Topic: UNBRICK YOUR DASH
Please read this post carefully and in its entirety before doing anything - almost everyone that has had a problem has missed something we've explicitly covered here.
As many of you have discovered, some Sony dash devices are failing to work after the recent forced update to 1.7.1604.
Once the device reboots after the installation of the update, all that happens is that the Sony logo appears and the Sony LED below the screen just flashes.
Most people in this situation have been able to get the device into "Special Options" mode, which allows the application of a firmware update over USB. Unfortunately, a significant number of users have discovered that this update *also* appears to disable the touchscreen for their devices, so they are unable to apply a firmware downgrade to the previous version.
Fortunately, we've found a solution to this issue. We have a collection of files that can be put on a USB dongle, along with a firmware "update.zip", which will force the device to install the update despite the lack of touchscreen response.
You can use this dongle to force the device to install the 1.7.1526 firmware in preparation for using the chumby software when it's released, or reattempt to reapply the 1.7.1604 update if you're interested in using Sony's simple clock. In the latter case, there is still a strong chance that the device will still not be operational. We have only tested with restoration of the 1.7.1526 firmware.
(UPDATE: Some users are reporting that reflashing these devices with 1.7.1604 still results in the failing behavior)
Note also that this is *not* official software in any way. We don't warrant that it will do anything at all, though it's hard to see how anything it could do would be worse than the state of the dash it tries to fix. If you intend to be mad at me if it doesn't work, then please don't do it.
What this is:
This is a software hack that bypasses the UI in Special Options mode and forces a manual update of firmware from a USB dongle.
What this isn't:
This is *not* the software that enables chumby operation - that software is going through another round of testing before release.
If you apply the 1.7.1526 update, you will continue to get the forced update alert from Sony. This hack does not change that behavior. There are a couple of third-party threads on the forum about how to mitigate that if you're interested in taking those steps, but we take no position on them.
Who this fix is for:
Users that have installed the 1.7.1604 update from Sony, but their device fails to boot completely, displaying only the Sony logo on the display, and a blinking LED, and for which the touchscreen is unresponsive in Special Options Mode
Who this fix is not for:
* Users who are currently running the 1.7.1526 firmware, having *not* accepted the 1.7.1604 from Sony.
* Users who *did* install the 1.7.1604 update, and for whom the touchscreen is responsive in Special Options. Those users can use the normal procedure for installing a firmware update.
What you'll need:
* a USB dongle of at least 256MB in capacity formatted as FAT or FAT32
* a copy of the 1.7.1526 firmware image at the top level on the USB dongle named as "update.zip". DO NOT UNZIP IT. We do not host this file on our servers, but a scan of the forum or Reddit at /r/SonyDash should be a quick way to find it. The file should be 101776156 bytes in size with an md5sum of 35f49ae0b19aee592189297039cccd9e.
* Download the file "unbrick_20170715_1.zip" from here.
* Put that file onto the same USB dongle as the update.zip file.
* UNZIP THE "unbrick_20170715_1.zip" file - you should end up with the following four files at the top level of the dongle, in addition to the two zip files:
-- flashplayer.cfg (80 bytes, md5 90bb8cefaedc05fdc1dc189ab2475965)
-- unbrick.swf (6393 bytes, md5 93c2b12dceb94599a0c645ed269b4189)
-- unbrick_async (104 bytes, md5 232a354d2af0cf883017d080de14b096)
-- unbrick_sync (59 bytes, md5 0b6c9de9d676368bed314638ef29ea90)
* Unplug the dash
* Insert the USB dongle into the dash's USB socket
* Press and hold the MENU/SNOOZE button, while you also...
* Plug in the dash. You must hold the MENU/SNOOZE button for several seconds.
* Wait until the dots go by on the screen
* The "Special Options" mode UI will appear very briefly, then the USB update will begin.
* DO NOT POWER OFF the device while this is happening, or the device may not be recoverable.
* When it's complete, it should have successfully updated the device.
What if it doesn't work?
We had a 100% success rate with testers with the following exceptions, easily remedied:
* People that did not follow the instructions
* People that did not format their devices as either FAT or FAT32
* People that used USB dongles that were not recognized by the dash
The dash is *very* picky about USB drives. It will simply not recognize some brands and models. In testing, one user found that the dash didn't recognize a USB dongle branded by Sony themselves. If this process fails for you, that's the most likely cause - find or acquire another dongle.
Many USB dongles have LEDs that blink when they're being accessed. One clue that such a device is not being recognized is the lack of such blinking.
If the Special Options selection screen appears, but the update does not happen, then it is very likely the USB dongle was not read by the dash, and you need to find another one, or that the files are not in the proper place on the dongle.
What if it works?
If it works, remove the dongle and store it somewhere safe. The dongle is relatively harmless on its own, but if you were to reboot into Special Options mode, it will force the firmware to install again. If you remove the four files listed above it will disable that behavior (specifically, the flashplayer.cfg file is the key one that makes this hack work).
Note! All this procedure does is unbrick the device, and roll back the firmware to a working version, it does NOT prevent the Dash from trying to download the bad update again. We suggest unplugging the Dash for the time being.
Your touchscreen should also be working again in Special Options mode.
* Chumby user "diamaunt" who was our first victim, and has been invaluable in coordinating the testing of this software
* Chumbian "Ken", who assisted with investigation that led to this hack.
* The several folks that allowed us test this software to recover their devices.