what i've done.. notes and probably a fix. PLZ READ


after having my sansa express 2GB for about 2 months now (love the player) there was a post on head-fi that recommended it. i’ve had experience with many mp3 players (this is my 5th mp3 player ive owned).

ive experienced the same issues as many of you:

*note that this is with the newest firmware sandisk has right now as well*

  • random freezing.
  • restarting when going through albums/artists.
  • player wouldn’t turn off after the sandisk logo.

after the 2nd time that the player wouldnt turn on after the sandisk logo (i was lucky to have a microsd card in the house to “resurrect” it and do a reflashing of firmware). i came up with some conclusions:

  1. is the firmware broken ? (again ive owned many mp3 players in the past so having problems with firmware is nothing, ask anyone whos owned an iriver h10, great player, shi**y firmware, luckily there is a rockbox firmware for it now.)
  2. battery problem ? (low power making the player go haywire?)
  3. a corrupt database ? (after an amount of time)
  4. incompatibilites with certain mp3 files ? (i.e LAME encoded vbr files)

now this is what i’ve done. and a possible reason why the player screws up:

  • reflashed the firmware in recovery mode (it is well documented on this forum on how to do this)
  • connected the player to my computer via msc mode (which is the mode a suggest everyone using anyways mtp is a garbage protocol)
  • went  to the designated drive letter of my player

now this is what i’ve noticed and what i did:

going into my drive there is no MEDIA folder to store mp3 files in. most of you who put your files in probably put the mp3 files either in the main directory or just drag and drop folders with mp3s in them onto the main directory.

now this is what i’m thinking is happening. and the possible importance of the media folder:

  1. when a database is created. the firmware is looking for a media folder with mp3 files, or folders within the media folder with mp3s. i think its hardcoded in the firmware to look in the media folder first. its like a pc how it looks to boot HDD>CDROM>USB>FLOPPY. in this case i think it the sansa express goes like this MEDIA>MICRO SD. this would explain the micro sd “resurrection” for the player itself.

  2. when a media folder is not recognized it will still create a database and work for a while (until things go buggy, corrupts the database), but again i think its coded in the firmware to seek through the media folder.

now for my final conclusion:

again with owning many mp3 players in the past. particularly the iriver h10, which relied on the media folder. ive come up with this whole post. its been 2 weeks since ive done this to my player and it hasn’t screwed up on me. and if your wondering how this all happened, i read the online manual pdf for the express. it specifically states to drag songs into the media folder. and now things are okay and working. thanks to sandisk for making an excellent sounding mp3 player, i love better alternatives other than than ipod for music, and thanks to the people on the forum who are helping each other out and figuring out how to resurrect our player ourselves.

Good stuff.  Thanks for the research and reporting it here. 

I noticed the same thing, but instead created a MUSIC folder and put my files in it via MSC mode.  My player still regularly / randomly screws up.  I’ll try the MEDIA idea (I’ll just rename the folder)  and see if that helps.

Well, I tried renaming the folder to Media instead of Music, but no dice.  The unit still resets itself whenever it feels like it.  Such a shame, it’s really a great sounding player and also a nice form factor IMO.