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Press the Reset button on the inside of the unit with the battery removed. This should solve the Problem. If not you may need to send it in.
Reset button is located under the battery. So remove the battery and loo for the button at the end of the archos where the battery pins make contact. To the right of those and half way down between the pins and the case of the hard drive will be a gold round looking circuit. this is the reset. Press it and off you go.
I had the same problem and manage to solve it. You need to do the following
a. go to Archos website and download latest firmware and save on your pc b. turn on 504 and select repair - unit not connected to pcm you will see a screen where you wil be prompted to press DONE (but DONT press it yet!!!!) c. connect 504 to pc and wait until pc recognise it (it will recognize it this time) d. copy firmware from pc and paste it to 504 root directory. e. press done on 504. now when the device restarts you just select Repair and that should work. :)