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Old 09-23-2007, 20:14   #1
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Yawn Audio Player Problem Solving 101

For my 1000th post, I thought I'd see if I could come up with some general hints to address ALL those problems at once. Nothing like a good challenge ..

The first step of fixing a problem is to identify it. In detail. Exactly (more or less). 'My player doesn't charge'' or 'it won't play music' doesn't hack it. In order to pin it down to some useful level, the easiest thing to do is to change as many conditions as possible, and see if you can make the problem go away. The real cause will be common to all the cases where the problem still exists, and will be absent in the cases where the problem went away (usually!).

If it won't charge, try a different charger, a different power socket, a different plug on the device (if you have a choice .. e.g. USB or DC power input). I mean don't buy a whole new charger until you are fairly sure that's the problem, but you can try a new USB lead, on a different computer, fairly easily. When you've changed everything and it still doesn't charge, you know it is the player!

If a track won't play, well try a different track, or a different music format. Try playing the same (broken) track from the player using PC software. Hopefully you can narrow the problem down to where you can have a good guess at what is really broken (and hopefully it is only something simple). There is probably more software ('firmware') in a 2007 DAP than there was in a 1987 PC, so there's plenty of scope for things to go wrong.

Remember that almost all players have a reset button, or similar method of unlooping them, unscrewing the display, etc. Try it! If all else fails, running the power down may work, but takes a while on something like a D2 or an I7, and is really a last resort.

Anything which looks like a USB disk drive (i.e. connects in UMS mode) can benefit from the occasional 'chkdsk' (from winXP), preferably BEFORE the disk structure gets irretrievably knotted. Yes, you can format the disk, but that is a very blunt instrument (and you will lose all the content). Chkdsk can get it wrong too, so it's a good idea to run it in 'looksee' mode before you add the /f which tell it to fix problems (we're running from a CMD window here). And when it does find/fix problems, run it again afterwards .. it doesn't always get them all first pass.

Audio player hard drives benefit from defragmenting too. Flash memory devices do not - in fact it just uses up write cycles.

Firmware upgrades .. strangely it is NOT NECESSARY to always have the latest version, and the old maxim 'If it ain't broke, don't mess with it' applies very well. Every firmware flash you do has a x% (hopefully only 0.01% or something) chance of completely bricking the player, so only do it if it going to give you something you actually want. Leave the pioneering to people with loads of time, money, a direct route to Cowon, and two spare players. 8>.

And finally, if you have a warranty, use it. It is really dumb to take the back off your 3 week old player (and invalidate the warranty) when there is very little inside that you can repair. It's also dumb to put up with some niggling fault, which you know won't 'get well', but will probably fail permanently, 3 miles high over the Pacific, a week after the warranty expired.

If you spent $300 on a player, don't try to save $10 on decent earphones or a proper charger. A screen protector, case, and maybe insurance, can be helpful too. Very few DAPs bounce worth a damn, and none of them swim home if you drop them in the sea!

iAudio G3 (1GB), M5L (20GB), I7 (8GB)
Sennheiser PX100, PMX100, HD595
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Old 09-24-2007, 19:42   #2
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Default Simplified Version

I am coming from a hard drived based player. My troubleshooting comments are primarily directed at such units.

If the player locks up with a spinning hourglass, press the reset button for a second or so.

It is important to determine if the lock up was caused by 'gremlins' or a bad audio file. Replay the audio file(s) when the lock up occured. If the unit crashes again, suspect a corrupt file(s). I recently had a series of freezes and determined that a few corrupt music files were on my player.

When all else fails, reformat the hard drive. I know the GV3MiaC recommends a chkdsk of the hard drive, but I believe it is quicker and more efficient to just to a reformat of the hard drive using JetShell and reload all of your data. Yes, everything on your player will be wiped out, except for the firmware. So, backup anything you do not want to lose.

If you are unable to connect via the USB port of your PC, there is more than likely a problem with your PC. The X5 is a dumb, external hard drive. Rarely does it cause a connection problem. Try another PC to see if the unit can connect.

Skipping music files is generally an indication that you are trying to play incompatible music files on your player. Make sure that the files you load can be played by your unit.
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