What happens when you try to reformat your m2xx?

I have an m250 with series 2.x firmware. I had a 4.x series but had to RMA it.

Under some circumstances, people are reformatting their m2xx’s. I’m having some issues concerning my directory structure and visibilty of files. With one USB port on my computer I see certain folders and files, on another, different folders and files. They are wildly different! The worst of it is that my m250 can’t see all the files on it!

If you reformat, do you need to create certain folders, e.g. RECORD, MEDIA, ?? What are the issues concerning reformatting?

Message Edited by Muse on 04-16-2008 06:41 AM

There are no issues concerning re-formatting. Re-formatting is the process of deleting all of the content off of the device (or any mass sotrage device for that matter). The m200 rebuilds its system files upon disconnecting it from the computer (says so on the screen the next time it tries to turn it on).

The reason widly different folders is seen is because of MSC and MTP modes.

These modes can be selected on the player itself by going to settings>usb mode (or modes). From here we will see “auto-detect”, MSC, or MTP. The computer reads the device in 2 seperate ways and will display different folders, depending on the mode the device is in.

Auto-detect, from my understanding, will first try to connect the device as MTP, and if the drivers are not present, will revert to MSC. MTP will always connect in MTP (never rolling to MSC) and MSC will always connect in MSC.

Its kind of like there is 2 flash drives in the mp3 player. Depending on if flashdrive A is connected or flashdrive B, the respective folders will be seen.

Most computers, if not all, will have no problem reading the device in MSC mode. More computers have issues reading MTP devices than they do MSC devices.

So I recommend putting the player in MSC mode, connecting it to the computer, format the device (back up all music first if needed), and reload all of the files in MSC mode. A music folder can be created while the player is in MSC mode if preferred.

That way, it is less likely to run into issues; in regards to what files and folders are seen.

I don’t understand what MSC mode is. I thought it was specific to utilities like Media Player. I thought I had to use MTP in order to copy files directly to the player using Windows Explorer.

I always have the player set to MTP mode, and the wildly different things I’m seeing depending on which USB connection I make to the same computer are all happening in MTP mode, so I don’t understand why you say it’s because I’m using two different modes.  

MSC mode stands for MASS STORAGE CLASS, also known as MSD (mass storage device) to some.

These modes are not specific towards utilities like windows media player, or rhapsody or any of those. It is just the way the computer recognizes the device.

MSC =  computer sees it like a flash drive. Just a big chuck of memory where we can drag and drop, edit and delete files if need be. I would say, most “experienced” users prefer this method, as it allows for more customization. This is as oppose to windows media player (or any other program) creating the folder structure instead.

Will appear as “removable disk” in “My Computer”.

MTP = Media Transfer Protocol, a windows standerd. The computer sees it as a portable device (like a phone, mp3 player, or PDA) Allows for users to use subscription services, as this mode has the ability to handle “DRM” technology. MSC mode can not. This mode is a little bit more restrictive and does not allow for editing of the files from windows explorer. It does allow a user to drag and drop his/her files.

Will appear as a “Portable Device”.

A person can use the device in MSC or MTP when using windows media player and the rest of those utilities.

And although your device is set to MTP mode all the time, something is causing it to revert back to MSC mode. That is the only explaination in which a person would see a different set of folders.

You mention its “wildly different”. I’m willing to bet that its eithier 1 of 2 sets of folders. If you saw different folders everytime you connected your player, then the issues stem a lot deeper then a simple fix that we would be able to fix. (although I doubt this, as it does not sounds reasonable. I’ve never seen this happen)

Message Edited by Enigma on 04-16-2008 09:57 AM

Thanks for the explanation of MTP and MSC modes. The manual glosses over this, giving it very short shrift.

I thought it was the other way around, that subscription services would be used with MSC mode. :neutral_face:

In the manual for MSC it says:

USB setting:

MSC: mass storage class mode (can be useful for older computers).

Auto Detect (and I think this corresponds to MTP): Automatically detect transfer protocol (MTP or MSC) based on your PC configuration.

When I choose Auto Detect, my m250 goes into MTP mode, AFAIK.

I just connected to the front of my computer to a USB connection. The m250 indicates it’s in MTP mode. In XP Pro Explorer it says SanDisk Sansa M250, no drive letter (last time it assigned it drive K: ). Two folders are shown: Data and Media. Under Media are folders, some of which I created: Earthless (name of a band whose MP3s I put in the directory, Another such folder, Music (which has a subfolder), Another folder (empty), and RECORD. Several MP3s I know are on the m250 are nowhere to be found, including one I copied last night when I had it connected to a USB connection on my soundcard breakout box. Moving the m250 to that other connector (on the breakout box), I get this:

Firstly, I got nothing! I had the player turned off and I connected it to the same cable connected to the same USB connection I used last night and the player would not turn on. Tried it again, same thing. I moved the cable to the other USB connection (that was being used by my scanner) and this time it turned on, went again into MTP mode. This time I got the same structure as described above and I couldn’t see the MP3 file I copied over last night (147 MB). I navigate in the player and look for the file, and because I’d tagged it with a title and album name, I see it. But I can’t see it in Explorer.

I guess I’ll disconnect the m250 and switch it to MSC mode (I did not do this last night) and see if I can see the file… Now I connect it to the same cable off the breakout box and I see the file. There are 3 directories: AUDIBLE, CONFIG, RECORD. I see several MP3 files in AUDIBLE, 8 files. There are probably 20 or so files on the m250 that aren’t being seen. I guess that yesterday the player was going into MSC mode automatically ( “Auto” ), and I didn’t notice it. So, since you recommend using MSC mode, I guess I’ll delete the files I see in MTP mode and use the player in MSC mode from now on. At least I have control over which mode is being used in MSC mode (I hope). I also like the fact that I can edit the files there, e.g. file names, tags, etc. Thanks for the info.

BTW, you say concerning Settings/USB in the m2xx: These modes can be selected on the player itself by going to settings>usb mode (or modes). From here we will see “auto-detect”, MSC, or MTP. I’m seeing only two modes to select from:

Auto Detect


Message Edited by Muse on 04-16-2008 09:24 AM

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Message Edited by Muse on 04-16-2008 09:27 AM

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Message Edited by Muse on 04-16-2008 09:38 AM

I guess I was mistaken In modes available on this player, might be due to firmware.

Just assume that Auto-detect means MTP.

You can also use the folder to figure out what mode your in. If you see data and media, its in MTP mode. If its in MSC mode, the folders will be audible, record, and config.

I woudn’t rely on what the LCD screen says on the player. That only informs you what the player is currently set to. Its possible to have it set to Auto Detect (with MTP on the LCD screen) and have the computer detect it in MSC mode. Since it does whats best based on your “pc configuration”. All that means is that it tries MTP first, and if that does not work, reverts to MSC.

If a person is not eithier A. using subscription services, or B. using playlist, then I recommend MSC mode. Those are the only 2 features that are lost, but easily gained back by just switching the modes, if need be.

Yes, thanks. That explains my confusion. I think I was sometimes in MSC mode even when the LCD said MTP. I could be in error there, maybe I hadn’t check (I don’t always).

BTW, my firmware is 2.2.5A

Something you (and others) may not know about the m250 (at least mine):

I was fretting (well, not fretting but wondering) why I couldn’t find the stopwatch mode. Turning on the Smart Menu (in Settings) revealed the Stopwatch function (which now remains whether Smart Menu is enabled or not!).

Message Edited by Muse on 04-16-2008 10:30 AM