About the decreasing memory problem

Hardware hacks, chipset information and other hardware related topics.

Postby javier » Mon Dec 19, 2005 2:30 am

Seems a physical error rather a FAT bug.

Try making partitions with fdisk....
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hi..great work

Postby jawedsoft » Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:10 am

I too have owned this 512 mb player for close to three months now..and haven't used it at all..I have spent all the time formating and checking to see if there is a particular pattern in the size getting reduced from 512 mb..
some one told me that this particular batch of s1mp3 only have that problem..what has actually happened was that when the chip maker realised that due to a fault in the process they have ended up with thousands of 512 mb chips which work only upto the first few sectors..they sold it to the chinese player makers hoping that they will utilise the working part of the memory to sell mp3 players...the chinese being smarter found out that the...and made changes in the mbr to show them as 512 even though they are physically damaged.
this way lots of asian dealers have ended up with these players..and have conned the innocent users...one thing you will notice is that 99 % of these players have been sold only by the website sellers...not by normal shops.

congratulations to you for working on this problem and going so deep..do let me know if I can help you...I could make my player work by copying songs only to the 240 mb mark..once we go beyond that it crashes..some players even go upto 300 mb..it differs from player to player..


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Nothing is impossible................
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Postby Crunchy » Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:39 am

Jawed, is that a confirmed fact, or yet another "possible theory"?
I feel there are to many reports of the memory issue for it to be a single faulty batch of memory chips.
hynix couldn't afford a batch of a few thousand bad chips out on the market, it would kill their reputation to much.
Considering only a small part of the s1mp3 owners post here, or are even aware of this website, the 100 or so post about the memory issue mean a few thousand bad s1mp3's out there. Way to much for a single bad batch.
also, this issue has been going for several months, which is also to long for a single batch. (I once came over a reseller page, which offered a monthly capacity of about 10.000 players monthly) The single batch should have been sold out months ago, but still, complaints are coming in.


It is also strange that some people managed to fix their player with a firmware upgrade, that should not be possible if it's a hardware problem.
considering the size of the problem, I think it is a faulty update of the firmware (ie: new version, with bugs), without changing the version numbers.

@Abilio, I have working (non bugged) 512MB player, it's one of the oldies (hear me blabbing: the good old days :P ), email me on how to extract the sectors, and I'll mail them to you.

Have you tried going up to 0x700002 sectors? have you tested the chip all the way back up to the full 512MB?
Maybe only smaller clusters are damaged, and perhaps it could be possible to store these as bad sectors or something, or even make more partitions, each one an errorless part of the chip.

My theory is that not the whole chip is damaged, but rather a small (or larger) part somewhere in the middle. It would be a shame to waste all the good space beyond the bad part...
Maybe there is a way to autodetect if a sector is bad, if so, store that one as a bad sector, and try the next.
Seems like a genuinly automatable process to me :)
things to do before I die:
1) achieve immortality
all other things can wait

player:
512MB, no FM, 7 colours, 3 animations
board number: LJD-02+3V0.2 2005-01-28
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Hi I am also facing same problem of reducing the size of my

Postby rcz90 » Tue Dec 20, 2005 5:01 pm

hey hi i am also facing the same problem of reducing my mp3 player size during format , my mp3 earlier have 256 mb after formating it reduced to 119 mb only pls help me and mail me
at - ravichandra03^AT^gmail.com

Thanks n Regards
Ravi chandra

[EDIT: hid email adress from evil spambots, regards, Crunchy]
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Postby Pedro Ramirez » Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:57 am

Abiliorj, for what is worth, I recently got one s1 mp3 player and formated using Windows Me many times. It had the problem described by DrHolm. That´s why I kept on formatting.
After many retries, I decided to use the Mp3 Player Utility that came with the player. I first formatted in low level, then in full then in quick. Copied about 700Mb of mp3´s to it. Before disconecting I was checking if the all the mp3´s where OK. They did. Right after disconnecting the unit I got the infamous Disk Error message and found that the 1Gb drive was now 119Mb!. (I think I disconected the palyer phisically without stopping it first)

I opened the player and found it has a Samsun Chip of 8Gbits = 1024Mb

I think, as you do, that the problem lies somwhere in the firmware. It seems it is unable to handle the whole 1GByte for some reason.

I´m now in the same step as you are, trying to gain all the space lost by means of software. There are many other players out there using the same chips that are working OK up to now. So there should be software reason that explains why it stops working.

My player's specs:

MEMORY CHIP:
SAMSUNG 536
K9W8G08U1M
PCB0

K9: MEMORY NAND Flash
W: SLC (Single Level Cell) 4 Die Stack
8G: Density 8Gbit = 1024MB
08: Organization x8
U: Vcc 2.7-3.6 V
1: Mode Dual nCE & Dual R/NB
M: 1st Generation

http://www.samsung.com/Products/Semicon ... _Flash.pdf
-----------------------------------------------
RAM, ROM y CPU:
ATJ2085
EA088AB CAF
-------------------------
PC BOARD:
MP-481CV4+FLASH
2005.1.15
-----------------
FM CHIP:
PHILIPS TEA5767
V02P00
0PG04282
-----------------
DISPLAY PCBOARD:
MP481CVLCM
2005.1.15
s1 Mp3 Player with FM
SAMSUNG 536 K9W8G08U1M ATJ2085
PC BOARD: MP-481CV4+FLASH 2005.1.15
Caracas, Venezuela
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Memory

Postby Pedro Ramirez » Wed Dec 28, 2005 6:14 pm

Well, I think I´m getting close to find why the memory seems to decrease.

To make long story short:
I formated an 512Mb USB pen drive using FAT16. Then I copied the Boot Sector, the Loader, and the partition master boot sector (I almost copied the whole thing) onto the s1 mp3 player USB drive. They were identical, so it was supposed to be recognized as an 512Mb drive instead of a 119Mb one. Right?

WRONG.
Althougth the geometry of the drive was now that of a 512Mb drive the system was still recognizing the darn thing as a 119Mb drive and refused to use it until formated.

Using Paragon Partition Manager I saw what may be the answer: the mp3 player was reporting the drive as having 15 Cilynders althoug it was supposed to have more as written in the disk.

From what I can gather, the s1 mp3 IS a computer, although with a different OS, it follows the rules set years ago for its internals (BIOS). In PC computers there is a table that defines the expected geometry of the hard drives. Today they do a check into the drive at boot time and report the correct geometry. This information is stored somewhere in memory so any programs, or OS can see what the parameters of a given disk are so it can managed it properly.
The firmware (or hardware) in the s1 mp3 players has that geometry written in it, so no matter what you do to the drive, the mp3 system will report allways the same thing: Cilynders, Heads (tracks), Sectors. That´s the reason why you cannot change the drive geometry ON the drive itself and get away with it.

This will also explain why som players refused to play after reaching the 128Mb limit: as reported by the internal HD table inisde the player, there is no more space available in the drive and since this error is not handle by the firmare, the player simply stops, restarts and shuts down.

My theory is this: The flash drives were formated to their right capacity at the time they were produced, for testing purposes, and they remained formatted after that. The problem side is that somehow the wrong firmare got into this players. The firmware for the 128Mb players got into the larger capacity players, problably by mistake.
That´s why you can see a 1Gb drive even thought you cannot stuff as much bytes in it. If you do, it will be written from the beguining every time it reaches its assumed capacity as told by the bios. This is normal to all media: floppy, hard disk, etc.
This also explains why the drive is initially formated as 1Gb or 512Mb and after decreasing, it cannot be formatted again to that capacity.

The solution seems to be to find WHERE in the player (firmware or Hardware) is this geometry table written. If it is in the firmware, the it will be a matter of changing it to the proper values. But if it is in the hardware, well that´s it. Nothing can be done. You either stick to your lower-than-paid-for-capacity mp3 player or returned for a refund.

I also think that unless this table is in the firmare that can be update, it will be very hard to find a compatible firmware for every player.

I´ll now try to get at the site that offers the two different firmware upgrades to see if the difference in the drive geometry can be found.

Whish me luck.

The site is at
http://www.manta.com.pl/produkty.php?id=1239&lang=en
s1 Mp3 Player with FM
SAMSUNG 536 K9W8G08U1M ATJ2085
PC BOARD: MP-481CV4+FLASH 2005.1.15
Caracas, Venezuela
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Postby maia » Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:56 pm

This is how I solved my player's memory issue (I have 2 of them, both of 512MB size and both went corrupted copying more than 120MB of MP3s):

After replacing one player with a working one (the other was disassembled and out of warranty), I made a backup (under Linux OS) of the working player's filesystem and then restored this backup to the faulty player, that is now working fine!
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Postby maia » Sun Jan 29, 2006 9:37 am

Alias00 wrote:Hello maia!
Wish commands u used under Linux to make a backup of the files system of your player and then restore this backup ?


to create a copy of your USB filesystem on a compressed file on your hard drive:
cat /dev/sda |gzip >MP3backup.gz

To restore such backup:
zcat MP3backup.gz >/dev/sda

After this there's no need to format again the player of course.
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Postby maia » Sun Jan 29, 2006 9:47 am

drejc wrote:I would also like to know how you formatted your partition in linux.


formatting in FAT16:
mkdosfs -F 16 /dev/sda1

FAT32:
mkdosfs -F 32 /dev/sda1
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Memory issue

Postby sub7neo » Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:13 am

maia wrote:
Alias00 wrote:Hello maia!
Wish commands u used under Linux to make a backup of the files system of your player and then restore this backup ?


to create a copy of your USB filesystem on a compressed file on your hard drive:
cat /dev/sda |gzip >MP3backup.gz

To restore such backup:
zcat MP3backup.gz >/dev/sda

After this there's no need to format again the player of course.
Can you send me the actual back up copy of 512MB Sony player?
as I dont have the original compressed copy of my player's USB file system. Mine is an MP4 player with 1.2 inc TFT color display with the squre type and having buttons arranged in a circular manner.NO side Buttons..
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IThe same but different

Postby matiasg85 » Thu Feb 16, 2006 12:57 am

Hi people that´s my first post here. First of all, my apologies for the writing erorrs, i am from argentina. OK, in my case i have recieved two 512 mb mp3 players as a gift, and both of them have only 371 mb instead the supposed 512mb,. I´d never formatt either of them, so is any solution for my case, i mean i can play all the files, but it just recognizes 371 mb. PLease help. Thanks.
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Postby JedOi » Thu Feb 16, 2006 1:58 am

Hi matiasg85,

Sounds more like you might have more than 99 files on your ROOT folder ... look through the Sticky posts for one called 99 file limit or similar ;)

hope this helps.
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Postby matiasg85 » Thu Feb 16, 2006 2:31 am

HI thank you for answer, let me tell you that in my root folder i only have 66 files, but when i see the memory info in the s1 mp3 player or in the win xp, i see that i only have 371 mb as total phisicall memory. I think that my case is preety different than others, i mean i look for everywhere and no ones has 371 mb in 2 diferents s1 mp3 players without format anything. Thanks.
Last edited by matiasg85 on Thu Feb 16, 2006 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby JedOi » Thu Feb 16, 2006 2:46 am

Maybe some of the space is being taken up by Encrypted partitions ...

In the "MP3 Player Disk Tool" check that Encrypted Partition is turned down to 0 (switched off) ...
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Postby matiasg85 » Fri Feb 17, 2006 4:36 am

hi, let me tell you, that the encryption partition is turned off, i formatted the memory in low level and it keeps saying 371 mb.
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