I don’t believe I’m writing this. Less than two weeks after unwrapping my Christmas present it’s knackered. I set it up to record off Sky Plus, and a little later noticed that it wasn’t recording. I took it off the DVR Station and tried to turn it on – nothing. After a few more attempts at holding down the power button the boot-up screen appeared – “Archos – entertainment your way” – and then I saw “Recovery code 102 – system is damaged”. The device felt warmer than usual, an ominous sign.

I was provided with three options for recovering the system – ‘no’, ‘repair’ and ‘format disk’. Ah, clearly ‘repair’ was the best option. Unfortunately this just seemed to turn the device off, back on again and land me at the same screen. I tried it again… and again, and again. I pressed the reset thingy. I tried ‘repair’ again. I left it switched off to cool down. I tried again.

I then started searching the Archos forum and found (ominously) that several other people had suffered this problem but (ominously, there’s that word again) it seemed no-one had a solution. Someone suggested connecting to the computer via USB and doing a checkdisk, but unfortunately Windows wouldn’t even recognise it as a connected device (hardly suprising, during normal operation it asks you if you’d like to enable USB).

So, the last resort before I face the reality of sending it back or starting the battle to get a replacement – ‘format disk’. Obviously this was a last resort as it would render many hours worth of transferring content to the device pointless. But I took the plunge and pressed it… and… nothing. I just came back to the same three options.

As I’m typing I’m holding on to play.com’s customer service line – all of their agents are currently busy (but my call will be answered shortly… mind you, they said that 25 minutes ago).

What really annoys me is that I’ve invested in stuff to go with the Archos… a case, a screen protector, additional software, the DVR Station. I was going to take it to Lotusphere with me, and that’s now looking unlikely.

This article has 42 comments

  1. Dave Hay

    Hi Darren, aw, shame, I’ve been following your Archos experience with interest, having just got an iPod Touch from Mrs Santa Claus. I love the iTouch, but I’m always after a new nadger. I guess I’ll let you iron out the Archos bugs first of all !! regards, Dave

  2. Darren

    Right this moment I wish I’d got an iPod touch. When I consider that I’ve had a 4th generation iPod for 3 years and it’s done thousands of miles of travelling with me, the wife has had a Mini and Video iPod which have been very well used (in and out of the docked speakers), and the kid has had a nano … that’s over 7 years of service from iPods without a problem. Two weeks with the Archos and it goes kaput. Pretty poor really.

  3. Ports

    Bad luck fella! It ia always a wrench when something that seems to have everything falls down on something as stupid as reliability . But perhaps it was a Friday Afternoon model – you should get the replacement before the ‘fear. (at 2 weeks old – don’t accept a repair – replace or money back time).

  4. Darren

    play.com have said they’ll replace it and will get it picked up, and can send a replacement as soon as they can track it coming back. That’s pretty good service.

  5. Cali

    Bad luck with the Archos but good news that you’ve had good service from Play. Having drooled over Port’s iTouch I’d love to have a look when it’s all back up and running

  6. Darren

    When I do get a replacement I don’t want you drooling over it, I don’t think a load of saliva will do it any good ;-)

    Obvious plus points for the iPod touch are it’s slimness, user interface, no moving parts (therefore less to go wrong) and the fact they tend to work for more than 2 weeks.

    Plus points for a working Archos are the capacity, bigger hi-res screen, and recording from t.v. / Sky Plus / DVD player.

    I guess it depends on your priority… if it’s music then I’d say iPod (I’m keeping my iPod for music, the Archos was for video).

  7. Darren

    Good news… play.com were prepared to replace it, no questions asked. Bad news… they’re out of stock. Good news… they’ll give me a refund… and then I can go and buy another.

    Bad news… that top-quality screen protector I fitted the other day had to come off and may not be re-usable.

    More bad news… Currys are saying that the 30 gb model has been discontinued. Huh?

  8. Darren

    The new one has arrived (20 hours from time of order, well done Amazon). It’s charged and it’s now recording from Sky Plus. Question is, how paranoid am I now?

  9. Han

    Just got mine yesterday and it started up couple times and now the error code 102 show up. Try all options multiple times and the device just paused at the splash screen doing nothing. Quite curious what happen to your replacement. If it happens to you again, I am just going to send mine back.

  10. Darren

    Han, if you just got it yesterday and you have that code and you can’t rescue it, I would send it back now.

    First though go to here … http://forum.archosfans.com/viewforum.php?f=25 and search on code 102 and 108, see if any of the fixes work. It will depend on why you’re getting the error. With mine the hard disk was dead so it wouldn’t be recognised via USB, so there was nothing I could do.

  11. Doru

    hey, it happened to me too. ERROR 102.
    but, I answered NO about 4 or 5 times, and it just continued as normal.
    next reboot the error was gone.
    lucky me.

  12. Jay Wood

    Sorry to hear your bad luck. I have been using archos products for a while and have to say i have never had any problems. Their customer service has always been great for me and products seem to last. Just got a 605 and its more than what I expected. This new TV+ looks promising as well. Hopefully everything works out.

    Side note, I didn’t care for the iPod Touch.

    Cheers

  13. Captain Zeposs

    Had the same problem (error 102)with my Archos 605 after just half an hour. Downloaded and installed the latest firmware from Archos website, followed the instructions to install… All works fine now.

  14. Path Finder

    I faced the same problem Error code 108 / 102 and i resolved it on my own. The problem occurs if the OS got corroupted,

    Follow the steps.

    First download the lastest Firmware ( OS-(firmware_a605.aos)) from the ARCHOS website.

    Plug your device to your PC

    Power down the unit completely, While off hold down the Power and TV/LCD button. This will bring up again the screen with 3 options.
    1) No
    2) Repair
    3) Formate Disk

    choose the Repair option, wait for 5 mins then you can see your device detected in the PC.

    copy the OS .aos file downloaded from ARCHOS website to the root of the device not in any folders.

    In your device now choose the option done. It will update the new OS and it will restart autoatically.

    Try it if its not working come bak to me,

    All the Best.

  15. Quatro

    I purchased a 704wifi in Gibralter Sept07 I dont seem to be able to copy sat. tv programmes. I set up scheduler but it does not record. Instructions are not very precise. Can any one advise please

  16. itay

    Path Finder, i tried your solution and it didn’t helped much since my computer hadn’t recognized the archos… what should do ?

  17. HectoAr Gustavo Garza Maltos

    LAST HOPE !!!

    ERROR CODE 102!!!

    I JUST FOUND OUT THAT I HAD THAT SAME PROBLEM TOO…AND I WAS ABOUT TO THROW IT AWAY OR GIVE IT TO MY WILD CAT TO PLAY WITH !!! BUT!!! HERE IS WHAT I DID FOR MY LAST HOPE IN SOLVING THIS PROBLEM…

    FIRST HERE ARE THE DETAILED PROBLEMS I HAD…

    *NO RECOGNITION OF MY ARCHOS IN MY PC…
    *ERROR SCREEN…”SYSTEM DAMAGE…REPAIR? NO,REPAIR,FORMAT DISK”
    *SELECTED ANY OF THE OPTIONS…SAME STUFF…BACK TO THE SCREEN…NEVER ENDING STORY…

    OK…THIS IS WHAT I DID…

    1 DOWNLOAD THE LATEST FIRM FROM http://WWW.ARCHOS.COM…TO YOUR PC !!

    2.AFTER DOWNLOADING THE LATEST FIRM UPDATE TO YOUR PC… PLUG IN YOUR ARCHOS TO YOUR COMPUTER…

    3 YOU WILL NOTICE THE ARCHOS IS NOT DETECTED AND YOU ARE IN YOUR SCREEN ERROR STILL…OK…TURN YOUR ARCHOS OFF BY CLICKING ON THE POWER BUTTON FOR ABOUT 5 SECONDS OR UNTIL IT TURNS OFF…(NOTHING ON THE SCREEN BUT BLACK…)

    4. THEN…WE ARE ABOUT TO TURN IT ON AGAIN…BUT BEFORE THAT… LEAVE ONE FINGER ON YOUR TV/LCD BUTTON PRESSED !!! HERE IS THE SECRET…THEN TURN IT ON !! BUT…DO NOT LET THE TV/LCD BUTTON RELEASED !! IS LIKE YOUR ARE GOING TO PRESS BOTH OF THEM AT THE SAME TIME…AND WAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS…

    5. THEN ANOTHER SCREEN WILL APPEAR..SORT OF LIKE…HDD RECOVERY 2…YOU MIGHT WANT TO UNFORTUNATELY FORMAT YOUR DISK…

    6. ONCE IT TELLS YOU DONE ! DO NOT PRESS ANY BUTTON… THE PC WOULD NOW RECOGNIZE YOUR ARCHOS…AS A HARD DRIVE..ETC…

    7. ONCE IS DETECTED BY YOUR PC…REMEMBER THE FILE YOU DOWNLOAD IT… DRAG IT DOWN TO YOUR ARCHOS..IN THE ROOT SECTION… THAT MEANS…IN NO FOLDERS INSIDE THE ARCHOS…BUT BY ITSELF…JUST LIKE ANY OTHER FILE IN A FLASHDRIVE IF YOU MAY…

    8. THEN IT MIGHT ASK YOU AGAIN YOUR PC…YOU WANT TO FORMAT THIS DRIVE…JUST SAY YES….OK…WHATEVER… AND LET IT FORMAT…

    9. FINALLY AFTER THE FORMAT SITUATION HAPPENS…YOUR ARCHOS WILL ACCEPT THE FILE…AND IT WILL BE DOWNLOADED AUTOMITICALLY…THEN REOPEN IT TO MAKE SURE IS THERE ALREADY…

    10. FOR THE LAST STEP… ENJOY ! MY ARCHOS IS BACK TO NORMAL..IT REBOOT AND EVERYTHING IS FACTORY MADE…HOPE THIS WORK GUYS…AS FOR ME IT DID…

    PS. PLEASE BE PATIENT ON THAT OPTION OF THE TV/LCD FOR IT MIGHT NOT WORK RIGHT AWAY…I TRY IT LIKE TWO TIMES BEFORE IT LET ME FORMAT EVERYTHING…BECAUSE YOU MIGHT GET ERROR MESSAGES LIKE…”MEDIA FAILED” ETC… JUST KEEP ON TRYING UNTIL IT ACCEPTS IT.. LET ME KNOW WHAT HAPPENED…

  18. Eumann

    Thanks for all of your post about solving the problem with archos 605 wifi (recovery code102).Unfortunately none them work for me i literally tried evry single option to solve the problem mention above 50 times but nope still the same problem.i spent hours and hours repeating Gustavo s 10 step to success but i got nothing than asking me to = no-repair disk-formatdisk, and my pc cant even get to phase while it connects to the disk. This is the second time this happenede to

  19. Eumann

    This is my second archos 605 wifi 160G, the first time this happened after frustration and desperation to fix it, i eventually returned it to argos while i purchased it. they accept to replace it for me, one month later here we go again baaam same story. what s annoyng is u spent hours and hours ripping all ur dvds and putting must to it and recording stuff from the tv then suddenly the next thing u now ur hard work is paid off.i am a good fan of archos myself but seriously this is really pissing me off. i am going to return to argos place on monday and i fight for it. i am no sure if i want another one coz obviously this will happened again in a few weeks time, and i will be smashing the 300 quid machine on the floor.

  20. cj

    Thank you HectoAr Gustavo Garza Maltos!!!! My brand new 405 came out of the box with the error. Following your instructions, it’s magically up and going!

  21. Yunes

    hmm well i got the same problem on the 405 and all i did to get it working was switch the little disk thing that holds the memory.. works fine now .. but the disk that caused the problem no longer works..

  22. ZICRON

    Yes, thank you so much HECTOR, you’re awesome! Same thing happened to me, right out of the box kept giving me the 102 error, I’m installing the new firmware right now, I hope it works!!

    Looks like it’s working, I’m transfering files for the first time! THanks!!!!

  23. Jamo

    i have followed all your instructions but my archos still wont format and when ever i press it it just gets stuck at ” setting up operating system” , restarts by itself and i am back at code 102

    please please help because im afriad i may have to get a new one.

  24. Scott

    Does anyone have a copy (cloned image) of the HDD of a Archos 604 (non-wifi)?

    Or at least a copy of the directories (folders and files) in a 604 HDD?

    I just bought a new HDD (the old one died) and can’t get my Archos 604`to reformat it (even though it’s the same model as the old one).

    The only file it generates (when reformatting) is a ID.SYS file,
    so maybe if I can put on a cloned image of the 604 (or at least all the directories and files) onto the drive

    and then replace the ID.SYS file with the one my Archos generated
    that might work?, I’m not sure but it’s worth a try.

  25. Sandy

    Many thanks to Pathfinder who put instructions on here in March for recovery. You are the only person in the whole universe who made it clear and concise and I nwas able to get machine working after weeks of getting nowhere. So grateful to you honey.

  26. Marco

    I found this page just by searching for the error-message.

    I had it on my first archos, so I sent it back to the shop i bought it and got a replacement. But… SURPRISE… the same error occured. Even the the instructions from Hectoar here didn’t work.

    So I sent the second one back, get my money back and buy another player. But one for sure… NOT from Archos. :-(

  27. Kevin

    Just purchased a 605 wifi for son for Christmas, spent yesterday & today trying to get past the error code 101/102. Tried every suggestion on every message board with no luck.
    Archos clearly have a problem with this crock of shite.
    Going to send to Amazon for a refund.

  28. Darren

    @31 – that’s a shame. If it had worked you’d have a completely different opinion as it’s a great device (when it’s working). But you’re right, clearly they’ve had quality issues, the Archos forum is full of people with similar issues. I’m glad that my second unit has (touch wood) been fine for a year because I’ve used it a lot.

  29. Jon Crider

    I have owned my Archos for almost a year now and had the same problem with the error code 102. Tried several options, but finally found that reinstalling firmware worked everytime. This error code happened to me several times in the beginning when I first started using it, but since I figured out what might be causing the problem I haven’t had it happen anymore. My problem always seemed to be when I was trying to connect to the computer and transfer files. I obviously didn’t do something at the right time before unplugging from the computer and this is what was causing my error code 102. All has been well for quite some time now and the Archos is a fantastic little device. Superior in some ways to the Ipod Itouch. I have the 2nd gen Itouch 16gb and I love it, but the Archos can play Dolby Digital HD movies when docked with my station I bought for it.

  30. chris

    Please help I want to recover my archos 605 WITHOUT losing my files (I have filled up all 160GB in my archos and I cant replace most of it. Right now when I click no a few times on the code 102 screen and my archos just goes all wierd then turns off and returns to the screen. Holding the tv/lcd screen it changes to code 101 instead of code 102 and again I pressed no and the same thing happens. Now I dont care if my archos needs to be replaced I just need my files to be safe. Please help these files are very important to me.

  31. chris

    I already checked there and there is only like 2 postings and neither are helpful.

  32. Ben

    Get a nice Zune or something. I had mine for quite a couple of years and it never failed me. iTouchs arent so bad either. but if you want to take your movies with you then i reconmmend the 120 gig zune. big screen, nice res, and 120gigs of goodness.

  33. Darren

    Ben, does a Zune allow you to record from a television or PVR like Sky Plus?

    Chris, did you actually ask a question at the forum or just read other people’s posts?

  34. ANNE

    I bought this ARCHOS 605 WIFI yesterday along with several accessories. I was thinking 105 bucks for this doesn’t seem like a bad price at the going out of business Circuit City, however when I took the thing out of the box, it powered and gave me the 102 error code. I am so frustrated, but I will try all of these suggestions before getting my replacement.
    Thank you everyone

  35. Darren

    Anne, the recommendation is that you charge it fully before turning it on. Personally I think any device should be robust enough to survive being turned on with low power, but that is the advice given by experts in the Archos community. Good luck with the replacement.

  36. Jon

    I have a 605 wifi and have been having problems with error code 102. I followed some of the instructions posted here, thanks. However I now have 2 options on the archos when attached to my pc, USB or Format Hard Drive. When I select USB it says media failed and turns off. Can anyone tell me if there is anything I can do, cos I really cant afford to format it. It has all my photos from a years travelling. Please help me. Thanks.