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Wiki > Main > SanDisk > SansaAMS > SansaClipV2UnbrickingTutorial (r2)
If you have difficulties following this document here is a direct link to the forum topic with all formatting advantages that will make it easier to read: http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php/topic,29115.0.html


This tutorial will guide you through a procedure of hardware reseting and inducing recovery mode on a Sansa Clip v2 model, following original firmware restoration process inside Linux. This procedure is very similar to repairing Sansa Clip v1 and Sansa Clip+ but slight differences may exist for which the author of this tutorial has no knowledge of, so do not try this before you consult someone else with more knowledge and experience for those particular models.

WARNING: Before you decide to install Rockbox on your Sandisk Sansa Clip v2, read other people's experiences. Restrain yourself from impatience and hurry. Original Firmware Sansa is still better than a bricked one. smile

WARNING: The steps presented here are a "last resort" repair guide (beside JTAG magic). Be patient and wait for several days, even weeks, before you make a final decision to open your Sansa Clip v2 and repair it this way. Learn from my mistake.

WARNING: This tutorial assumes you have following skills:

#Confident at opening and managing fine miniature electronic devices

#Have solid soldering/unsoldering skills of fine wires in a crowded space

If you lack any of this required skills, DO NOT engage in repairing process - instead pass it to a skilled electronic engineer or repair person and print this tutorial for him! Chances are you will mechanically damage your player or unintentionally cut tiny battery wires, effectivly rendering your player beyond easy repair. DO NOT short-circuit the battery! This may damage charging-control circuit resting on battery's body. Wires are very near each other, pay close attention to black and red wire. When you un-solder black (ground) wire, be carefull that it does not touch red wire by accidental move.

NOTICE: This tutorial assumes you are running Windows Operating System and you have Sandisk Sansa Clip v2 1GB model. This is important because all units (Megabytes) and values are a reference to it. If you have 2GB/4GB/8GB model values should be higher -- this is only my logical guess! If you are running Linux already, some steps obviously do not apply (like booting up into Linux).


REPAIR PROCEDURE (BRIEF)

10 Download Ubuntu Linux Live CD distribution from here http://www.ubuntu.com and burn it with slower speeds (12x-32x) on a high-quality CD-R disc (Verbatim, Taiyo-Yuden etc.)

20 Download latest Original Firmware ("*OF*" in further text) image ("*clip02.01.35.zip*", when unzipped becomes "*m30pa.bin*") from here http://daniel.haxx.se/sansa/amsfw.html and put it in a root of your C:\ drive under Windows

30 Open your Sansa Clip with a surgical knife or plastic pry tool (pry tool is preffered, but skilled persons can gently use sharp metal knife or "scalpel"). Follow this video tutorial by IRISH0627 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LRyDOxbdCI . Good news: you do not need to dissasamble entire device - only "first layer".

301 Open back-panel plastic case

302 gently push battery to un-stick it from bottom sticky-tape

303 Remove 5 screws from the aluminium heatsink

304 Remove heatsink

305 Unsolder "minus" black-colour wire from Battery.

Soldering Advice: do it quickly, do not overheat nearby circuits. Also, when soldering black wire back (after flashing firmware) do not try to be machine-precise! Solder it as quickly as possible and as good as possible! The more you fiddle with this tiny wires the greater the chance is to accidentally push battery on a side and physicaly damage the wires! Stay calm and confident with your work.

40 Short-circuit NAND memory chip and induce special recovery mode exactly as described in this forum topic http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=25248.0 [or direct link to Fugu's post http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php/topic,25248.msg172403.html#msg172403] (thanks Fugu!). If you are doing this while running Windows, your device should be recognised as "M200Plus" UNDEF storage USB device with 979.75MB (approx. 980MB) of unallocated space. Do not format it.*

There is no danger in doing that, as it proved in my case, but there is no point in doing it either. Use Quick Format and FAT32 if you must feed your curiousity, you will effectively turn your MP3 player into a Flash Disk drive with 980* MB of space. Now, you copy some files on it as a test... (I did! I did! And then again run Rockobox wizzard and installed Rockbox again with "all good" message in the tool at the end, but Sansa was still black afterwards with no success obviously - luckily, my old songs were still intact -- can you imagine a crazy amount of luck I had? Plausable explanation: NAND chips contain wear-leveling controllers with a single task to spread memory cells usage even onto entire chip, so this is probably the only reason why my songs and .rockbox files survived! So, when you format it, and your curiosity is behind, now you need to "unformat it" again and restore it in an unallocated state as before by deleting entire partition. Windows will not allow you to do that, so boot Mini Linux from Hiren's Boot CD, start GPartition and delete it from there. Probably, there is a GPartition inside Ubuntu, I leave that part for you to discover -- or just do not format it and skip this entire adventure as best.

50 Insert Live Linux CD and reboot you computer

60 Start Linux Terminal & execute several commands

70 Execute dd command and restore Original Firmware (m30pa.bin) to Sansa Clip v2 player

80 Wait untill you get feedback information in Terminal window that 16 MB of data are succesfully copied (usually takes around 60-80 seconds depending on USB & computer speed)

90 Disconnect Sansa Clip from USB

100 Gently short the unsoldered battery wire to correct PCB joint (with metallic object such as small screw-driver) and push the Power-On switch to see if the procedure was succesfull. Be shure you are making firm and uninterupted contact with the Battery all the time. LED & LCD should be activated and all your songs (if you copied any), folders and files should be there intact. Turn-Off player.

110 Re-solder battery wire and re-assemble Sansa Clip v2 in exact reverse of step 30


STEP 60...90: DETAILED PROCEDURE

Assuming Sansa Clip v2 is still connected as unrecognised/unallocated USB drive and you just rebooted into Linux:

601 After Ubuntu Linux Live CD distribution boots up, you will see regular desktop with a ribbon and common tasks and programs like Firefox. Run Firefox and connect to Rockbox IRC channel if you need assitance from good people here.

602 Click on a Dashboard > Search, then type "Terminal". Click on "Terminal" icon to run it.

#The next step is optional, but since you are here, open another instance of Terminal (right click with your mouse over the old instance and click Terminal, or, again start Dashboard > Search > Terminal). In this new Terminal window type Funman's script for real-time monitoring of USB devices:

603 sudo su -c "while : ;do dmesg -c;read -t 1 && clear;done"

#The next idea is to find out "where" is our USB player connected, what "drive letter" equivalent it has (sda, sdb, sdc, sde etc.) so we can confidently run dd-command and restore OF to the right target. You do not want to restore firmware on your Windows C:\ drive by accident! Also, another idea is to "mount" our C:\ partition so Linux can access m30pa.bin OF file via dd-command. This procedure is tricky part currently not documented in SansaAMSUnbrick wiki page and that was a point of confusion for me. Thanks to good people over at IRC channel, I succedeed in "dd-ing" my Sansa player.

Let's start! Type these commands in Terminal window:

604 sudo fdisk -l

result:

Disk /dev/sda: 40.0 GB, 40007761920 bytes

255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4864 cylinders, total 78140160 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

Disk identifier: 0x671e671e

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

/dev/sda1 * 63 15101099 7550518+ 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

/dev/sda2 15101100 78140159 31519530 5 Extended

/dev/sda5 15101163 78140159 31519498+ 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

Disk /dev/sdb: 1027 MB, 1027342336 bytes

32 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1011 cylinders, total 2006528 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

Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Disk /dev/sdb doesn't contain a valid partition table

# as you can see, I have a 40 GB hard-disk drive (SATA interface, system drive) with 2 partitions (sda1=7GB and sda2/sda5=33GB) and "1027 MB" Sansa Clip which "does not contain valid partition table" (remember that unallocated space?). Important thing here for a dd-command is to notice "/dev/sdb" path. That is the address of my player. Also, remember that I have put "m30pa.bin" Original Firmware file at the root of my C:\ drive in Windows (1st partition).

# The next part I do not understand entirely, since I am Linux newbie, but I think this procedure will create a temporary folder on which we will "mount" our "C:\" partition so Linux can access it via dd-command. [someone correct me if I am wrong] (thanks to bluebrother & AlexP?!)

605 sudo su -

606 mkdir /tmp/sda1 && mount /dev/sda1 /tmp/sda1

607 mount /dev/sda1 /tmp/sda1

608 ls -l /tmp/sda1

result:

root@ubuntu:~# ls -l /tmp/sda1

total 2110893

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 2009-06-13 04:53 AUTOEXEC.BAT

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 216 2009-06-14 07:24 boot.ini

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 2009-06-13 04:53 CONFIG.SYS

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 2011-09-05 19:04 debug.txt

drwxrwxrwx 1 root root 4096 2009-06-13 04:59 Documents and Settings

-rwxrwxrwx 2 root root 67 2011-09-05 18:44 HGSounds_Scales_Path.txt

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 2009-06-13 04:53 IO.SYS

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 15728640 2010-01-29 16:54 m30pa.bin

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 2009-06-13 04:53 MSDOS.SYS

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 47564 2008-04-13 21:13 NTDETECT.COM

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 250048 2008-04-13 23:01 ntldr

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 2145386496 2011-10-25 05:10 pagefile.sys

drwxrwxrwx 1 root root 24576 2011-10-24 00:02 Program Files

drwxrwxrwx 1 root root 0 2009-06-13 05:03 RECYCLER

drwxrwxrwx 1 root root 4096 2009-06-13 05:11 System Volume Information

drwxrwxrwx 1 root root 102400 2011-10-25 20:05 WINDOWS

root@ubuntu:~#

#So, everything went fine, and as you can clearly see from above, original firmware file is clearly where I've put it, except now it can be accessed via dd-command.

#NOW IT IS TIME TO USE "DD" and put Original Firmware back to Sansa!

70 dd if=/tmp/sda1/m30pa.bin of=/dev/sdb

80 wait around 60-80 seconds untill you get this message:

root@ubuntu:~# dd if=/tmp/sda1/m30pa.bin of=/dev/sdb

30720+0 records in

30720+0 records out

15728640 bytes (16 MB) copied, 70.9951 s, 222 kB/s

root@ubuntu:~#

#Now, you still cannot turn it on (battery is still unsoldered), but first look at the Funman's script. You should see a new line similar to this:

[ 2321.468924] scsi 5:0:0:0: Direct-Access SanDisk Sansa Clip 1GB v02. PQ: 0 ANSI: 0

#So it is recognised as Sansa Clip, that line was not there before when you first plugged it in!

90 Disconnect your Sansa Clip v2 and skip to step 100 described above. Pray!


LIST OF IMAGES

(Copy and paste links into your Web Browser)

Sansa Clip v2 recognised as M200Plus? drive img21.imageshack.us/img21/6453/m200plususbdeview.png

PCB view img535.imageshack.us/img535/8759/directview.jpg

Sansa Clip v2 opened img515.imageshack.us/img515/1329/sansaclipopened.jpg

Helpful tips img821.imageshack.us/img821/436/sansaclipopenedinstruct.jpg

Battery Assembled img510.imageshack.us/img510/2206/batteryassembled.jpg

Final check before closing img27.imageshack.us/img27/2282/finalcheck.jpg

Restored happines img522.imageshack.us/img522/8671/restoredhappines.jpg

Sansa Clip v2 back to life img148.imageshack.us/img148/4530/backtolife.jpg

Files in Windows Explorer after successful operation img513.imageshack.us/img513/6462/afterrockbox.png


I wish to thank following people from IRC and forums: Saint, saratoga, gevaerts [initial Linux support and help with finding Terminal and commands], AlexP? and especially bluebrother for guiding me through "dd" command process! BIG THANKS! I own them that "bear".
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r2 - 29 Oct 2011 - 09:10:17 - DarkoAngeleski?

Parents: SanDisk > SansaAMS
Copyright by the contributing authors.