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-   Sansa e200 Hacks & Mods (http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=50)
-   -   Alternative firmware development (http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=305)

zivan56 05-29-2006 09:45 PM

Alternative firmware development
 
Well, it looks like Sandisk has contacted RockBox to see if they can port RockBox to it (link).
From what I have gathered, this should not be to difficult to do due to the similarity to the iPod Nano 2nd gen (PP5022).
Either way, I have created a utility which should extract firmware from your current player. It may also be able to write it, but I have not tested it.
download it here.
I accept no responsibility if this bricks your device, I have only tested it for read support
basically, to back up your firmware, run:
sansapatcher -r 1 firm.bak
running it without any arguments will produce help instructions, 1 means next fixed drive after C:; so D: or E: (CD drives don't count). Running it with the -l option will give you a partition table, so you can see for sure if the device you specified is correct (there is a hidden 20mb parition which stands out). Keep in mind if you choose the wrong drive for writing, you could damage/delete the drive you specified
This should create a ~20Mb firmware backup file.

The Sansa uses a hidden second partition to store its firmware, and a basic bootloader at the beginning of the drive to jump to it. There is some extra data before what the firmware files by Sansa provide, and it may hold region codes or something similar (or it may just be standard boot stuff). There is also quite a bit more space to add new code, and it may be possible to have 2 firmwares in places (so it could dual boot). Well that is all I have been able to gather from the software side of things. If someone could post high res scans of the board itself, that would be help development quite a bit.

In short, Rockbox development may soon start if Sandisk and they work together (and hopefully provide the devs over there with the hardware). At least there is an easy way to get new firmware to the device (same basic way as the iPod).

xatax 05-29-2006 09:50 PM

This would be godlike...isn't? :D
Thank you for your effort making the utility and trying to support the Sansa.

Moordryd 05-29-2006 10:57 PM

Great work. Porting Rockbox would be ideal.

EnzoTen 05-30-2006 12:33 AM

I have high res versions of this and many other pics of the board. I shot all the photos in 7MP when i disassembled it. I have the ones you seen in the review as well as 15 or so more. Let me know who i can give them to or where i should post them.

I have some programming knowlege and i can take apart nearly any player with my eyes closed... let me know if i can help.

http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archi...00-apart-2.jpg
http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archi...00-apart-3.jpg

zivan56 05-30-2006 12:36 AM

Thanks for the pics. If you have a scanner, you can easily scan the PCB from the front/back. A camera would work too. Basically what is needed is to see the traces and the writing on each chip. It might be easier to just take a pic of each chip on there if you don't have access to a scanner.
As for where to put it, the best bet would probably be on the forum above. Or if you want PM me with a link to them and I can do it.

tonysan 06-01-2006 10:59 PM

I think we should pressure sandisk to support a rockbox development, like sending few sansa e200s to the rockbox developers would be nice.

Personally, I think rockbox is one stone two birds for Sandisk. RockBox has everything that sandisk firmware lacks of and more. Also sandisk can reduce their spending to develop their firmware.

Slaughter 06-02-2006 08:24 AM

If you go over to the Rockbox site, they won't just make the firmware for Sandisk, they will only answer questions and help someone who wants to make the firmware. That is the impression I got from reading their forums.

Moordryd 06-02-2006 02:27 PM

Rockbox for e200 is a GO!
 
http://www.engadget.com/2006/06/02/s...some-firmware/

EnzoTen 06-02-2006 02:43 PM

Lets get some more attention to this so it gets moving... dig it...

http://digg.com/hardware/SanDisk_e20...e_with_Rockbox

smeakim 06-02-2006 02:57 PM

I wish I was a developer I would be jumping all over this. I would love to help if I knew what I was doing. Hopefully this gets moving as I would love mpg4 support and more codec support. Crossing Fingers.

zivan56 06-02-2006 04:11 PM

The story is now in slashdot.org!

EnzoTen 06-02-2006 04:34 PM

yeah too bad cnet never sites thier sources :rolleyes:

DLF 06-02-2006 04:50 PM

Speaking of /.
 
Some commenter referred to this site as "SanDisk-sponsored" like iDont.com

There can be no truth to that whatsoever, right?


Quote:

Originally Posted by zivan56
The story is now in slashdot.org!


winste2 06-02-2006 04:54 PM

slashdot.org appears to be an apple website. Look at the address when you link to it, it actually starts "apple.slashdot.org".

zivan56 06-02-2006 04:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DLF
Some commenter referred to this site as "SanDisk-sponsored" like iDont.com

There can be no truth to that whatsoever, right?

I'm not a webmaster, but I don't believe this site to be pro-any company, just against iPod.

Quote:

Originally Posted by winste2
slashdot.org appears to be an apple website. Look at the address when you link to it, it actually starts "apple.slashdot.org".

Slashdot is a very popular news site, and it has many sections.

winste2 06-02-2006 05:01 PM

Thanks for clarifying.

zivan56 06-02-2006 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EnzoTen
yeah too bad cnet never sites thier sources :rolleyes:

Its funny how Cnet and others blew the story out of proportions. I was in the IRC chan for Rockbox and a couple of the developed were just as stumped as me on how Sandisk was "working with them." :)

EnzoTen 06-02-2006 05:10 PM

do you think that my story correctly reported this?

zivan56 06-02-2006 05:24 PM

Your story was definately what happened, as they did contact Rockbox. I am only saying that they blew your story out of proportions/added speculation which is only semi true.
P.S. I am almost finished with a UMS mode playlist editor/file copier, so I hope to get that released soon.

Slaughter 06-02-2006 07:09 PM

Zivan, I know you are making the playlist editor/copier, but from all my testing by making PLP/PLA playlists from hand and placing them in the PLAYLIST folder in UMS mode, they still don't show up in playlist menu. Is your program going to be able to add them so they show up?

smeakim 06-02-2006 07:11 PM

I submitted a request to Sandisk. I got a reply that says they can't confirm but to keep my eyes posted on Rockbox for the possible firmware.

zivan56 06-02-2006 07:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slaughter
Zivan, I know you are making the playlist editor/copier, but from all my testing by making PLP/PLA playlists from hand and placing them in the PLAYLIST folder in UMS mode, they still don't show up in playlist menu. Is your program going to be able to add them so they show up?

Yep, I have tested it fully with the player. The key is to create utf-16le files, which have extra null bytes between each character which notepad does not display.

tonysan 06-02-2006 07:42 PM

"Thank you for contacting SanDisk Technical Support, and for your recent inquiry into our product line.

We still do not support the firmware for RockBox, but future options will be available once we have coordinated with the firmware creator."

What I got from them! They say yes.
Can't wait!

Slaughter 06-02-2006 08:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zivan56
Yep, I have tested it fully with the player. The key is to create utf-16le files, which have extra null bytes between each character which notepad does not display.

Thanks for the explanation!

dogstar 06-05-2006 06:46 PM

This is hopeful (rockbox)
 
My 260 arrives tomorrow. I've been using (still use) an archos V2 20 gig. It's huge and clunkly. But, it's running rockbox and works like a dream.

I have about 100 gb of MP3s ripped to UberStandard (http://www.ubernet.org/?p=UberStandard) specs. No way was I going to let iTunes or Windows Media near my fies.

I love just having the music in folder format on my computer and being able to drag and drop what I want onto the Archos. I also love being able to create playlists on the fly.

RockBox really is the the answer for medial players. Everything you want; nothing you don't. I'll even gladly trade videos for everything else in the rockbox port (though I'm guessing a dual boot could get around that).

The only problem with Archos is the company was scared to death of RockBox. Basically, they'd deny warranty work if they found any rockbox files on your media player. This was kind of tricky if your player died before you could remove the files. I had to battle them twice on that because they tried to use it as an out to deny warranty coverage ("how do we know this software didn't damage the player."). This kind of thing scared a lot of people I knew off using rockbox on their archos.

So, if SanDisk will even just "allow" the firmware (obviously supporting dev would be even better), then we'll ahead of the game!:D

leegoon84 06-05-2006 10:13 PM

waiting anxiously for ROCKBOX on my E260.

1) World language support for ID3 tags
2) Better video support. (besides mjpeg, cuz it takes up too much space)

rasher 06-10-2006 03:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EnzoTen
I have high res versions of this and many other pics of the board. I shot all the photos in 7MP when i disassembled it. I have the ones you seen in the review as well as 15 or so more. Let me know who i can give them to or where i should post them.

I have some programming knowlege and i can take apart nearly any player with my eyes closed... let me know if i can help.

If you want to help out in the Rockbox porting effort, may I suggest your upload your pictures to this page: http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/vie...wareComponents
Which is where Rockbox will be collecting information about the hardware in the E200.

steviep 06-12-2006 07:28 PM

i never used rockbox, only read about it a little in the engadget article and the rockbox webpage
too bad they make it from scratch
i think it would be cool to just get a few modifications to the current firmware
you kno support for other audio/video formats
and maybe some added features

but im just used to using the default firmware in music players because ive had a himd player for a long while
and i dont even think the firmware is replacable in it

Lacene 06-13-2006 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rasher
If you want to help out in the Rockbox porting effort, may I suggest your upload your pictures to this page: http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/vie...wareComponents
Which is where Rockbox will be collecting information about the hardware in the E200.

damn, this is starting to look serious...It'd be great if the sansa gets rockboxed: give me user EQ, gapless, OGG, maybe an additional video codec or two, and I'm set!!

bigdroo 06-13-2006 05:32 PM

I'd be thrilled if it somehow got rid of the POP between songs and added basic Divx or xvid support. That would be a world of help. The idea of Rockbox is the ONLY reason I haven't returned my e260.

xatax 06-14-2006 12:50 PM

Rockbox on the Sansa would be great but bigdroo and possibly anothers: Don't just keep your Sansa because there's a chance of Rockbox getting ported to this DAP. Chances are not so high. To buy a product that doesn't satisfy you enough and keeping it just because there's a chance that you may like it in the future is not logical. Get something that from the start you like enough to keep it. It's like being with a girl that you don't like now, but you stick with her anyways because you hope she'll change, or something like that. :p It's not cool, even to yourself!

bigdroo 06-15-2006 08:39 AM

Well, the truth is, I bought my e260 so I'd have something to listen to when I go walking on my lunch break. It was also a nice little plus that it would play videos as well so I'd have something to do/watch when it rains on that lunch break.

Where I got disappointed was when I started trying to use it for other things, such as playing background music through the computer speakers when I'm working at my desk. When I started hearing loud pops between the MP3 tracks, that's when my opinion of the player took a nose dive.

In truth and to be fair, if I just judge it for how it performs the tasks I ORIGINALLY bought it for, it's a keeper. I'm just always trying to find more uses for it, and I'd hate to lose the features by going with a whole different MP3 player, like Samsung's. (no real video support)

So, this girl may not be the love of my life, but she's certainly a good date. :)

phreeksta 06-15-2006 01:14 PM

for now (1hour testing all the available functions and 1hour listening at some new mixup) i noticed the big lack of volume level as my first mp3 player (first sandisk mp3player series 1gb) was much more louder than the sansa e250 (also you could additionally pitch up the volume on the first sandisk mp3 by manually setting all the eq-faders to the top [this was really needed when playing outdoor on some mid-boxes when an mp3 is recorded in a bit lower volume: in example dj-mixes who all are in a different volume level]).

xatax 06-15-2006 05:15 PM

Don't destroy your hearing. You only have two ears, for life.
Have you checked if your volume setting is at "high"? If it's there... then turn your volume level down. Those "hearing damage" warnings that come with every DAP player out there exist for a reason. I've own 2 walkmans, 2 MiniDisc, 4 MP3 players and I found the Sansa's volume just perfect. Not enough to destroy your ears and headphone equipment easily a loud enough to be used as a "line out" without distortion. Check your Mp3 volume or use more efficient equipment for your listening. Use MP3Gain to normalize or crank up your mp3s volume levels without adding distorsion.

phreeksta 06-15-2006 05:55 PM

yeah you are totally right but just as i described above i use it many hours per week to play on some nice small panasonic speakers where its really helpful when you can turn it up enough to please them. i also dont have that much time and energy to adjust the volume of every musicfile to the max which i download and wanna transfer over.
i think the first sandisk dap which had a sadly loose contact in the headphone plug after a while was the best ive seen all over the years it had all the functions you can dream of! http://www.sandisk.com/Assets/Produc...dmp-silver.jpg
couldnt exchange it because the dealer didnt have them anymore so i ordered the e250 and hes actually lacking all of his "grandpa's" abilities http://www.dnbarchive.com/board/imag...h_badteeth.gif
but so far i like it..

redcell 06-15-2006 06:40 PM

Alright guys I just have 1 thing

U guys talk about how it needs this how it should be able to

But i have 1 Question

what are u doing so we can port the e200 for RockBOx ?

it wont port itself

I am not trying to offend any 1 but instead of Suggesting What we try more harder so we can port it for Rockbox

xatax 06-15-2006 06:43 PM

Phreeksta: I really recommend you to use MP3Gain, it's a nice piece of software, very straighforward. You can batch process all your files easily, you can even process the files without removing them from your Mp3 player, just locate the folder with your music through the software and batch process them to your volume tastes.

redcell: I don't have C# knowledge, I have some skills in electronics but nothing at embedded programming in C and assembler...So the best we (people that can't code) can do is make nice suggestions. Check the Firmware Suggestions thread and add your input.

Check the "New Port" section at Rockbox for more details.

Slaughter 06-15-2006 08:51 PM

From what I have read, a rockbox firmware would cause DRM (subscription) files not to work. That is bad news for me.

steviep 06-15-2006 08:58 PM

well if u really want rockbox
and dont mind a loss in quality and a loss of around $17
u can download tunebite
it can remove the drm from wma drm and itunes by recording it
but wats nice is it does it at 4x speed with wmp and 2x with itunes (thats wat it is for me, might be diff speeds on other comps)
it also copies the id part too so u dont have to go thru and do it again
plus wats nice is after u cancel ur subscription, u can keep the music:D

redcell 06-15-2006 11:27 PM

if u guys want ill get u any software

just pm me or drop an email with the software u want and ill get it for u in less then 24hrs

Also

Any 1 tried Extracting Images/Strings from the Firmware ?

i have used winhex, some other hex editors, Image Searching Engine, And some other things

Also I have alked to some Iriver/Ipod/Rockbox devlopers and they said they would try to help us if they had some spare time which is pretty Cool

Also i am trying to figure out how we can downgrade the firmware so we can re update it with the modified Firmware

phreeksta 06-16-2006 12:01 PM

@xatax: its really a good idea, but in all aspects its lame to me to do that for every new mp3 i wanna transfer... just to clear that up: you can easily kill your hearing by setting the volume level to the max as it is now limited on the e250 while listening to music on THESE SMALL EARPLUGS... they ARE dangerous! i think everyone should know this, and the fact, that big headphones need a bit more power to reach the same level of volume than these small ones do, they also need more bass (only a little [also depends on headph.])
by gaining up the mp3s you could mash up a good quality sounding (keep in mind of distortions you dont notice but affects the sound scenery in general) !
for now its few levels too low to take a good listen with my big headphones in a bus, even if the mp3 itself is at its maximum volume! i know how to limit the volume that my ears keep living without any pain (i cant say 100% the truth bcause no living thing can do that at every time/situation), thats because i need an unlimited vc

redcell 06-17-2006 04:51 PM

has any 1 tried to read there firmware Because i just plugged it in my mom's laptop and when i run the patcher i dont see nothing happening and i dont see the firmware anywhere any help ?

Also if we can remove some foreign languages would that make more room for the firmware ?

redcell 06-22-2006 11:55 AM

IS aNY 1 ACTUALLY GONNA TRY TO DO SOME DEVLOPMENT

i thank the members who made the firmware extractor and the Playlist creator

But we really need to start reverse enginner or something then update and unpack it so we can see what it flashes into the sansa

I am working on Debugging the sansa by see what happens when i add a music file, a video , a image, and i drop some .rars into it
here is the software to help (also trying to see what happens when i flash the firmware into a sansa)

http://www.hhdsoftware.com/Products/...b-monitor.html

for hex editing i use

http://www.hhdsoftware.com/Products/...b-monitor.html

and for unpacking well i use
any resource editors

So if any 1 wants to join me in firmware devlopment they are more then welcomed

please just email me so i can know thanks -redcell

Roger 07-06-2006 04:55 PM

Is it possible to give us a greater volume?
 
Is it possible to give us a greater volume? Since the US version gets an added 10dB over the Eu version, does this mean that a firmware change can up that another 10 or 20dB?

Roger

xatax 07-06-2006 08:26 PM

If yours is the EU version, it's very possible to get more volume through a firmware change.

Bumbletron 07-17-2006 08:59 PM

Is there a beta of this 'Rockbox' floating around anywhere? :confused: :o

Slaughter 07-17-2006 09:16 PM

Nope, they are still breaking down the firmware and really haven't got into the hardware yet. It will be a while.

Bumbletron 07-17-2006 09:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slaughter
Nope, they are still breaking down the firmware and really haven't got into the hardware yet. It will be a while.

Damn. :(

I wonder how much $ they need to make it happen sooner...

::thumbs through wallet::

:p

adscorp 07-18-2006 02:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slaughter
Nope, they are still breaking down the firmware and really haven't got into the hardware yet. It will be a while.

Just a few questions on rockbox. When they break down the firmware, does that mean that they make it from scratch or do they pull resources and bits and pieces from other rockbox firmware? Also, are there any pages for live updateson the actual development?

Bumbletron 07-18-2006 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by adscorp
Just a few questions on rockbox. When they break down the firmware, does that mean that they make it from scratch or do they pull resources and bits and pieces from other rockbox firmware? Also, are there any pages for live updateson the actual development?

They reverse engineer it to its very roots, and then re-build it from the ground up (from scratch).


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