Can't Access Music Files or Folders

All of a sudden I can’t find many of the music files I put on my player. Why some are still accessible while others aren’t I haven’t a clue. When I attached the thing to my PC, I could not locate the folders for either the internal memory or the slot card, even though the capacity of each reads the same that it did before all the trouble started. So it seems that my files are still on the player but I can’t access them to listen to, I can’t find the folders to either delete what I have or add any more. I have no idea what brought this on. Please help!

How many songs/tracks in total total do you have on the player and card? You may have exceeded the database limitation.

The internal memory is almost full but the slot card still has quite a bit of space left on it.

That’s not what I asked.

If you are saying your computer can’t see the files, try changing the USB mode.

Go to Settings/System Settings/USB Mode and change it to MSC. Connect the computer, see if your files appear.

If they don’t, disconnect, set to MTP, try again.

The computer can only view the files that were sent over in one mode at a time. If you had the unit in Auto Detect, it will go to MTP if it sees Windows Media 10 or above on the computer, MSC if not.  So if you connected to two different computer to send files over, they may have gone over in a different mode–and again, the computer can’t see them unless you change modes. When you change modes, the files you saw before will disappear. 

MTP is for synching with Windows Media Player (and for using files with digital rights management, like library audiobooks).   MSC just makes your computer treat the Sansa like a plain old disc drive. Best to choose one and stick with it instead of Auto Detect.

Meanwhile, if you are saying you can’t see your files on the Sansa screen…the screen display is from a database made from the tags, the electronic labels in the files. That’s why Tapeworm is asking how many songs, not how much space.

The number of files you can now put on a microSD card can give you a database that’s too big, and so the Sansa just gives up and doesn’t display that information. There’s not a fixed number of songs–it’s the total number of characters in the tags in the database. You can take steps to shorten tags–removing comments, removing imbedded album art, etc.–to get more tags into the database. You can tidy up your tags with mp3tag from 

But if you have a lot of little files or a lot of big tags you can easily hit the limit. 

If you’re good with computers you could go to for alternate firmware that can handle a bigger database. But you do need to have some computer knowledge and be careful to use it correctly. 

I have a Sansa Clip 4GB unit which now is unusable. When I turn it on it displays a message “Not enough space for music DB. Please Free 90MB”. Then it powers itself back off. I did not have any expansion micro-SD in the unit. I had a lot of music on it, however I know there was plenty of space still left.  When I connect it to the computer via USB it shows 4 files only. MTABLE.SYS, RES_INFO.SYS, SYS_CONF.SYS, SYS_CONF.SYS.  All show filesize as 0 KB.  Strange that is shows two SYS_CONF.sys files with different modification times.

Can I recover the files and make this thing usable again ?. The sound quality was so awesome compared to the older Sansa media players.

Your FAT file system is most likely corrupted, so you will have to format it.

Hi there, what does the limit really stand for?
Is it like songs in the library? any single piece of data in the library?
I was wondering, because I wouldn’t care about library limits since I am using folder navigation. Would the clip+ also limt the “titles” in the folder navigation? Why should it?

First, stop repeating the same question on multiple threads. You’re wasting people’s time .

There is a limit on the size of MTABLE.SYS, the database that holds information gathered from the tags: Artist, Album, etc.  MTABLE.SYS is an index, it’s not the files themselves. 

I don’t know if that affects navigation by folders.  Folder navigation looks like what you see on your desktop via Windows Explorer, with folders and subfolders, but some people have said that its actual workings are different.

Why don’t you experiment and let the forum know?  There should be a way to generate a lot of little mp3 files with tags. Be creative. 

Put them onto a card until you’ve maxed out the database and you know there is a file on the card that isn’t displaying under Album, Artist, etc. Then see if you can still find it under Folders. 

As I understand it, the limit relates to the number of files, BUT can be affected by such things as how deeply in the folder structure the file is.  The limit does not apply in the folder side of the player, as far as I am aware–although I seem to recall, from years ago, that the folder side uses ID3 tags for display purposes, and so I’m not quite clear if this, then, impacts the file number limit on the folder size (or, have I mis-recalled this/gotten it wrong?). 

I think it is a limit on how many characters MTABLE.SYS can hold. If each filename is nested deeper in a folder, that takes more characters.

But the way to answer the question is to do the experiment.


I have never had much success with getting help from forums because it sounds so techie- which is far from my ken.

But this time-this time I just did what you wrote and PRESTO! I’m seeing my files on the PC for the first time in a year!!!

Am I ever grateful. Thank you!