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Wiki > Main > RockboxFAQ > SansaFAQ

Sansa FAQ

If your question is not answered here it most likely has been dealt with in the main General Rockbox FAQ

General Questions

When will Rockbox be released for other Sansa models?

WE DO NOT ESTIMATE RELEASE DATES. Seriously. Because Rockbox is an open-source project developed by volunteers, there is no set timetable for any release. The only answer that we can give you is that it will be ready when it is ready. People work on it when they have the time and inclination to do so.

Which Sansa models does Rockbox currently support?

See the list on This FAQ applies only to models using PortalPlayer SOCs (currently e200 v1 and c200 v1).

Will installing Rockbox damage my Sansa?

Rockbox comes with no guarantees, but we have never heard of a case of a user permanently damaging their Sansa by installing third-party software such as Rockbox. However, not following the instructions during install can force you to undergo a lengthy recovery process.

How do I restore my seemingly broken Sansa?

This is already addressed in SansaE200Unbrick.

How do I start the original SanDisk firmware?

Shut the device down by holding power/menu. Then, press power/menu to boot the Sansa. Immediately after doing this, hold down the |<< (left) button.

How do I get back to Rockbox from the original firmware?

Shut the device down by holding power/menu. Then, press power/menu to boot the Sansa. The Bootloader will start Rockbox automatically.

How do I update the original firmware without breaking my Sansa or my Rockbox install?

Note: this will temporarily remove the ability to access Rockbox on your Sansa (between steps 2 and 3). None of your Rockbox settings or music will be removed or altered in any way.

  1. Download the latest Sansa Updater from the SanDisk website and follow the directions to update your Sansa (make sure the USB mode is MSC)
  2. When instructed to unplug your Sansa, hold down the previous track (|<) button when you see the SanDisk logo in order to boot into the original firmware so the update can complete.
  3. Follow the instructions in section 2.2.4 of the Rockbox manual to reinstall the Rockbox bootloader.

Functionality Questions

Does USB work?

Yes, as of 2009-02-26 (r20105), Rockbox supports USB on the E200 and C200 targets.

Can I disable the Sansa c200 firmware's obnoxious database refreshing?

Yes. What works for me (BertrikSikken) is to make the system and all of its sub-directories read-only. When disconnecting USB after transferring files, the c200 now complains about "Not enough space. Please free memory." and skips the database refresh.

Can I disable the Sansa e200 firmware's obnoxious database refreshing?

Yes. There are two ways to do this:

  • Download the latest version of sansapatcher and This version of the Sansa original firmware. Now connect the Sansa to your PC (make sure it's in MSC mode) and execute the following commands in the command line (Start -> Run -> cmd for Windows users). Make sure that the filenames are correct and both sansapatcher and the .mi4 file are in the same folder. After you are done, SAFELY remove your Sansa.
    sansapatcher.exe -of PP5022.mi4
    sansapatcher.exe -d 
    sansapatcher.exe --install

  • When booting up after a firmware upgrade, you'll be presented with a language selection screen. When this happens, don't select any language. Instead insert the USB cable, let the Sansa connect to your computer (this will be done in MTP mode) and then disconnect again. You'll now be in the main menu, but without explicitly having selected a language. Switch USB mode to MSC and shut down. After these somewhat convoluted steps, the Sansa will boot to the language selection screen and wait there (or enter USB mode, if the USB cable is inserted), without refreshing the database. If you've already selected a language, you can do a manual install (i.e., download and extract the firmware files to the root of the player), though I think you'll need a different version than the currently installed one for it to work.

Do the Sansa dock and remote control work?

Right now Rockbox does not communicate over the serial/dock or remote port. Because of this, any accessory, such as a remote or stereo mount, that can actually control playback on the Sansa will not work.

Which microSD cards can I use?

All standard microSD cards up to 2GB work with both Sansa and Rockbox firmwares. The newer microSD SDHC cards up to 32GB will only work with Rockbox firmware. Larger SDXC cards (up to a theoretical limit of 2TB) will also work, but require reformatting to FAT32 before use.

Is it possible for my microSD card to be displayed in the same directory as my other files in the file view?

No. Unless you use the Database view your files will be displayed in separate folders.

How do I get my RockBox SanDisk to play while being charged?

Hold down the centre button while you connect the USB-cable. The center button does work for entering charging mode on your player, but only if the player is already powered on and booted into Rockbox. If you attempt this with the player turned off, it will boot into the OF.

Actually, any button works but centre button is still the common advice though, since it doesn't have nasty side effects.

Problem/Troubleshooting Questions

My unit is frozen, do I have to remove the battery to reset it?

If the Sansa hangs and normal power-off does not work, confirm that the lock switch is off and the charging cable is unplugged, then press and hold the power button until the unit shuts off (this could take upwards of 30 seconds, but it will eventually work). If you put your headphones on you'll be able to hear a "click" when the power shuts off. It is possible for this to happen without any LED's or the backlight being lit, so trying this is also useful if the Sansa seems to be powered off and doesn't react to the power button. Disconnecting the battery is rarely, if ever, necessary.

My microSD card doesn't show up when it's plugged in, any helpful ideas?

Try formatting it.

When I run Rockbox Utility / Sansapatcher I get "No Sansa Found", and I'm sure that I've set the player to MSC mode (Windows)

This issue also manifests as "No Sansa Found" in RB Utility, even if you've manually specified your model and assigned drive letter. If you have SanDisk's Sansa Updater installed, uninstall it and try again, making sure to run sansapatcher / RB Utility as an Administrator (right click -> "run as...").

It is also possible that you have a v2 version of the player. See the here for a description of how to tell if it is.

Why isn't installation working on my c200 even though it's a v1?

The list below shows versions of the original firmware (OF) that can be patched by sansapatcher/Rockbox Utility and have been verified to work with Rockbox. If the firmware version of your c200 is not in the list, it may still work but just hasn't been verified yet.

OF version Can be patched Remarks
01.00.03 DONE  
01.00.04 DONE  
01.00.06 DONE  
01.01.00 DONE  
01.01.05 DONE OF lacks the option to set USB mode to MSC, see 2 below
01.01.05P DONE OF lacks the option to set USB mode to MSC, see 4 below
01.01.06 DONE OF lacks the option to set USB mode to MSC, see 2 below
01.01.07 DONE  
03.xx.xx ALERT! Rockbox does not run on this version yet (different hardware), see SansaC200v2

My c200 doesn't have an MSC Mode!

If you can't find the option to switch USB mode to MSC in order to install Rockbox, you have a few options:

  1. Assuming the device is off, turn it on, then engage the hold switch and press (and hold) the rewind button. Plug the device in your computer. If done correctly, the Sansa will be recognized as an MSC device.
  2. Use this method if you're running one of the firmwares that doesn't support USB mode selection. Boot into the OF with it connected to computer and let it be recognized as an MTP device. Next, engage the hold switch and press (and hold) the rewind button, disconnect from computer, and wait until the computer signals the MTP device has been removed. Now reconnect to the computer and it will be detected as an MSC device.
  3. Try rolling back the Sansa firmware to an older version. Download version 1.01.00 from here (choose the letter version that matches your existing firmware). The files are compressed in .7z format; you can download 7-Zip to open them. Now enter Recovery Mode and upgrade the firmware. (Info gathered from here)
  4. Turn device off, remove lock, then plug in usb cable.

Where are my music files and the "MUSIC" folder?

The Sansa firmware hides the MUSIC folder every time is starts up so you have to work around it. Two available options are:

  • Set the file view to show All files or
  • Create a new folder with a different name and put your files in there.

What's that weird static noise during playback?

If you hear a strange static noise while browsing the menus or during the quieter parts of songs, you are not alone. This is the sound of the Sansa "thinking" and is an unfortunate feature of the Sansa hardware. It can therefore also be heard while using the original firmware, although it's slightly quieter according to some.

What's that awful buzzing noise when I'm recording?

The microphone picks up noise from the LCD because of badly designed hardware. You'll notice that when the backlight goes off the buzzing stops, so if you want to have clean audio recordings, simply adjust your backlight settings accordingly.

What's that distortion during playback?

On some tracks, the audio distorts, even at low volume and with a clean source track. This has been investigated here but the exact cause is still unknown.

Where did the FM Radio go?

For some reason the FM Radio disappears from certain e200's main menus. Follow the flyspray task here.

Nothing is working, how do I unbrick my Sansa?

If you cannot boot into the original firmware by holding |<< at startup or otherwise cannot get a response from your player, see SansaE200Unbrick. Note: This page is for both e200 and c200.

The Bootloader fails, what's up?

If the bootloader does not load Rockbox properly have a look at the return code. The error codes of the bootloader are:

  • 0: "OK"
  • -1: "File not found"
    • check if OF.bin is located in the SYSTEM folder (if so, follow the instructions in the following section.)
    • check if "rockbox.e200" is located in the root directory of the Sansa (if so, follow the instructions in the following section.)
  • -2: "Read failed (chksum)"
  • -3: "Read failed (model)"
  • -4: "Read failed (image)"
  • -5: "Bad checksum"
  • -6: "File too big"

I'm getting an "OLD ROCKBOX INSTALLATION DETECTED, ABORTING" error, what should I do?

I installed Rockbox before using the old method (without sansapatcher). Now when I try to use sansapatcher, it gives me the error "OLD ROCKBOX INSTALLATION DETECTED, ABORTING". What should I do?

The sansapatcher tool has detected that you have previously installed Rockbox using the old installation method. In order to continue, you first need to restore the original SanDisk firmware to your Sansa. This can be achieved in either of the following ways:

  • Using the SanDisk Firmware Updater: Download the SanDisk Firmware Updater and run it. It should guide you through installing the latest SanDisk firmware on your Sansa.

  • Using a PP5022.mi4 file: If you have a SanDisk PP5022.mi4 file with the SanDisk firmware in it, just put it into the root directory of your Sansa. If your Sansa is running version 1.03 or above of the SanDisk firmware you will need to rename this file to firmware.mi4. Now unplug the USB cable and make sure to start back up into the SanDisk firmware again (by holding |<< if you have the Rockbox bootloader currently installed). It should give a message saying that it is upgrading the firmware. If you don't have the original mi4 firmware around, try getting one from here.
Once that's all taken care of, you can go back and complete the bootloader installation.

I'm unable to decrypt the .mi4 file

Did you use mi4code 0.9.30? That's the only one that knows of the keys for the 1.03 version out-of-the-box.

CategoryFAQ: Frequently asked questions about the effort to port Rockbox to the Sansa.

r66 - 02 Apr 2021 - 20:46:07 - UnknownUser

Parents: RockboxFAQ
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