Luckily, it was brand new and Circuit City was kind enough to exchange it when I told them the Clip was DOA. Here’s what happened…
Plugged the clip into the USB on my notebook running Vista Home Premium (32-bit, latest updates installed) and everything was fine out of the box. The clip started charging and it was recognized by Vista. I then downloaded the Sansa Updater from SanDisk’s web site.
I removed the Clip from the computer when prompted to by the Sansa Updater installer package and let the installation process proceed to the point where it said something like “Sansa Updater will now run”. I hit “OK” and thought that things were going fine after a few seconds, so I plugged the clip back in and it went dead.
After rebooting my PC, I started getting the Vista messages about the Sansa software needing my permission to run. After prompting Vista to allow the Sansa software to run, the clip was still dead. I believe that Windows Vista prevented the installation from completing correctly at the time that I plugged the clip in and killed it.
I’m going to use my old computer which is still running XP to do any firmware updates in the future to prevent these Vista-induced issues, but I would advise anyone running Vista to do a reboot and be sure that the Sansa Updater software installation was completed before plugging in his/her mp3 player.