UPDATE:  If you are looking to upgrade Zune 3.0 to Zune 3.1 on Windows Server 2008 and used this or a similar workaround in the past, check this updated blog post out on how to do that.

The Zune team released version 3.0 of the software and firmware for the devices today - and it touting a lot of great improvements.  One of the enhancements I'm excited about is Channels and being able to use my Zune Pass to sync up content automatically.

I run Hyper-V on my ThinkPad T61p, and so I run Windows Server 2008.  I've been using the Zune 2.5 software without a problem on my ThinkPad, so went and proceeded to download the 3.0 software and get in installed.  Then, I ran into a problem:

So, Zune setup detected that I was running Windows Server 2008 and blocked install.  Asking around the internal mailing lists, no one had come up with a workaround, so I set out to find out, and I did.

Here's how you do it:

Before I begin, it is important for me to note that this is absolutely not supported or endorsed by Microsoft.  If you use this workaround, get Zune installed on Windows Server 2008, and then it doesn't work, make sure you can repro your problem on Windows Vista before calling for support.

Also, don't install Zune on a production server.  That should be an obvious one. (Note that this doesn't apply to Zune specifically - don't install any media playback or anything unnecessary on a server system.)

First, uninstall the existing version (if any) of the Zune software.  Go to Control Panel, Programs and Features, find Zune, and uninstall it.

Next, Download the Zune setup package for version 3.0 for your architecture:

32-bit: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7313338

64-bit: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7313339

Save it to a folder on your computer (don't choose "Run" or "Open").  Open a command prompt, and navigate to the folder where you saved it.

Run "zunesetuppkg-<x86 or x64>.exe /x" to expand the files to a directory of your choosing.  You'll have a folder structure that looks like the following:

Directory of C:\Users\davidzazzo\Downloads\zunesetup30

09/16/2008  07:53 AM    <DIR>          .
09/16/2008  07:53 AM    <DIR>          ..
09/16/2008  07:53 AM    <DIR>          en-US
09/16/2008  07:53 AM    <DIR>          es-ES
09/16/2008  07:53 AM    <DIR>          fr-FR
09/16/2008  07:53 AM    <DIR>          packages
09/12/2008  06:49 PM           897,440 ZuneSetup.exe

"ZuneSetup.exe" is the setup wrapper that'll refuse to install Zune on your Windows Server 2008 system, so we'll skip that. 

Change into the "packages" directory you see there, and you'll see a couple of MSI files:

Directory of C:\Users\davidzazzo\Downloads\zunesetup30\packages

09/16/2008  07:53 AM    <DIR>          .
09/16/2008  07:53 AM    <DIR>          ..
08/27/2008  04:18 PM             7,630 muauth.cab
09/12/2008  06:56 PM           112,128 Zune-es.msi
09/12/2008  06:59 PM           113,152 Zune-fr.msi
09/12/2008  07:02 PM        32,441,856 Zune-x64.msi

The MSI file that we want to install is Zune-x64.msi (or the appropriate file for your architecture - 32-bit or 64-bit). 

Run "msiexec /i Zune-x64.msi" to install the Zune 3.0 software.  You may or may not get a install confirmation, but you'll definitely see the desktop icon appear once it's all good to go.  After that, open up Zune from the Start Menu and you're good to go!

(You can now safely remove the temporary directory where you expanded the initial zunesetuppkg-xxx.exe.)

Happy Listening.