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2  Installation

Installing Rockbox is generally a quick and easy procedure. However before beginning there are a few important things to know.

2.1 Before Starting
2.2 Installing Rockbox
2.2.1 Automated Installation
2.2.2 Manual Installation
2.2.3 Bootloader installation from Windows
2.2.4 Bootloader installation from Mac OS X and Linux
2.2.5 Finishing the install
2.2.6 Enabling Speech Support (optional)
2.3 Running Rockbox
2.4 Updating Rockbox
2.5 Uninstalling Rockbox
2.5.1 Automatic Uninstallation
2.5.2 Manual Uninstallation
2.6 Troubleshooting

2.1  Before Starting

Supported hardware versions.
The Clip is available in multiple versions, and you need to make sure which you have by checking the Sandisk firmware version number under Settings Info. The v1 firmware is named 01.xx.xx, while the v2 firmware begins with 02. Make sure that you are following the instructions from the correct manual.
DRM capability.
It is possible that installation of the bootloader may lead to you permanently losing the ability to playback files with DRM.
USB connection.
To transfer Rockbox to your player you need to connect it to your computer. For manual installation/uninstallation, or should autodetection fail during automatic installation, you need to know where to access the player. On Windows this means you need to know the drive letter associated with the player. On Linux you need to know the mount point of your player. On Mac OS X you need to know the volume name of your player.

Note: The following steps require you to change the setting in Settings USB Mode to MSC from within the original firmware.

2.2  Installing Rockbox

There are two ways to install Rockbox: automated and manual. The automated way is the preferred method of installing Rockbox for the majority of people. Rockbox Utility is a graphical application that does almost everything for you. However, should you encounter a problem, then the manual way is still available to you.

There are two separate components which need to be installed in order to run Rockbox:

The Rockbox bootloader.

The bootloader is the program that tells your player how to load and start other components of Rockbox and for providing the dual boot function. This is the component of Rockbox that is installed to the flash memory of your Sansa.

The Rockbox firmware.
Unlike the Sansa firmware, which runs entirely from flash memory, most of the Rockbox code is contained in a “build” that resides on your player’s drive. This makes it easy to update Rockbox. The build consists of a directory called .rockbox which contains all of the Rockbox files, and is located in the root of your player’s drive.

Apart from the required parts there are some addons you might be interested in installing.

Fonts.
Rockbox can load custom fonts. The fonts are distributed as a separate package and thus need to be installed separately. They are not required to run Rockbox itself but a lot of themes require the fonts package to be installed.
Themes.
The appearance of Rockbox can be customised by themes. Depending on your taste you might want to install additional themes to change the look of Rockbox.

2.2.1  Automated Installation

To automatically install Rockbox, download the official installer and housekeeping tool Rockbox Utility. It allows you to:

Prebuilt binaries for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X are available at the RockboxUtility wiki page.

When first starting Rockbox Utility run “Autodetect”, found in the configuration dialog (File Configure). Autodetection can detect most player types. If autodetection fails or is unable to detect the mountpoint, make sure to enter the correct values. The mountpoint indicates the location of the player in your filesystem. On Windows, this is the drive letter the player gets assigned, on other systems this is a path in the filesystem.

Choosing a Rockbox version

There are three different versions of Rockbox available from the Rockbox website: Release version, current build and archived daily build. You need to decide which one you want to install and get the appropriate version for your player. If you select either “Minimal Installation” or “Complete Installation” from the “Quick Start” tab, then Rockbox Utility will automatically install the release version of Rockbox. Using the “Installation” tab will allow you to select which version you wish to install.

Release.
The release version is the latest stable release, free of known critical bugs. For a manual install, the current stable release of Rockbox is available at http://www.rockbox.org/download/.
Development Build.
The development build is built at each change to the Rockbox source code repository and represents the current state of Rockbox development. This means that the build could contain bugs but most of the time is safe to use. For a manual install, you can download the current build from http://build.rockbox.org/.
Archived Build.
In addition to the release version and the current build, there is also an archive of daily builds available for download. These are built once a day from the latest source code in the repository. For a manual install, you can download archived builds from http://www.rockbox.org/daily.shtml.

Note: Because current and archived builds are development versions that change frequently, they may behave differently than described in this manual, or they may introduce new (and potentially annoying) bugs. Unless you wish to try the latest and greatest features at the price of possibly greater instability, or you wish to help with development, you should stick with the release.

Please now go to section 2.2.5 to complete the installation procedure.

2.2.2  Manual Installation

The manual installation method is still available to you, should you need or desire it by following the instructions below. If you have used Rockbox Utility to install Rockbox, then you do not need to follow the next section and can skip straight to section 2.2.5

Installing the firmware

1.
Download your chosen version of Rockbox from the links in the previous section.
2.
Connect your player to the computer via USB in MSC mode as described in the manual that came with your player.
3.
Take the .zip file that you downloaded and use the “Extract all” command of your unzip program to extract the files onto your player.

Note: The entire contents of the .zip file should be extracted directly to the root of your player’s drive. Do not try to create a separate directory on your player for the Rockbox files! The .zip file already contains the internal structure that Rockbox needs.

If the contents of the .zip file are extracted correctly, you will have a directory called .rockbox, which contains all the files needed by Rockbox, in the main directory of your player’s drive.

Installing the bootloader

In order to install the bootloader, you will need to download the following files:

2.2.3  Bootloader installation from Windows

1.
Create a folder called “rbinstall” on your desktop, and then extract the OF, the bootloader and mkamsboot into it.
2.
Open a new command prompt, and navigate to the “rbinstall” folder.
3.
Run mkamsboot.exe, passing the name of the OF and bootloader files that you downloaded, in addition to a name for the output file.

  mkamsboot.exe m300a.bin bootloader-clip.sansa patched.bin

If mkamsboot.exe does not report success, then retry or abort.

4.
Copy the output file (“patched.bin” in the example given above) to the root of the device and rename it to the same name as the OF file you downloaded earlier (“m300a.bin” above).

2.2.4  Bootloader installation from Mac OS X and Linux

1.
Create a folder called “rbinstall” in your home directory, and then extract the OF, the bootloader and mkamsboot into it.
2.
Open a new terminal, and navigate to the “rbinstall” folder.
3.
Run mkamsboot, passing the name of the OF and bootloader files that you downloaded, in addition to a name for the output file.

  ./mkamsboot m300a.bin bootloader-clip.sansa patched.bin

If mkamsboot does not report success, then retry or abort.

4.
Copy the output file (“patched.bin” in the example given above) to the root of the device and rename it to the same name as the OF file you downloaded earlier (“m300a.bin” above).

2.2.5  Finishing the install

Safely eject the device, unplug USB and wait for the firmware update to finish. Don’t try to power off the device, it will shutdown by itself after a minute.

2.2.6  Enabling Speech Support (optional)

If you wish to use speech support you will also need a voice file. Voice files allow Rockbox to speak the user interface to you. Rockbox Utility can install an English voice file, or you can download it from http://www.rockbox.org/daily.shtml and unzip it to the root of your player. Rockbox Utility can also aid you in the creation of voice files with different voices or in other languages if you have a suitable speech engine installed on your computer. Voice menus are enabled by default and will come into effect after a reboot. See section 8.10 for details on voice settings. Rockbox Utility can also aid in the production of talk files, which allow Rockbox to speak file and folder names.

2.3  Running Rockbox

When you turn the unit on, Rockbox should load.

2.4  Updating Rockbox

Rockbox can be easily updated with Rockbox Utility. You can also update Rockbox manually – download a Rockbox build as detailed above, and unzip the build to the root directory of your player as in the manual installation stage. If your unzip program asks you whether to overwrite files, choose the “Yes to all” option. The new build will be installed over your current build.

The bootloader only changes rarely, and should not normally need to be updated.

Note: If you use Rockbox Utility be aware that it cannot detect manually installed components.

2.5  Uninstalling Rockbox

Note: The Rockbox bootloader allows you to choose between Rockbox and the original firmware. (See section 3.1.3 for more information.)

2.5.1  Automatic Uninstallation

You can uninstall Rockbox automatically by using Rockbox Utility. If you installed Rockbox manually you can still use Rockbox Utility for uninstallation but will not be able to do this selectively.

2.5.2  Manual Uninstallation

Copy an unmodified original firmware to your player, and then reboot into the Sandisk firmware. See section 3.1.3 for more information.

If you wish to clean up your disk, you may also wish to delete the .rockbox directory and its contents. Turn the Sansa off. Turn the player back on and the original Sansa software will load.

2.6  Troubleshooting

“File Not Found”
If you receive a “File Not Found” from the bootloader, then the bootloader cannot find the Rockbox firmware. This is usually a result of not extracting the contents of the .zip file to the proper location, and should not happen when Rockbox has been installed with Rockbox Utility.

To fix this, either install Rockbox with the Rockbox Utility which will take care of this for you, or recheck the Manual Install section to see where the files need to be located.