My experience how to Keep X7 running
I am a Mac user. I prefer the sound quality of the X7 over iPod, so I tried to overcome some issues I had with X7. Here I share it with you.
I found some tweaks and workarounds to keep my X7 usable but
some tips might be harmful to your X7.
Please remember "this is just a report of what worked for me, there is no guarantee it will work for you".
1- OSX and Firmware: My X7 firmware is 2.09, I always eject HDD drive first then the Flash Drive . so-far, I had no problem with X7 having Apple OSX lion and Mountain Lion.
2- How to convert : "Kigo Video Converter" is a fine freeware on OSX, that converts most video formats to playable files with good quality. There is no hassle, the software settings are pre-configured for many devices, but Cowon X7!.
I've used the settings below successfully.
*I use the pre-configured setting of the software for "Creative Zen Vision W Movie" to get reasonable quality/size .AVI format files.
*I use "Apple iPod Video MPEG-4 Movie" pre-configured settings to create smoothly playable .MP4 files, which also plays in IPOD classic.
(you may also fine tune the settings by changing this pre-configured .mp4 video settings from 320x240 to 480x270 by clicking on the iPod icon after selecting a file in Kigo)
("update": not working after total wipe of the system by the service centre, the clean installed firmware is 2.09, it plays H264.mp4 but XVID.avi not anymore.)
3- How to Unbrick : My X7 battery was dead twice. It was neither charging with its original charger nor the USB cable. I disconnected the device, and opened the case (note: guarantee was expired) then just did a short circuit of 2 wires -red & black- which connect the main board to the battery (from the board side). I used a metal pin and made the contact just for a second. I guess this shocked the battery.After that when I connected the charger again it worked fine. I have done this twice in the last two years and no-problems.
4-How to fix lost HDD drive : recently, I heard strange click sound from inside of the X7. Then I lost the X7 HDD drive on my PC. I experienced very long startup time and HDD inaccessibility problem, even from computer USB port. nothing worked until my friend Low-Formated the HDD with a HDD-tool on a windows 7 PC. (strangely windows 7 could find the HDD drive which OSX couldn't)
after that I formatted the drive and voila! no-more clicking sound. Unfortunately, soon I found corrupted files again. I took it to a cowon service co. and they found viruses on the flash drive partition. After total formatting and putting back the X7 new system files, it is all clean and seems to work OK for now.(I will report if the problem comes back)
5-How to improve the touch screen: for the LCD screen protection, I am using an Ipad2 matte screen protection which i cut to fit X7. it is much easier to slide my fingers on the screen and it protects the LCD from scratch.
6- Headset : the quality of the sound output of X7 is great but I had to buy better head sets than those included with the device. It is so good that I might even buy a new Cowon if it supports H264 format and it has a standard USB connector, HDMI output and an 1TB anti-shock HDD.:)
Total formatting and H264 support for MP4 files.
Regarding the total reformatting of my X7 by the service center, I want to report that , the total reformatting of my X7 solved the problem. Since total wipe of the flash, my X7 is still working OK and no clicking sound from the HDD yet.
However there is a surprise. The H264 .MP4 files are now playing with some pixelation problem, and the previously converted MP4 files I described above are failing to play!
I checked my X7 and the firmware is still 2.09 which I upgraded last year. FYI I downloaded the firmware upgrade file from cowon website. This means, the recent total wipe of the X7 and reinstalling the system files, has a slightly different outcome for playing the Mp4 files, compare to previous upgrading method.
I have tested the playability of H264 by playing the .mp4 files directly downloaded from www.ted.com
This is cool, my only regrets are the pixelation problem when playing .MP4 files and not being able to play xvid.avi files anymore.
I had a well working X7, that suddenly died after i had neglected it for a few weeks. No response even after many days of continuous charging.
I then took up your suggestion on Point 3: How to Unbrick.
Immediately my X7 came back alive and kicking.
Thanks for the suggestion.
Just tried bringing mine back to life by shorting the wires but to no avail. It's still an expensive paperweight.
edit: This morning I decided to remove the battery altogether and then replace it in the hope it might make some difference. While the battery was removed, I plugged the X7 into the PC and still get the same message, "low battery, please wait" and the animation saying "battery charging". Really?
In your case maybe increased battery temperature helped the fully drain battery to beat one last time.
Otherwise I can guess that if your X7 battery was dead for a couple of weeks then, shorting the wires should have done the job. But if your X7 has been laying around for a few months you need to come up with enough power to create the necessary shock.
For fully drained X7 try the following:
First you need to use the same two wires to pre-charge the battery for 15~30 minutes. Just use the right polarity to connect directly to the charger. There is no massage or monitoring icon to show that it is really being charged. You may just feel a little temperature rise on the battery side.
if you want to be sure , you can use a measuring device to see if you have enough voltage on top of the battery.(not mandatory)
Now that the battery has some power you can do the shorting again.
Reporting on point 4: It happened again within 5 weeks, the clicking sound came back after I copied the same old files back to my Cowon x7 (format of the files were .MP3 .avi).
It happened when the HDD was approximately 98GB full of mostly .mp3 files.
The problem seems to be the hard disk motor. It starts to accelerate and when it reaches to a certain speed, then suddenly the RPM drops to zero. The HDD does this behavior infinitely, so it sounds like clicking. It is like starting and stoping an engine every 3 seconds.
I took it to the service center. After formatting the flash memory and coping the system files and formatting the HDD once again the problem was gone. I filled the HDD with 121GB of .AVI files + a few .mp3 files. It works fine and No more problem yet.
I still wonder what was in those old media files that droves the HDD crazy twice! BTW I didn't have any executable files on my X7 and I use OSX to copy them, so the virus is not a probable cause. Maybe there is a limit to the amount of files that X7's HDD can handle?! I have accidentally deleted my old media files folder so I guess I will never know the reason.
Andreh, thank you for all the useful information. I own an X7 myself, but so far I've been fortunate to have a solid working player from day one.
Welcome, my x7 is my companion when I travel and it is a good and solid device. I love the quality of the sound too. I'll be glad if my experience can be useful even for a few.
Detailed Instructions required on how to unbrick
My battery on my X7 has drained and I have tried charging it from the wall charger overnight but I still have a blank screen. I am going to try short-circuiting the player back to life, however, I was wondering if you might be willing to give some more detailed instructions on how to short circuit it. I am also having trouble opening the device up.
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