the end of this prolonged period, there were only two major issues that our hero was still fighting on his minty fresh Vista Tablet.  Here’s the latest update on those two issues.

Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC)– the Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone would not connect, much less sync under Vista.  A commenter on a thread here on jkOnTheRun pointed out a similar problem that was the result of Vista firewall specifically blocking the port(s) needed to connect a device to WMDC.  Our hero told the firewall to allow magical syncing and bingo!  Device connects and syncs now.  Hero 1, Vista 0.

Zune problem– our hero was totally bummed that the installation of the Zune software on the newly Vista enabled Tablet left him with the inability to play his music downloaded from the Zune Marketplace (ZM).  Further investigation showed a very strange problem, our hero can stream music from the ZM, sync it to the Zune player where it plays fine, and download all the music he wants from the ZM without problem.  The catch is that once a song is downloaded to our hero’s Vista machine, it will not play on the PC.  It generates an error:

Zune error

The rest of the support page says this can either be a problem with the sound card, the internet connection, or a corrupt file.  Our hero was much perplexed by this development.  The sound card works fine, it plays audio and video from any source, except the Zune Marketplace.  The internet connection is not the problem, files shoot back and forth without a care.  The file can’t be corrupt because he can sync it to the Zune where it plays fine.  Our hero thinks this error message indicates a visit from that evil villain, DRM.

He decides to call in the big guns, Zune tech support.  The call was free, and the service very nice.  Alaina listened and cared about our hero’s problem, and went away to get extra help to solve the problem.  She returned and said it must be the audio card, but our hero reminded her it plays everything fine except ZM downloaded music.  He also tells her that he saw that error message and rolled back his audio drivers to the pre-Vista update to no avail.  She admits at this point that it might be the evil DRM causing the problem.  She asks our hero to uninstall and reinstall the Zune software, but our hero tells her he has done this twice.  It needs to be done again she informs him, because the uninstall does not remove all traces of the Zune software, and the system must be purged before a “clean install” can happen.  Our hero had to opt out at that point, as this would likely take over an hour and the massive Super Bowl was looming large on the horizon.

Alaina understood our hero’s dilemma and directed him to a Knowledge Base article that explains how to really remove the Zune software from his system and perform the mysterious “clean install” of the Zune software, something that until now has been reserved for those pesky operating system updates.  Our hero scanned the KB article and realizes this is serious medicine that involves hidden files, manual file deletions, booting into Safe Mode for special treatment, and then reinstalling the software while swinging a chicken over your head in the parking lot, just for luck.  This looks to be a time-consuming healing and I will report back when our hero has a chance to try it.

Hero 1, Vista 1

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John Walker

Can you please let me know the firewall solution to the Windows Mobile 5 problem you were having? I searched your site and comments, but couldn’t find the one you were referring to. Thanks in advance!

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