Rockbox Technical Forums

Third Party => Repairing and Upgrading Rockbox Capable Players => Topic started by: Minada on September 15, 2018, 07:15:23 AM

Title: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Minada on September 15, 2018, 07:15:23 AM
Hello,

I've been using Rockbox on my Sansa Clip Zip since five years, and it seems this week it died ...
I can't start it. When starting, I get the Rockbox boot screen, it stays a very long time then it turns off.
I tried soft resetting, sometimes I manage to get to a "Loading firmware" page, some other times I get a "File not found" under "Loading firmware", and the last possible error is "Plug USB cable".
I also tried to boot on original firmware, I get the Sansa boot screen then nothing.

I tried plugging it to a computer, but it is not recognized by Windows. I also tried holding center button while plugging it to my computer, it is seen for a few seconds but I can't do anything with it (I wanted to format it but never managed to).

Is there a way to save it that my searches on the net have not been able to find yet ?

If it's dead, is there an equivalent rockboxable mp3 player with similar capabilities (FM radio, microSD) and in the same price range ? I would have bought the Clip Sport Plus if it had been rockboxable ...
Title: Re: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Bilgus on September 15, 2018, 08:15:50 AM
This sounds like the classic flash failure
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES LET WINDOWS FORMAT THE DEVICE
You might just be on the edge of the issue and if so there are some remedies
we can try but first you will need linux so it can be diagnosed

You can either download the VM image we supply if you want to do this from windows
https://www.rockbox.org/wiki/DevelopmentGuide#Virtual_Machine_40Strongly_Recommended_41

Or use a raspi or some other linux device
Title: Re: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Minada on September 15, 2018, 09:15:09 AM
Ok, I have an old Raspberry Pi B running LibreElec, would it be enough ?

What are the remedies I should try ?
Title: Re: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Bilgus on September 15, 2018, 09:58:48 AM
You can read through this thread for the steps

http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php/topic,52030.0.html

one difference is that instead of being able to run the recovery firmware you will have to put the device in 'recovery' mode by taking the device apart
Read this:
https://www.rockbox.org/wiki/SansaAMSUnbrick

I was able to recover another users image of the recovery pins on the clipzip sorry for the terrible quality
http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php/topic,51205.0.html

Beyond the above resources I'll have to help you on IRC but I won't have time till This time Sunday

If you can get to the point of being in recovery mode and using dd it will make it much faster

Quote
sudo dd if=/dev/sd[X] of="/media/pi/NEW VOLUME/clip_zip_disk.img"
don't do anything as far as copying data to the device just try and get the current drive contents off the device


Title: Re: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Minada on September 15, 2018, 02:46:28 PM
Ok, I managed to disassemble the Clip Zip (not sure how I'll manage to plug back the front buttons though ...).

LibreELEC on Rpi does not bundle fdisk and blocks installs ... So I tried anyway to plug the Zip to the Rpi while connecting the 2 pins.

It seems something happened because /dev/sda appeared. I used dd to create an image of  around 30MB.
This looks a bit small to me ...
Title: Re: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Bilgus on September 15, 2018, 05:10:03 PM
Hmm IIRC it should dump the whole drive 4gb or 8gb pretty sure 30mb means its toast
just to be sure could you upload the file somewhere so I can look at it
Title: Re: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Minada on September 16, 2018, 01:30:08 AM
Ok I just uploaded it :
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uHDp6XjqiVSW-z7iU7iVALhzdTtVqA0y/view?usp=sharing

There was nothing on drive except firmware, all of my files were on SD card.
Title: Re: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Bilgus on September 16, 2018, 07:18:22 PM
That image is completely filled with zeros so I'd say its failed flash chip although it shouldn't boot at all if the flash is failed so you might try a few more shots at it
Title: Re: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Minada on September 17, 2018, 01:24:48 AM
Ok thanks, I'll try a few more dds this evening.
Title: Re: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Minada on September 17, 2018, 02:11:47 PM
Well, it seems I've got no luck. I'm now using Ubuntu VirtualBox image provided, so it's easier to use and I have fdisk.
I made a lot of attempts but never anything more showed up on fdisk -l.

What's more, Windows now sees it every time I connect it and asks me to format it, because it can't read anything on it :(

Maybe my bridge is not good, I don't know but I've made lots of attempts with different pieces of electric wire.

Shall I try formatting it using Windows and install a fresh firmware on it ?
Title: Re: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Bilgus on September 17, 2018, 05:02:47 PM
You should run fdisk and lsblk first with nothing connected to get an idea of what already exists on the system

The method for entering recovery is simply shorting out the flash so the device will go into a error mode then unshorting it so you can read the flash
I usually use a screw driver the method goes like this with device off plugged into the usb and usb cable unplugged from the PC I hold my screwdriver to the contacts I then plug in the usb to the pc wait 3 seconds and pull the screwdriver away

next I type
Code: [Select]
sudo fdisk -land look for the new device its usually sdb or sdc but yours could be different

it isn't a valid partition and you usually get a message stating such

Windows even if it does manage to format it is not going to do anything besides brick the device
Title: Re: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Minada on September 18, 2018, 01:23:58 AM
Ok thanks, I'll try again tonight with a screwdriver.

I did fdisk and lsblk with nothing connected, and after connecting the Clip Zip nothing changed.

What's weird is that now Windows detects that something is connected, but I can't see it on Ubuntu.
I'm using the image you provided the link for.
Title: Re: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Bilgus on September 18, 2018, 01:49:50 AM
Sorry, you'll need to go to the Devices menu of VirtualBox and add a USB filter
when you create it leave all fields blank except for NAME set that to Sandisk
and possibly Vendor ID = 0781
if that fails do the recovery method and plug the device and see whats in the menu and add that device
Title: Re: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Minada on September 18, 2018, 02:04:35 PM
When I plug the device using the recovery method, I can select a "Sandisk M200Plus [0402]" USB filter.

I finally managed to get something with sudo fdisk -l, but this does not look encouraging ...

Code: [Select]
Disk /dev/sdb: 30.6 MiB, 32096256 bytes, 62688 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

File produced by dd is exactly the same size and such ...

Is there a way to try to put a firmware on it ?
Title: Re: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Bilgus on September 18, 2018, 10:23:32 PM
I'm pretty sure a 30mb partition means its toast was the file you pulled with dd completely empty?
Title: Re: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Minada on September 19, 2018, 01:50:09 AM
Yes exactly the same as last time. Note that since I disassembled the Clip Zip, it does not show the boot screen anymore ...
Title: Re: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Bilgus on September 19, 2018, 08:45:53 AM
you might try washing the board in 90% isopropyl not the screen though just to wash away any impurities shorting the flash out but I'm pretty sure its just plain old flash failure at this point, sorry.
Title: Re: Sansa Clip Zip not starting
Post by: Minada on September 20, 2018, 04:55:46 PM
Well ok thank you. Nothing works anyway, I think I'm gonna replace it but I don't know what ... There don't seem to be anything rockboxable available :(

I'll try the AGPTEK G6 but it's not really useful with the default interface.
Sansa Clip Sport Plus would be perfect but it will never be able to run Rockbox :(