FAT32 on Sansa Clip?


In my car the audio device needs to connected with a fat32 device (otherwise it can not connect).

Do anyone know if it is?

If not, can it be change in some way?


Dont worry about the FAT(file allocation table) of it. The Sansa Clip should work with your car stereo once it is set to MSC mode wherein it will work as a regular storage device.

I believe that the Windows format option (right click on the Clip drive once the player is connected to your computer) allows you to choose the type of FAT to use when formatting, including FAT32.  (At least, Win7 does.) 

Strange, I tried but what I see I cant choose how to format (for ex fat32).

Just “OK” to format.

I formated it and now it says in properties.

Filesystem = generally hierarchically

Now I managed to FAT32 format it.

And now it works fine in my car!


Great to hear–enjoy the tunes!

Interested to read this thread - having the same problem with a new Alpine car stereo. 

What was the solution? Can’t get Fat32 format option up in XP. Disk Management doesn’t even recognise that the Sansa is plugged in. And how do I get the firmware back on once it has been formatted. 

Any help for a new Sansa Clip owner would be much appreciated!

Thank you.


Are you in MSC mode?  Remember, in MTP mode the disk’s file system isn’t actually exposed so theres no possibility of formatting it or using tools like disk management.  

@stevethornley wrote:

 And how do I get the firmware back on once it has been formatted. 


Whether in MSC or MTP mode, the firmware is in a “protected” partition and won’t be affected by normal formatting. You would have to use some specialized tools to erase the firmware.

Thanks for your reply saratoga. 

I see: 2 drives come up if I put the Sansa into MSC mode and, preumably, I can format from here… but what happens to all the other files like version.sdk and SYS_CONF - I’m scared to lose those. Can I just format to FAT32 and the car radio will see them.

I’ve done a bit of investigating and I can get the car radio to see a standard USB memory stick ok but it still won’t see the Sansa, whatever USB mode it is in. 

Do you think FAT32 file format will help. This is certainly the format the USB stick is in, although when you look at the properties of the Sansa, that says it’s in FAT32 as well!



Thanks gwk. I’m still scared about losing those other files. Can I simply drag and drop to my PC and then put them back post-format?


The player’s firmware will recreate the system files that it needs–you don’t have to copy those over to your computer.  But if you have content on the player that you want to save, you should move it to your computer before a reformat of the player.