Question about Cowon System iAUDIO X5 MP3 Player

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I also had this error. I assume this fix will also work on the X5 and maybe M3.
This can also be used to upgrade the HDD to a larger size!

I love my M5 and was gutted when it broke, it sounds brilliant and even in June 2009 it beats the competitions tiny, flashy, colour screen malarky by being solid, ugly, un-nickable and NO DAFT SOFTWARE! That last point is integral to fixing this fab machine.

Mine was caused by a chair leg placed on the unit... so I pretty much knew for sure the error truly was a HDD one.

- I bought a new HDD (hard disk drive), a Toshiba MK3006GAL (30gb) to replace the original MK2006GAL (20gb) off ebay. My fixed M5 is now 30GB! I'd be careful what drive you use to replace the original, I have no idea which work and which don't work. Stick with Toshiba probably.

- If you have an external drive caddy for 1.8" HDD's or some means of easily formatting the disk like a cable, format it to fat32 filesystem now. if it's secondhand your seller might do this for you if you ask nicely. Skip the linux steps if you can do this.

- Unscrew the back of the unit with a properly sized precision screwdriver, you don't want to ruin the heads on the screws mangling them with the wrong tools as they won't go back in!

- *gently* peel back the silver tape and move the red wire aside. The tape is conductive to stop static from the HDD messing things up and vice-versa.

- remove the back tape section and remember where it goes.

- remove the HDD and gently remove the delicate connector cable

- replace the HDD and put everything back as it was, making sure the black tape is in the same place and the silver tape is firmly attached (as it is meant to conduct electricity). Screw it all back up.

SKIP THESE STEPS if you previously formatted the HDD and continue where it says NOW:

- Windows was useless as it finds the device but you can't do anything to it, so I used the Ubuntu linux instead. There is probably a similar method for macs. Maybe you could use DOS, but god help you! If you hate linux, maybe Partition Magic for Windows can be used but this is only a suggestion and may be a totally useless one as I didn't try it.
- Get Ubuntu linux (or your own preferred distro) live CD (or install and enjoy a windows free life!).
- Load the livecd.
- Load Gparted (System>Administrator>Partition Editor, or "sudo gparted" typed in the terminal)
- Find the unformatted new HDD from the drop down menu e.g. SDA will be your computers HDD, don't touch that! SDB will either be your M5 or another internal HDD. You will recognise the correct drive by noticing it has 'unallocated' (i.e. unformatted) space of the same size of your replacement HDD, and won't be half full like your PC's drives (which you DONT want to format!).
- Format it to FAT32 (the same as a pendrive).
- Remember to 'unmount' the filesystem when you unplug or it may corrupt. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, leave it plugged in while you turn off the computer, and remove it when the PC is off.


- Either using Linux or other means, you have an M5 with a new HDD formatted to fat32.
- Download the latest firmware from Cowon.
- Plug in the M5 into the PC
- The PC >should< recognise this is an IAudio M5, and you should be able to access the new empty disk. I did this step in Linux, so its probably best that you do too.
- Create a new folder on the M5 called "FIRMWARE"
- Drag the firmware file into the FIRMWARE folder.
- Unplug the unit safely (i.e. unmounted) and turn it on.

The unit runs a firmware update and recreates the software on the new disk.

Voila! You have a repaired M5!

Connect to a PC and add your music back on. You did keep a backup, right? ;-)

Hope I've helped everyone!

Posted on Jun 26, 2009


I have same problem and dont know what i can do with it

Posted on Jun 24, 2008

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Laod movies onto my iaudio x5

u can use JETAUDIO converter. . . set your profile to iAudio x5 
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Jun 23, 2008 | Cowon System iAUDIO X5 MP3 Player

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How long dose it take

it don't take long, it depends on the file size you are putting into it, otherwise it might take a while based on that, or the amount of file you have in it, if it takes a while scrolling and you get a hour glass on your computer screen wait until it all loads up and it should work perfectly for you 

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Yes it does, but the screen is small and the playback rate (15 frames per second) is slow for a fast action movie.

If you really want a video player with the same audio quality as the X5L, then take a look at the A2 from Cowon.

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i found out a problem with it, i had the same problem if u have rockbox on their, u got to get rid of it, when it turns on plug the USB to the mp3 player, make sure it comes in the Drive of your computer, use a Windows XP, or any updated windows computer make sure that it's formatted into a FAT32 drive and format make sure u put the original firmware back into it, it can be downloaded from any Cowon Site, here is the steps if u want to know how to start it off Windows XP formatting instructions:
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2. Go to My Computer, click on Start then click on My Computer
3. Select the iAudio drive, then click on file and select format.
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Needs to be a FULL format and in FAT32.
after that is done, it will reset all the folders, and wipe off the hard drive and it should be back to normal, from then on it should work, if it doesn't try to use this site to request for a RMA repair service if u want to, u could try the Rockbox again if it is on it, but just know it's not fully supported by Iaudio...and ill give the Firmware link too if u want it [X5 Firmware] if it don't turn on possibily u can try to reconnect the power wire into the solder joints that should help with that issue, the power wire is red...that should help turn it on

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1 Answer

IAudio X5 not recognised as removable drive

If there's no difference in the operating systems, or other software, a possibility is a faulty USB socket on the computer. Try another USB, or swap workstations... ;] hope it works out

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