The processor of the Clip needs to be active for charging management, and it can be distracted from this duty if it has a communications problem.
If you have recently updated firmware, the Clip will automatically power up as soon as it sees DC power on the USB bus. In a pinch, we can take advantage of this mode: slowly insert the USB plug into the port until it powers up, and allow it to charge in this state.
If you press too far, the display will change to “connected” as it sees data. It will also appear on the computer if you have a Windows Explorer window open. Press [Windows Key] + E or go to My Computer.
If the Clip shows up, go ahead and press the plug all the way in, and try addressing the player to see if you can access the root directory. If you see the Clip listed, it will charge.
Let’s make sure that all is well, if “connected”. In MSC mode, the most basic, if you can access the folders, you’re communicating. In MTP, it’s a little bit different. Right click on the Clip and select “Properties”. If the charge level indicator and serial number pop up, you have a successful MTP connection.
If you have MTP selected on the Sansa, and there’s a comm issue, the player can get “distracted” from charging. Simply turn off the player, slide the power switch all the way down to HOLD (orange showing), and then hold the center button depressed while plugging in to the USB port. This manually forces MSC mode.
After the device charges (watch the display for the “rolling” battery icon), you can search here for details on repairing MTP mode, if desired.