Windows CE car head unit - SD card problems

  TheOldFart 19:20 12 Feb 2018

This is a long shot, but I'll try it anyway. I have an aftermarket Sonic Audio head unit, supplied to the previous owner in 2014, in my car. Sonic Audio went out of business in 2015, so there's no technical helpline of any sort.

It's a cheap Chinese unit with a Mercedes COMAND knock-off fascia, using Windows CE (no idea which version) and Sonic Audio's VX9 platform. It actually works quite well, or well enough for me at least, apart from one problem.

CDs play fine, as does the music on the iPod. The nav system (Sygic) works fine too.

The SD card slot is only for microSd cards, and according to the (not very good) user manual, it will accept up to 32gb cards.

However, if I put my 32gb microSD card in, it plays for 10-15 minutes, then throws a wobbly and just scrolls through tracks at random, not playing any of them and not responding to the touchscreen. The music on the card is all MP3 tracks from CDs ripped using FreeRip MP3 converter (free version), and it al plays perfectly in a genuine Mercedes COMAND system.

If I switch the unit off, then on again, the same will happen quite quickly. However, if I switch it on and play a CD, or the iPod, or use the satnav, they are fine; it's only the SD card that causes the problem.

Does anybody know anything about these systems? Can anybody make an informed guess as to whether transferring the music files to a 16gb microSD card will make any difference? Please help...

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:47 12 Feb 2018

does the card work Ok if connected to your PC?

  Menzie 23:18 12 Feb 2018

What is the card formatted as Fat32 or NTFS?

  wiganken2 10:10 13 Feb 2018

Are you aware that SD cards have to be formatted using the special SD Card formatting process? If you formatted it using Windows then this will cause issues. Check out the SD card formatter here click here

  TheOldFart 11:27 13 Feb 2018

I bought the card at PC World. I've no idea what format it has, but it plays perfectly normally in an OE Mercedes NTG2.5 COMAND unit, and in my PC (Windows 7 Home Premium).

  Menzie 15:26 13 Feb 2018

I know that some decks on the market prefer Fat32 as the file format.

Although they technically also can read NTFS some don't do it well which may cause choppy playback.

Another thing to try is taking all the songs off the card, encoding a few using something like Windows Media Player. It could also be possible that the player doesn't like how the MP3s are encoded.

If the player plays the newly encoded songs just fine then we can isolate the issue.

  wiganken2 18:36 13 Feb 2018

There may be random errors on the card so put it into a MicroSD Adapter then place this into a USB card reader and plug into your PC. You can then check the card from a Windows Command window using the command chkdsk /f X: (where X is the drive letter allocated to the SD card) then hit Enter. It should scan the card and fix any errors it finds.

  TheOldFart 23:02 13 Feb 2018

Thank you, gentlemen. It's looking increasing likely that it's the head unit itself now, though; a second SD card is exactly the same. I'll try the chkdsk option and see, but my guess is they will both be OK.

When it plays up, it affects everything else the head unit is supposed to do, which I think also indicates the head unit is the problem. I've tried forcing a reboot by disconnecting the battery, but that made no difference. If only the company were still trading, they'd probably be able to sort it; but they're not...

Next option is to put a few tracks on the iPod that came with the car, which plays fine, and see if that works. If so, that will do.

Thanks again.

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