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 A complicating factor can be the lack of a newer version of the firmware...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:
- Unzip the files from the 7zip file, (see link above), into it's own directory.
- 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.
- 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 :])
- DON'T PANIC!
- In my case, access to the Admin Tools is off the Control Panel - the one that I've used is Computer Management.
- Under Storage, click on Disk Management
- 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...
- 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).
- Format the Sansa
- Then go back to the directory with the unzipped files, and use SansaExpressUpdater.exe
- You should find that the Sansa Updater will complete the update, and when the process is complete, the Sansa Express should be un-bricked.