ZipIt WiFi Flash

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This page contains information on how to modify a ZipIt's firmware (in its flash memory) to allow a user to add additional applications and features.

Before you Start

Please note that flashing the firmware on a ZipIt is considered a dangerous operation, and is not officially supported in any way. (If a firmware installation fails, it may still be possible to salvage the device using the 3 wire repair configuration.)

Please note that this method (using ZRS) of flashing does not work if you've upgraded to firmware 2.01. If you've allowed your ZipIt to upgrade to 2.01 from zipitwireless.com, then your only alternative to flashing is using the 3-wire or 5-wire serial mod.

Overview

Please read the original instructions for performing a software firmware flash over WiFi first. Please review these instructions thoroughly, as this document is only meant to supplement these instructions.

The first step involves configuring your PC to be an "ad-hoc" WiFi node, as required for uploading new firmware. Both Windows XP and Linux can be set up with a WiFi card this way.

Instructions for setting up Windows XP as an ad-hoc node are available here: ZipItWinXPsetup Instructions for setting up Linux as an ad-hoc node are available here: ZipitLinuxSetup

The original firmware flashing instructions available above install the BURN3 firmware by Zipit Pet using the ZRS tool he also created. (Both of which are included in the zipit_reflash_03.zip package - See [1]) Please note that flashing your device with ZRS is only required once. The ["BURN3"] firmware is fairly minimal, but allows you to mount a NFS server. If you download and extract the zipit_tool_extras.zip package to a NFS drive, you can use the tool zflash to upload another new firmware to the ZipIt. The zflash tool is included in this package. The advantage to using zflash is that it is run by the ZipIt, allowing the device to update its own firmware. As well, zflash allows unencrypted firmwares to be uploaded to the device (all of the stock firmwares supplied by K-Byte/Aeronix are encrypted.)

If there is any confusion about zflash at this point, please take note that while zflash needs to be housed on the NFS server, it is run on your ZipIt device (made possible by mounting the NFS share through your wifi connection.)

Here comes the fun part. Now that your ZipIt is able to install a new unencrypted firmware onto itself off an NFS server, you can download the OpenZipIt firmware, extract it to the NFS server, and use zflash from the ZipIt to install the new firmware.

At this point, OpenZipIt provides you with several useful (and cool) programs, but you also have the option of compiling your own software for it. See ZipItCompile.

User comments

Instead of loading an all-in-one bin file, I ran the serial batch and told it to upload the loader, ramdisk, and zimage each separately and everything went smooth from there. Each time I tried to run the allrom.bin file, it returned loader addresses that were very high. When I did just the loader.bin file separately, it returned (if I remember right) 002000 and 009000 which sounded closer to right.

So, I would try loading each file separately. It worked for me.


Reinstalling BURN3

To reinstall BURN3 from a zipit with NFS access, use 'zflash' like you did before, with the 3 files from http://www.aibohack.com/zipit/zipit_parts_burn3.zip

ie. ./zflash loader.bin zmage.dat ramdisk.gz

No need for the "ZRS" step, but the result is the same.