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Blind Man's Guide to Flashing Rockbox on the Archos machines

As you probably know, flashing Rockbox makes the boot time very short. The procedure is a bit intrigued for the first time, updates are very simple later on.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to flash and update to a current daily build (with the voice feature). It may be helpful as well to sighted people because it more accurately tells you what to do than my previous documentation, and doesn't bother you with background knowledge. I assume you can install and operate Rockbox the usual way. The flashing procedure is not really dangerous, will check for correct model, file, etc., if something is incompatible it just won't flash, that's all.

For the fully detailed documentation, see BootBox. It is strongly suggested that you follow the instructions at BootBox. The old instructions are left here as they may clarify some of the procedures.

The steps:

1. Preparations

Install (with all the files, not just the .ajz) and use the current daily build you'd like to have. Enable the voice features as helpful throughout the process, menus and filename spelling. Set the file view to show all files, with F1 -> General Settings -> File View -> Show Files set to "all" (player: MENU -> General Settings -> File View -> Show Files, Ondio: hold MODE -> General Settings -> File View -> Show Files).

Have it nicely charged. We don't want to take the slim chances that you run out of power during the flash writing, right? Maybe keep it plugged to the charger. For flashing the Ondio, it is a good idea to use a set of fresh batteries.

2. Backup

Backup the existing flash content, in case you ever want to revert the procedure.

Select "F1" -> Info -> Debug (player: "Menu" -> Info -> Debug, Ondio: hold "Mode" -> Info -> Debug). No more voice menu from here on, but we just need to select the first entry, so press Play one more time. The disk should start to spin. Wait for it to settle down, then plug USB to harvest the dump file this has just created. For the Ondio, there is of course no feedback from a spinning disk, just wait 20 seconds before proceeding with USB connection. The root directory of your box now should contain two strange .bin files. Copy the larger one named "internal_rom_2000000-203FFFF.bin" to a safe place, then you may delete them both from the box.

3. Copy the new flash content file to your box

Depending on your model (player, recorder, FM, V2 recorder, Ondio FM/SP), download one of the 6 packages:

(See the end of the BootBox page for the files required.)

The zip archives contain two .bin files each (just one in case of Ondio). Those firmware*.bin files are all we want, copy them to the root directory of your box. The names differ per model, the flash plugin will pick the right one, no way of doing this wrong.

4. Flash the initial firmware image

Unplug USB again, then select "F1" -> Browse Plugins (player: "Menu" -> Browse plugins, Ondio: hold "Mode" -> browse plugins). Use the filename spelling to locate "firmware_flash.rock", start it with Play. Wait for the disk to settle. It now displays an info screen, press "F1" (player: "Menu", Ondio: "Left") to acknowledge that and start a file check. Again wait for the disk to settle, then press "F2" (player: "On", Ondio: "Up") to get a warning label (if the plugin has exited, you don't have the proper file) and "F3" (player: "+", Ondio: "Right") to actually program the file. This takes maybe 15 seconds, wait for the disk to settle again. What you have in flash now is the bootloader, a "safety" copy of the Archos firmware as the first image, and enough empty space to add Rockbox as the second, default image. The first (Archos) firmware is used if you either hold "F1" (player: "-", Ondio: "Left") during power up to force it, or if no firmware is present in the second half (like now). Not too much has changed yet, while the second half is empty. If you'd boot your box now, it would come up with the Archos firmware a little bit quicker than usually, then load Rockbox from disk. The real fun starts in the next paragraph, when you add Rockbox to the flash ROM.

The current player flash image is a bit different, in that it already contains rockbox 2.4 as the second image. So it will come up directly with rockbox after a reboot. However, you can still replace this with a version of your choice.

5. Add/Update Rockbox in Flash memory

All the above was necessary only once. This is how you from now on will update the Rockbox version you're running, in the second half of the flash ROM. If not already done, update all files from a Rockbox zip release. Start the new version first, by "playing" the file "ajbrec.ajz" in the root directory, or force a disk boot by holding the "F1" key ("-" for player, "Left" for Ondio) while powering up the box. Your settings may be lost if the internal format changed. Voice UI is enabled by default, but you may want to enable filename spelling and viewing all files as well. If you have previously saved your configuration into a file, you can just reload that. Then use the browser of the box to navigate into the ".rockbox" directory, play the file "rockbox.ucl". When the disk has settled, press the "F2" key ("On" for player, "Up" for Ondio) to program it. This takes maybe 10 seconds. After settling the disk again, your box is updated. You may power it off now (unplug the charger first), and restart to enjoy the fast boot time.

CategoryBlindUsers: Guide to flashing for blind users

r18 - 02 Apr 2021 - 20:46:06 - UnknownUser

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