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Your battery is not dead because if it was, then navigation wheel would not be lighting up. Your screen is blank because when you touch the navigation wheel, you probably decrease the brightness of the screen. Turn the wheel counterclockwise, as this will brighten up the screen display. Press the center button when done. Reply back if this solution does not help.
First back up all of your music and do this: Turn off the player and make sure it is disconnected from the computer. Then press and hold the play/pause button and turn it on simultaneously. It will then enter recovery mode. Scroll down and select format (all) and let it format and it should work like normal. If it freezes again, then you may need a firmware update.
You may need to now reset the player, that may have been a bit much for it.
To reset your Sansa Mp3 player.
Slide and hold the Power switch up for approximately 20 seconds.
Release the Power switch.
To turn the player on, slide the Power switch up then release instantly.
If that does not get your player working again, try and Format to clear any corrupt files that may be present.
Sansa Mp3 player frozen? How to reset and...
Hi, I experienced the same problem this morning, my sansa player (e280, 8Gb) froze in the middle of a song, the screen went blank but the wheel still had its blue light on and i didn't know how to fix it bur then i figured how. If that's the case with your player too, then the solution will be to press and hold the power button till the blue light goes off (abt 8-10sec) and then just restart the player. It should work.
If you have a blank screen but the blue lighted ring is on. Remove the back, the battery, remove the 4 tiny screws. pop the front plate off. Carefully remove the circuit board from the case starting from the bottom. On the back of the circuit board you will find a smaller circuit board that is plugged in. This board sometime becomes partially unplugged do to rough handling. Press this board back into its socket carefully. Reassemble the unit and everything should be fine.I repaired 2 Sansa E280 unit from Woot grab bags with this method.
Try going to recovery mode by enabling the hold switch then press the record button then press the menu button until you see on the player screen welcom to recovery mode. Download the update from the sandisk site then install and run it on your computer. Then perform the update. Hope that helps.