Sony Walkman mp3 player problem.

My son’s beloved mp3 player seems to have packed up.

It has power and you can adjust the volume but whenever you go to play it comes up FORMAT ERROR on the display.

I’ve pressed the reset button but no joy.

Any ideas?

Plug it into a PC’s USB port and see if it comes up as a removable disc. If it does, formatting the disk might sort it out.

NB: You’ll lose any songs that were on the player when you do this.

Alternatively, if any Windows software came with the player, try formatting/resetting the player with that.

I comes with sony software (its crap) you will need to install drivers on PC (if you hav’nt already) but it will allow it to be seen as a drive in my computer. software can be downloaded from

you can then right click and select format (this will as pointed out in one of the other posts delete all you data on the mp3 player.

When I plug it into the USB on my laptop it shows as a removable drive but when i click on the icon a window pops up asking me to “insert disk into Reomovabe drive”… any ideas?

The memory is at least corrupted and the music on there is stuffed. However, does the device have a hard reset or formatting mode? The manual will say - or at least the Sony website will.

You don’t say what model it is but some models can be reset by removing the battery, others by doing something like this

  1. Press and hold the BACK/HOME button until the HOME menu appears.
  2. Press the FF/REW button to select (Settings), and then press the Play/Pause button.
  3. Press the FF/REW button to select the “Format”, and then press the Play/Pause button. Confirmation screen appears.
  4. Press the FF/REW button to select “OK,” and then press the Play/Pause button. “FORMATTING…” appears. When formatting is completed, “COMPLETE” appears.

If a hard reset doesn’t make the memory usable, there has probably been a hardware failure. As for formatting - according to the Sony site the memory on their devices must be formatted using the Sonic Stage software or their internal routines rather than using Window’s own file functions.

BTW - Yes, Sonic Stage is carp!