A few weeks ago I found an RCA H115 5GB MP3 player at my local flea market (in the original package) for $5.
When I got it home I tried charging it first before I started to play with it.
First I have to say - this player and my customer service experience exemplify why the iPod has such a major market share. No other manufacturer seems to understand service and quality as well as Apple.
I was more or less hoping to use this device as a hard drive backup rather than an MP3 player for my Mac.
I already have an iPod.
I immediately noticed that the device is NOT supported for Macs because it uses a weird file system ... but I did learn by scouring the internet for days that you can mount the internal Microdrive on the Mac desktop by doing the following. (This tip also applies to Windows ME 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 owners)
1) With the unit turned off, plug the small end of the USB cable into the device.
2) Hold the center joystick down (the little squarish button in the center of the scroll pad)
3) While holding the center joystick down with the mini B USB cable plugged into the MP3 player, plug the flat standard USB end into your computer. (Not into a USB hub)
4) The unit should start up and a message should appear on the screen that says "Transferring..."
5) Give the device 10 seconds ... the hard drive inside the unit should mount on your Mac's desktop
6) You may use the unit as a hard drive mounting it with these steps, or load the unit with music by finding the right place on the hard drive by digging into the folders contained
* There are litterally dozens of forums discussing this MP3 player. None of them seem to have answers.
* It seems to be a common problem that the hard drives (5GB Hitachi Microdives) fail - if this is the case - you MUST send your player back to RCA* - there is NO OTHER SOLUTION that works.
Call RCA Thomson Customer Service at 1-866-449-7112.
You will receive an Indian Customer Service Agent.
Have the phone up to your best listening ear.
They will most likely tell you to try resetting the device. You can knock this step out before calling by turning the unit off with the right side power button. Then holding the power button down for 15 seconds (keep holding down even if the unit turns on). If that solved your problem ... great. If it did not ... call the RCA customer service number.* With the unit on, place it close to your ear, if you can hear a clicking noise or like a "tiny gear grinding" noise - your hard drive is bad. You have two options:
You can send the unit back (after obtaining an RMA from this phone #:1-866-449-7112 ) to this address:
Attn SR# SR04118915
11721 B Alameda Avenue
Socorro, Texas 79927
OR you can disassemble the unit by removing the the serial number sticker from the bottom backside of the unit. At the center bottom there is one black screw holding the unit together. Remove this screw. Slide the backside of the device upward. You will see the microdrive inside. These drives are warranted until December 31, 2007 from Hitachi*. You MUST give Hitachi a later purchase date than the current month*. Meaning; if the current month is May 2007*. You must give them a date AFTER May 2006 for your purchase*.
* The contents of this article no longer apply to warranty service.
Hitachi will quickly replace your drive which you can use in a standard compact flash slot with a 6GB drive as they no longer manufacture 5GB drives.
You can contact Hitachi customer Service (Having a valid serial number on the microdrive):
By webform: Hitachi Customer Support
By phone: Toll free: 1-888-426-5214 OR 1-507-322-2370
You will send your microdrive (with RMA obtained) to:
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Inc.
C/O UPS SCS
30336 Whipple Road, Building F
UNION CITY CA 94587
* Note, that you will no longer be able to use the RCA H115 / H125 as an MP3 player if you replace the internal hard drive, but the exchange with Hitachi is worth nearly $125.
If you have a working Lyra, I'd suggest you copy the firmware to another Microdrive or UDMA 33 Compact Flash card. Doing so will help you if the drive fails. This suggestion may not always work!
I hope this helps ... leave a comment here if you have any other suggestions or need further assistance. I will try to do my best to answer.
If a person identifying themselves as MRC offers to help you in this forum or any other forum concerning this player, do not engage him!