You need to put the device into "recovery mode" before you run the tool.
- Turn the device off (hold power for 20 seconds) - Slide the hold switch into "hold" position. - Press and hold the "record" button while connecting it to your computer. Keep holding the "record" button until you see the "new hardware found" on your computer.
Then run the recovery tool. Select format when prompted.
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When the Sansa reads "refreshing database," what it is doing is going through all the songs you've loaded on to it, pulling out the "tag" information (Artist, Album, Song Title, Genre) so it can add this information to its own database which it uses to display the songs to you in its menus.
If it gets stuck during this process, usually it's because of a corrupt song file, or a song file in a format it doesn't understand.
Note that the e280 is only able to play MP3 and WMA audio formats. If you've loaded a different type of audio file onto your Sansa, you'll need to remove them.
If the songs you've recently loaded have all been MP3 and/or WMA, you may have loaded a corrupted file onto your Sansa. Try removing the songs you recently added, and see if the problem goes away.
Used the Firmware Updater to get the latest firmware and this updated my Sansa E260 player which was in Recovery mode. The player then completed the refresh database process. No data was lost. The player is now functiining correctly.]
It is likely that one of the filenames or tags is messed up, causing the database refresh some grief. You can reset the thing to factory defaults (likely erasing content in the process) with a Lock-Power-Record combo, or you can just plug it in to USB and perhaps be able to delete some of what you just changed on it 'til it starts properly (in a minute, that is.) If you had not just added songs before now, I am less sure what the minimal thing needed to get it going is....