m200 series freezing problem fix

hey i just registered to say that i may have cured my own m250 of the freezing problem that seems pretty common. The problem I experienced was that it froze while rebuilding the library and then would never get past the sansa screen nor would it mount on a computer. I just did it today so who knows how long it’ll stay fixed, but it might be worth a shot If yours isn’t under warranty anymore.

What I did first was remove the case (take the battery and the one tiny screw out and gently pry apart the two sides). On what would be the right-hand side of the player on the side opposite the screen there’s what looks like a small second tier of circuitboard (I assume it’s the memory chip) that comes out pretty easily if you pry up from the bottom. Loosen it a bit, but leave it connected. If you hold the battery in place and turn it on, then remove this chip the screen will change, saying there’s no memory, and if you then replace it, the screen will say no files and shows the battery icon.

So what I did was turn it off and plug it into my computer, where it sticks on the initializing screen. I did the same thing here: pull off that chip and then replace it, which actually got it to mount so you can format it (all my files were still on it, fyi). It’ll probably end up with the same problem again, but hopefully it’ll last a little while like this.

That sounds risky…

Yeah, way to void the warranty.

My mp3 player,  sansa m240 is also freezing up. I  bought it in 12/06 & it  froze up in 1/08.  What’s so strange is that this seems to be the norm acording to the other comments.
I just dont understand it. I have come to the realization that this is more trouble than it is worth. I will throw this mp3 player away & steer clear of other sandisk/sansa products. 
It never occured to me that an mp3 player would only last one year-what a shame. And what a shame to those of you have tried getting answers and help are not really getting it.
 I am so sick of bad service and crappy products.
Shame on you Sandisk!!!

Sorry, but I must come to Sansa’s defense on this one.  If you will search on Google and Google Groups and visit Creative’s, Zune’s, or other MP3 player’s support website, you will find that the m200 series is no worse or better than the rest.  They all have problems with freezing up, locking up, and dying.

A few things you can do to alleviate (note I didn’t say cure) the freezing problems:

1.  Format. According to Sansa’s tech support, as you use the device, fragments and workspaces get left lying around and need to be deleted.  The only way to do this is by formating the device.  The self-help videos show how to format in both MSC and MTP mode.  Tech support suggest both methods to completely free up work areas.

2.  Don’t run with a battery too low.  As batteries run down they put out less power.  Eventually, it won’t be enough to light the display, then not enough to save settings on the power off sequence.  Trying to save at this point can corrupt memory which leads to weird things like repeating one song over and over, locking up, or refusing to power  on at all.

3.  Don’t try to fill your device completely full.  It needs a little work space to keep track of settings, songs, sequence, etc…  I’ve learned to drop back a few meg, or risk lockups, even on a new unit.

Try formating your m200, reloading it but not overloading it, and using fresh batteries (replace them when the display shows about 1/4 left).  You may spend a little more for batteries, but you should save on the stress.

Also, check the warranties on the competition.  Creative has 90 days labor and 1 year parts.  And 1 hour labor probably costs more than the unit did new.

"That sounds risky… "
“Yeah, way to void the warranty.”

Hee, hee. If the device is covered under warranty, then send it back. If not under warranty, then what do you have to lose?
I suppose that keeping it in an unbootable state in the drawer would be “safer”, but where does that get you?

@buttreport wrote:

So what I did was turn it off and plug it into my computer, where it sticks on the initializing screen. I did the same thing here: pull off that chip and then replace it, which actually got it to mount so you can format it (all my files were still on it, fyi). It’ll probably end up with the same problem again, but hopefully it’ll last a little while like this.

You are a god, dude! I found that you have to pull off the memory chip pretty fast after power on for this to work - if you wait too long it doesn’t error out and let you format it when the chip is pushed back in. I originally froze my unit by putting an .mp3 file on it that was renamed to .aa to see if it would treat it as an audiobook with bookmarking and such - froze with “rebuilding library” and thereafter “initializing”. I’m guessing it will freeze up on any corrupted file or file with unusual tags it tries to read the tags out of! Usually devices like this can be reset by holding down some button when you power it on but I guess the crappy programmers they hire couldn’t get something like that to work. I’m sure they could add that to the firmware but they’d have to care so that ain’t gonna happen. Hope their newer products don’t suck as bad as these turds!

Sansa m240 FREEZING Problem—this happens if your m240 has corrupted files in it (well, in my case). if your’s won’t play music or not recognize when connect to a USB…TRY THIS before calling the costomer care…

  1. plug m240 to the USB ( the m240 screen will say “initializing” )

  2. wait for about 15-40 MINUTES (do not unplug the USB cable, PLZ)

  3. after that, m240 should be recognize by your computer!!

  4. Then, try to DELETE the corrupted file(s). 

if this doesn’t work, try something else! GOOD LUCK!!! :smiley:

maybe they have to put a “RESET” button on every mp3 player.

Message Edited by cobrachetan on 03-29-2008 12:25 PM

@buttreport wrote:
hey i just registered to say that i may have cured my own m250 of the freezing problem that seems pretty common. The problem I experienced was that it froze while rebuilding the library and then would never get past the sansa screen nor would it mount on a computer. I just did it today so who knows how long it’ll stay fixed, but it might be worth a shot If yours isn’t under warranty anymore.

What I did first was remove the case (take the battery and the one tiny screw out and gently pry apart the two sides). On what would be the right-hand side of the player on the side opposite the screen there’s what looks like a small second tier of circuitboard (I assume it’s the memory chip) that comes out pretty easily if you pry up from the bottom. Loosen it a bit, but leave it connected. If you hold the battery in place and turn it on, then remove this chip the screen will change, saying there’s no memory, and if you then replace it, the screen will say no files and shows the battery icon.

So what I did was turn it off and plug it into my computer, where it sticks on the initializing screen. I did the same thing here: pull off that chip and then replace it, which actually got it to mount so you can format it (all my files were still on it, fyi). It’ll probably end up with the same problem again, but hopefully it’ll last a little while like this.

This does work! THANK YOU!!!

  1. I took mine apart.
  2. Loosened the memory board 
  3. Held the battery in place and turned  on.
  4. Removed the memory when the screen said “initializing” and before it gets to the SANSA screen. (helps to tape battery in place).
  5. Screen then said “no files”
  6. Moved the “hold switch” to on (not sure if this step is neccesary, saw elsewhere it is used to show device as a removable HD)
  7. Plugged into USB on computer (Sansa screen changed to show MTP connected)
  8. XP recogonized the device, I chose to open device in explorer view 
  9. Put the memory board back in.
  10. Right clicked on the device shown in the explorer window and selected format.
  11. The screen on the sansa showed format was in progress and then completed.
  12. The format on XP kept going I waited awhile and then removed the device by disconnecting from USB, Sansa said “Finalizing Update” and then went to “no files”
  13. Reconnected to USB and was able to operate as normal.

Just as a note, my Sansa m240 was fine until I updated to the latest firmware and was trying to load MPA and MPB file formats. 

I have the same problem with my son’s m250 (he bought it 14 months ago). I tried to open the case but the smaller end (screen end) does not want to come apart. The top half of the LCD screen is now blank when I turn it on. :cry:  Looks like this one might be destined for the junk heap. Any suggestions?

  Buttreport & eduardo thanks:smiley: I had this same problem. I am pretty sure this happened because of a bad/wrong file, infact I’m almost sure it was this one http://richarddawkins.net/article,2834,Conversation-between-Richard-Dawkins-and-John-Lennox,Richard-Dawkins-John-Lennox-Fixed-Point, it said Quicktime, and I don’t really know anything about Apple and Ipods and all that, but it was an mp3, so I DLed it. Anyhow, I tried everything to fix it before going to this extreme, but it worked, so thanks again guys.

  Ow if a SAnsa guy reads this, how bout one of those lil pin holes you stick a paper clip in and hold for 5 secs to do this, well memory reset I guess you’d call it.

  Also, a way to jump say 5min at a time when ff or rwing long mp3s such as books, lectures,radio shows would be sweet. (maybe there is and I just don’t know) I have the m230 512 btw.

 Still think this a great product and will buy Sansa again:)

@jcdenton wrote:
… I have the m230 512 btw.

 

Still think this a great product and will buy Sansa again:)

Oh, howI miss my little m230. It’s operation was virtually flawless. The m250 that replaced it when it died? Not so much. I was a devoted Sansa customer until I started using the m250. Now the competition has an open door of opportunity.

I will try to write in English using a translator.

I have m240 of 1 Gb.

Is it possible to extract the memory??? How?

This way it is the board:
http://matungos.ma.funpic.de/apend/m240back.jpg

Similar http://forums.sandisk.com/sansa/board/message?board.id=m200&thread.id=1687 

Message Edited by Matungos on 09-01-2008 01:39 PM

Seemingly mine has the memory incrusted. Solutions?

Yeah I have an m240 and I have the same problem with getting the thing apart.

At least for me, there is a much simpler solution. I just left it plugged in for about 10 to 15 minutes and it mounted under XP. I don know if it matters, but I had the latest firmware loaded when it happened.

So, reading this thread I gather that freezing problems typically happen when certain file(s) are written to the m2xx devices, files that they choke on.

Can someone speak to this question: Does it matter if the device is in MSC vs. MTP USB mode when you attempt this fix?

I have the same freezing problem, and have pulled my M250 apart as per your instructions but can you confirm is the circuit board that you mention on the same side as the screen or underneath, I just don’t seem to see anything obvious to loosen, I would certainly like to fix the problem.

Cheers.

The memory chip is on the opposite side from the display.  Please see the permanent “sticky” at the top of the m200 series forum "Layout of m200 circuit board.  That posting has a closeup of both sides of the circuit board, plus a closeup of the memory card.

Yes I did look at the layout, although the layout of the m250 is slightly different. What I can’t figure out is which is which, the seperate memory card photo doesn’t seem to match anything on the circuit board layout.