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Subject: GMini 120 disassembly

GMini 120 disassembly

From: Laurent Giroud <>
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 14:29:19 +0100


given the low number of answers, I decided to disassemble the GMini yesterday. So, here's what I found so far.

I made a few pictures, they haven't been sorted or appropriately scaled yet so they are quite crappy but it's better than nothing for those who may be interested :

Note that many of them look the same, it's raw material and not a presentation/documentation of any kind :)

The Gmini is quite hard to disassemble without any insight and I broke a screw "support" and bent three pins during the process so take care if you are willing to try it too.

A tork screwdriver size 6 is needed to remove the two screws on the cover, after this, the back cover must be removed first, it can be acheived by inserting a flat screwdriver in the separation between the two covers and gently pulling one cover up while pushing the other down (I'll take photographs, it's not easy to get it textually ;).
After that, a copper plate must be removed (easy) and then the hard drive can be pulled off after "squeezing" one of the two rubbers on the sides and using a flat screwdriver to separate it from its plug.

Here's what the inside looks like after the hard drive is removed :

The writings on the only visible chip of the board can be read on this picture.
-> the chip is a USB97C202, ie an "USB 2.0 ATA/ATAPI Controller" which data sheet can be found here :

I have no idea if it's better than the ISD 200/300 chips on the other archos models.

The grey rectangle on the above picture seems to be the battery, it's soldered on the mother board on at least two points and I had to stop the disassembly there since I haven't got my soldering iron with me now. I hope to have one within two days at most.

I guess the CPU lies under the battery, but there are screws maintaining the front cover stuck to the mother board and those screws are lying under the battery. So the CPU cannot be seen without removing the battery and thus unsoldering at least two points. So I can't go much further for the moment on the hardware side.

Until I have a soldering iron again, I'm going to have a look at the firmware files now and try to descramble/disassemble them. I will start with the hypothesis that the CPU is the same than on the original archos since I haven't been able to get that information yet but I don't think I will get anything interesting without knowing the CPU type. Once again, if anyone has more information it will be much faster. If you fear legal assault from Archos, then I can bear all responsability for this "work", all this is perfectly legal in France and probably even under the DMCA if I understand it well.

Also, please tell me if I'm off topic and should not post here, I don't want to bother you with this if this is not the place ;)

Received on 2003-12-24

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