Ouch! My Firmware Was Corrupted!

I spoke too soon about Windows Media Player.

Synchronizing a podcast playlist, WMP took longer than usual to update my daily news…and I found out why: it ate my clip’s brain!!

I think this is probably (hopefully) a unique experience.  My Rhapsody Channels were turned into playlists.  I tried restoring the channels data in the PC, and everything was fine…until today.  The clip had no channel option, my account ID would not display…what a mess.

First repair: use the format command.

Next, with the recent firmware update, switch the clip to MSC mode.

Downloaded a new copy of firmware 01.01.20a: -Note: I found that the Sansa Firmware Updater will not manually pull another copy of the latest firmware if the version number matches the clip’s current build.  That’s fine, as its primary design is to update, not repair.

Thanks to advice here, I manually installed a new copy of the firmware (dragged into the root directory of the clip); unplug, and we’re back in business!

When restarting the clip, it defaults to auto detect on the USB connection.  Perfect for reloading my music, Audible books, and Channel music, as these are all DRM files.

To date, this is the most involved procedure I have worked through on the Sansa.  A quick look at the file tree on the device prior to the workthrough showed that I had duplicate Rhapsody and Service folders.  Windows media player generated a phantom playlist as well.

Again, my thanks to everyone here in showing me the ropes, working with the Clip!


I don’t think the FW was actually corrupted, or probably nothing would work. The Clip appears to have very substantial protection against bad firmware, though the recovery mechanism is as yet not known (to those who are digging into such things).

More likely, the options & settings were in a state that munched the Clip. This stuff is stored in a file on the Clip and purely managed by the FW. Anyway, there is a menu option to reset to factory defaults, if this happens again (to anyone), try that first. I’ve managed to put my Clip in some weird power-up default modes and resetting this way was the easy way out.

Anyway loading new firmware resets these settings, so in effect I suspect that is all that needed to be done.

In my case, i didn’t mention that I had also used the reset all function without success. 

 I had lost a considerable portion of the  normal menu options of the clip.  As a footnote, I reloaded my favorites last night, and this morning, I braved the elements…and reset WMP11’s automatic synchronization from scratch, by deleting the old scheme entirely.

This time, I set up my podcasts as a new set of playlists…and I have the BBC back on my device!

I think my issue started when first learning how to synchronize with Windows Media Player (manually)…down the road, what a hairball!

It was quite fascinating exploring how much had been corrupted on the clip…my personal information was mostly there, but accessing it was not posssible.  In any case, once the firmware was reinstalled, everything was back to normal.

I think you’re right, Click, the Sansa held my data, despite not being able to navigate normally.  The whole experience was quite encouraging.  These Clips are pretty tough little guys!


Message Edited by neutron_bob on 01-30-2008 08:02 AM

That is VERY interesting…if this happens again, try deleting all the files in the Clip’s root folder (in MSC mode), the Clip will rebuild them upon disconnect. I still feel it is a boshed setting file, and not the firmware itself, but - who knows.

Yeah, they’re pretty bullet proof, I’ve been doing a lot of very oddball things to mine, and haven’t bricked it yet!