Home > AMLogic AML8726, Android > How to Upgrade Firmware in Amlogic S802 Devices

How to Upgrade Firmware in Amlogic S802 Devices

Shenzhen Tomato has finally sent me an updated firmware (password: 17r0) for M8 / TM8 Android TV box powered by Amlogic S802. This firmware is rooted, and adds support for Google Apps (Play Store, Gmail and so on), among others things. So it’s a good time to try out and write about the firmware update instructions which are very similar to AML8726-MX firmware instructions. Bear in mind that firmware is usually specific to a given hardware platform, and if you try it on another non-compatible S802 TV box, you may brick your device.

Standard “OTA” Method

Any Windows, Mac OS, Linux computer or even your own Android device should be able to handle is as you just need to download, extract and copy files to an SD card. I’ve done the procedure from a computer running Ubuntu 13.04:

  1. Download the firmware (e.g. TM8 ap6330_03102014A_0410_ROOT.rar), and extract it
  2. Copy the files (factory_update_param.aml, k200-ota-20140410.zip, and recovery.img) to the root of an SD card formatted with FAT32
  3. Insert the SD card in your S802 device.
  4. Using a sharp non-conductive object to press the recovery button, In M8 (aka TM8), this is located in the AV connector, and I used a toothpick to press the button. Keep pressing, and connect the power, waiting for an animated Android with a progress bar showing firmware upgrade is in progress.
  5. The box will then automatically reboot, and start with the new firmware. You’ll then go through a wizard to select your language (simplified Chinese, English, or traditional Chinese), adjust the screen size, and configure the network (Wi-Fi or Ethernet)

This method might also work with any Amlogic S802 based device. However, even though Tronsmart Vega S89 hardware also features the same type of recovery button via the AV ouput, GeekBuying has provided another, Windows only, method requiring you to use a tool called BootcardMaker that makes the SD card bootable, before you copy the above files + u-boot.bin to the SD card before proceeding to the firmware upgrade, also using the recovery button.

Firmware upgrade with USB Burning Tool

Most firmware distributed online will probably use the method above, but if you’ve been given a single firmware file, often using img extension, you need to use another Windows tool called USB Burning Tool. If for some reasons, your firmware is badly damaged, and can’t access the recovery mode, that may be the only way to unbrick your board.. Here’s how to proceed. (I haven’t tried myself).

  1. Download amlogic_tools.rar
  2. You may also want to install Moborobo to make sure you’ve got the right drivers.
  3. Extract USB_Burning_Tool_v2.0.0.140306_Alpha_x86.rar from amlogic_tools.rar and click on setup_v2.0.0.140306_Alpha_x86.exe to install the tool
  4. Start the USB burning toolS802_USB_Burning_Tool_OrigClick on File->Import image and select your .img firmware.
  5. make sure your S802 device is powered powered off, with the USB OTG port connected to your PC. Use a toothpick to press the recovery button, and power the device. The USB burning tool should automatically detect your device. (If not, install the moborobo tool).
  6. Now click on the Start button button to proceed with the firmware update which should last several minutes.
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  1. April 16th, 2014 at 11:46 | #1

    Please note, the M8 stock firmware is not the same as vega s89, so you can’t flash each other, or you will brick your device, be careful.

  2. Paul
    April 16th, 2014 at 15:36 | #2

    Where’s the review of the firware you promised

  3. April 16th, 2014 at 17:08 | #3

    @Eric
    Thanks. I’ve added one sentence to warn people they should not use firmware not designed for their box.

    @Paul
    I’ve only been able to upgrade the firmware this morning, so the review is obviously not complete…

  4. zwabbit
    April 16th, 2014 at 19:15 | #4

    Thank-you.

  5. Galll0s
    April 16th, 2014 at 20:46 | #5

    Yeah cant wait for the review here too :)

  6. John
    April 17th, 2014 at 02:43 | #6

    I’m lost in translation when trying to download the firmware. Can someone help me out or upload the firmware to some other filehost? Mega.co.nz maybe?

  7. April 17th, 2014 at 13:21 | #7

    John :
    I’m lost in translation when trying to download the firmware. Can someone help me out or upload the firmware to some other filehost? Mega.co.nz maybe?

    here it is:
    http://goo.gl/LX8ezF

  8. John
    April 17th, 2014 at 16:51 | #8

    Thanks Eric! I’ve got it! @Eric

  9. April 19th, 2014 at 05:36 | #9

    I got the M8 ROM to boot on the Tronsmart S89 including the M8 kernel. BUT DO NOT TRY IT YOURSELF! Ask me how I know. I hard bricked my S89!
    I figured out what to change to make the M8 ROM work on the s89. Stay tuned for that. But I also learned how to unbrick. IT IS NOT EASY! I will publish a how to as soon as I nail down how to unbrick 100% as I managed to do it but cant repeat it at this time.
    Bob

  10. cz26m
    April 23rd, 2014 at 06:16 | #10

    @Finless Bob

    I have flashed the firmware on my Tronsmart S89. Now works only standby. Can you help me.
    Thanks Chris

  11. patience88
    June 13th, 2014 at 22:25 | #11

    Hi, I’ve just bought me an S802 device.
    This one http://www.tinydeal.com/s802-android-44-2g-8g-quad-core-4k-tv-box-92-keys-keyboard-p-127544.html
    Can I flash this Rom? And if yes what method I should use? I’ve got an W7 computer.
    And where can I find other Rom’s for this device?
    Thanx for your help

  12. June 14th, 2014 at 11:11 | #12

    @patience88
    This looks very similar to Tronsmart Vega S89 Elite / Beelink M8 with 8GB flash.
    You can check my review to make sure – http://www.cnx-software.com/2014/04/12/tronsmart-vega-s89-review/
    Don’t flash the ROM in this post, and instead install Vega S89 Elite firmware.
    Latest @ http://blog.geekbuying.com/index.php/2014/06/13/rom-download-new-stock-firmware-105k4-for-tronsmart-vega-s89-elite-standard-and-s89-h/ . Use USB Burning Tool.

  13. Anees
    June 16th, 2014 at 10:43 | #13

    Hi
    I’ve just bought M8 device like http://www.cnx-software.com/2014/04/04/m8-android-tv-box-powered-by-amlogic-s802-unboxing/
    1- Could you please give me the latest firmware upgrade for it, the current version is : 20.2013.0913, Base version : 1.0
    2- I need to use my phone as a remote how can I do that ?

    Thanks for your kindly help

  14. June 16th, 2014 at 10:58 | #14

    @Anees
    You can use the link at the top of the post. They put new firmware there. One has been released today actually (16/06/2014).
    You can use DroidMote to control the device with your phone.

  15. Anees
    June 16th, 2014 at 11:42 | #15

    @cnxsoft Thanks for your kindly reply
    This link is Chinese and ask me to insert the verification code which is Chinese also :)

  16. Anees
    June 16th, 2014 at 19:20 | #16

    I downloaded this One : http://pan.baidu.com/share/link?shareid=2312305150&uk=1275463718#dir/path=%2FTM8%2FTM82014.06.16
    But I didn’t found “factory_update_param.aml”
    Can I use the same file for another version ?
    Thanks

  17. June 16th, 2014 at 19:29 | #17

    @Anees
    I’m not quite sure… These are text-based script, so maybe they do not change between firmwares.
    If you want to be extract safe, try an earlier version with the .aml file.

  18. Anees
    June 16th, 2014 at 19:34 | #18

    Could you please send the latest one before that one
    Because I am confused, different between the latest date and the version number

    Thanks

  19. Anees
    June 17th, 2014 at 00:41 | #19

    Hi;
    I upgraded it to this version : M8_K200A_ap6330_03282014A_0516
    And Installed latest XBMC 13.1
    But XBMC doesn’t display the movies only sound and black screen
    Please advise

    Thanks for your kindly help

  20. June 17th, 2014 at 09:17 | #20

    @Anees
    Did you install XBMC from xbmc.org/download? I’m not sure it works with this box yet. There should be a specific XBMC for S802 somewhere. Normally it’s part of the firmware, but you can search for xbmc s802 apk, or something like that.

  21. Anees
    June 18th, 2014 at 10:55 | #22

    Thank you very much
    I know I asked you very mush, I am sorry for that
    I upgraded the new version
    1- But I can’t access the regular launcher only MediaBox launcher, do you how can I access the regular launcher for android
    2- I bought a webcam but it doesn’t work, the system can’t detect it

    Thank you for your kindly help :)

  22. June 18th, 2014 at 11:40 | #23

    @Anees
    1. There may not be a regular launcher in the firmware. I think SomeCoolTech (check on youtube) managed to change it.
    2. You need an UVC webcam. It should work without driver in Windows or Linux. Both Skype and Hangouts worked for me with the older firmware.

  23. Anees
    June 22nd, 2014 at 12:13 | #24

    Additional Review :)
    1- Many times I can’t power off the device (The system makes restart not stand by)
    2- No sound if you used Mele Pro remote, The result is that video playback becomes choppy and stutters a bit on your android box.The button to change the audio output setting on the controller doesn’t work with anything, The only way to fix this is to pull out the remote receiver dongle when you start a video
    3- Can’t move the Apps to SD card
    4- I could not use Miracast at all (No help about it, my be it doesn’t work I don’t know)

    I will bought IPEGA PG-9021 and UVC webcam

    Your review very helpful
    Thanks :)

  24. Jose Mendoza
    July 9th, 2014 at 14:59 | #25

    I bought a M8 Amlogic S802 tv box with OS Android. I prefer Linux. There is some image with Linux for the M8?

  25. July 9th, 2014 at 16:35 | #26

    @Jose Mendoza
    I had the system boot (headless), but I have not been working on it since then… http://www.cnx-software.com/2014/05/15/how-to-boot-linux-server-amlogic-s802/

    There was no HDMI output at the time (not sure why), but somebody said they had XBMC Linux and full ARM distro working on similar hardware.

  26. abdrazak
    August 15th, 2014 at 21:32 | #27

    @cz26m
    Hi….i flash a diff firmware to my android box n now it is not booting up at all..I open up the box n it is using Amlogic s802 chipset.Could anyone help me to revive my box.

  27. altobel45
    August 20th, 2014 at 04:22 | #28

    Friends,
    I bought an HDMI cable with M8 TV BOX, but did not get the image, what should I do.
    Thanks for the answer.

  28. August 20th, 2014 at 09:54 | #29

    @altobel45
    First, check if the HDMI cable works with other equipments. If it’s still not working, try to flash the firmware again with the method shown above. (SD card).

  29. gora71
    September 18th, 2014 at 05:31 | #30

    I need help.I have MXIII but now he’s dead.I tried to put in a new firmaware but now I can not turn it on.I ask everyone for help.Thanks

  30. September 18th, 2014 at 09:45 | #31

    @gora71
    Looks like you are not the only one – http://www.cnx-software.com/2014/07/18/amlogic-s802-tv-boxes-are-getting-cheaper-meet-72-mx3-m82-tv-box/#comment-242423

    There are three versions, so they may require different firmware. Ask for the firmware where you bought it.
    If it does not work, try to return it for a refund or replacement.

  1. April 18th, 2014 at 21:15 | #1
  2. July 21st, 2014 at 11:30 | #2