4 GB Sansa Clip meltdown

I’m at a loss.  I’ve had a 4GB Clip for just over two years and have never had any problems with it.  A couple of weeks ago (during a 10K run, naturally), I lost audio in one earbud.  About 5 minutes later, the volume in the remaining earbud gradually faded to inaudible.  I attributed it first to the headphones, then to the pouring rain at the time.  I gave up and turned it off.

A few days later, I powered it up again and it worked fine, same headphones (Sansa originals) and all.

Yesterday (again, during a run), it suddenly stopped playing.  The battery was just below a full charge.  It played the first 5 seconds or so of a song and just stopped.  The only to way to unlock it was to power down and try again, and sure enough, it played about 5 seconds, then stopped.  I gave up and turned it off.

When I got home, I synced and charged it, which didn’t take long because the battery was nearly full, then formatted the device.  My songs synced normally according the Windows Media Player and the device display.  As soon as I disconnected the Clip from the USB cable, the display went blank and the unit lost power.  The power switch would not restart it, and the only way I can power it back on is to plug it back into the USB cable.  The display then shows the “connected” screen. 

I’ve tried a system reset using the power switch.  If the device is connected to the computer, it simply powers down.  If it’s disconnected (and therefore off), it does nothing.  None of the keypad buttons work when connected either.

I tried to update the firmware using Sansa Updater.  The Updater downloads the firmware and allegedly installs it, then instructs me to unplug the player to finalize the firmware update.  Nothing happens.  Then it instructs me to plug the USB cable back in and follow the instructions, at which point the Updater reports, “No updatable Sansa devices detected.”  It then reverts back to the main screen and indicates the same firmware update is still required.

Here’s a new wrinkle.  I just restarted the Updater to check the existing firmware - I believe it was 1.00.32 - but I can’t verify that.  As soon as I plugged the Clip into the computer, it powered on, then off, then on, then off, etc, etc, until finally, it locked up with the “writing” screen visible on the display. 

Short of taking a hammer to it, does anyone have any suggestions?

Sounds like the old battery lead disconnection problem. That’s what you get for running and owning a unit which likely has a loose battery. Kidding aside, there are many threads on this and solution seems to be carefully pry apart, fix lead either with solder or conductive epoxy and make sure battery is secure to prevent recurrence.

its posible it could be a data failure with songs or firmware. save songs format device and retore songs and see if error occurs cause i was just about to put mine out of its misery but when i tried one more thing format) it worked as new.

Please tell me that you’re still within the warranty period …