Got an older Sony Walkman mp3/video player that occasionally locks you out? Here’s a possible quick fix

We’re talking the newer technology Walkmans here, that play music from internal memory as opposed to an old-school cassette player (for those old enough to remember those). The specific problem is that you are out somewhere with your Walkman and you turn it on and attempt to play something, and are greeted by this message:

There is a possibility that the connection has been canceled during transfer. Please connect to compliant software or device and transfer data again.

But you don’t have the device’s USB cable with you, and maybe no computer to plug it into.

Resist the urge to hurl the thing into the nearest deep lake (we’ve been there) and try this first. Put it into test mode, then exit test mode without changing anything. It should rebuild the library, which is the same thing it does after you connect it to a computer and then disconnect it again.

And how do you put it into test mode? Well, you have to bring up the Service Menu to do that, and the instructions for doing that for a few models can be found here:

Sony NWZ-E430, NWZ-E350, NWZ-E460 Service Menu (

This page also covers a couple of different models:

Sony Walkman Service Menu Access (Update 2012) (The Walkman Blog)

If neither of those pages covers your model, try the instructions for a model in the same series (for example, the NWZ-E350 instructions work with a NWZ-E354), or go to your favorite search engine and search on your Walkman model number and the words “Service Menu”.

Take heed of the warnings on these pages about how if you screw this up, you could brick your Walkman. Even so, if you’re seriously considering throwing the thing across a parking lot, you might want to take a few deep breaths and try this first. No guarantees, but it might work.

You may want to print out the pages and carry them with you (in your car or wherever) since you probably won’t be near a computer when you need them, and unless you have a photographic memory you probably won’t remember the button sequence. If you’re young enough to be able to easily memorize things like that, chances are you’re now using your smart phone as your music/video player, but some folks don’t have/use that newer technology yet! 🙂

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