I’ve been poking around at the current build (r27995-1000903 at the time of this writing) of Rockbox today, and other than the occasional random panic (oh joy) that locks up the iPod and requires a reset — harmless but annoying — it’s even better than the previous version I was using (r24509-100204).
For example, I previously had to use iLoader to load Rockbox, as for some odd reason attempting to transfer ANYTHING after the initial Rockbox installation resulted in a White Screen of Death (WSoD) upon the next startup/reboot with the Rockbox bootloader. Now there is a revamped version of iLoader, designed around the new emBIOS, and I have had NO luck getting Rockbox to load at all. iLoader just freezes/stalls at “Booting Rockbox”. I’ve talked with a few of the folks working on that project, and so far only myself and one other person have reported it. Something about my Nano 2G have a revision 7 board, while a developer has a revision 9 that doesn’t have the problem? 😐 EDIT: Issue fixed in r188 of iLoader, released as iLoader v0.2.1. Kudos to TheSeven!
Meanwhile, the Rockbox bootloader works perfectly and I have no WSoD issues at all, even after transferring several hundred megabytes of OGG files. (And one MP3 . . . 😮 )
So I think it’s time to replace my how-tos on Rockbox.
Although I prefer to restore the iPod to it’s stock state before installing a new bootloader, this is only necessary if you used an older, pre-emBIOS version of iLoader. It is NOT necessary if you used the Rockbox loader. Feel free to skip to the “Installing Rockbox Software” section if you didn’t use a pre-emBIOS iLoader. (Or if this is your first time “jailbreaking” your Nano)
Also, this is NOT about updating the iLoader version after you’ve installed it. That’s it’s own procedure, one I’m still learning about and isn’t covered in the Wiki yet. You can learn about that on the iLoader webpage.
Restoring to Stock, Apple-firmware State
First, (with permission) borrow someone’s Windows-laden machine and uses iTunes to restore the iPod Nano 2G to stock firmware, if you’ve installed an older version of Rockbox on it before. Allow the restore process to finish — the progress bar beneath the Apple logo will fill completely and the iPod will reboot. Assuming all went well, the iPod will load the stock firmware and a “Do Not Disconnect” message will appear.
Installing the Rockbox Software
Reset the device (Menu+Select) (Select is that button in the center of the scrollwheel) and when the Apple logo appears immediately press Select+Play to enter disk mode. The timing can be a bit tricky, so you might need to do it a few times for it to work.
At this point, you need to extract the Rockbox zipfile directly to the iPod. For example, if your iPod Nano is mounted to /media/IPOD, this command (from the directory you downloaded the zipfile to) will do the job:
unzip rockbox-ipodnano2g.zip -d /media/IPOD
Or if you prefer a GUI, use your GUI’s archive program to extract all of the contents of the zipfile directly to the iPod Nano’s storage partition (which is the folder newly-mounted under /media in distros that mount drives automatically, like Ubuntu).
Installing the Rockbox Bootloader
Now we install the bootloader. We’ll need the ipodpatcher program (32-bit version, 64-bit version) here. Again, change to the directory you downloaded the files from before running this commands.
chmod +x ./ipodpatcher
Put in your password if necessary, then press “i” and then ENTER to install the bootloader.
If all goes well, something like this will be spouted out at you:
[INFO] Creating OSBK backup image of original firmware
[INFO] Using internal bootloader – 54336 bytes
[INFO] Padding input file from 0x0000d440 to 0x0000d800 bytes
[INFO] Wrote 55296 bytes to firmware partition
[INFO] Bootloader installed successfully.
Press ENTER to exit ipodpatcher :
Safely remove the device (sudo eject /media/IPOD should work well, where IPOD is the folder your iPod Nano 2G was mounted to.)
Now your iPod Nano 2G will reset and quickly load your new firmware. Have fun! I’ll have a couple more posts about this in the next day or two.