Installing Zune software without internet connection

Last week I bought myself a zune, and since my main computer during the day is my company laptop, I wanted to install it on that one. Unfortunately, going to zune.net didn;t help because the first thing the installer does is to check if Windows Update is enabled. And if it isn’t, it aborts. Of course, if you don;t have an internet connection at all, it aborts as well.


My laptop is ruled by company policies, and security is not a laughing matter here. Regardless of what my opinions are, I am not going to tamper with that, since that would be very much a ‘Bad Thing ™’.


After a lof of googling I discovered that a lot of people have this problem, and the folks at Zune.net seem to think that this situation needs no special attention. Luckily I found the solution on a zune forum. There are lot of alternate approches, but they require some degree of hacking with settings, which I do not want to do.


  1. Download the client package which contains all the files, and not the setup shim you can find on Zune.net
  2. Extract the files
  3. Navigate to the packages folder in x86 folder.
  4. Install wmfdist11-windowsxp-x86-enu.exe
  5. Install windowsxp-kb915865-v11-x86-enu.exe
  6. Install zune-x86.msi
  7. Restart the computer
  8. Connect your Zune and wait for the driver isntallation and device detection

For x64 the setup will be similar, but you won’t need the kb patch. It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out which files to install if you have an x64 system.


I have to admit I am a bit disappointed by Microsoft and the Zune folks for not explaining this in the FAQ on Zune.net or somewhere else where you can easily find it.

I am not the only one with a corporate laptop and a zune, and many people seem to have had this problem, judging by the number of hits I got.

It seems the Zune decision makers want to force people to be online.

8 thoughts on “Installing Zune software without internet connection”

  1. TY.PC in my room has no net, hooked up a external HD to my friends,tried installing,but that didnt even work.Thanks for this info.

    Fing BS they dont include a install disc.BS that you need a net connection for a mp3 player.

  2. You’re welcome.
    It is indeed very frustrating that Microsoft wants to force the whole ‘live’ thing down our throats. That’s what you get when marketing runs the show, I guess.

    I understand that this has a lot of benefits, but there are so many cases where the automatic install is not possible, that they should have foreseen it.

  3. Thanks, however, my computer my computer says that my computer does not enough storage at step 5. However, I doubt that it needs that much GB. Got any ideas?

  4. This worked!! For the last year I have been trying to figure out some way to use the software since I did the 2.0 update (which then took away my ability to sync my zune with my computer because of its lack of internet… little side note they didn’t tell anyone) and had been unable to figure anything out that didn’t involve hacking into parts of my computer that I would rather not do. I wasn’t sure if your suggestion was going to work, but it did! I did get an error message after following your steps, saying I was missing a particular .dll file, but all I had to do to fix that was download and install the microsoft netscape 2.0 to correct that issue and then everything worked the way it was meant to. Thanks so much!!

  5. my girlfriend got the Zune and it’s horrible.
    she could have gotten something better for the fraction
    of the price.

  6. That is very possible. I really like my zune. The sound quality is awsome and the 8GB storage is nice. But if you just want a no-frills MP3 player, it’s overkill.

  7. I have a laptop and a desktop, but I could only get my laptop to install the software at a coffee shop. I can’t wait to see if this works, because it was very short-sighted and annoying of microsoft to make their software this way.

  8. I bought a zune and found that microsoft made it so that the zune software can’t be run on a linux-based operating system with wine. this annoyed me, but i prepared a desktop computer with XP installed so that i can get the zune software going on it. come to find out, i needed an internet connection. i was pissed. thanks for the tutorial though. helped me out a lot!

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