Formatting a Olympus Digital Voice Recorder WS-300M

Update: May 13, 2009 After a couple months of sitting in a box without a battery, I put a battery back into the recorder and it started up and successfully works. I have no idea why it began to function normally again. None of the previous data had shown up on this ‘new’ recorder.

As I took out my good ole’ olympus ws-300m voice recorder for another lecture, I noticed the lock button was on. Thought nothing of it, then I tried to unlock in its menu and a message returned:
“can’t be inputted into memory.’ Huh. In my 2+ years with one of these, I’ve never seen this error message before. Neither has its instruction manual. The instruction manual does not mention anything about it

The device (it’s a USB interface, built into the voice recorder) appears in nautilus (my file manager in linux), but none of the files within the device appear. When it is inserted in windows (xp), it is also detected but no files or directories appear.

The drive does not appear in gparted but it does mount, because: sudo fdisk -l returned:
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdc1 * 1 500 255786 6 FAT16
Partition 1 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
phys=(0, 1, 44) logical=(0, 6, 12)

So, some searching brought me to I read

and I followed the directions.

After unmounting the drive, I issued: sudo mkdosfs -v -F 16 /dev/sdc1
This returned:
mkdosfs 2.11 (12 Mar 2005)
mkdosfs: unable to open /dev/sdc1

A couple fellow ubuntu users offered a few suggestions:

None of those worked, except I haven’t tried formatting through gparted livecd.

I also tried seeing if resetting the firmware on it would work. I tried that but the firmware installer said it was already updated and would not reinstall the firmware.

I’m still trying to figure out what to do next and hope someone else has come across this problem and would share their experience.

more google searching, did:

sudo hdparm -r0 /dev/sdd

setting readonly to 0 (off)
readonly      =  0 (off)

Unfortunately, this didn’t work either… Still more troubleshooting to do..

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