My Device Update Woes with the Feb 2011 Update

When I plugged my Dell Venue Pro into my PC, the Zune software picked up on it right away, and in short order let me know that there was an update to be done.  But it told me that I had to update Zune first, and so away we went with this.  Once it was done, Zune offered the Feb 2011 update, and so I started it.

I sometimes have the luck of not having the same problems as everyone else, so I wasn’t expecting it, but was also not surprised to find that I was going to have to deal with it anyway.  So there we were.  So this is what happened: it got hung up on Step 6 of 9, and eventually popped out into Zune with the error code: 801812C1.

It had a web link and I followed it.  It said that there was a device driver that needed updating, and provided some ameliorative action.  I followed the advice, but it didn’t work.  In fact, I chased around the web looking for the best way out of this, but nothing seemed relevant.  One site suggested that I plug the phone into the PC, and when it tried to pull in a device driver from the web, tell it to stop and let the update go out for it instead.  This apparently was advice based on Windows 7, and I’m on Vista.  I tried to do it anyway, and it didn’t work.

But this gave me an idea.  Obviously there was some device driver already on my system, else Zune wouldn’t be able to talk to the phone, and it was doing so just fine.  So I chased down my Control Panel and then the Device Manager.  I found the WP7 driver in the listing for Portable Devices and I uninstalled it.  I also had it deleted when the management console asked if I wanted to do that.  I know this took immediate effect because suddenly Zune couldn’t talk to the phone.

Next step was to unplug the phone, and plug it back in.  Of course the Plug n Play kicked in, and it went out to dig out the driver from the web.  I let it do so, and eventually the driver was reinstalled, and Zune could talk to the phone again.  Great.  Now, having made certain that the driver was the very latest by uninstalling and reinstalling from fresh, I restarted the update process again.

This time the update went much better.  It breezed by step 6, and I thought it would cruise all the way through to the last step, number 9, but this time it held up on step 8.  Unwilling to screw things up by quitting too early (I think I had read that the update should only take 30 minutes or so), I let it sit for a good two hours.  Finally, I gave up and clicked on the Cancel button.  Thinking that the update had failed and wondering what would happen if I made another try, I hesitantly unplugged the phone and plugged it back in.  Eventually Zune recognized it again, and I was expecting to be offered the Feb 2011 update again, but Lo! and Behold! it was offering me the Mar 2011!  Huh.  Wadda ya know?

I fired up the Mar 2011 update and the process greased right through to the end, successfully.  Yay! 

Well, I don’t know if everyone who has had my problem will find their results the same as mine, but it might be at least one more pathway to a successful update.

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