My 504 was souped up by an E-bay vendor with a 250GB HD several years ago. Firmware is the latest (1.6.53, I think). Any music I play goes for 5-20 minutes the period keeps getting shorter) and then stops, almost as if it put itself in pause. Then 45 seconds later almost every time, it starts playing again even without my having touched it. I have tried the reset button, reformatting and reloading the disc, and using Chkdsk and trying to use Spin Rite 6.0 to find out what is wrong. SPinRite said that I had an unusual problem and that it couldn't even begin to scan my drive because I had a rare BIOS problem. This is way over my head, but I looked for info anyway and could find nothing about BIOS for the 504.
I only use it to play music. I almost exclusively use the browse function to find the music, since it has never indexed my files adequately to use through the "Music" option. In addition to stopping playing at random, sometimes while it's playing the screen fades to black in an unusual way, almost as if it's melting. The machine is also known to shut itself off when I move it, almost as if gravity shuts it off, but that's inconsistent. Sometimes I can move it and nothing happens.
I'm guessing that the hard drive has finally gone bad, and it's time for a new device. I've searched this forum and haven't found a similar problem, but perhaps I'm not using the right keywords.
Are there any other suggestions for what I might do to either scan the drive or get it not to stop at random?
If not, does anyone have a recommendation for a trustworthy high capacity (250GB or more) mp3 player?
Thanks for any help you can give.