Charging Issue, MTP vs. MSC


I just bought my 2G Sansa Clip today and I’m having one hell of a time setting it up. For some reason, it is not taking the charge properly. It had approx. 40%-50% battery life out of the box, and although it has been plugged in for about 4 hours, it’s only at 60%. I heard this might have something to do with the USB setting, so I’ve switched between MTP and MSC (to no avail).  I’ve upgraded the firmware in MTP mode, but there is no newer version in MSC mode.

That brings me to my next question, why is there no battery indicator when the Sansa Clip is in MSC mode? Is there an alternative way to get an accurate reading on battery power? I’d like to use MSC mode so I can sync my iTunes playlist with the Sansa Clip (using iTunes Sync), but this is proving to be very very frustrating (b/c I can’t see the battery power).

To sum things up, is there a simple way to:

  • Charge the player in a reasonable amount of time

  • See an accurate reading of the battery power

  • Sync an iTunes playlist with the player

Thanks for your help,


I am having the same problem.

Without being able to charge it , I can’t program in at all.

Mine seems to have come without a charge at all. 

Not sure if this helps, but it turns out that the original firmware never installed properly.

Originally, I tried to upgrade the driver/firmware via the Device Manager (it said successful). I’m not the best with computers, so it turns out that this didn’t work. I upgraded using the Sandisk firmware updater which you can download here:

Although I am now 100% sure that I have the updated firmware installed, the problems still persist (albeit to a lesser degree). It has taken approx. 1.5-2 hours to charge from 65% - 95% which is still slower than usual. Mind you, I did leave the USB setting at ‘Auto-detect’ which may be the cause of the problem (again, not sure about this). Hopefully loading music files won’t be as painful. I’m seriously debating returning this thing unless I can find a solution within a week. It isn’t feasible to have this thing charge all day for only 10-15 hours of playback time. 

  • Jason

It sounds like a physical issue, like bad battery or charging system – but that’s just an opinion.  If when you plug the player into your computer the display goes to the charge screen, it’s confirming that it’s in charge mode.  If the charger you are using (if it plugs into the wall) is producing the right voltage, that’s not the culprit.  You are right, two hours should be all it takes from a near-complete drain, so there is likely something wrong with the device.

MTP/MSC Device Mode should not matter at all.  That only handles how the device is recognised for file transmission.  Powering is separate and direct.

OK, now I have a whole new issue…

After it charged to 100%, I unplugged the Clip and turned it off. I came back approx. 1 hour later to load some songs and the battery power depleted to 97%. Is there any logical explanation for this aside from a manufacturers defect? I have a feeling that I’ll be taking this back as of tomorrow… 

I would give it some time and use and see if this is an issue.  If it is, then get a replacement.

It’s frustrating.  I had bought two of them. Have only gotten one of them going.  This keeps up I will be returning both of them.

What a shame, that a company that makes so much more good stuff puts out a product that is incomplete, (not to say worse), and not ready to be charged and used out of the box.

Whether Microsoft’s fault, (No, I couldn’t get the proper stuff downloaded after verification) or Sandisk’s fault, I will not be their customer after this if I can’t solve this in two more days.  Five days of drustration is more than enough.

SanDisk specifies USB2.0 and Windows Media Player 10 (meaning XP SP2 as well) on the packaging.  This is for the high power (500mA) USB connection supported on the newer computers.  Don’t worry, simply try a different USB port, as not all of them actually behave the same.

I have successfully charged the Clip from earlier PCs, but the USB1.1 standard is slower both in data transfer and charge rate.

Microsoft isn’t totally innocent in this problem, as the MTP drivers are their brainchild, and MTP compatibility and function issues are as common as zits on a 14 year old.

Using MTP is needed for wma (DRM) files on the device, as well as subscription services.  In MTP mode, the charge status is visible.

Dropping a few percentage points (3 per cent) is splitting hairs.  You need to give it a span of hours or better yet, overnight.

Remember that in any case, the Clip is a tough little guy, and can’t be touched in terms of performance, in my humble opinion.  SanDisk stands behind them.  If you are frustrated, you’re welcome to call 1-800-SANDISK, and a tech can walk you through the problem.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

also remember battery life is just like mpg for cars. although you get an average or estimate under controlled variables by companies, you can’t determine your actual battery life based on your usage until you’ve used it for for at least a few times. and the battery meters are probably as precise as any gas gauge. It could be first half heavy, second half heavy, 1/3 heavy, etc.  My clip, although the battery icon shows VERY LOW, I can squeeze an hour or even two out of it before it completely fails.

as for a device not coming fully charged (whether it be mp3 players or anything else) I normally don’t expect anything to come new fully charged. You’d be lucky to buy a car with a full tank of gas.

Thanks for the helpful replies.  

In response to neutron_bob:

I was aware of the USB limitations, but all the USB ports on my computer are 2.0. I left the Clip overnight and experienced no battery depletion, adding to my confusion. I’m 110% sure that it was off after the first charge, so I presume the indicator was slightly inaccurate (what else could it be?). As it stands, the only issue remaining seems to be charge time. I would also like to thank you for that very vivid analogy. 

In response to Thoma:

Thanks for your reply, but I’m well aware that battery usage differs from the manufacturer’s stated description (although, surprisingly, many people do report 10-15 hours of playback). Also, I’m not concerned that the device shipped with a partial charge. In truth, lith-ion batteries should be stored in a cool place with approx. 40% charge, and so I assume the manufacturing plant shipped it at around 45%-50%. 

Lastly - and this is a system settings question - what internal configuration produces the best sound quality? I tried out the Clip on my run yesterday, and the sound seemed somewhat muffled/distorted. I briefly played with the equalizer, but at that point, I was too exhausted to care. I was listening to rock if that makes any difference.  


Thanks again for the help,