Temp:Dead recovery guide

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This page is marked as temporary since its content will be soon moved to a proper place.

Basics you need to know

First, this guide is for S1mp3-type players only. For more information, and to check if your device is or not an S1mp3, see S1mp3. This procedure is the same for all the broad types of S1mp3s.

Before trying anything, if your player is under any warranty, it’s highly suggested to try to refund/change the player with the seller before trying any recovering operation, because they might void the warranty.

An S1mp3 gets dead when the player’s CPU (the ATJ20xx), can’t correctly load the program that controls the S1mp3 functions, called firmware(wikipedia link). This program is normally installed in CPU's memory and on a special hidden region of flash drive.

This might happen because the S1mp3 hardware broke, or because the firmware recorded on the player got corrupted / invalid. Hopefully, in most of the cases, the problem is related to firmware, and can be corrected by loading a correct firmware into the S1mp3. Follow the operations in this guide and you’ll learn how to do this.

Get the S1mp3 talking with Windows

Before doing anything, you have to get your player detected correctly by Windows, with the correct drivers. Even if you think your player is correctly detected, follow this steps to ensure nothing is wrong:

  1. Uninstall the "Mp3 player tools"(link) (the program that comes on the mini-CD that usually ships with the player) you have installed previously. Install the 1.46 version, if your player is not the "MP4" type, and the 4.0 version, if your player is the "MP4" type. Programs are available to download at the Tools page.
  2. Unplug the player and remove/uninstall all the drivers related to USB at the device manager. (Control Panel > System > Hardware tab > Device Manager). (screenshot with arrows)
  3. Now, click "scan for hardware changes" button. Finally after the USB drivers are installed, plug in your player.

If you have problems with missing drivers, they may be obtained at the place you've installed the MP3 player utilities (Program Files/MP3 Player Utilities/), at folders "Windows98Drv", and "Dissipate/drivers". Make sure windows driver signing is not set to "block"(screenshot with arrows).

If you follow all this steps and Windows still can't recognize it, you may try to push ALL the buttons while connecting it to the USB hub. Try every button, and keep the button hold. Press buttons crazily and connect/disconnect the player to the USB port like a very nervous person, sometimes it may work!! You may also try to plug it on another (preferably Windows XP) computer.

If you still can’t get the player recognized, there is a special trick that will do it, with is to short (ie. connect) some memory pins and make the player go to the ADFU mode. Skip to |short the memory pins|(#link).

Find the right firmware for your specific s1mp3

At this step we assume that your player is detected by Windows. If not, perform steps explained before or read |short the memory pins|(#link) section.

Now, you’ll need to get the correct firmware for your player. There are several ways to accomplish this:

  1. Via a previous dump.
    A previous-made dump using s1fwx will suit your need when the device can be flashed without going on the ADFU mode. We’ll explain why and what is the ADFU mode later.
  2. Via the manufacturer/seller
    If your player is branded, you can contact the manufacturer or the seller and ask for a firmware. Sometimes, if you are lucky, this works!
  3. Via the board ID
    The board ID is a small white writing on the green s1mp3 PCB board, and it's the unique way to identify your player’s hardware, and, therefore, search if someone already found a correct firmware for it. You *must*, thought, disassemble your player to look the board ID information on the PCB.
    1. Via a dump from a player with the same board ID - If you know a friend that has a player with the same board ID
  4. Via trial and error
    If there is no firmware known-working for your board id, or your player doesn’t have any board ID, you don’t have a dump, and the manufacturer/seller can’t help, this is the only way out. You can download the GREAT FIRMWARE DATABASE(link) for a bunch of firmwares to attempt. If none on the pack works, you will need to google for firmware files yourself.

Note that the board ID is the only safe way to identify your player and the firmware that works on it. Chip numbers, external look, models or brand names can't uniquely identify a hardware set. A firmware working on a player can kill other player with EXACTLY the same external characteristics and brand/model name.

More information on the board ID and where to find it can be found here: Board ID(link, dissasemble your s1mp3)

Once you've found your board ID, you may see if there is any tested firmware for your player at the Firmware list(link).

On most of the cases, open the player case to get the board ID will be the most wise thing to do, you may quickly find the information on the firmware table. However, if you are unable to find the firmware for your board, rest assured that the only way is via trial and error. DON'T post on forum or email the team for firmwares files - they don't have your device, only you can do the trial and error job. If you find a new firmware for a new board ID, please post on the forum or email the admins for the inclusal of the discovery on the firmware page. If you are also out of firmwares to try, after trying the whole set on the great firmwares database, you will have to google for for more firmwares. Don't post asking someone to do this for you.

If you don’t know how to disassemble your player, read How to disassemble your s1mp3(link).

How to flash your firmware to the player

First, make sure you have followed all the instructions to get the player talking to windows. Kill as many processes as you can(Ctrl+alt+del), and disable any anti virus / anti spywares. It’s recommended that you plug your player without the AAA battery, or with the on/off switch set to OFF.(Don’t confuse the on/off swith with the hold swith!)

TODO : is it really necessary that people with internal battery to cut down the battery before shorting ??

If your player is detected as a flash drive, make a full format on it, using FAT16 or FAT (and not FAT32 or NTFS).

Open the "MP3 Player Upgrade Tool", select the firmware you have chosen to flash, and hit "Begin Upgrading".

If you get a write-protection error

  1. Flip the "hold" switch and try again
  2. Keep one of the buttons of the player pressed during the procedure. Do this for every button on your unit
  3. Short circuit the memory chip to enter ADFU (recovery) mode

If the Mp3 player update tool can't set the device to Firmware Upgrade mode

Do that manually inside the player menus.

If you get "Invalid Upgrade Firmware File" and you are on ADFU mode

This is happening because when recovering from the ADFU mode, you can only flash complete firmware files.

Dumped firmwares are not complete - if you are trying to flash a dump you need to make it complete first. See |guide to do it| for information.

To check if your firmware is complete or not, you must extract firmware (s1fwx x):

Dumped firmware contain about four files (example: ADFUF644.AP, BRECF644.BIN, FWIMAGE.FW, FWSCF644.BIN) Full firmware contain many more files (example: ADFUF321.AP,ADFUF641.AP, ADFUF644.AP, ADFUS.BIN, BRECF321.BIN, BRECF641.BIN, BRECF644.BIN, FWIMAGE.FW, FWSCF321.BIN, FWSCF641.BIN, FWSCF644.BIN, HWSCAN.BIN, RCSE7502.BIN, RCSL7502.BIN, WELCOME.BIN)

If the firmware for your board haven't worked, or if you are trying to flash a dump(incomplete firmware), one thing you might do is to flash another (random) firmware, until you get a working usb flash disk. Then, flash your player in the normal way(not under ADFU mode), with your incomplete firmware(without doing any short-circuit). Incomplete DUMPS won't work on ADFU mode, remember that!

If you get any other error

If you are getting "UNKNOW FLASH TYPE", "FLASH NOT RESPONDING", "DEVICE NOT DETECTED", "DEVICE IS BUSY" or other errors, you should uninstall you current updater program and try other versions. (get the different versions at tools(link) page).

If none of the versions that you are trying works with your player, you might need to make a special trick to make your firmware run on the ADFU mode.

If even on the ADFU mode you are still not allowed to flash a firmware in any version, it is VERY likely that you have a hardware problem, for example, bad solders on memory chip, or a burnt ATJ2085. See how to check and fix bad solders(link).

How to put your player on the ADFU mode

Notice: You must have a FULL firmware (acquired from mini-CD, producer's site or internet)to flash player that is in ADFU mode, a repaired dump acquired with s1fwx tool won't work as it doesn't contain important files that are uploaded into CPU's memory. Because of this, it's referred to flash outside the ADFU mode. Use the recovery mode only when the normal method fails.

You must disassemble your mp3 player. If you haven't done this yet, check how to disassemble the s1mp3(link).

To make the ATJ2085 run the recovery mode, we short-circuit the memory chip during startup.

Recognize the memory chip, near the ATJ2085 chip. It's usually a samsung or hynix chip, and it's the biggest silicon on the board(picture of the memory chip). If your s1mp3 have 2 memory chips, you have to short the memory chip nearest to the ATJ2085. If it does not work, short the other one.

Now, without the batteries, with a flat screwdriver or another metallic material (metal paper clip works nice):

  1. touch 2 or more of any of the 8 IO legs of the memory chip. (schematic showing the IO legs on the chip)
  2. KEEP the screwdriver shorting the pins
  3. Connect the player to the USB.
  4. now, RELEASE the screwdriver shorting the pins
  5. Keep trying this procedure until you are successful.

You may need to do this procedure lots of time before getting a successful short. When you are successful, windows will recognize your s1mp3 as an ADFU server device (you may check it on the system tray) and then, when you start the firmware update program, you'll be warned that the device is on recovery mode, and you will finally be allowed to flash a (FULL only) compatible firmware file. If you try to flash a dump, you will get an error message.

If you can't make the device go into the ADFU mode, even after extensively trying this method, it's because, on some (rare) cases, the bootloader on the ATJ2085 is also corrupt, so the ATJ2085 won't NEVER enter the ADFU mode. In these cases, there is no way for us to write the correct firmware via USB. It is only possible to fix the firmware via ICE(wikipedia link). See the S1ICE.

After you are successful with this method, let windows talk to your s1mp3 again. This will clear all the possible software erros while updating the firmware. If you still have an error while trying to put the firmware, or there is something wrong with your player's hardware(??see |guide to fix|??), or your firmware is corrupt on incomplete.

Last words

All the firmwares we have collected so far are on the |great firmware archive|(link), get them and start trying. If you progress to flash an unsupported board, post that on the forum for we to update the firmware table.

If you have SURE you have made all the steps above, post on the forum describing with as much details as possible, what is going wrong, maybe we can help you. But all that is known are on this page, the people probably won't be able to help much. Please, don't post asking for firmwares!!

If you are getting a persistent error like "UNKNOW FLASH TYPE" after trying everything suggested here, it's likely that there is a bad solder on your memory chip or the memory chip itself is physically damaged. You might |try to re solder it|(link).

The most important is to keep hope, LOTS of people already recovered their players!

There is also additional information in portuguese, pending translation and adaption to this guide, regarding how to recover newer players. You can read the original text in Portuguese-Br in here : www.turisul.com.br/mp3.htm


Visual aid to illustrate how to uninstall USB devices prior to short-circuiting I/O pins during Dead Recovery process. Uninstall-ALL-USB-devices.png

Check that Driver Signing is not blocked ... otherwise drivers, especially ADFU drivers, will not be installed and players will not be detected as ADFU device for firmware recovery. Driver-signing.png