Question about Rio Carbon MP3 Player

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Rio Carbon 5 GB: Battery loses power fast when player is turned off

Greetings earthlings,

I am Lur of Omicron Persei 8. No, I'm not. Just joking. ;-)

I have a Rio Carbon 5 GB player for some years now and like it a lot because of different reasons. Although I used it a lot it still works very good. Therefore I was looking for another player of this kind to use it beside of my existing one. Because I did not find a shop again in which they were offered new I bought one on eBay. It is also a Rio Carbon 5 GB. To my regret this one has a problem. The battery loses its power very fast when the player is turned off. In detail the battery is empty in about one hour in turned off mode after it was charged fully over the battery charger before and the cable was disconnected. Instead of that the player was already able to play over ten hours when the playing started just after the battery was fully charged. And after this playing time it still had power left. Thus it does not look like the battery itself is the problem. So far I have not found information to similar problems on the internet. Does any of you know similar cases and/or what could be the cause and solution? When I got it the installed firmware was Developers Cut 3.04. To test if it solves the problem I changed it to version 1.43 but the problem is still there.

Thanks in advance. 8-)


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  • JohnDBlue Aug 15, 2008

    Hello Mowcius,

    Thank you very much for your answer to my query. It's a pity that the symptoms of my Carbon aren't familiar to you. I was hoping that they could be solved over a software setting. I will try your charge and flatten suggestion although I do not think that it's likely to solve the problem. But it seems to be worth a try. Unfortunately it seems increasingly likely to me that the problem is caused by a malfunctioning hardware. On the Internet I found information to other electrical devices with similar problems. In these cases malfunctioning hardware had to be repaired. But I think that the cost for a repair of my Carbon could be too high to be reasonable. Maybe I will try your suggestion to take off the back to look for a hardware fault if the above approach does not solve the problem. Or I leave it as it is. In this case I could start to schedule the use of this Carbon and try to charge it just in time with the energy which seems to be needed for the scheduled use so that I do not waste energy if possible. This seems to be a relatively inconvenient approach. Or I stop to use it and try to sell it as a malfunctioning device or keep it as a source for spare parts for my other Carbon. Or I try to give it back to the eBay seller. Because so far I do not know if your suggestions will solve the problem I am planning to rate your answer after I found out. Maybe I will write another comment when I have further information.

    Thanks again for your kind support. 8-)



  • JohnDBlue Aug 30, 2008

    Hello Mowcius,

    So here some information to the actual status:

    I have tried your charge and flatten suggestion for some time in which I charged and flattened the battery for about five times. In one case I found out that my Carbon was able to play 15 hours in one go with a full battery charge before it went out of power which is a good length in my opinion. But unfortunately this procedure has not changed the problem. This Carbon still loses a full battery charge in about an hour when it is turned off. Therefore this strategy does not seem to solve this problem so that I won't try it any longer.

    I have not tried your suggestion to take off the back to look for a short circuit or obvious hardware fault because after I found the following picture of an open Carbon it does not seem to be likely to me that I could find such problems. See:

    So far I have not decided how to continue. Maybe I should try if this carbon blends. ;-) (See: Just joking, of course I won't.

    Because your answer was helpful to me I will try to rate it with the rate Helpful.



  • JohnDBlue Oct 13, 2008

    Hi Mowcius,

    Thanks for your answer from 30.08.08. Because off different reasons I have not answered it until now. Sorry!

    After 30.08.08 I also found your following two Carbon contributions on

    Replace broken scroll wheel on Rio carbon


    In my opinion they are really good and helpful. You really seem to know how to handle some relatively difficult problems that can occur with a Carbon. And you even have replaced the harddrive with a compact flash card successfully. Hats off!

    Thanks for your further specifications from 30.08.08 about your earlier suggestion for a possible solution to the problem of my Carbon. So far I have not tried this approach because of different reasons. Based on the information I found about how to open and close a Rio Carbon the risk seems to be relatively high that problems occur in these activities. These procedures seem to be relatively delicate and difficult. Further more based on the described behaviour of my Carbon it does not seem to be likely enough to me that dirt or foreign objects are causing the problem of my carbon. Instead I tried to find a company here in Germany which offers repairs of Carbons for a fair price. Unfortunately I did not find one. At this point it seemed to be meaningful to me to look for an alternative to this Carbon. Based on this development it did not seem to be meaningful to search for another Carbon. Therefore I searched for other MP3 players on the internet which could be suitable to my wishes and are still offered in shops. Luckily I found one. It is the Sony NWZ-A818 B and to my pleasure I was able to buy me one. Here is a picture of this player:

    Great sound, 8 GB flash, easy and clear user interface, drag & drop access and a lot of other elements which are nice to have to me. So at last at present I have reached a constellation which fulfills my present wishes. I have two functioning MP3 players that I like. My old 5 GB Carbon which still runs great and my new NWZ-A818 B. So far I have not decided how to continue with my defective Carbon. At present I have no ambitions to spend further efforts on it. Maybe in the future.

    Thanks again for your kind support.

    Live long and prosper!





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The battery is not normally something that wears out on a Rio Carbon but if it used and charged wrong then it can either be conditioned to a shorter time or wrecked. Because it goes flat when turned off but keeps charge when on makes me slightly confused but anyway... I would advise charging it up fully and then flatten it fully - just leave it playing while you're out or something. Do this a few times and this may solve your problem. This will put maximum charge into your battery and it might solve your problem. If not then try taking the back off and look for a short circuit or obvious hardware fault.

Hope this helps,


Posted on Aug 03, 2008

  • mowcius Aug 30, 2008

    What you cannot see in that photo are the battery contacts under the battery. These were mainly what i was recommending that you check. There may some obvious dirt or some such foreign object in your rio which is causing it to malfunction but there may also not be. If you take off the back and there is no obvious fault then i am afraid that 'will it blend' might be the best option because due to rio being 'dead' there is no longer anywhere that will repair rio products (unless there is some guy doing it on small scale for friends)

    Sorry there does not seem to be a real solution to the problem,




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2. go to walmart look in the flash drive isle for a sandisk ultra 2 cf card 8gb about 40$ .
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5. then put back plate back on carbon.
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