Upgrade the firmware

Introduction

This article describes how to upgrade the firmware file on the host to the flash memory of the development board through the Type-C data cable. When upgrading, you need to choose the appropriate upgrade mode according to the host operating system and firmware type.

Preparatory work

  • Firefly-RK3399 development board

  • Firmware

  • host computer

  • Type-C data cable

There are two types of firmware files:

  • A single unified firmware

    The unified firmware is a single file packaged and merged by all files such as the partition table, bootloader, uboot, kernel, system and so on. The firmware officially released by Firefly adopts a unified firmware format. Upgrading the unified firmware will update the data and partition table of all partitions on the motherboard, and erase all data on the motherboard.

  • Multiple partition images

    That is, files with independent functions, such as partition table, bootloader, and kernel, are generated during the development phase. The independent partition image can only update the specified partition, while keeping other partition data from being destroyed, it will be very convenient to debug during the development process.

Through the unified firmware unpacking / packing tool, the unified firmware can be unpacked into multiple partition images, or multiple partition images can be merged into a unified firmware.

Windows

Note : Different firmware may use different versions of tools, please download the corresponding version according to the Instructions for writing with USB cable (important).

Install RK USB drive

Download Release_DriverAssistant.zip, extract, and then run the DriverInstall.exe inside . In order for all devices to use the updated driver, first select Driver uninstall and then select Driver install.

_images/upgrade_firmware_install_RK_USB.jpg

Connected devices

You can put the device into upgrade mode as follows:

  • The first one, device is cut off all the power sources, such as power adapter and Dual male usb data cable connection:

    • 1.Keep Type-A cable connected with host PC.

    • 2.Press and hold RECOVERY key.

    • 3.Connect Type-C cable to the device.

    • 4.After around two seconds, release RECOVERY key.

  • The other way:

    • 1.Use Type-C cable to connect host and device together.

    • 2.Press and hold RECOVERY key.

    • 3.Shortly press RESET key.

    • 4.After around two seconds, release RECOVERY key.

The host should prompt for new hardware and configure the driver. Open Device manager and you will see the new Device Rockusb Device appear as shown below. If not, you need to go back to the previous step and reinstall the driver.

_images/upgrade_firmware_new_equipment.jpg

Upgrade the firmware

Download Androidtool_xxx (version number). AndroidTool defaults to display in Chinese. We need to change it to English. Open config.ini with an text editor (like notepad). The starting lines are:

#选择工具语言:Selected=1(Chinese);Selected=2(English)
[Language]
Kinds=2
Selected=1
LangPath=Language\

Change Selected=1 to Selected=2, and save. From now on, AndroidTool will display in English.Now, run AndroidTool.exe: (Note: If using Windows 7/8, you’ll need to right click it, select to run it as Administrator)

_images/upgrade_firmware_androidtool.jpg

Upgrade unified firmware - update.img

The steps to update the unified firmware update.img are as follows:

  1. Switch to the “upgrade firmware” page.

  2. Press the “firmware” button to open the firmware file to be upgraded. The upgrade tool displays detailed firmware information.

  3. Press the “upgrade” button to start the upgrade.

  4. If the upgrade fails, you can try to erase the Flash by pressing the erase Flash button first, and then upgrade. Be sure to erase and upgrade according to Upgrade instructions.

Note: if the firmware laoder you wrote is inconsistent with the original one, please execute wipe Flash before upgrading the firmware.

_images/upgrade_firmware_erase_flash.jpg

Upgrade Partition image

Each firmware partition may be different, please note the following two points:

  1. When upgrading ubuntu(MBR) and Android7.1 firmware with Androidtool_2.38, the default configuration can be used.

  2. When upgrading ubuntu(GPT) with Androidtool_2.58, the default configuration can be used. Please first perform the following actions to upgrade Android8.1 firmware:
    Switch to “download image page “; Right click on the table and select “import configuration “; Select the “rk3399-Android81.cfg”.

The steps to upgrade the partition image are as follows: 1. Switch to the “download image” page. 2. Check the partition to be burned, and select multiple. 3. Make sure the path of the image file is correct. If necessary, click the blank table cell on the right side of the path to select it again. 4. Click “Run” button to start the upgrade, and the device will restart automatically after the upgrade.

_images/upgrade_firmware_androidtool.jpg

Linux

There is no need to install device driver under Linux. Please refer to the Windows section to connect the device.

Note : Different firmware may use different versions of tools, please download the corresponding version according to the upgrade instructions.

Upgrade_tool

Download Linux_Upgrade_Tool (Android8.1 need Linux_Upgrade_Tool_for_android8.1), and install it to host filesystem: Download Linux_Upgrade_Tool, And install it into the system as follows for easy invocation:

unzip Linux_Upgrade_Tool_xxxx.zip
cd Linux_UpgradeTool_xxxx
sudo mv upgrade_tool /usr/local/bin
sudo chown root:root /usr/local/bin/upgrade_tool
sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/upgrade_tool

Upgrade unified firmware - update.img

sudo upgrade_tool uf update.img

If the upgrade fails, try erasing before upgrading. Be sure to erase and upgrade against the table (upgrade_table.md) in upgrade instructions.

# erase flash : Using the ef parameter requires the loader file or the corresponding update.img to be specified.
# update.img :The ubuntu firmware you need to upgrade.
sudo upgrade_tool ef update.img
# upgrade again
sudo upgrade_tool uf update.img

Upgrade Partition image

Ubuntu(MBR)、Android7.1、Android8.1:使用以下方式: Using the following methods:

sudo upgrade_tool di -b /path/to/boot.img
sudo upgrade_tool di -k /path/to/kernel.img
sudo upgrade_tool di -s /path/to/system.img
sudo upgrade_tool di -r /path/to/recovery.img
sudo upgrade_tool di -m /path/to/misc.img
sudo upgrade_tool di -re /path/to/resource.img
sudo upgrade_tool di -p paramater   # upgrade parameter
sudo upgrade_tool ul bootloader.bin # upgrade bootloader

Ubuntu(GPT): Using the following methods:

sudo upgrade_tool ul $LOADER
sudo upgrade_tool di -p $PARAMETER
sudo upgrade_tool di -uboot $UBOOT
sudo upgrade_tool di -trust $TRUST
sudo upgrade_tool di -boot $BOOT
sudo upgrade_tool di -recovery $RECOVERY
sudo upgrade_tool di -misc $MISC
sudo upgrade_tool di -oem $OEM
sudo upgrade_tool di -userdata $USERDATA
sudo upgrade_tool di -rootfs $ROOTFS

If the upgrade fails due to flash problems, you can try low-level formatting and erase nand flash:

sudo upgrade_tool lf update.img	# low-level formatting
sudo upgrade_tool ef update.img	# erase

FAQs

1. How to forcibly enter MaskRom mode

A1 : If the board does not enter Loader mode, you can try to force your way into MaskRom mode. See operation method “How to enter MaskRom mode”.

2. Analysis of programming failure

If Download Boot Fail occurs during the programming process, or an error occurs during the programming process, as shown in the figure below, it is usually caused by the poor connection of the USB cable, the inferior cable, or the insufficient drive capability of the USB port of the computer. Troubleshoot the computer USB port.

_images/upgrade_downloadfail.jpgupgrade_fail