How-to Upgrade Firmware on AllWinner A31 mini PCs

I’ve just received a mini PC powered by AllWinner A31, and I had to (re-)install the firmware, so I’ll explain the steps I followed in this post. The procedure is for CS868 mini PC, but it should be similar for all Android HDMI TV dongles, and media players based on AllWinner A20 or A31.The procedure below only works in Windows, and has been tested in Windows XP. I’ll mention a possible method in Linux at the end of the post. Download the latest CS868 firmware and tools, and extract “cs868 firmware and update tool 20130507.rar” file Download PhoenixUSBPro tool in English, and extract This is optional as the Chinese version is included in rar file above. Double-click on PhoenixUSBPro/PhoenixUSBPro.exe to start the program Click on Update to upgrade the tool to the latest version if need be. Click on Key to to load the key file (AW_LCTOOLS.key), on Image to […]

New Tronmart Prometheus Firmware Fixes XBMC Audio/Video Sync, Adds DLNA and Smartphone Control App

A new firmware is now available for Tronsmart Prometheus with the following key changes: New Android 4.2 XBMC audio/video sync bug fix DLNA support Smartphone control function Internal storage for apps increased to 2GB In order to use the smartphone control function, you need to download and install RC_Client.apk into your Android smartphone or tablet, and run this app to control your Prometheus. I haven’t tried myself, and they did not provide detail, so I don’t know whether functionalities are similar to DroidMote. To update your device if It’s already running the previous Android 4.2 beta firmware: Download and extract Tronsmart Prometheus new stock  It would be really nice if they could just provide version numbers for firmware releases. Open the download folder, copy the 5 files in the root folder of an SD card, and insert it into your device. Use a paper clip to press and hold […]

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 […]

Preliminary Ubuntu 12.04 RootFS for GK802/HI802 mini PC

After releasing a pretty good Ubuntu 11.10 image with both VPU and GPU acceleration for Freescale i.MX6 based HDMI dongles last month, Jasbir (aka jas-hacks) has released an Ubuntu 12.04 image with GPU support thanks to the help of Octavio (Yocto Project contributor), and Wi-Fi support. It’s possible to select Unity 2D or Xubuntu desktop, and Chromium and Neverball, a 3D ball game, are part of the image. There’s still more work however, as VPU (Video Processing Unit) support is work in progress, Bluetooth does not work yet, and OpenGL ES test programs such as glmark2-es2 or es2gears do not work properly with Xubuntu, even though they do work fine with Unity 2D. Jasbir uploaded a video showing Neverball 3D game in GK802, and it works pretty good, although the framerate does not seem optimal for now. If you want to give this image a try, install GK802 Ubuntu 11.10 […]

Droid Stick A2 mini PC Recovery with AMLogic’s Hardware Flash Tool

In some circumstances, for example by installing the wrong firmware or doing something wrong by playing god (as a root user), it’s possible to brick your device. This happened to me with one of my Droid Stick A2 mini PCs based on AMLogic AML8726-MX. I changed some files in /system/etc/permissions directory, lost Wi-Fi access, and even  replacing my changes with the backup files would not solve the problem. It also changed some permissions in the system, and it was not possible to restore the firmware the usual way. At the end of last month, dbtablets left a comment with download links to “Amlogic USB Burning tool”, but  I only decided to give it a try today, and after some efforts I was successful. Just make sure you only use this method as last resort, i.e. a standard firmware upgrade does not work, and you’re about to throw your device in […]

Ubuntu 11.10 Image for Hi802 / GK802 is Now Available for Download

About 2 weeks ago, Jasbir released an Ubuntu 11.10 image and installation instructions for GK802 and Hi802 mini PCs based on Freescale i.MX6. I could only find time to give it try yesterday and today. I’ll provide the steps I followed to install the image, and my quick first impressions of the stability and performance of this image. Installation Instructions I mainly followed the instructions provided by Jasbir, and run GParted to increased the partition size on my micro SD card. The image is for a 8 GB micro SD, but those instructions should work on 4GB SD card and greater, as the rootfs partition is only 3GB large. Download the Ubuntu 11.10 image, uboot, as well as the kernel image and modules in a Linux PC:

Copy the image, uboot and the kernel to the micro SD card by typing the commands below:

Replace /dev/<sd_device> by your […]

MK808 mini PC gets Android 4.2.2 Beta Firmware

Last week, Geekbuying announced the first release of Android 4.2.2 for MK808, with support for MK808B coming soon. They warn users that it’s still beta since this is the first time Android 4.2 is available on Rockchip RK3066 mini PC, however I could not find user’s complains in the comments section, but at least one users in ARMTvTech is disappointed by this release. You’ll find three download links: Android 4.2.2 for MK808 (dropbox) – Currently unavailable due to heavy traffic Android 4.2.2 for MK808 rooted (Gdrive) – Same version as above but rooted by deadhp1 RKBatchTool  1.5 (dropbox)- Windows tool to perform the upgrade. Currently unavailable but there are alternate links. Once you get the files, you can follow the instructions showing how to upgrade MK808 firmware, or watch the video showing the upgrade process. MK808 is another device I don’t own, so I haven’t been able to try it […]

Latest Tronsmart Prometheus Firmware Features Android 4.2 and XBMC with Video Hardware Decoding

Last month I reviewed Tronsmart Prometheus, and I was pretty satisfied with the device except some bugs. There’s no a firmware update that should fix AC3/DTS static noise issues in this set-top box. Prometheus also becomes one of the first set-top boxes to support the latest Android Jelly Bean 4.2, and comes with an XBMC version supporting hardware decode using XBMC user interface, and not an external media player such as DicePlayer or MX Player. You can download the firmware ( 2013-3-08(4.2_root_ac3_dts_market_xbmc).zip), and install it using the upgrade procedure on Tronsmart website. I’m on the road, so I can’t try the firmware myself right now (which also explains why I haven’t posted in the last few days), but Geekuying has upload a short video showing XBMC with video hardware acceleration on the device. (Previous firmware in Android 4.1.2). Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, […]

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