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Old 05-20-2011, 11:10 PM
iaudiophile iaudiophile is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 7
Default Instructions for Gigabeat > Rockbox > CF mod

Just did my 2nd Gigabeat > Rockbox > CF 32gb mod. writing this down so i can do it faster next time, and maybe it will help someone else. i think gigabeat is the best hardware for Rockbox.


gigabeat f10 / f20 / f40 / f60 from ebay or craigslist. $30-60. original batteries in mine still work pretty well.

CF to 1.8" Toshiba HD (pata) converter board. from dealextreme in China it's only $4 but a 6+ week delivery...

plus an ATA compatible CompactFlash card. I got a used part on eBay for cheap (32gb/$40).

also a Philips head screwdriver with a tiny head, smallest you can find, and a CF card reader for your PC.


1) startup Gigabeat, go to settings, USB Connection, set it in "gigabeat room" for MSC mode in Windows. turn it off.

2) connect power and USB cords directly to player (not through the dock), turn the player on, it will then load in Windows as an attached hard drive with the name GIGABEAT. note the drive letter.

3) open Windows File Explorer, make sure file/folder view settings will show hidden system files. go the GIGABEAT drive and copy the (hidden) directory GBSYSTEM to your PC as a backup.

4) Download latest RockboxUtility app (currently v1.2.10). Unzip and run. it will go the config menu first, just make sure it's pointing to the right drive letter for your GIGABEAT and it selects Toshiba F/X (Stable) firmware. If it doesn't, correct those and hit OK.

5) Now at the main Rockbox menu under Quick Start tab, hit the button for Complete Installation, it will download firmware and install to player. Then go Extras tab to install fonts and themes.

6) if you haven't already copy some MP3s to the gigabeat for testing. existing tracks on the Gigabeat will be in .SAT format, some copy protected thing that Rockbox can't read.

7) attach the CF card to your PC with a card reader. make sure it's formatted FAT32. Copy the .rockbox and GBSYSTEM folders from the GIGABEAT drive to the CF card. also throw some MP3s on there for testing later.

8) disconnect player & CF card from PC. turn player off. On the bottom end of the player on the left is on ON/OFF switch for the battery. switch battery to off for 10 seconds, then back to ON.

9) turn player on, it will show Gigabeat logo for a sec (bootloader) then it will show Rockbox load screen and then rockbox main menu. play some test tracks if you want. now you know the Rockbox install is good and it's time to swap in the CF card.

10) turn player off. set battery switch on the bottom to OFF. remove the plastic silver band at the top and bottom edges of the player. they just pop off, but be careful not to break them. use something plastic and pry it away from the ports gently.

11) get the Philips screwdriver with a tiny head, smallest you can find. on the bottom edge, with the plastic strip removed, you will see 4 micro screws near the corners that hold the front and back pieces of the player in place. remove the 2 screws holding the back piece in place, leave the others. after that you can pop off the back piece. it's aluminum so be careful not to bend it.

12) remove the hard drive, just pop it out along with the rubber shock absorber. disconnect it from the ribbon cable. put the CF card into the converter board from dealextreme. set that down in player, with the CF card side up, and read the next part carefully before connecting it to the ribbon cable.

13) attach the converter board to the ribbon from the gigabeat as follows. with the ribbon folded over (as you first saw it upon opening the player), the first pins on the right side will go into the first holes on the right side of the connector on the coverter board. remember the CF card should be facing you on the coverter board. the leftmost pins on the ribbon cable will match up with a marking on the converter board that says "PIN1". once matched, slide the board into the pins on the ribbon.

14) add some small bits of foam around the converter board to keep it in place. put a small piece of electrical tape over the master/slave jumper on the converter board just to be safe (since the back piece is metal).

15) put the back piece back in place. make sure the battery ON/OFF switch is in place, that little piece of plastic falls out easily on its own. then put the screws back in. then put the plastic end pieces back on, they will simply click back in place.

16) put the battery switch back to ON position and turn the player on to confirm it works. go to settings and select a better theme than the default.


I'll clean this up a bit later

Last edited by iaudiophile; 05-21-2011 at 12:13 AM.
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