My Sandisk V-Mate DVR won't stop recording

I have a Sandisk V-Mate DVR that uses SD memory cards. The seller on eBay it was bought from (new in the never opened box, seller in United States) sold it with a 4G Micro SD card. On Sunday, Febuary 28, I made the mistake of trying to stop it in the middle of a scheduled recording by turning off the power switch after it wouldn’t respond to the remote.

That was a mistake because it ruined the SD card, causing what was a 4g card to suddenly be a 8.83m card. I went on eBay and found a 8g Micro SD with an adapter from a seller with a high seller score and a 99.8% satisfaction rate. While I waited for it to arrive, I used a 1g regular size SD card I already had to make short recordings, both manual and setting it to record, so I know the Sandisk V-Mate DVR itself is working properly.

When the new 8g Micro SD arrived, I plugged it into my computer to make sure it was working properly. Right click/properties showed that there was about 36k of occupied space on the card although when looking at the window that should show what files are on the card, there was nothing (my system is set to show hidden files).

I figured that it was probably whatever drivers was needed for the card to work with whatever computer or DVR it was plugged into and thought nothing of it. I plugged it into my Sandisk V-Mate DVR and set the DVR to record from 10:55pm Tuesday to 12:40am Wendsday to record the local news and the Tonight Show.

I got up at about 11:30pm Tuesday and went about my usual off-night business while I waited for 12:40am to get here so I could view the recording. 12:40 came and went and it didn’t stop recording. I figured OK, I set the stop date wrong and now I have to wait for the card to fill up at which point the DVR will stop recording and I can safely remove the card.

I thought that since a one hour recording takes about 1.1g to 1.4g, it would fill up sometime between 6am and 7am. 7am came and went and it was still recording. When I went to bed at about noon, it was still recording. When I got up Wendsday evening and left at about 10:20pm to go to work, it was *still recording.*

Now I have this problem of why is it still recording beyond the time I set it to stop, beyond the point at which the card should have no memory left and how do I stop it from recording without damaging the memory card?

As for the issue of cutting power to the DVR causing damage to the card, what happens if there’s a power outage for whatever reason while it’s recording? Will I have to buy a new memory card every time that happens?

You can always press your remote control’s Stop button to stop a scheduled recording prematurely.  BTW your previous card was not ruined by the V-Mate – you merely need to clear away the orphaned file clusters that the V-Mate can create in certain circumstances (like removing power or exceeding the FAT32’s 4GB file size limit or sometimes running out of free space on the memory card) either using Chkdsk (my preference) or the appropriate Windows file utility (which I feel gives me less control).

I actually saw a leftover filename on the TV screen under V-Mate’s “Play Video” (I think that’s the top menu item), that was not on the micro SD card I had in the V-Mate.  It was a file that I had recorded previously to a Memory Stick!  This must not be an orphaned file cluster, as it’s something stuck in the memory of the V-Mate itself.  I forget how I deleted it–either using the V-Mate’s remote, or else I unplugged power.

I have the most trouble with micro SD cards recorded for a Sandisk Sansa Connect MP3 player.  On a completely fresh card (after formatting using the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool), recording will work.  The next time, it’s hit or miss, usually miss, whether I deleted the previous video file using the V-Mate or the Connect’s on-player delete command.  Maddening, in that I often see the new video filename on the V-Mate screen, and can even start playing it on the TV using the V-Mate.  But the Connect just won’t see the file.  So I always run the HP format tool.


  1. What is the firmware version you are using?  (It needs to be the latest, 02.07.ww.b8, which btw is likely to be the final version to ever be released).

  2. I must admit I have only used the SD/SDHC full size card type, so I’m always pulling a memory card out and inserting another in the same slot – but I’ve never seen files displayed from the previous card, only from the current card.  May I ask the procedure you use from switching from one card to another that uses a different slot?

  3. Can you say what Record Format device/code that you use for your Sansa Connect recordings?  Are the recordings placed in the memory card’s root directory, or does the V-Mate place them in a special sub-directory?

  4. What is the largest size of the micro SD cards that you are having trouble with?

  5. When you say “…recording will work.  The next time, it’s hit or miss”, can you clarify exactly what you mean by that?  For example, is the V-Mate having trouble using the newly recorded file or just the Sansa player or sometimes both?

  6. Are you able to examine the directory contents of the card using a PC, and if so does anything look abnormal when you are having trouble?  Like zero recording file size sometimes?  What is a newly formated card’s total free space?  What is the typical full filenames that the V-Mate creates?  Are you more likely to have problems when you are making long recordings?

MikeDuffy (It’s incongruent to see you listed as “Newbie”),

Thanks for your reply.  I’ll begin documenting all my events so I can answer your questions more accurately, and then post when I hit an anomaly.  I can answer some questions generally now:

  1. Yes, fw 02-07.ww.b8.

  2. Almost always deliberately turn off V-mate before inserting/removing cards. 

  3. Medium quality, 320x240, 15 fps.  Other settings in the past have varied Quality between Medium and High, and fps between 15 and 30, keeping resolution at 320x240.  (The Connect is a supported device in the V-mates lists, telling me to use the Sansa View’s code, which is High, 320x240, 30 fps.)  I’ve had similar problems and success with all settings.

  4. 4GB Sandisk is the largest size micro SD used in the Connect.  Rotate with two 2GB micro SD cards from Kingston.  I think I’ve had trouble with all of them.  I also rotate a 4GB SD card and 512 MB and 2GB memory sticks in the V-mate, which work perfectly but in other devices.

  5. The trouble is the file not being recognized in the Connect, while the V-mate plays the file the times I’ve tested it.  I need to put something else on the card (like an MP3) to ensure the card is being recognized (though I Shut Down the Connect completely and reboot it (takes over a minute), which always finds the card when I don’t have V-mate content on it).

  6. Never examined the cards’ contents.  Recordings are almost always 1 hour.

Will report back.  Thanks again, your getting me to do methodical investigation should reveal the problem.

Mike Duffy,

No more problems seen after consistently using the V-mate’s delete to get rid of V-mate videos, instead of the Sandisk Sansa Connect’s on-player delete. 

Thanks, because I wasn’t seeing a pattern until your questions forced me to test methodically (and luckily I chose a methodology of testing that first utilized the V-mate’s delete).

@jj2me wrote:

I actually saw a leftover filename on the TV screen under V-Mate’s “Play Video” (I think that’s the top menu item), that was not on the micro SD card I had in the V-Mate.  It was a file that I had recorded previously to a Memory Stick!  This must not be an orphaned file cluster, as it’s something stuck in the memory of the V-Mate itself.  I forget how I deleted it–either using the V-Mate’s remote, or else I unplugged power.

OK, I just saw this behavior twice again.

  • micro SD card (in SD adapter) fresh from formatting with the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool.  “Play” showed two files, with names that were of files just previously recorded to a Memory Stick.  The swapping of the cards, micro (SD) for Memory Stick was done when the V-Mate was turned off (but still connected to A/C power).

  • another micro SD, also fresh from formatting with the same tool, same procedure, showed the previous micro SD card’s files.  The slight difference here was that I never removed the micro SD-to-SD card adapter from the V-Mate.  Though I did  the swapping of the micro SD cards while the V-Mate was turned off.

Both times I was able to delete the phantom leftover files using the V-Mate’s “Play” menu item, using the Delete key on the remote.

I’m just reporting this observed behavior–It’s not really a problem for me now, as I know what to watch out for and how to avoid possible problems (always go into “Play” menu on V-Mate when inserting new card).