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Troubleshooting SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip MP3 Player Problems


Common problems with the SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip MP3 player include the device not turning on or not being recognized by a computer, the selected song not playing, the device freezing up, podcasts not playing, and artist and album information not appearing for the selected song. Most problems with audio files can be resolved by ensuring that the file you're attempting to play is supported by the player and by entering the metadata for the audio file. System problems can often be resolved by putting the device mass storage class (MSC) mode, uninstalling and reinstalling the device's drivers, and forcing the device to shut down and then rebooting it; if you're experiencing system problems on a regular basis, ensure that the MP3 player's firmware is updated.

The SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip MP3 player offers 4 GB of storage space and features a built-in FM radio receiver.
The SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip MP3 player offers 4 GB of storage space and features a built-in FM radio receiver.
Source: SanDisk

Device Doesn't Turn On

If your SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip MP3 player battery became completely drained while the device was frozen or locked up, the device likely won't power on when you connect it to a computer and you'll need to put the device in mass storage class (MSC) mode while connecting it to the computer for the computer to recognize it. The only difference between MSC mode and the standard mode your MP3 player operates in is that when you connect your computer when it's in standard mode, it displays under Portable Devices in Windows Explorer; when you connect your device to your computer in MSC mode, it's displayed under Devices with Removable Storage. Upon disconnecting your MP3 player from your computer it's no longer in MSC mode. You can put your device in MSC mode while connecting it to the computer by doing the following:

  1. Hold the center button down on the SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip MP3 player.
  2. While holding the center button down, connect the device to your computer using the USB cable that came with the device. The device should turn on shortly after being connected to the computer.
  3. Leave the device connected to the computer to charge before disconnecting it again.

Computer Doesn't Recognize SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip MP3 Player

If you're device is working but your computer doesn't recognize it, first try putting the device in MSC mode as outlined in the Device Doesn't Turn On section. If that doesn't work, try checking the device drivers by doing the following:

  1. Reconnect the MP3 player to your computer using the USB cable that came with the device if it's not already connected and then click he Windows Orb on the taskbar to open the Start menu.
  2. Right-click "Computer" on the right side of the Start menu to open a context menu.
  3. Click "Manage" to open the Computer Management window.
  4. Click the expansion box to the left of System Tools and then click "Device Manager." The Device Manager appears on the right half of the program window.
  5. Click the expansion boxes to the left of Portable Devices and USB Mass Storage; your device will be listed under one of these options. If there is a yellow exclamation point next to your MP3 player's name, there is a problem with the device's driver. The driver needs to be uninstalled and then reinstalled in an effort to resolve your problem.
  6. Right-click the name of your MP3 player and then click "Uninstall." The device's driver is uninstalled.
  7. Click "Action" along the top of the program window after the driver is uninstalled and then click "Scan for hardware changes." The computer will detect your device and reinstall your drivers. If you experience this problem on a regular basis, try updating the MP3 player's firmware as outlined in the Update SanDisk Clip Zip Firmware section.

Selected Song Doesn't Play

  • The SanDisk Sansa Zip Clip only supports audio files in the WMA, MP3, secure WMA, WAV and Audible formats. You may be able to load an audio file that isn't in a supported format to your MP3 player, but it won't play when you select it.
  • If your audio file type is supported by the player and it still won't play, you may not have permission to play the audio file on the device. For example, MP3 files purchased through iTunes are only capable of being played on five devices. As a result, if you purchased a file on iTunes, loaded it to five other devices and then tried to play that file on your SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip MP3 player, the file wouldn't play and it would automatically skip to the next track.

Device is Frozen or Locked Up

If your SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip MP3 player is frozen or locked up, perform a hard reset to unfreeze it. You can perform a hard reset by pushing the "Power" button up and holding it in place for at least 15 seconds. The Power button is located in the middle of the left edge of the MP3 player. Performing a hard reset forces any programs that were open to close and forces the entire device to shut down. Wait a few seconds and then reboot your device, which should operate without locking up, at least for a while.

Why Won't My SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip Play Podcasts?

The MP3 player does play podcasts, but the podcasts you load to the device have to be in one of the supported audio formats listed in the Selected Song Doesn't Play section. There are a variety of free audio converters available online that will convert most non-supported file types to a supported file type, such as Any Audio Converter.

Unknown Album and Artist is Listed Instead of Actual Album or Artist

This is a result of the metadata for that particular audio file not being filled in, which is common in songs acquired through peer-to-peer file sharing networks. Generally, if you purchase an MP3 online or if you rip one of your personal CDs, the metadata will be filled in for the file. You can input metadata on your own by doing the following:

  1. Right-click the audio file you want to enter metadata for to open a context menu.
  2. Click "Properties."
  3. Select the "Summary" tab.
  4. Click "Advanced" beneath the Comments box. Various metadata fields will be displayed, such as Artist, Album, Year and Genre. Click any of these files and input the data you want to be entered for that particular audio file.
  5. Click "Apply" and then "OK" after making your changes to save your file. You'll have to remove the existing audio file for that song from the SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip MP3 player and load the newly saved audio file to see the changes.

Update SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip Firmware

Most other problems with the SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip MP3 player can be resolved by updating the device's firmware. Updating the firmware adds functionality to your device and also addresses problems discovered with your device since the last firmware update was released. You can update your device's firmware by doing the following:

  1. Download and install the Sansa Firmware Updater program on your computer.
  2. Plug the larger end of the USB cable that came with the device into the computer and then connect the other end of the cable to the SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip.
  3. Click "All Programs," "SanDisk," "Sansa Updater" and then "Sansa Updater" again. The Sansa Firmware Updater program launches. If a firmware update is available, it will be listed beneath Downloads.
  4. Click to check the box to the left of Firmware and then click the "Download Now" button at the bottom-right corner of the program. A blue progress bar appears beneath Firmware, displaying the progress of the firmware download.
  5. Click the "Finish" button after a screen appears confirming that the firmware is finished downloading.
  6. Unplug the USB cable connecting your SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip MP3 player to the computer. A message appears on the screen saying that a firmware update is currently occurring. When the firmware update is finished installing itself, the device will shut itself down.
  7. Restart your SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip MP3 player and continue using the device as your normally would.

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