sansa e280

Okay this is gonna be a long entry I guess.
BTW I am German, so sorry if there is some misunderstanding.
Anyway, my Sansa is now about 10 Years old and untill today it worked.
Today I wanted to delete the old music from it.
I saw some strange folders in the MUSIC folder. I decided to delet them. I was a bit in a hurry and the windows explorer was obviously not.
So I disconnected the mp3 player from my pc. It boots just normal but right after the boot-process it gives me an error message that reads “Not enough space for musicDB free 6mb… blablabla.”
I wanted to format it with the windows explorer just via right-click and format. BUT (and now comes the strange thing) whenever I connect the Sansa and my pc (or any other pc) it makes the sound that Hardware was plugged in and it starts searching for drivers. But shortly afterwards it does the plug-in-sound
again and then it disconnects. And when it does - the image on the display on the player is all “collabsing” ( kind of like an old gameboy where the batterie is low).
I tried to format it in windows 7 on MTP and MSC mode but at neither does the computer recognize the device.
Can anybody help me?
The batteries are still awesome on this thing. I mean after 10 years.


After hours of reading in the forums here and trying almost everything I found a solution.

I put the device in recovery mode (slide the lock to orange on the top + hold the rec-button + plug it into the computer)

Then went to “my computer”. There it showd the 16mb partition (NEVER EVER FORMAT THIS LIKE YOU WOULD WITH OTHER DEVICES, that’s what I read). I double clicked on it. it had one TXT-file in it and I was told to create a new folder, which I should name “sansa.fmt” (without quotation marks). This is triggering a forced formatting or so.

Afterwards I unplugged the Player and it told me “Formatting . . .”

And now it is all brand new. I guess I’m gonna use it another 10 years :slight_smile:

I hope this might help anybody else in the future even though the device is about 10 years old.

Special Thanks to Jamieson (

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Glad to hear you found the solution here on the forum & that your player is “like new” again!