Leapster Explorer: Forcing Firmware Update

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This will explain how to update your Leapfrog Explorers Firmware to a version of your choosing. It requires the LFConnect software and a copy of the lfp package file containing the firmware you wish to update. This works good if you want to revert back to a specific firmware version, or could be used to prevent LFConnect from updating to a different firmware version.

Programs Needed

Official LFConnect software Archive capable of opening zip files, winrar, 7z, winzip etc. Text editor, wordpad, notepad++ etc.

Hardware Needed


Software Needed

lfp package containing firmware, LST3-0x00170029-000000.lfp

Getting Started

Make sure you got a computer with LFConnect installed and running, a USB cable for the LX to host connection, an LFP package with the firmware, along with the text editor and archive program. Also make sure you're not using anything on the internet, as disconnecting will be required for a few minutes.

Update Firmware Version Number

Using your archive program, open up the lfp file, if you haven't associated lfp's with a archive program yet, you'll need to open the file manually in your program. Once you can see the contents, extract the meta.ini file out of it and look for the line that says something like:


and change to a number higher than the latest firmware version you have on the device, like:


That is the number LFConnect compares on your LX and its repository of lfp files. Once done, put it back in the archive, and you are read to go.

Prepare LFConnect

Now, disconnect your connection to the internet, so that LFConnect can not update its repository of LFP files. Take your LFP file and place it in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Leapfrog\LeapFrog Connect\LeapsterExplorer (On XP, Vista, win7 may vary)there is probably an LFP with that name already, go ahead and back that one up somewhere if you haven't already, and then put your customized firmware LFP in that folder.

Updating the Firmware

Hook the USB up to the LX and your host computer running LFConnect. Then using the USB Boot method, holding down both Left and Right shoulder buttons and the ? button, turn on the LX, if LFConnect is not already running, it should start up, then you should see a dialog box pop up saying your LX is being tuned up. It will do its thing, and then probably ask you, after a while, about there being updates for your LX and if you want to install them, click No. The version number that LFConnect checks on the LX will be the original Firmware version, which will be lower than the number you modified in the meta.ini file of the package, so LFConnect thinks it needs to update again, so be sure to click No when it asks you. It will then say its okay to disconnect, so turn off your LX. It should be updated to the firmware you had in your LFP file. You can check the version number by getting console access and running

 cat /etc/version 

it should be the original version number of the firmware you had in your LFP package.


If you open LFConnect with it connected to the internet, it will automatically download the latest firmware, so be careful with your LX and connecting it to LX. You may want to make sure and disconnect from the internet before opening it, to make sure it doesn't automatically update its LFP repository, or just simply remember to refuse all updates, and replace the LFP firmware package if you need to do a restore.