Attempted firmware update turns Sansa Express into a vegetable.

I regret trying to update the firmware of my Sansa Express, but in a weak moment, as I was about to charge the battery, the updater popped up and despite knowing that the Sansa Updater, much like the SE firmware, is an atrociously written piece of software, I for some reason clicked through it. The updater has never worked with my device before and this time around was no different.

Just over half way through the update (judging by the progress bar) in the Sansa Updater, an unhandled error message appears in the form of a Windows alert – “Operating system reported error: Access is denied”. Very enlightening! Clicking OK to this alert yields the following very reassuring screen: “Your device is now updated!”, saying my firmware version is now 01.01.05A. Fantastic!

Now attempting to use my player after the Sansa Updater “completed” the update, all I get is the “Building Database” screen with an odd, slimmer, slightly cut-off battery icon indicator in the top left corner (as opposed to the regular one in the top right corner). The “database building” of course never finishes, and the player eventually shuts off.

I’ve tried absolutely everything in this thread:, as well as tried to update the firmware following the instructions in this thread:, yielding the exact same results as in the above scenario.

I had this happen to me once before when I was simply naive enough to try the Sansa Updater. I can’t remember exactly how I solved it, but I’m pretty sure it was an OSX utility that finally took care of it, which I’ll have to verify as soon as I sit down at my Mac. 

In any case, I’ve really tried to like the Express, jumping through multiple firmware bug hoops on a regular basis. Perhaps update 01.01.05A fixes a bunch of those problems? Perhaps I’ll never find out…

I am facing this exact same issue with no recourse.  Were you ever able to find a solution?

Plugging the SE into OSX, I promptly get an offer to reformat the drive because it is recognized as fudged. Choosing MS-DOS FAT from the list, everything is back to “normal”.

Not sure why, but Windows doesn’t complain about the drive being bad and formatting in Windows doesn’t do anything to resolve the problem.