Newer Zenstone MP3 Players and Linux; Go Cautiously.
martin at dc.cis.okstate.edu
Fri May 30 13:29:57 UTC 2008
Just yesterday, we got a new 2-gig Zenstone mp3 player.
I was expecting to routinely plug it in to the USB port on my
Debian system and load it with tunes.
Not so fast.
The mount command crashed and burned with
"FAT: bogus sectors-per-track value"
I then tried fdisk -l and the drive in question reports
Disk /dev/sda: 2008 MB, 2008547328 bytes
1 heads, 62 sectors/track, 63273 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 62 * 512 = 31744 bytes
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 63274 1961471+ b W95 FAT32
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
I did an image dump of that device and it appears to be
some form of fat32 file system that may be related to Windows
Using strings on the image showed
ZEN STONE FAT32
ZEN STONE FAT32
Some of this is just text garbage produced when strings
sees binary data that are in the range of ASCII characters, but
it is pretty obvious that Linux can not mount this file system
Older Zenstones seem to have been formatted with a
normal FAT32 file systems. A dump of the first few sectors from
a 1-gigabyte Zenstone looks like
I am running the Debian 2.6.5 kernel and have no trouble
loading FAT32 file systems such as one often finds on USB thumb
Since the format of the Zenstone is not really related
to music, we may be about to get nasty surprises when we try to
access flash drives that we can't just reformat.
If anybody has any suggestions as to how to access this
new player, I would love to hear about it.
Zenstones have been pretty accessible up to now, but
that doesn't seem to be the case any more.
Martin McCormick WB5AGZ Stillwater, OK
OSU Information Technology Department Network Operations Group
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