External Device: Mounting okay but can't open or format.


R

Robert Powell

Okay weird one, at least for me - I've searched the archives and can't get
any answers so hopefully those with almost infinitely superior knowledge of
external storage devices and WinXP vagaries - that'll be you then - will
have an answer.



I've ebayed a 4GB USB MP3/Mp4 player, which is extremely nice - it comes
with quite a few files which aren't so nice (seriously who listens to Barbie
Girl and Say you Say me?) and a host of problems.



I'm running a Dell Dimension 4700, with 1 GB of ram and using WinXP service
pack2 with McAfee Firewall.



When I plug the player into a USB slot (any of the 8 slots on my system)
WinXP recognise the player as an external USB storage device, loads a host
of generic drivers and gives the drive a letter "Removable Drive G:" which
is all well and good.



However when I try to open or explore the drive, WinXP tells me the drive
isn't formatted and asks if I'd like to format it. Happy to lose
barbiegirl.mp3, I click yes and there my problems begin.



Instead of 4GB it shows 4MB

It only allows FAT formatting

It only allows Default allocation size



Figuring if I can at least format the drive, I might be able get it to
recognise the full 4GB, I click Start and it tells me: "Windows was unable
to complete the format." Followed by the legend "The disk in drive G cannot
be formatted"



Okay - thinks I - I'll checkout disk management, where I can see the
following values:

Volume G: Layout = Partition, Type = Blank, File System = (nothing, there is
no entry), Status = Healthy, Capacity = 4MB, Free Space = 4MB, Free Space =
100%, Fault Tolerance and Overhead = 0%.



Now there is certainly less than 100% free space on the drive - the example
files on the drive are close to 30MB.



There should be 4GB on the thing not 4MB - again storing 30mb of files on a
4mb drive is a good trick if you can do it!



And why is there no File system?



There is a CD of drivers - Win98 drivers that is - but in a futile attempt
to get Window's to recognise and access the player/drive I've tried
installing them and it comes with a Player Disk Tool and a Player Update
tool.



The disk tool, like WinXP, only recognises 4MB and when formatting says
there is a Total disk space of, 4169728 bytes, 0 system files, 0 bad
sectors, available disk space of 4169728 bytes, each allocation unit is 2048
bytes total allocation units 2036.



All of which is utter nonsense because as soon as I try the player . . .
blasted barbiegirl.mp3 is still there, and indeed the entire drive is
untouched!



If I run the update it tells me that; "Removable disk is busy, please run
the program after waiting a moment."



The player was sourced from Hong Kong so the documentation is translated
from Chinese - funny and diverting as all heck with phrases such as "The
modification that makes the oneself to correspond clicks the next move
behind:" but is as helpful as a gearbox on a pogo-stick!



The player itself works great and is a serious bit of kit - cheaper, smaller
and with more features than an IPOD nano - Voice Recording, FM Radio, MP3
playback, Video Playback, Games, all look, sound and work wonderfully but
unfortunately they're the ones that came with the player and I can't access
the drive to change anything.



Any ideas of how to get to the contents of the drive/player without using a
large hammer, or why I'm getting such erroneous partial info from WinXP,
would be gratefully received.



Regards



Bobble
 
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