Hurray, I was able to unbrick my 16GB Cowon iAudio9 (i9) using Tcctool and following the instructions given in this thread
on the iaudiophile forum! Thought I'd share this experience and add a few comments:
I had encountered the dreaded startup freeze with the red progress bar stuck at 1/5 of it's length. Resetting wouldn't help, as the player would just start over and freeze again at the same point.
So here are some observations while following the instructions from aforementioned thread:
- Each time you boot up your player in order to connect to Tcctool, don't forget to press and hold both the "play" and "volume up" button. This is the normal way to enter test mode and the screen will stay black
if you do it right. Note that a frozen i9 with its stuck progress bar will also be in test mode and Tcctool will seem to work correctly. However, for unknown reasons I was not
able to unbrick the player in this mode. I discovered that it is crucial
that you enter normal test mode by holding both buttons at startup.
- Use firmware version 1.14 for unbricking, or if that doesn't work use the last working firmware version you had on your player. I tried Tcctool with several different firmware versions, but only got success with 1.14, the last working version I had on my i9 before it froze.
- Use cowons9
not cowons9small with Tcctool for the 16GB i9.
Apart from that, just go with the instructions and you should be fine. Good luck!
(Thanks to joecool and everybody else who contributed to these threads!)