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Wiki > Main > IriverH10InstallationBeta (r14)

How to install Rockbox on your iRiver H10

NOTE: This page is a work-in-progress set of instructions for installing Rockbox on the iRiver H10 targets. It is mostly a transcript of the Installation entry in the 5/6GB and 20GB units manuals merged into one document, plus some new information about the recent (December 19, 2006's daily build) dual boot feature. Once these instructions are completed, they may be moved back into the manual and this wiki page deleted.


Before installing Rockbox you should make sure you meet the prerequisites. Also you may need some tools for installation. In most cases these will be already available on your computer but if not you need to get some additional software.

ZIP utility
Rockbox is distributed as an archive using the .zip format. Thus you need a tool to handle that compressed format. Usually your computer should have a tool installed that can handle the .zip file format. Windows XP has built-in support for .zip files and presents them to you as folders unless you have installed a third party program that handles compressed files. For other operating systems this may vary. If the .zip file format is not recognised on your computer you can find a program to handle them at or which can be downloaded and used free of charge.
USB connection.
To transfer Rockbox to your player you need to connect it to your computer. To proceed you need to know where to access the player. On Windows this means you need to figure out the drive letter associated with the device. On Linux you need to know the mount point of your player.
Text editor.
As you will see in the following chapters, Rockbox is highly configurable. In addition to saving configurations within Rockbox, Rockbox also allows you to create customised configuration files. If you would like to edit custom configuration files on your computer, you will need a text editor like Windows’ “Wordpad”.

Installing Rockbox


There are three separate components of Rockbox, two of which need to be installed in order to run Rockbox.

The Iriver boot loader.
The Iriver boot loader is the program that tells your player how to boot and load the remaining firmware from disk. It is also responsible for the disk mode on your player. -- This boot loader is stored in special flash memory in your Iriver. It is already installed on your player, so it is never necessary to modify this in order to install Rockbox.
The Rockbox boot loader.
The Rockbox boot loader is loaded from disk by the Iriver boot loader. It is responsible for loading the Rockbox firmware and for providing the dual boot function. It directly replaces the Iriver firmware on the player’s disk.
The Rockbox firmware.
Similar to the Iriver firmware, most of the Rockbox code is contained in a “build” that resides on your player’s hard drive. This makes it easy to update Rockbox. The build consists of a file named rockbox.h10 and a directory called .rockbox, both of which are located in the root directory of your hard drive.
(The iRiver firmware.)
While Rockbox itself doesn't need it, The iRiver firmware contains the original software for the H10. It is contained in a folder called System which, except for a small change when first installing Rockbox, will be left largely unaffected. This will allow you to "dual boot" into the original software if you ever want or need to.

Installing the boot loader


The H10 can be connected to a computer in two different modes:

  • Universal Mass Storage (UMS): In this mode, it will appear on your computer as a regular disk. This mode works with all major operating systems, including Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
  • Media Transfer Protocol (MTP): In this mode, it will appear on your computer as a Media Device. MTP was created by Microsoft for use with DAPs and only works with Windows XP and Media Player 10.

The H10 20GB is only available as a MTP device. The H10 5GB and 6GB is available as both a MTP and as a UMS device, depending on where and when you bought it. You can tell which you have by how it appears when you connect it to a computer. If it appears as a regular disk then it is UMS. If it appears as a Media Device on Windows XP, or if it doesn’t appear at all on other operating systems, then it is MTP.

Even if you have a MTP player, it can be forced into UMS mode using the UMS trick.

UMS mode and the UMS trick

It is possible to force a MTP H10 to start up in UMS mode using the following procedure:
  1. Ensure the player is fully powered off by using a pin to push the small reset button inside the hole between the Hold switch and remote control connector (for H10 20GB) or by removing and replacing the battery (for H10 5/6GB).
  2. Connect your H10 to the computer using the data cable.
  3. Hold Next (to the right of the touchpad) and push Power to turn the player on.
  4. Continue holding Next until the USB Connected screen appears.
  5. The player will now appear as a regular disk on your computer.

Note: Once Rockbox has been installed, when you shut down your player from Rockbox it will totally power the player off, so step 1 is no longer necessary.

Installation for 5GB and 6GB H10

  1. Download the boot loader that fits your target: for the 5/6GB UMS boot loader, and for the 5/6GB MTP boot loader.
  2. Connect your H10 to the computer using UMS mode and the UMS trick if necessary.
  3. Rename the H10.mi4 file that is in the System directory of your H10 to Original.mi4. Store a copy of this file somewhere as we'll need it to get dual boot working.
  4. Copy the H10.mi4 file you downloaded to the System directory on your player.

Note: If you can’t see the System directory, you will need to make sure your operating system is configured to show hidden files and folders.

Note: If you have a Pure model H10 (which doesn’t have a FM radio) it is possible that this file will be called H10EMP.mi4 instead. If so, rename the H10.mi4 you downloaded in step 1 to H10EMP.mi4.

Installation for 20GB H10

  1. Download the boot loader that fits your target: 20GB boot loader.
  2. Connect your H10 to the computer using UMS mode and the UMS trick.
  3. Make a backup of the H10_20GC.mi4 file that's in the System directory of your H10. Store a copy of this file somewhere as we'll need it to get dual boot working. Rename it to something meaningful, like Original.mi4. (Note: If you can’t see the System directory, you will need to make sure your operating system is configured to show hidden files and folders.)
  4. Copy the H10_20GC.mi4 file you downloaded to the System directory on your player.

Note: Under normal circumstances, you shouldn't have to change the boot loader once it has been put in place. It is possible that some (future) heavy changes create problems such that a new boot loader is required but that's a long shot. The normal Rockbox update procedure won't require you to touch it anymore.

Now proceed with installing the firmware itself.

Installing the firmware

After installing the boot loader, the installation becomes fairly easy.

You will need to download the current firmware from . Note: The 5GB and 6GB H10 models use the same firmware.

Note: Rockbox has a fonts package that is available at While the current build changes frequently, the fonts package rarely changes. Thus, the fonts package is not included in the archived and SVN (current) builds. When installing Rockbox for the first time, you should install the fonts package.

After downloading the Rockbox package connect your player to the computer via USB as described in the manual that came with your player. Take the file that you downloaded above, and extract its contents to your player’s drive.

Use the “Extract all” command of your unzip program to extract the files in the .*zip* file onto your player. Note that the entire contents of the .zip file should be extracted directly to the root of your player’s drive. Do not try to create a separate directory or folder on your player for the Rockbox files! The .zip file already contains the internal directory structure that Rockbox needs.

Note: If the contents of the .zip file are extracted correctly, you will have a file called rockbox.h10 in the main folder of your player’s drive, and also a folder called /.rockbox, which contains a number of other folders and system files needed by Rockbox. If you receive a “-1” error when you start Rockbox, you have not extracted the contents of the .zip file to the proper location.

Preparing for dual booting to the original firmware (optional)

The original iRiver firmware is contained in an encrypted file. At this moment, Rockbox isn't able to decrypt this file in real time so it needs one that has already been unencrypted. This file is made from the original firmware file (H10.mi4, which you may have renamed Original.mi4 in the installation steps above). Note: If the file was erased or overwritten without any back up, then Rockbox will obviously not be able to load it.

There are so many different versions of the original firmware that it would be absolutely unpractical to try and cater to all of these. You will need to use the tools and instructions Rockbox provides to decrypt the file on your own.

From windows

  1. Go to and download the 0.9.24-beta windows binary .rar archive.
  2. Unrar it to c:\mi4code (you might need to google for a .rar archive tool if you don't already have one)
  3. Rename the mi4code_0_9_24_beta.exe file in that newly created folder to simply mi4code.exe. This will make it's usage more convenient.
  4. Copy the original iRiver .mi4 file (the one you may have renamed Original.mi4) to that same directory.
  5. Enter the command prompt ('start button' -> 'run' -> type: cmd in the box and press enter)
  6. Type: cd \mi4code
  7. Type: mi4code decrypt -s Original.mi4 OF.bin
  8. Using the UMS trick, copy that newly created OF.bin file into the System folder of your player.

From Linux

  1. Decrypt the original firmware (OF)
    1. Automatically
    2. Manually
      1. Go to and download mi4code's source code:
        > cd /tmp
        > wget
      2. Check dependency on LGPL Crypto library. On Debian/Ubuntu :
        > apt-get install libgcrypt11-dev
      3. Compile it
        > gcc -o mi4code mi4code.c -lgcrypt
      4. Decrypt the OF
        > ./mi4code decrypt -s /path/to/H10/System/H10_Original.mi4 /path/to/H10/System/OF.bin
        Be sure the decrypted firmware is /path/to/H10/System/OF.bin because Rockbox has hardcoded path for that file.
  2. Check if everything is setup correctly
    1. Copy the script from AutomaticChecking and execute it:
      > sh ./automatic_check

-- NicolasBigaouette? - 17 Feb 2007

From Mac OS

[to be completed if it is at all possible]

To get into Original Firmware you need to press 'left' ( <- ) while powering the unit on.

Note: Remember that the official firmware doesn't shut down properly, it only goes to sleep. To get back into Rockbox, when exiting from the original software, you will need to reset the player (take out battery or insert a pin in the reset hole depending on the model).

Enabling Speech Support (optional)

f you wish to use speech support you will also need a language file, available from For the English language, the file is called english.voice. When it has been downloaded, unpack this file and copy it into the lang folder which is inside the /.rockbox folder on your player. Voice menus are turned on by default. See the manual for details on voice settings.

Running Rockbox

Remove your player from the computer’s USB port.Unplug any connected power supply and turn the unit off. When you next turn the unit on, Rockbox should load. When you see the Rockbox splash screen, Rockbox is loaded and ready for use.

Running the original firmware

When you see the iriver bootloader screen during the boot progress hold the back key (left buttom at the front of the unit) and keep pressing this buttom during 'booting original firmware' text appear. To boot in rockbox disconnect and reconnect the battery.

Updating Rockbox

Updating Rockbox is easy. Download a Rockbox build. (The latest release of the Rockbox software will always be available from Unzip the build to the root directory of your player like you did in the installation step before. If your unzip program asks you whether to overwrite files, choose the “Yes to all” option. The new build will be installed over your current build.

Note: Settings are stored on an otherwise-unused sector of your hard disk, not in any of the files contained in the Rockbox build. Therefore, generally speaking, installing a new build does not reset Rockbox to its default settings. Be aware, however, that from time to time, a change is made to the Rockbox source code that does cause settings to be reset to their defaults when a Rockbox build is updated. Thus it is recommended to save your settings using the Manage Settings → Write .cfg file function before updating your Rockbox build so that you can easily restore the settings if necessary. See the manual for additional information on how to save, load, and reset Rockbox’s settings.

Uninstalling Rockbox

If you would like to go back to only using the original Iriver software, then:

  • connect the Iriver to your computer in UMS mode, and delete the rockbox.h10 file.
  • 5/6GB: Next, put the H10.mi4 file you backed up (or renamed) in the installation phase back into the System directory on your H10, replacing the file that is there already (It should be named H10.mi4 or, if you have a Pure model H10 (without FM radio) H10EMP.mi4).
  • 20GB: Put the H10_20GC.mi4 file you backed up (or renamed) in the installation phase back into the System directory of your H10, replacing the file that is there already (H10_20GC.mi4).
  • If you wish to clean up your disk, you may also wish to delete the .rockbox folder and its contents. Turn the Iriver off.

Turn the player back on and the original Iriver software will load.
r14 - 09 Mar 2007 - 19:13:33 - CarlGaudreault

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