PC Does Not Recognize E270

I have a Sansa E270 MP3 Player. It has been in my desk for many years, and I want to start using it again. The battery still works, as does the player. However, when I plug it into my pc using my USB port, the pc will not recognize it. It does come up in Windows Media player, however, I think that is an old listing when I set up a previous synch partnership. I does not show me anything loaded on the E270 window when I try and synch it in media player, and when I plug the E270 into the USB port it does not launch Windows Media player. This is true in either MSC or MTB modes.

The E270 was always balky, but now I can’t get it to do anything. Is it worth the effort to try and revive it? Any suggestions of how I can get my pc to recognize it. I tried the Sansa Updater, and it does not seem to notice the E270 either. Nor does it come up in My Computer. Any help greatly appreciated.

The e270 is a unique version of the v1 e200, all e270s are 6GB  v1 devices.  As such, they have Recovery Mode to restore an ill machine to health.

Does the device respond with the “connected” icon when plugged in?  If not, it may be “frozen”.  If it’s been sitting a few years without powering up, the internal battery may no doubt be dead.  For this situation, it first needs to be recharged.  For charging, we have two methods, with one little complication: the processor of the device handles charging, and if it’s frozen, it won’t charge.

I must first restate that of all the Sansa players, the e200 series is by far the toughest, most well built one, with the single exception of the v1’s headphone jack- which is repairable as well.  The battery is also replaceable as a drop in module, available readily for under ten dollars.

Let’s first try to bring Frankenstein to life.  It needs power.  Not a bolt of lightning like our namesake friend, 5 volts will suffice.  For this, plug-in USB wall charger works great with the original 30-pin e200 cable.  I mention a secondary power source, as it doesn’t have data on the center pins, unlike a computer USB port.  If the e270 sees data, it will power up as a zombie trying to establish a data connection, and the controls on the device won’t let you tinker about. The device will be in passive mode, where it awaits command from the computer.  While trying to do this, it might not feel like charging, as the processor is busy doing one task.

In any case, press and hold the power button for 20 seconds to perform a reset on the device.  If you are using an adaptor, it will power up after you release the button, then give it one press to turn on.  It will also begin charging- look at the battery icon to see if it is “rolling”. 

If the problem is a simple matter of a dead battery, these are available all over the Internet, I just picked one up cheap, and it even has the OEM Usance Corp logo on it, the little rounded square with four arrows. Retailers like Radio Shack even have them, but their price is higher, just under 30 dollars.  To replace the battery, all you need do is carefully remove the four Philips #00 screws on the metal back.

If the device won’t power up, you can at least have a look and see if it will respond in Recovery Mode.  Be careful with this mode, as it opens the reserved partition of the e270’s memory, the home of the firmware and configuration data.  DO NOT get enthused and try formatting this partition using Windows!!

Open a Windows Explorer window on the PC, so we can observe the connection. First, the device must be OFF.  If it’s “dead”, we can safely assume that it’s off, I think… On the device, slide the HOLD switch on the top to the right, toward the headphone jack, exposing the orange section on the slider.  Press and hold the side REC button while plugging in to the USB port.  The device should pop up as 16MB FORMAT on the PC.  The display of the device will state “Welcome to Recovery Mode”.  Going further requires that the device has battery power once you disconnect, in order to complete a firmware reinstallation, so this is why I mention POWER first.

Let me know what activity you see from your e270.  My wife just handed me a monster sandwich, updating in a few minutes…

I’m back.  After reestablishing power for the little guy, you can see if it will restart when unplugged.  You should see the SanDisk logo with the classic “starburst” logo to the right, and then the main menu.  Here, there’s one catch.  If you have a Rhapsody Sansa, a variant of the v1, you will see a second splash screen with the Rhapsody logo.  If you have a Rhapsody Sansa, there are a few notable differences.  Usually, the rear metal cover is a dead giveaway, it has a pewter finish grey, with the Rhapsody logo on it.  Not all Rhapsody Sansas have the proper rear cover, when refurbished, surplus v2 covers, and even the standard v1 covers, were often substituted. 

SanDisk doesn’t refurbish these players, though I would have preferred it if they would have- the quality control improvement alone would have been great.  We wouldn’t have these odd combinations, and there would be a lot less confusion.  Still, since SanDisk made such a little battleship of a player, they’re definitely worth keeping.

Whether you have a Rhapsody version, or the basic v1, the correct firmware is important.  You wouldn’t want to try morphing the device into the opposite version, as though it’s possible, it can be a real headache.  If you can remember the USB mode screen under Settings, the Rhapsody Sansa had Rhapsody or Plays For Sure as the available modes, whereas the standard version had MSC or MTP as the choices.

Let me know if you can charge the battery so the device will run on its own power, this is important.  I have always had a charged battery when testing (if the device has a dead battery, I always substitute a charged unit before tinkering about).  I cannot remember, but the device should charge when left connected in Recovery Mode.

What the heck, I am letting my thoracic muscles recover today. Somehow, I tweaked the rhomboideus muscles on one side (my wife’s a therapist).  Don’t try this at home, falling asleep on the couch can result in a serious tweak, 48 hours off the bike really sucks.  Here we go…

You can reinstall the firmware and clear the internal memory if needed.  I like to try and see if the music is intact, as it most likely played just fine before the device was stored, yes?  Otherwise, the device can be cleared and made ready for new music.  If you like, we can restore the firmware first, so the device will run on its own, then if needed the memory can be automatically formatted.  The difference is just one step- again, NEVER use Windows’ format command when in Recovery Mode!

The firmware is comprised of two files, the mi4 format firmware, and the bootloader rom file.  Here isthe firmware linkfor the firmware files.  They are in compressed (zipped) form, and must be extracted / unzipped / decompressed depending upon how your computer describes it. Simply drag and drop the two firmware files to the 16MB FORMAT icon, and you’re all set.  Be sure to slide the HOLD switch back to the off / left position before disconnecting, as this locks the device (and you’ll get a warning that the device will shut down).

Choose the firmware version for your region from the list, not the Sansa Updater, as we are going the manual installation route.

There is one further option if needed, a recovery firmware (executable) that works automatically with Recovery Mode,if you have any issues.  The only problem with this is that the basic firmware doesn’t have an EQ, among other things, it’s a bare bones version, and I recommend updating to 01.02.24  afterward anyway.  This will save you a step.  It should go OK, but if need be, we can run the executable.  Let me know if you run into any difficulties, and I can walk you through it.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

First, a brief note:  Per the Forum Guidelines and Terms of Service, advertising is not permitted without authorization.  An out-of-context hyperlink is essentially the same thing.

On the lighter side, do you also have an e270?  If you wish an application to open when the device is recognized, this can be set in the Autorun options on your computer.  If the device was doing so at one point, and suddenly stops automatically opening the desired application, you may have changed the USB mode setting on your device.

As the e270 can only show files transferred in one USB mode at a time, MSC or MTP, this confirms that there has been a change in communications mode.  Go to Settings > USB mode and select the desired mode.