HifiMan HM901 has SD card error

HM901 is a flagship lossless music portable player made by Hifiman and released in 2013. The interface is ugly. The response of input is slow. but the music quality is great.

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It is super hot, over 100 degrees yesterday. When I tried to turn on HM901 at night. after it booted up. it initialize the SD card, and then it says “SD card Error”. I tried different SD card. and also ejected SD card and re insert it many time. No luck. Every time it says SD card error immediately after I inserted SD card.

I was very frustrated since this player has great sound quality and high price.

I contact the founder of HifiMan on weibo, he responded quickly and asked me to contact customer service in US. I sent the email to the address shown on their website and describe the problem. They responded after one day, asked me if I tried reset and updated the firmware and where I am located.

I tried reset and wonder how to update the firmware since it cannot read from or even identify the SD card.

This morning is very strange.It rains with thunder and lighting during the night in the mid August. It is well known that it has the Mediterranean climate in north California. It has very litter chance for raining during the summer. Therefore it is very weird in bay area.

Due to the big and continuous thunder in the early morning. I woke up early. I searched on the web, and found that to update the firmware of HM901, it needs to go into the recovery mode. I tried as instructed.

From the instruction in HifiMan’s website:

Firmware Update Instruction

1. Please download the new firmware zip file first and then copy it to your SD card (Do not change the name of the firmware file or decompress it). Only the FAT32 SD card can be used.
2. While pressing the HOME button, hold the Power key up until the HM-901 is power on. After the screen is on, release the power key. Then release the HOME button until the hifiman logo disappears. Now the player will be in recovery mode.
3. Wait until the first picture shows on the screen. The system will be updated automatically.
4. After the update is done, power off the player and then reboot it to finish the whole process.

The latest HM901 firmware can be downloaded from http://down.hifiman.cn/HM901/update.zip

First, the SD card need to formatted as FAT32. when the capacity of an SD card is over 64GB, under windows it can only formatted to exFAT, no FAT32 is allowed. you have to use Mac computer to formatted it to FAT32 or use a third party like fat32format. It is ironic that FAT32 is raised by Microsoft, that windows cannot format an SD card into FAT32 but a Mac can.

Second, copy the update.zip to the root of the SD card.

When power on a HM901, press and hold HOME button, and hold the power key up until HM-901 is lighten on.

After the screen is on, release the power key. When the HifiMan logo is gone, release the Home button.

The player will go into recovery mode and update will begin automatically.

Wait for some time, when the update finished, it will power off. After reboot, the SD card error is gone. Every goes fine.

It can read an SD card in recovery mode shows that it is not the SD card problem but a software bug.

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