I have 4 Sandisk Sansa players bought over the the last decade, each a slightly different model/version and all long beyond warranty. All functioned, set up, and played normally for at least some period. My first and last units have never had any issues. The other two however got into modes in which they froze up becoming non-functional to any button pushing though the lcd screen was stuck in the “writing…” mode. Both failed so during USB connection to my Windows computers as I was preparing to load new songs.
In both cases I have been eventually able to revive them by letting the power slowly drain off for periods of at least a couple months. After doing so, attempting to power up is unsuccessful until charging the internal battery. Waiting just a few weeks does not work. As a hardware electronics career person, that tells me non-volatile memory storage became corrupted and only becomes functional once the internal voltage across that memory finally drained off removing whatever incompatible values were stored. Unit #3 bought a couple years ago after reviving is still running normally again and is actually being used by another person as a present.
Unit #2 also eventually revived and I was likewise able to bring it back to normal operation. But it has failed a second time and symptoms were that its screen was blanked off. I’ve finally been able to power that unit up again after a couple months, however it cannot be programmed. Whenever I USB connect it to my pc, my pc beeps signalling a new USB device has been connected however the device initiallization fails showing on its lcd, “writing…” remains on the screen, again stuck in that mode. My pc USB port status shows that an unrecognized USB device was connected but is faulty. In that state I can only power it off by holding the power button for over 10 seconds. That does show the unit microprocesser is still running and active thus not in a halted state. On the player, I ran the format and reset settings commands a few times but no change.
The Version is V01.02.17A. Of course I have no way of reloading firmware. I suspect the non-volatile memory retains its data because it cells are supplied via very high impedance voltage and that on at least one of those cells leakage occurs, preventing a correct value being stored. Expect it will never recover. Its FM Radio, slotRadio, and Voice modes are still usable though without the Music functions have no reason to use the unit while I own 3 other more functional units.