Saturday, June 13, 2009

NTS:: When Sansa's go bad...

[Legal Warning: By following these instructions, you agree not to hold me liable for any bad sh*t that happens to your MP3 player.]

In case this happens again, here's how to un-brick a Sansa Express... in Windows XP, with access to the Administrative Tools (I'm not sure how to do the same in Linux - any ideas?).

I'm unsure how my son's Sansa Express was bricked, but a common cause fro "bricking" is the inability of the Sansa Updater to finish the complete process of updating the firmware. A complicating factor can be the lack of a newer version of the firmware... so you need to have a older version of the firmware on hand [thankfully chrisjs has a copy].

Okay, here's what to do:
  1. Unzip the files from the 7zip file, (see link above), into it's own directory.
  2. Hold the Volume Down - button on the Sansa Express while inserting it into a USB port on your computer, and hold for about 20 seconds.
  3. Release it, and hopefully in Windows Explorer you should see 2 Flash Drive symbols, but when you try to use them, they're empty, and you can't format them either (they're 0Mb in size :])
  5. In my case, access to the Admin Tools is off the Control Panel - the one that I've used is Computer Management.
  6. Under Storage, click on Disk Management
  7. In the top right panel, locate your dud "Flash Drive"... it shouldn't indicate a file system, because that's what a bricked Sansa looks like...
  8. Right-mouse click on the Disk Drive icon in the left column of that same panel, and you should see the option to format your Sansa - (at this point I can't remember is I used FAT as the filesystem, or FAT32).
  9. Format the Sansa
  10. Then go back to the directory with the unzipped files, and use SansaExpressUpdater.exe
  11. You should find that the Sansa Updater will complete the update, and when the process is complete, the Sansa Express should be un-bricked.