Need a driver for a Sansa MP3 player

By treetops · 11 replies
Feb 7, 2014
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  1. My gf has 2 sansa mp3 players that will not pop up on her computer or my computer, via usb. both windows 7. She does not have the discs, I googled n googled to no avail. She thinks they are 4 gig. I tried the setup wizard here.

    They look like these ones on techspot.

    If someone could even upload their cd that would be nice.

    I can't find any sites for a simple driver, looks like I am **** out of luck without a install cd.

    Windows 64 bit. If linux would grant me more luck or some other kind of idea I am all ears!

    I also tried this

    They do not show up in my computer or the device manager, windows media player is fully updated as well as windows 7.

    If I had windows pro I would just use windows xp mode but I only have windows premium.

    The model number is no where to be seen but from pics I have seen they appear to be 4 gig.

    I also tried resetting to factory defaults and every usb mode. As far as our computers are concerned they do not exist. Please help. They charge though. I am no stranger to looking up drivers but this is a doozy I already spent 3 hours on it.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    Does Windows Update not detect the device while it is connected? Sometimes Windows Update will correct these issues, but only while the device is connected.
  3. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,069   +218

    I wish lol no I tried that on both comps.
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    I don't know that I can help.... but a couple questions...

    When you connect the device to USB, do you hear the USB connect sound?

    Do ever get a "USB not recognized" (or any other) message or does the computer just act like nothing was plugged in?
  5. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Addict Posts: 271   +67

    You might try this program - - and see if the devices show up at all. If not, they may be "dead" as in the battery won't take or hold a charge any more. You also might try bringing the battery to life using a USB wall or car charger for a few hours before plugging it into a PC's USB port.
  6. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,034   +55

    Hi Treetops,
    I have a Sony Walkman MP3 player, used with Win 7 & 8 and I never did install the driver for it, (XP ver only.) Works well enough to copy files to and from it, using 2 'explorer' windows side by side, (drag and drop.)
    When I have had similar USB device probems, I used the program made by Uwe Sieber to clear out the old USB driver history, which could be the issue you are having.
    It's an old program, runs a DOS script in a new window, but it does work well.
    You can install this tiny program to the Desktop, then 'Run as Admin', when needed. Best to remove all USB devices, run the program, then Windows will 'see' them again, as they are plugged in.
    *There is a note to read on the Sansa site about changing the USB mode, which could be worth trying to fix connection 'issues',
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  7. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,069   +218

    When I first plugged it in I believe it made a sound. But no it does not and may never have.

    The computers act like nothing was plugged in. Im going to edit\respond to the other replies in a sec.

    Ok I am looking at the list, the green items are what is currently plugged in, I only see 3. I have a keyboard, mouse, webcamera and the mp3 plugged in. It appears to be listing either my keyboard or mouse as unknown composite device, anyways. So it does not recognize the mp3 player as being connected.

    The mp3 player holds a charge just fine the battery is full and it turns on when it is not connected.

    Running program checking site will edit with results

    I ran the program it did its job, but it did not fix the problem.

    In the settings they have the option to switch it to msc mode. That does nothing for my problem. I have tried all 3 modes. And I have tried the force methods listed in that article to no avail.

    In one mode it is supposed to appear under device manager as portable storage device. In another mode USB mass storage. Neither pops up ever.

    Perhaps there is a simple windows update driver I can download manually?
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  8. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,034   +55

    Hi treetops, So the driver updater does not work?
    There are a few programs that claim to find the missing drivers for your pc, but then ask for a payment,(!) but I have used the free program 'Drivereasy' which actually works, and there is a free version (and a faster paid-for version.)
    On their site the link you would need for the D/L is towards the lower end of the site, in a comparison chart (free vs Pro.)
    I have read through the Sansa info and FAQs, they advise uninstalling the driver from Device manager, then 'Scan for hardware changes'.
    A search found this also;
    Probably nothing you haven't tried though.
    I would add, to run every program to do with this MP3 player 'As Admin'.
    Their site seems to make a lot of the cable may be 'bad', but might be worth trying another if possible.
    I also found some info about resetting the player by holding down the power button for 20 seconds, worth a try...
    (If you use the Drivereasy program, the download speed is SLOW (on purpose of course) but it does normally seem to get it right....I have found.)
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Here's how I interpret your data (just based on my own reading and some testing): The problem is most likely the Sansa player. But, in any case, has nothing to do with the Sansa driver.

    USB Controllers and Root Hubs
    USB hubs communicate with downstream devices (like your Sansa) as well as other hubs. Every USB controller has a "Root hub". The controller and its root hub are an integrated device on the motherboard.

    Plug and Play Sequence
    1. New hardware detection. USB ports connect to a hub. When a USB device is plugged in to a port, its hub detects the new hardware by way of an electrical change on the bus. Downstream hubs pass the New Device Notification back up along the chain to any upstream hubs until the Root hub is eventually notified.

    2. Device recognition. Windows "recognizes" the new device through a process called "device enumeration". During enumeration, the device sends Windows information about itself. Information that was burned into the device firmware: what it is, who made it, its configurations and interfaces, the bandwidth and the power it needs from the USB bus. This data is sent to the controller in data blocks called “Descriptors”.

    Device enumeration is a complex sequence of events. A failure along the sequence can cause the controller to either a) ignore the device or b) report the device to Windows as “Unknkown”. Device enumeration must succeed for Windows to recognize the device. (See How does the USB stack enumerate a device? References to the "software stack" refer to the USB controller and root hub drivers.)

    3. Windows searches for a suitable device driver. After device recognition, AND ONLY AFTER RECOGNITION SUCCEEDS, does Windows go looking for suitable device drivers (in this case, the drivers for your Sansa)

    You aren’t getting a driver error (such as “Driver not found”). You’re not even getting an "Unknown Device" reported. In your case, the controller is ignoring the Sansa player. That means the problem is somewhere between the controller (BIOS, the m/b hardware and chipset drivers) and your Sansa device (its hardware and firmware).

    Since your Sansa fails on different computers, I think it's most like the Sansa device, itself
    > Fully charge the Sansa before you try connecting it again
    > Try connecting the Sansa to a self-powered USB hub instead of directly to a computer

    Another helpful tool from Uwe Seiber is USB TreeView. It shows you how your USB devices connect to each other along with their various USB descriptors. Below is a case where an Unknown Device was reported. Note when I highlight the Unknown device you see the Connection Status = Device Enumeration Failed

    Unknown Device.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  10. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,034   +55

    And this (above post) could be the real answer......
    A few years ago I had an MP3 player that completely failed, could not access the ram or get Windows to 'see' it, luckily there was nothing valuable on it.
    My player was a cheap one, so I didn't expect much, nothing like the quality of the Sansa players.
    Also I remember a 'blind test' carried out by a well known audio magazine, and the best audio quality was found to be the Sansa Fuze. I couldn't find one at the time and bought a Sony Walkman NWZ-E436F.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  11. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,069   +218

    Hi, I am not exactly sure what has started making it work but it does, windows made a noise when I plugged in the mp3 player, updated the drivers and installed them np. The last things I tried is what you all posted above my last post. The driver updater was really slow so I did not finish updating all the drivers. I went to try and use it today, plugged in the mp3 player and bam it worked. But I noticed when I restarted my computer the other day all the registry files, updated before windows launched. Perhaps sweeping out the old driver fixed it after all.

    So both mp3 players work, one is a 2gb and one is a 4 gb. I updated the firmware just now hopefully they keep working.

    Thank you all for your help. I believe the dos driver cleaner solved it.
  12. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,034   +55

    Hi, Was good to read your players are working now, Windows does tend to hold on to so many USB drivers for each port that sometimes it's just easier to clear the "history" out, and start again.
    treetops likes this.

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