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.