Cannot get Sandisk E260 to be recongnized on my computer Vista...HELP!!!

Hello!  I cannot get the player to be recongnized on the computer.  I was trying to wipe clean because I am now getting the message that Not enough space…free up space.   I know this player is not full and it is showing all songs empty.  I am at my wits end with this player.  Please I am not a computer wiz so please be real simple with instructions!

Thanks for any help!!!

This message typically appears if the File Allocation Table is corrupted on the player.  In a nutshell, restoring the FAT is accomplished by either repairing the FAT using Windows, or simply formatting the device and reloading your music.

If the device is not recognized, this is a relatively simple secondary issue.  Well, it’s important that the e260 is recognized in order to use the chkdsk utility or the “check volume for errors” function.  The device needs to be connected in MSC mode.

Hey, I like shortcuts.  Let’s get you going then.  First, you need to know which version of e260 you have.  The earlier (and more common) v1 devices have a recovery mode to restore the device that we can use, if it will not connect in the normal way.  The later v2 device is actually an early version of the Sansa Fuze, and it can manually be forced into MSC mode for recovery.

Egads, we have Vista on board too.  No worries, it’s convenient because the Windows Interface is very similar to Windows 7. I’ll keep the keystrokes limited to this environment for you.

When you first turn on the device, the splash screen that appears is a good indicator of whick version e260 you have.  The v1 device starts with the classic SanDisk logo, with the “sunburst” logo to the right. The v2 machines have the SanDisk logo, centered left-to-right, with a reflection below, and a blue sansa logo that flashes on immediately afterward.

First, see if you can get to the main menu screen after the pink “not enough space” warning.  If you can, go to Settings > USB Mode > MSC and then plug in the device.

In any case, you have a machine that isn’t being recognized by Vista.  This may indeed be a separate issue,so let’s delve into the connection.  Press the Windows Key and E together, and the computer will open up a Windows Explorer window.  With the device plugged in, see if it shows on the left.  If connected in MSC mode, it will ehow as E: SANSA E260 (with a drive letter assigned).

Look on the player itself. Let’s see if it is ready for a connection.  If so, fixing Vista’s MSC connection first is what we’ll do.  Do you see the connected icon on the screen?  If so, at the top of the Windows Explorer sreen you’ll see System Properties if you used the Windows Key+E shortcut.  If you click on this, select the Device Manager next.  Otherwise, you can go to Control Panel > Device Manager.  With the Sansa connected, look for a yellow warning triangle under the USB Root Hub.  Simply right click on this tree listing and select uninstall , then unplug the device. Give the computer a few seconds, then try plugging in again.  The Sansa should show up in the Windows Explorer window.  Right click on the Sansa, select Properties, then the ToolsTab.  Lastly, here is our handy tool: Check Volume For Errors.  This will recover the FAT, and your Sansa should be OK.

If you cannot establish a connection with the device to check it for errors, and you have a v1, use this handy formatting trick.  Remember!  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE THE WINDOWS FORMAT COMMAND ON THE DEVICE WHEN CONNECTED IN RECOVERY MODE! 

Instead, I’ll show you a simple formatting trick.

First, turn off the v1.  On top, slide the HOLD switch to the right (orange showing), and then keep the REC button on the left of the device depressed while plugging in to the computer.  Keep the REC button held until the Sansa shows up in Windows Explorer as 16MB FORMAT.  You can then release ther button. The Sansa’s display should say “welcome to recovery mode”.  Now you’re ready for a simple repair.

Double click on the 16MB FORMAT icon, and a new window will open.  You will see a single file in there (don’t touch this file).  Simply right click while your mouse pointer is in the box, and select New Folder and then rename this folder sansa.fmt

The presence of this file on the device commands it to format itself automatically, and you’ll have a new FAT in the process. Slide the HOLD switch back to the left, and unplug the e260.  It will format itself, and you’re ready to plug in and reload your music!

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

Hi Bob!  Thanks for the help…it didn’t work however…The v1 device starts with the classic SanDisk logo, with the “sunburst” logo to the right.   I do have this player…

I did what you told me and the device said it was resetting…but when I turned back on the “not enough space”  thing came back right away.  Any more help would be greatly appreciated!!!


No worries let’s take it one step at a time.

You first need to establish a connection with the device in order to eithe repair the FAT, or simply format the device, which also has the bonus of repairing the FAT when it formats the player.

First, let me know if you can establish a connection when the device is plugged in.  You will see two things when there is a communications session: on the e260, when a connection is established, you’ll see the “connected” message.  Open a windows explorer window and see if the Sansa shows up.

Here’s what is happening at this point.  If the e260 sees data on the data bus, it will identify itself, and will switch into communications mode.  The controls on the device will be disabled.  Try clicking on the controls, they should be “ignored”.  While connected, the USB controller in the Sansa sends identification to the computer.

Now for the computer side of the communications session:  the computer stores the IDs of devices that it has seen in the system registry.  This is a digital “cheat sheet” that the computer uses to store information about connected devices.  If you plug in a printer or keyboard, for example, the computer finds the needed driver for the device, and can use it as needed.  The computer did this once for the Sansa e260.

Now here’s what happens when something in that infomation goes wrong.  Rather than look up the device from scratch, it uses that cheat sheet to try using the device. If something is wrong, the computer can’t tell, it simply ignores the device.

When you do to the Device Manager, you can uninstall the connected device, and force Vista to start from scratch.  To find which driver must be redone, however, the device must be plugged in, so the computer can know which device will be reinstalled.

So, here’s the list of steps for this process:

  1. Plug in the Sansa and see if it displays “connected”
  2. Open a Windows Explorer session by pressing the Windows Key + E together
  3. See if the Sansa appears in the tree on the left
  4. If the e260 appears on the left, installation is OK
  5. Right click on the device and select properties.  Click on the Tools Tab, then select Check Volume For Errors

If the device shows connected but does not appear in the tree on the left:

  1. Verify that the device is communicating by trying the front buttons if disabled, this is normal
  2. If buttons are still operating, this may be a sign of a USB connection (electrical fault with cable) trouble
  3. Open the Device Manager, by clicking System Properties, then on the left, you will see Device Manager (Vista)
  4. Look for the wee yellow warning triangle of doom in the USB root hub.
  5. Double click, or right click on this listing, selecting uninstall.
  6. Unplug the Sansa and allow about 15 seconds or so for the PC, then plug in again
  7. Does the e260 now appear on the left, in the main WIndows Explorer window?

With a normally communicating device, you can simply right click on it, and select format to start from scratch, or right click, select properties, Tools tab, and Check Volume For Errors.

If you cannot establich communication at this point, time for the big guns, Recovery Mode.  Remember, NEVER attempt to use the Windows “format” command on the devive when connected in this mode, as it erases the reserved partition, making a simple problem far more complex.

To clear the device in Recovery Mode:

  1. Turn the device OFF.
  2. Slide the top HOLD switch to the right (orange showing)
  3. Press and hold the REC button on the left while plugging in to the USB port
  4. The device will say “Welcome to Recovery Mode” USB 2.0 MSD
  5. Open a Windows Explorer window
  6. You should see a new icon, 16MB FORMAT
  7. Double click on this icon to open the reserved partition
  8. Remember, DO NOT USE the format command that will be available!  Right click, select New Folder
  9. RENAME this folder sansa.fmt
  10. Slide the HOLD switch back to the left
  11. Unplug your e260.  It will format itself automatically.  Ready to reload with new music.

With this list in hand, let me know if you run into any issues, and we can pinpoint which step is problematic.  My earlier post may have been a little verbose; hopefully, in list format, we can see things a bit more easily.

Bob  :stuck_out_tongue: 

Hi Bob!  OK tried hooking up to yet another computer and the device is not recongnized.  So going to your clear device in recovery mode instructions.  When I get the device to show up 16MB format,  I double click on this and it goes to a VERSION text document.    If I right click on the 16MB format that does bring up a window that format is in.  I tried to rename sansa.fmt but that did not do anything.

What am I doing wrong???   I am not a computer wiz so I probably need more help!


You’re very close!  Sent you a PM with the next step.

If you see the version.txt file inside the 16MB FORMAT partition, this confirms that the device is communicating properly in recovery mode.  EIther click on the Vista / Windows 7 (since Vista sports a similat interface for Explorer)  New Folder button at the top of the screen, or right click while the mouse pointer is anywhere inside the open window except on top of the Version.txt file.

Select New > Folder.  In either method, the words New Folder will be highlighted awaitinf a name.  Enter sansa.fmt as the name for the folder, and you’re ready.

Slide the lock switch back to the left.

Click on the Safely Remove icon at the bottom of the screen (taskbar) and select Eject, or right click on the 16MB FORMAT icon at the left tree on the screen, selecting Eject.

When you unplug, the e260 will format automatically, and will be ready for loading new music when you plug in again.

Bob  :stuck_out_tongue:

My Sansa was working great Thanks to neutron_bob!  But my Rhapsody expired and I put it away for a while…well renewed Rhapsody and BINGO…does not work again!   What the HELL???   Now I get an error code Oxc00d2772.  Cannot find player.  I tried everything…sync it…make sure time is correct!   HELP!!!   Bob are you out there!!!