If it's an older model, the battery may have possibly expired. The connection between your MP3 player and the computer may not work right. The best and first thing I would do is return the product; messing with those physical connections usually void the warranty.
Maybe updating with the latest firmware will help. Try iriverinc.com and see what they have for updates, or the CD that came with yours. I hope this helps, the best thing to do is just exchange it.
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I would reset the player first. As long as you are absolutely sure that the hold button is not engaged, then resetting the player ought to make the hold message disappear. If the reset fails, plug the iRiver into the computer to see if the computer will recognize the player. If it does, then go ahead and update the firmware on the player from iRiver's website - it will have the side effect of fixing your issue.
Try plugging in usb with the H10 turned off. Now, press the select button (with the round symbol on it) while turning the H10 on. This starts the player in 'emergency mode' and should be recognized by XP
Yes, try running a format from your computer to the IRiver with it plugged into the USB port. I have done this with several friends MP3 players and it works great. In other words plug your MP3 player into your computer as you usually do and from windows or dos in your accessories run a regular format of the MTP portable device or whichever drive dos says it is. Then presto you can again load music or whatever your MP3 player take into it again.
Try this: disconnect the player from the computer, turn it off, hold in the volume + button, and reconnect the player to the computer while holding the volume + button in. Keep holding the volume + button for an additional 5-50 seconds. Windows should eventually go into recovery mode and revive the player- it will pop up a window that says Found New Hardware Wizard