Project Log: Random GP2X hacking

Friday, January 06, 2006

GPH release 1.2.0 firmware

The article includes a download for the firmware and a short upgrade guide.

Updates are quite major on the user-space site. I have tested this on a few GP2X's now and results are good so far. The SD code HAS been changed in this kernel and that may be a mixed blessing, I will update as I know more.

I will update my unbricking guide and the files to 1.2.0 once I get back from holidays on the 12th.

Download: Here is a link to the files.

  • Before you install make sure any read only NAND patches are uninstalled.
  • Make sure you remove any custom menu themes. The patch updates the menu graphics.
  • Are you SURE you want to patch your GP2X?
  • There ARE changes to the SD code, this may not all be good (update, see below).
  • Once you go to 1.2.0 there is no way back. It makes so many changes to the NAND you can't go back once you run the 2nd part of the upgrade (the filesystem patch)
Updates on the Warnings: (Please read this bit)
  • The new SD code may cause BIG problems. Look at this debug output below (bold added for interest) from a card that has worked well with all previous firmwares (one that won't support flash upgrades but thats beside the point) I have other cards with the same errors, 3 so far out of my 9 now don't mount cleanly all the time, re-inserting the card helps sometimes.
MMC/SD Card Detected
###[mmcsd_bus.c:414]->check_sd_ocr: ACMD41 fail!!!
Division by zero in kernel.
Function entered at [] from []
Function entered at [] from []
r6 = C01EAE98 r5 = C01EAF54 r4 = C01EAF28
Function entered at [] from []
r6 = C02B6000 r5 = C02B7F88 r4 = C01EAF54
Function entered at [] from []
r4 = C02B7F88
Function entered at [] from []
r5 = C016C670 r4 = C016C668
Function entered at [] from []
Register SD: 0MB

  • Extract the zip to the root of a GP2X update supported SD card. You will have 3 files on your SD, gp2xkernel.img (will get deleted on 1st full boot), gp2xpatch-1.2.0.tar.gz and patch20060105.gpu.
  • Plug in your external PSU into the GP2X and make sure your unit works on mains power.
  • Place SD card in GP2X.
    • If the card works you will see a "Firmware Upgrade" graphic after a few seconds.
    • If the card does not work for firmware upgrades then the unit will boot normaly.
      • You can try formating the card as FAT32 if the upgrade fails, this has been known to help.
  • If the firmware upgrade was a sucess you will see a 1.2.0 loading screen (Green with version number in corner) and menu will load.
  • Select "Utilities" and then "SD" and run "patch20060105" (the file system patch) from the resulting menu.
    • If you can't see the SD card (i.e. the menu is blank) reboot your unit without the SD in and only put the SD in after the menu has loaded.
  • This upgrade patch changes a lot of files on the NAND (inc. shared libraries, SDL etc.). You will see a "patching" graphic, then a "complete, please wait" graphic. Then the menu will retun. A quick test is to see if 4 way directions in the menu work. If they do your all good to go.
From the notes:
  • All fixes upto 1.2.0 included in file system patch.
  • Improved photo viewer.
  • Subtitle bugs fixed in mPlayer.
  • 4 way menu navigation.
  • Rolling file lists.
  • Switch the position of SD and NAND in menus.
  • Improved TV Out features. Supports both NTSC and PAL (new options in settings menu)
Note: No source release to go with binaries yet :(.


  • Tried the 1.2.0 update from 1.1.0 on my GP2X.
    New unit,so far only updated the firmware from 1.0.1 to 1.1.0, installed sdl libraries and tried a few games.
    the firmware update went OK, but the patch doesn't install, the screen just goes blank and stays that way until I reboot.
    Any suggestions would be welcome.

    By Anonymous leomaxwell, at 11:02 AM  

  • Sorry, read a little more, realised that I have the 1.1.0b patch applied,
    starting to realise the difference between the firmware and patches!

    By Anonymous leomaxwell, at 11:25 AM  

  • Nice. I have ordered one this weekend. Don't know how long till I get it though.

    One thought on these flash drives with reformatting and such.. On troublesome drives have you tried to zero out the device before formatting?
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/whatever

    That may help clean up the drives a bit to improve compatability.. but I don't know much about SD stuff. If there is any weird data on the disk that may be important it will be obliterated.

    Also does this update address any of the energy consumption issues to increase battery life? Such as cpu scaling and the like?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:13 AM  

  • Is there a workaround for the SD card issue at all?

    For example, if I bought a small, cheap, compatible SD card and used that to flash my firmware, would my GP2X read my proper card?

    I guess what I'm asking is whether the SD card issue is tied to the card you use to flash the firmware with or not.

    Luckily, once you've flashed the firmware, there's no way to run the patch which makes the downgrade impossible, so my SD card isn't useless yet! Thought it would be worth mentioning in case anyone else panics when it happens to them ;)


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:23 AM  

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