No, the issues are not related. The “Critically Low” error message is a known Windows 7 bug. Micro$oft apparently doesn’t think it’s worth their time fixing.
Are you downloading the firmware version from the 1st post in this thread? Are you sure you are un-zipping the .zip file first and then placing the .bin file contained within in the root (top) directory of your Clip Zip? After you do this, are you un-plugging the player? It should turn off. When you power it back up, the screen should say “Firmware Update In Progress” or something to that effect.