Solution: Semaphore Timeout Issue On Zen MP3 Players ~ Creative Labs Zen MP3 Players Sound Blaster Card
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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Solution: Semaphore Timeout Issue On Zen MP3 Players

Problem: When I try to load the firmware I keep getting this message_ERROR - Operating system reported error: The semaphore timeout period has expired

1a. Highlighted by Martin, ensure that you have the latest driver by downloading and installing it from Creative for Creative MuVo®, MuVo USB2.0, MuVo TX FM, MuVo N200, MuVo V200, Zen™ Neeon, Zen Nano Plus or Zen Nano players.

1. Download "MP3 Player Recovery Device Drivers" from a 3rd party site. This a recovery driver for all these MP3 players using Sigmatel chipset. This applies to Creative Zen MP3 players too.

2. After step 1 is successful, you are now in the recovery mode.

3. DO NOT INSTALL THE RIGHT FIRMWARE FOR YOUR ZEN YET, instead upload the firmware for the MuVo player first.

4. After the firmware has been updated go into recovery mode again but this time upload your respective zen firmware. In this case, its the firmware for Zen Stone Plus. You need to update your respective Zen MP3 firmware eg Zen Nano, MuVo, Zen Stone, etc. We are using Zen Stone Plus in the illustrations here.

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Michael said...

I have installed the muvo firmware but how do I do step 4 and go into recovery mode again? I can't seem to get it to uplod the Stone firmware.

Michael said...

Did step 3 but how do I now go back into recovery mode and do step 4?

Creative Fan said...

for step2, goto recovery mode using the recovery driver like what you did for the muvo firmware in the 1st step. But this time update the zen stone firmware

Mike said...

Same problem here : how can we go back in recovery mode once we are running the muvo firmware?

In step 1, the zen was automatically detected as a STMP3500 device. But after flashing with the muvo firmware, the Zen is detected as a... muvo device.

Moreover, the trick of holding the play button while pluging in the player doesn't make it recognised in recovery mode.

Any idea on how flashing the zen firmware over the muvo's one?

Creative Fan said...

for 2nd step, go into recovery again using the recovery driver, but update your zen firmware

Long said...

I have run mp3_recovery_drv.exe, then run MuVoV200_PCFW_LF_1_12_03.exe, and mes: The device is not connected to the USB port -> ??? what can i do

Long said...

I have installed mp3_recovery_drv.exe, then run MuVoV200_PCFW_LF_1_12_03, it hv mess: the device is not connected to the USB Port -> ??? so what can i do ? thnx

Anonymous said...

All this only works if you install this driver first:MStorage_PCDRV_LB_1_07_00_250.exe

Here is the link for it:

Martin said...

You need this driver first installed on your pc before anything will work

Vivek said...

tried the above software too..but the problem stated by "long" still persists.... zen firmware update says same message again and again "semaphore....."

cosbiss said...

Michael and Mike are right! Tell us step by step how to go back into recovery mode again because Windows indeed recognize Zen as Muvo and you can not "convince" Windows that "Recovery device" should be loaded not Muvo's one. The problem remains "how flashing the zen firmware over the muvo's one"??

cosbiss said...

I found a solution that I will tell you now!
First steps recommended in the article seemed correct to me that to update Zen with Muvo’s firmware.
After MuVo firmware update Windows recognize the Zen only as MuVo. So I thought I should corrupt MuVo firmware and it worked! I could recover my Zen Stone doing the following procedure.
1.Go again into MuVo firmware updater and start it.
2.When it appears the message not to disconnect the device during update, disconnect it! So, you have corrupted MuVo firmware and again Zen is in Recovery mode.
3.Disconnect Zen from USB port.
4.Reinstall “Creative Mass storage device driver”( and “Mp3 Player Recovery Device Driver” ( if necessary.
5.Reset Zen with a pointed object.
6.Reconect Zen to a USB port. You should check in the Device manager if “Player Recovery Class” appears with subitem Recovery Device. If so it is OK. If not, it might be possible in some case that you disconnect again Zen from USB and reconnect it twice. Check Device manager again.
7. Download from “Creative MP3 Player Recovery Tool” ( . Install it and start it. It should see a USB device in recovery mode and it should say that it can not identify your product. So it asks you for Serial No. located backward on Zen. Write Serial No. where Recovery Tool says and pres Identify. It correctly identifies Zen on Serial No., and firmware updater starts automatically. Wait until firmware is complete. After this your Zen should be completely functional!

Hope this solution will help you too!

Anonymous said...

This process do not solve my Zen semaphore's problem...=(
I dont know what I will do...='(

Anonymous said...

When i go to flash with the muvo firmware mu zen disconnects and then reconnects a few seconds after. The flassher detects it but my v plus disconnects before anything can happen

Anonymous said...

Follow what cosbiss said, keep repeating the MuVo firmware update but disconnect your player each time, eventually when you plug it into the USB port it won't be recognised, reset it WHILE it is connected and a device will eventually be recognised, from the follow the recovery programme and you'll be fine, worked for me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot! worked awesome!
(Recover Zen Nano Plus with exact detailed procedure)


Anonymous said...

How gay Zen stone is.. yea its bricked and like it wont work. It gets, it wont install MUVO V200 it just says USB Device not installed

Kisalay said...

You guys rock...Follow the exact same procedure as highlighted by Cosbis. I had literally torn my hair apart until that solution by Cosbis worked.
I repeat here.
1. Flash it with the Muvo firmware.
2. Disconnect and re-connect. Again run the Muvo update and now disconnect it to corrupt the firmware.
3. Finally run the Zen Nano Plus firmware.

Worked like a charm. Needless to say you will still need the mass storage drivers.

Anonymous said...

Hey thank you so much! cosbiss ps posting worked for me! I thought my zen nano plus was gone before seeing this post! Thank you guys! U all rock! :) I am so happy!

cosbiss said...

I am glad that the solution worked for you guys! Wish you all the best!

Anonymous said...

we can't even get through step 1! we can't even install the muvo says the device is not connected to the usb port..

Vincent (Netherlands) said...

Hey Cosbiss!

I'm glad the way you explained it. I've read the whole internet for a solution but nothing worked.


Anonymous said...

Hi, This solution worked for my Nano.


Reclusiarh said...

I have Creative Zen Stone, had the same problem.
I had trouble uploading the MuVo firmware - muvo firmware updater would exit when muvo player wasn't detected. I went to the Packard Bell site, used firmware for one of their players - AudioDiva.
That messed up the player totally - red light blinking randomly, recognized as some random stuff when connected to my pc...
After that I installed the firmware for Stone without problems and the player is working.

Thanks for everyone here since you all helped me in a way to solve my problem!

Anonymous said...

DAMN! i installed the muvo firmware and then i tried to corupt it and what do you know? MY PC IS NOT RECOGNIZING MY MP3 ANYMORE! FUCK!!!

Anonymous said...

Cosbiss... If you are still there I love you!!!
My Muvo TX FM would not stay on. I tried to put on the new firmware but some how got Muvo TX firmware. I had lost my fm radio. I have spent hours searching the internet to find a way to restore my radio. I finally found your blogg and you saved me. Thank you so much!!!

Anonymous said...

thanks for you cosbis et kesalay

leon said...

i Dont know what iam doing worng but nothing anyone has said has worked for me?...i installed the recovery tool,,(nothing) how dose it work because it just installs files and changes nothing,i cant get my zen v out of showing as stmp3600 recovery device,, ???

Creative Fan said...

this topic is discussed in our forum. here, take a peek

rei said...

greattt!!! thanks a lot!

Ram Chandra said...

Hi Cosbiss,

While updating MuVo firmware I am getting Semaphore time out issue for my zen nano plus mp3 player. and I am unable to find reset button in my zen nano mp3 player. I hope you will help me in this. Thanks in advance.

Knife said...


Jimmyboy88 said...


Anonymous said...

I had tried the solutions, but now my Zen Nano plus isn't even working anymore. Not only that, whenever I hook it up, an Itunes program shows up. I think my PC is thinking that my Zen is an IPod! I don't know how that happened, but I'm not happy about it.

Jimmyboy88 said...

you can transfer songs using itune program if you want
use windows explorer and check if your pc can see it

Anonymous said...

Hi Friends, I have problem in my MUVO TX FM. Iam getting error when i try to upgrade Firmware.

"message_ERROR - Operating system reported error: The semaphore timeout period has expired"

Please help,

Anonymous said...

I have same problem on trying rewrite firmware of my ZEN STONE.

Links on the first post are dead :( can someone renew them?

Anonymous said...

how to go into recovery mode????

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