Writing down my thoughts once ince a while

Cheap MP3 Player and Linux

with 2 comments

I have this cheap MP3 Player with 2GB flash memory (apparently detected as AVID NAND Flash) which my family bought some time ago so we could transfer files and take advantage of its music function in the same time. I will relate to you what I’ve learned about this thing called “SHOV Digital MP3 Player”.

Besides being a slow device it was working very well originally. I don’t know what happened one day but it lost all the files I had stored. I gave it one simple format from the linux command line but later I found out I could only play the music files from my PC and the Player would report “No audio files…”. What I did was to create a new partition, sda1 in my case, and then format it with mkdosfs -F 32 -S 4096. I went through a lot of troubleshooting and googling to find out what was wrong but nothing of that helped. First thing I found out is that originally it was formated with the FAT12 filesystem, but formatting it with FAT16/32 still works. Since I thought it had something to do with the partitioning and formatting, because even after deleting the partitions with fdisk reading the raw partition table still showed some data, I used a small but powerful and scary application called “wipe” to entirely wipe out the device filling it with patterns of zeros. Here are the steps I took:

-- unmounted the drive first
pumount /media/disk
-- wipe block device to the end (a) and be verbose (v)
wipe -av /dev/sdb
-- create a FAT32 with sector size of 2048 bytes on the whole block device
mkdosfs -S 2048 -F 32 -v -I /dev/sdb
mkdosfs -S 2048 -F16 -v -I /dev/sdb

EDIT [Wed Aug 27 2008, 1:55 PM]: I replaced the last line with a different command. I’ve had better results with FAT16 (even FAT12). If that doesn’t work for you, you should try -S 512 instead of -S 2048. It’s what most flash disk use.

As you can see I omitted creating a partition and instead used the whole block device. Next I unplugged and then plugged it back in and copied some files to it. It worked.

I hope this helps everybody that’s been having the same problem with the same device. If you need to contact me for more details then please leave a comment and I’ll try to get in touch.


Written by brokenthorn

May 3, 2007 at 18:30

Posted in hardware, Linux

2 Responses

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  1. Can this be done only in Linux?


    August 26, 2008 at 03:26

  2. To be honest, the possibility of doing the same things under other operating systems such as Microsoft’s Windows, exists.
    I only know how to do it under a GNU/Linux OS. If you don’t have one installed, you could download a LiveCD and run your Linux OS from your CD-ROM.
    I will respond to any further help you might need.

    PS – I’ve recently edited this post. Please read it again.


    August 27, 2008 at 13:51

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