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Old 05-29-2006, 10:45 PM
zivan56 zivan56 is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 461
Default 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).

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