SanDisk Sansa MP3 Players/e200

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This is a good place for adding tips, tricks, bugs and experiences which would help other owners of players in the Sandisk Sansa e200 series, which consists of:

  • Sansa e250 - 2 gig
  • Sansa e260 - 4 gig
  • Sansa e270 - 6 gig
  • Sansa e280 - 8 gig

SanDisk was the first manufacturer to release an 8 gig flash mp3 player. Sandisk released the e280 model on August 21, 2006.

In addition, you can add microSD cards, and the battery is user exchangeable.

Tips and Tricks[edit]

Blue Wheel on, Screen off[edit]

If your blue wheel is on, and the screen does not "power on" then hold down the menu button on the front bottom left of the player for about 30 seconds. After 15 the blue wheel will power off, but keep the button pressed down. This allows for a reboot.

Recovery Mode[edit]

I was having a problem with my player and after a little back and forth they showed me a back door to recover the system:

If your Player wants you to start in recovery mode

1. Activate the "HOLD" function 2. Press "Rec" and hold, while ath the same time pressing "ON/OFF" button and hold.

After some seconds of pressing there appears a screen reading: Recovery mode: Connect cable Now connect to your PC. A folder 16mbFORMAT will appear under 'My Computer'. Call SanDisk technical support for the most up to date firmware files. 1-866-SanDisk

Note: The firmware is available online via links in their forum at

There are currently 2 version of the e200s, make sure you get the proper firmware for your version.

Copy the .MI4 file from the zip to the 16mbFORMAT folder.

The one thing not mentioned is to format the device completely, create a new directory called "sansa.fmt" in the 16mbFORMAT folder. Then, unplug the USB cable from your computer. Powering down will not reformat.

Playback in Correct Order[edit]

Filenames don't matter in playback. ONLY proper ID3/MP3 tags do. Your files may appear incorrectly because of this. Use one of the utilities listed below to correctly format the ID3/MP3 tags.

There are bugs where albums don't always play in the correct order. The first thing you should is download the latest firmware version from Sansa using their firmware updater program available on the site. The latest version should solve this quite easily.

If all else fails, then edit ID3 tags so that the track numbers contain a leading zero. MP3Tag (freeware) and mp3Tag Pro (shareware) work well for this.

Change Video Quality[edit]

If you want to change the quality of the converted videos (results in smaller size), go to the folder Programs Files → Sandisk → Sansa Media Converter → Profiles, then open the the arp file (SanDisk_E200_MSC.apr) in WordPad or Notepad, go to the optimize section and you can change the quality via video quality. I changed mine from 70 to 30 and it keeps the file about the same size, also you can change the converter from capping it off at 10 minutes, go to split time and change it from 600 (goes by seconds so 600 is 10 minutes) to something like 20,000 and that should do it.

Alternative charging methods[edit]

Sandisk only provides a USB cable for charging the battery. But if you've got a powered USB hub, it's reported to charge the player. Devices that also send power to its USB but not data (for example, the Xbox 360 and the Playstations 2 and 3, when not employing eyeToy extensions) will charge but not use the 'Connected' dialog. Also any wall adapter to USB (i.e. iPod charger) or any after market adaptations work well too. The Made for Sansa product line sells a SanDisk certified model of this

  • Note: You can't listen to/play media while the Sansa is plugged into the USB hub on computers. You can, however, on some other chargers. There are several after market products, such as wall and car chargers, that will.

Play folders and create playlists[edit]

Per default, the e200 series does not provide a feature to simply play a single folder of the player's directory structure. This can be useful if the soundfiles do not have correct ID3 tags or a large number of Files is stored on the player. However, there is a free playlist creator which creates playlists for each folder on the sansa player with one click. it is written in .NET and does not alter the music files (

Driver for Windows 98[edit]

Sandisk does not support Windows 98 for the e200 series of players, so they will not make a driver available. The e100 series driver does not work.

There is an independent driver for m200 series in MSC mode There is also a free generic USB mass storage driver here:

Fill Device Automatically in Windows Media Player + Create instant playlists for transfer[edit]

Peter Gabriel's latest digital venture 'The Filter' have recently released a Windows Media Player and Sansa. This software makes updating your Sansa a very simple process - all you need to do is select a song that you like and a playlist will be instantly generated. This playlist will automatically updated with new songs when you reconnect your device. It is a free download. (

Linux Tips[edit]

The Sansa E series players (and the Sansa Express) work well under Linux. There are some "gotchas", however:

  • Mode The Sansa's operate in "MSC" mode under Linux. This is not the default mode for the player. You must change the USB mode, the last menu item under the "Settings->USB" menu, to MSC.
  • Sync After writing files to the Sansa, you should issue a manual "sync" command, then unmount the device.
  • Important The database which stores all of the track info does not automatically update when the USB storage device is ejected. After adding music to your Sansa you must delete the database directory. When you restart your player the database will be recreated properly.
  • Playlist creation You can upload custom playlist into PLAYLISTS folder in the device. Playlist is in PLP format with .pla suffix, UTF-16LE encoded. Here is very simple Linux shell script, converting M3U to PLA. Also, see (referenced by parent links below) Linux Playlist utils.
  • More to come...


The firmware inside the e200 series can be modified with H3 Mod to customize menu and user interface of the Sansa. Also called "Themeing", these Photoshop artistes create vivid and interesting themes, see Other Links.


Song tags in MSC mode

If you update the tags on your songs and then transfer the files to the player, the database still shows the old tags. Removing the songs, refreshing the database and then reuploading the songs works. You can also remove the database file System\Data\Pp5000.dat. But some songs still have screwy tags on the E270, even after MediaMonkey shows correct tags on the computer. And some songs won't show the correct genre, no matter what you do. The genre will show as unknown. To fix that, remove the ID3v1 tags and use ID3v2.3 tags (not 2.4). Linux users may find that the Sansa can't read tags written by their computer, even ID3v2.3 tags. The tagging program eyed3 has been known to write Sansa-friendly tags in Linux when converting v1 tags to v2.3.

Deleting database deletes list of Top Rated Songs

This isn't really a bug, just something to keep in mind. When you rate a song, the song file isn't changed, only the database on the player pertaining to that song. So when you delete the database (needed sometimes), you also lose all rating of songs.

System noise between tracks

Some owners report a system noise between tracks. The noise is the same audio level, independently of the volume setting, so usually only heard during gaps in the playback or at low volume levels. The system noise is supposedly less noticeable with newer firmwares. Some owners say it's still the same even after upgrade. Some say certain earbuds are more susceptible (low impedance, high sensitivity) to the noise than others.

MCDI header hides genre

Problem: when an MCDI header (Music CD identifier) is included in the ID3v2 tag, the software fails to read the track's genre information. Solution: remove the MCDI header (for example using ID3-TagIT). Note: make sure you refresh the tag database.