How to Flash Firmware to Rockchip RK3188 HDMI TV Sticks

Yesterday, I’ve received MK908 mini PC featuring Rockchip RK3188, and a new firmware is available, so before further testing I’ll flash the firmware to the device basically using the instructions from Geekbuying. This method use standard Rockchip tools, so it should work for any RK3188 devices.

But first a little rant. Those instructions only work on Windows operating systems, so if you’re using Linux or Mac, you’re out of luck until you find a Windows PC, or launch Windows in a virtual machine. This method should just be used in case the device can’t boot, or you have serious issue with the device firmware, but it is also used for firmware upgrade for Rockchip mini PCs. This is just wrong. Typical users should not be asked to install software and drivers, press the recovery button, just to upgrade their firmware. The best very way would be OTA updates, but maybe this is asking too much. The alternative would be to just copy some files to a micro SD card, insert it in the mini PC, boot the device, and wait for the firmware to complete. This method could also avoid to complete wipe out your settings  and installed applications, although apps like Titanium Backup can help restore those after a full firmware update.

The steps to install firmware to RK3188 based mini PCs, in this case MK908, are as follows:

    1. Download RkBatchTool 1.6 (password: GEEKBUYING.COM), the Windows only tool to flash firmware to RK3xxx devices, as well as RockUSB drivers v3.5, the USB drivers for Windows 2000/XP/vista/7/8.
    2. Download the firmware file for your device. For MK908: update_mk908_100j1101_6210.rar
    3. Uncompress those 3 files in a directory in a Windows PC.
    4. Get the mini USB to USB cable, and connect it to your Windows PC. Now look at the back of MK908 with the HDMI connector pointing upwards, you should see 2 small holes at the top of the devices. The right hole is the power LED, and the left hole, the recovery button. Press the recovery button with a paper clip, and at the same time insert the other end of the USB cable into the OTG port of your device. Wait a few seconds before releasing the recovery button, and your windows PC should start installing the drivers automatically, but you don’t want that, so don’t let it install the drivers now, and move to the next step.

      MK908 Recovery Button (Left) and OTG Port (Right)
      MK908 Recovery Button (Left) and OTG Port (Right)

    5. There are different procedures depending on the version of Windows, but you should point the drivers installer to Rockusb_v3.5/Rockusb_v3.5/Rockusb/x86 (32-bit Windows) or Rockusb_v3.5/Rockusb_v3.5/Rockusb/x64 (64-bit Windows) and finally select the directory corresponding to your Windows version. Click OK or Next to complete the installation. In Windows XP, you should see “Class for rockusb devices->Rockusb Device” in the Device Manager.
    6. Now go to GEEKBUYING_Rockchip_Batch_Tool_v1.6/Rockchip_Batch_Tool_v1.6 and double click on RKBatchTool.exe to launch the tool.
    7. Click on “…” at the top right of the window, select the firmware file (e.g. update_mk908_100j1101_6210.img), and RKBatchTool should now indicate one device is connected by showing a green square in the “Connected Devices” section of the windows.
    8. Click on “Restore” (and not Update) to flash the firmware. It will take a few minutes (It took 1204 seconds, or about 20 minutes). Once it’s finished, the device will reboot, Windows will install the adb drivers, and you should see the windows below.RKBatchTool_MK908I’ve included the full log below for your reference:
      11:34:08 674 Rockchip Batch Tool v1.6.8.1 start run
      11:40:35 799 Rockchip Batch Tool v1.6.8.1 start run
      11:40:50 236 **********Restore Start Total**********
      11:40:50 267 Test Device Start
      11:40:50 283 Test Device Success
      11:40:50 299 Lowerformat Device Start
      11:40:59 346 Lowerformat Device Success
      11:40:59 377 Test Device Start
      11:40:59 408 Test Device Success
      11:40:59 424 Check Chip Start
      11:40:59 439 Check Chip Success
      11:40:59 455 Get FlashInfo Start
      11:40:59 471 INFO:FlashInfo: 0 0 0 1 0 10 10 28 2A 4 1
      11:40:59 502 Get FlashInfo Success
      11:40:59 517 Prepare IDB Start
      11:40:59 533 INFO:CS(1) (8192MB) (MICRON)
      11:40:59 580 Prepare IDB Success
      11:40:59 611 Download IDB Start
      11:41:00 299 Download IDB Success
      11:41:00 330 Reset Device Start
      11:41:01 346 Reset Device Success
      11:41:01 361 Wait For Loader Start
      11:41:02 846 Wait For Loader Success
      11:41:02 908 Test Device Start
      11:41:02 955 Test Device Success
      11:41:02 971 Download Firmware Start
      12:00:51 736 Download Firmware Success
      12:00:51 767 Reset Device Start
      12:00:52 783 Reset Device Success
      12:00:55 111 **********Restore Done Success Fail Time <1204828>ms**********
    9. Connect your device to the TV and enjoy!

I first tried the procedure in a Windows 7 virtual machine running in Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit, I could detect the device 2207:310b, and start the firmware, but I pressed the wrong button “Upgrade” and it failed. Subsequently Linux failed to detect the device, even after closing Virtual Box, so I switched to a Windows XP netbook to complete the procedure.

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25 Replies to “How to Flash Firmware to Rockchip RK3188 HDMI TV Sticks”

  1. Have you tried using ReactOS? If it works then maybe you can release a Qemu image with all the necessary tools to flash on linux.

  2. Dear CNX Soft,
    I had a question with you that i rooted my mk809iii and it was a successful attempt. But 2 days later when i start my device it is stuck at R-BOX animation at bootloader. And you refer me here in this blog to reflash the firmware…. But my problem is that from the day one i cant able to connect the PC while using pinhole method. I tried so many times to connect the USB cable and then pressing the recovery button with a paper clip, and at the same time i insert the other end of the USB cable into the OTG port. But no use no sound no connection. I dont know what should i do? please help… is there any other way?

  3. @Faisal Butt You have a solution already? i’m also unable to connect to my pc using the recovery button method. My stick is not rooted, so it would be nice to be able to connect it and root it.

  4. Hi,
    I mistakenly clicked on UPDATE button and the Stick does not work now. Is there any way to fix this? Any reply will be appreciated.

  5. Have the device connected with pc
    start RKbatchtool
    now press the reset button and keep it pressed.
    after a few seconds you should see that there is connection.
    now restore the image and give the system time to install

    the system will reboot and start working!

  6. Hello,

    I am new in this forum. Couple things I am not sure for the firmware upgrade process and could not find in the step-by-step instructions:

    1) Does the TV stick need to be powered on first via the microUSB connector on the end? If yes, does it need to connect to TV via HDMI port?

    2) I tried to connect PC to the OTG micro USB port on the side of TV stick, but my PC won’t detect the TV stick? Shall I use the regular USB port on the end of the stick?

    I tried on both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 PCto upgrade CX919ii TV stick and no luck.



  7. @cnxsoft
    Thanks for this quick response.

    Could you please clarify which regular USB or micro-USB port on the CX919ii/J22 TV stick shall I connect the USB cable?

    Yes, I have tried the simplified method to install driver. But the problem is that my PC won’t even detect there is a USB connection and therefore won’t pop up a request for driver.



  8. @BLin2
    It should be the OTG port, so It should the micro USB port.
    Sometimes there’s a power issue, as the power from the USB port of a computer may not be enough. Maybe try with another USB port, or USB 3.0 port.

  9. need help please..
    I mistakenly clicked on UPDATE button and the Stick does not work now. Is there any way to fix this?
    i try use restore but not working..

  10. The update_mk908_100j1101_6210.rar link is now dead, anyone with any other leads?
    Mine is weird, it lights up deep blue on the rockchip batch tool and is on layer 3-1-3, unable to switch to flash mode and fails on preparing IDB.

  11. Hello guys. I have big problem..I have mini pc rk3188. But its crashed… when i connect it to tv, the tv sees it, but wrote that’s no signal from device. I think its not mechanical problem. I want to root it but i can’t enable debuging…. 🙁
    Sorry for my bad english guys, its my third language 🙁

  12. Hi,
    My RK3188 Android box was not booting. So I did a factory reset, cleared all data. But it does not boot afterwards!
    How can I get th original 4.2 firmware for this device and load? Many Thanks

  13. Hi! I have little problem with my tv stick android device Mediacom stas2100 after upgrade image frozen. I make upgrade with a version of another device image from mediacom site.please help pc don t see the device and he dont have reset butonn.sory for bad english

  14. Hello, have mk809 iii

    i try many times to coonect to pc and put in flash mode, none of them sucess, so in website with nother mk80xx

    they say to put in flash mode must shorcircuit the nand on the 6 pin and connect to usb pc port…

    i did that, for few secconds only, the blue led light on mk809iii work on and then go off… now when i connect to usb port, it onlys make sound that is plug to the pc… and the led light wont turn on….

    when i start the program “AndroidTool_Release2.1” it show the that detect the rockchip connected… only that when i try to boot load it give erro can load the boot load…

    now i try to connect to tv hdmi port and wont power on….

    it is brick… or the chip is damage or is only the nand memory are in shortcurcuit?

    best regards

  15. Hola buenos dias, tengo un problema con mini pc tv dongleMK809II
    aparece en la pantalla android al enchufarlo pero no sale la pantalla
    de inicio.

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