How to Install Custom Firmware on Rg350 Without Opening It

How to Install Custom Firmware on Rg350 Without Opening It

How to Install Custom Firmware on Rg350 Without Opening It

Last updated 30JUN2021 (see
Changelog)

Your RG350 device ships with a pre-installed operating system (“firmware”), just because the device supports open-source software, this firmware is continuously updated and tweaked by the community. This guide will explain all of the different firmware versions available, both official and unofficial, and how to upgrade your firmware to get the latest features. Additionally, we’ll go over how to make a backup of your current firmware then that you tin flash it onto any menu.

          
            Tabular array of Contents:
            
          
          First things first
          
          Why back up your firmware?
          
          Official RG350 firmware versions
          How to access the internal microSD menu on the original RG350
          
          How to support your electric current firmware
          How to restore your firmware from a fill-in
          
          How to upgrade your official firmware (or first all over from scratch)
          
          Patching in HDMI back up
          
          Unofficial RG350 firmware
          Changelog
        

Get-go things first

If you are going to make any adjustments to your firmware, or tinker with your device in general, you should make a backup. The firmware is stored on a microSD card that comes with your device; in order to access the bill of fare on an RG350, you must physically open the device (or if you have an RG350M or RG350P, the firmware microSD card is accessible at the lesser of the device). This firmware card, also referred to every bit the “TF1” or “internal” SD menu, is what we’ll exist working with today. The other card slot (“TF2” or “external” card) is for your game files — yous can read more than nearly loading games via
this guide.

Why back up your firmware?

I
strongly recommend
you lot backup and remove your firmware card, and store it somewhere prophylactic, and create a new firmware card to tinker with. That way, if something goes incorrect, yous can simply pop the former bill of fare dorsum in and have a working system over again. And in all honesty, the microSD cards that transport with the RG350 are notoriously inexpensive, and take a high fail charge per unit. Replacing them with an SD card from a reputable make similar SanDisk or Samsung will also requite you some peace of mind.

MicroSD cards are relatively cheap, and a
16GB card
is more than enough space to store the RG350 firmware and software files. You’ll want a larger carte du jour, such equally a
128GB carte
(just up to a massive
512GB), to store the actual games in the second microSD card slot. One affair to notation is that the arcade emulator XMAME by default requires you to put your game files on the internal card (although there is a workaround for this); if you programme on storing a lot of arcade games to use with XMAME, yous may desire an internal carte that’due south bigger than 16GB.

Yous can bank check your current firmware based on its “compiled by” appointment. This firmware was compiled on October 27th, 2019, which means it is firmware 1.5.i.

Official RG350 firmware versions

Near RG350s ship with firmware version 1.v or one.v.ane, merely if you take an older device information technology may have version 1.4 installed. The easiest mode to check your firmware version is to go to Settings > System Info, and cheque the “compiled on” date on the page that is displayed.

  • Version i.4 was compiled on October 10th, 2019
  • Version 1.five was compiled on October 21st, 2019
  • Version 1.5.1 was compiled on October 27th, 2019
  • Version 1.v.1 (RG350M) was compiled on March 8th, 2020
  • The HDMI one.1 beta patch was compiled on May 21st, 2020

If you take firmware version 1.4 or ane.5, upgrading to one.5.i has some benefits. Beginning, version i.five.1 will allow you to patch in HDMI support (more on that hither). If you are on version ane.4, upgrading to 1.5.one will as well amend issues with controlling the analog sticks, and update some of the native apps (for the full 1.v changelog, see
hither).

Notation that there is a more updated version floating around (Version 1.vii), but this unsupported and experimental release has been revoked due to bug that it created with the USB ports and game slowdown. Version i.7 was compiled on November 17th, 2019, and is not recommended at this time. There is also an unofficial 1.5.2 (December x, 2019) version, just it is in testing phase and non considered stable.

This folio volition be updated once a new official firmware is released, merely for now, ane.5.1 is the most current stable release.

Here you can see the firmware microSD card slot on an original RG350 (meridian left). Have care not to dislodge the battery cablevision or shoulder buttons when removing the back of the device. If you take an RG350M or RG350P, the firmware carte du jour slot is now at the bottom of the device – no need to remove the backing.

How to access the internal microSD bill of fare on the original RG350

If you own the original RG350, you probably noticed that there is only one SD card slot on the device; that is your “external” SD card. There’s another 1 inside the device itself. To admission the internal microSD card, you will remove the iv screws on the back of the device, then gently pry open the backing (take care with the battery cable and shoulder buttons – encounter the moving picture above). At that place on the main board you will see the microSD menu, covered with a QC sticker (note that removing the sticker will void the warranty).


How to back up and your electric current RG350 firmware

Read:  How to Update Firmware on Geeetech A10

At that place are simply two steps to backing up your current firmware: remove the carte du jour, and back it up. Permit’south go through those steps.

  1. Remove the microSD menu.
    On a RG350, you volition remove the carte from inside the device (see the moving-picture show and footstep above). For the RG350M or RG350P, the firmware microSD card is the on the bottom of the device, on the left, likewise covered with a QC sticker–no need to remove the backing.
  2. Back up your firmware image.
    Download and install
    Win32 Deejay Imager
    (PC) or
    ApplePi-Baker v2
    (Mac), both are gratuitous to use. Follow these instructions to create a backup (.img) file of your microSD card.

    • For

      Win32 Disk Imager
      (PC), create a folder on your PC where y’all want to shop the .img file. In Win32, click the binder icon and select the location you lot want the .img file stored. Insert your microSD card and select information technology as your “Device”, then click the binder icon nether “Paradigm File” and navigate to where you want to save the .img file, and write out the file name for your .img (like “RG350stockfirmwarebackup,img”). Be certain to write out the “.img” file extension, the app will not do it for you. Finally, click the “Read” button to create the .img file (expect information technology to have about 45 minutes).
    • For

      ApplePi-Bakery v2

      (Mac), select your microSD bill of fare using the “Select Disk(s)” window. Well-nigh the lesser correct of the screen, at that place is a series of “Options” icons. Hover over the second one and you lot’ll meet “Enable Linux partition resize”. This will shrink your backup to its actual size, not simply the size of the SD card – very handy. Select this choice, then click the “Disk to File” push button, and create a name for your backup file and choose where you want it to salvage.

How to restore your firmware from a backup

In one case you lot’ve made a backup of your internal microSD card, you lot take two options: store your original microSD card somewhere prophylactic and create a new firmware card, or use your current firmware card with the understanding that you lot can re-write it with your backup .img file in the future. Given the cheap price of
16GB microSD cards, I recommend storing your one-time card somewhere and creating a new firmware card from your backup .img file. This is what we’ll exercise right at present.

  1. Create a new firmware microSD card.
    Insert a new microSD bill of fare into your computer.

    • For

      Win32 Disk Imager

      (PC), select your backup .img file by clicking the folder icon under “Prototype File”, and navigating to wherever your stored it during the previous department. Click the “Write” button, and wait for it to write the image to your new microSD card.
    • For

      ApplePi-Baker v2
      (Mac), select your new microSD card in the “Select Disk(s)” window. About the bottom-right of the window there are some buttons for “Options”, be sure to select the second choice, which says “Expand Linux partition”. Click the “Restore” button and navigate to your fill-in .img file. The file volition then write to your new microSD card, and then expand the sectionalization, assuasive you to skip the next step.
  2. Resize the firmware carte EXT4 partition. When writing this firmware image onto the new menu, it will only make a partition that’south exactly the size needed for your firmware. But you lot’re going to want to expand that partition then you can take advantage of whatever gratis space is still left on that menu. Luckily, if you’re on a Mac, the ApplePi-Baker v2 software already did that when you wrote the .img file onto your new menu during Step #ane to a higher place, so yous tin can skip to the next step. For Windows/PC users, you will want to download and install
    DiskGenius.

    • For
      DiskGenius
      (PC), open the app and observe your SD carte du jour using the card sidebar on the left (it volition typically be named “GenericSTORAGE DEVICE”). You should see two partitions within that SD card: ane called “Removable Disk”, and another chosen “Primary (1)”. Right-click on the “Master (1)” partition, and select “Resize Sectionalisation”. You’ll now see a slider that will allow you to drag the Primary(1) box to increase or subtract its partition size (and decrease the “Keep Unallocated” box). Drag it all the way to the right, then that it is taking up all the unallocated infinite. Click the “Start” icon and you’re all gear up.
    • Notation that for Windows users, I only recommend resizing the EXT4 partitioning for cards that you have merely written with a new .img file. If you try and do this later downward the line — for example, you restored a fill-in of your firmware onto a card, and then a week subsequently you realized yous didn’t aggrandize the EXT4 partition — you will likely brick the card and will take to start over from scratch. Also, if you write a new .img onto a carte du jour and it doesn’t seem to be booting on your RG350, endeavor to reflash the card and SKIP this step and see if the card still boots — sometimes, by resizing the firmware card, it can cause issues.
    • For Mac users, there have been times where I get errors with ApplePi-Baker and its partition resize feature. If this happens to yous, uncheck the “Expand Linux Partition” option and flash as y’all normally would. You tin can also use
      Balena Etcher
      to wink the prototype, if yous’d similar. Once you accept the firmware flashed, you can and then utilise
      Paragon Difficult Deejay Manager
      to resize the partition manually. This app costs $40 but has a gratis ten-mean solar day trial, and then get all of your partition extensions washed in those first ten days; otherwise, you’ll spend half the price of an RG350 just extending a partition!
  3. Insert the new microSD card to your RG350. Insert your new bill of fare and put the device back together if you had to remove the backing (i.east. y’all own an RG350 and not the RG350M or RG350P). Be sure to marshal your shoulder buttons earlier y’all snap the device shut, they dislodge easily.
ApplePi-Baker v2, a free Mac utility for backing upwardly and burning .img files to SD cards.

How to upgrade your RG350 official firmware (or get-go all over from scratch)

To upgrade your device firmware to the nigh updated stable release, follow these instructions. These are also the steps if y’all just desire to commencement all over from scratch with a brand new firmware. Annotation that these firmware files exercise not comprise emulators, then you’ll want to grab those from my various guides (linked beneath).

  1. Download and unzip the stable firmware update
    from the following official links below. Be sure to put the .img file somewhere easy to access, like your Desktop or Downloads folder:

    • RG350 and RG350P
      (download the “stable” release, not the “alternative”)
    • RG350M
      (because the RG350M has a larger screen resolution, it uses a different firmware).
  2. Download and install
    Win32 Deejay Imager
    (PC) or
    ApplePi-Baker v2
    (Mac)
    , if yous oasis’t already. Both are gratis to apply. This software is necessary to write the new firmware to your bill of fare.
  3. Create a new firmware microSD bill of fare.
    Insert your new microSD bill of fare into your computer.

    • For

      Win32 Disk Imager

      (PC), select your upgrade .img file by clicking the folder icon under “Image File”, and navigating to wherever your stored it during Step #one. Click the “Write” push button, and look for it to write the image to your new microSD card.
    • For

      ApplePi-Baker v2
      (Mac), select your new microSD card in the “Select Deejay(due south)” window. Near the bottom-right of the window at that place are some buttons for “Options”, be sure to select the second pick, which says “Aggrandize Linux sectionalisation”. Click the “Restore” button and navigate to your upgrade .img file. The file will and then write to your new microSD carte du jour, and so expand the sectionalization, allowing you to skip the adjacent step.
  4. Resize the firmware bill of fare EXT4 sectionalisation. When writing a Linux image onto a FAT32 disc, information technology will only brand a partition that’s exactly the size needed for your firmware. But you’re going to desire to aggrandize that partitioning then you can take reward of whatever free space is still left on that carte du jour. Luckily, if you’re on a Mac, the ApplePi-Baker v2 software already did that when you wrote the .img file onto your new card during Step #1 above, then you tin skip to the next step. For Windows/PC users, you will want to download and install
    DiskGenius.

    • For
      DiskGenius
      (PC), open up the app and find your SD carte du jour using the menu sidebar on the left (it will typically be named “GenericSTORAGE DEVICE”). You lot should see 2 partitions within that SD card: 1 called “Removable Disk”, and another chosen “Primary (1)”. Correct-click on the “Primary (i)” partition, and select “Resize Division”. Y’all’ll now see a slider that will allow you lot to drag the Chief(1) box to increment or decrease its partition size (and decrease the “Keep Unallocated” box). Elevate it all the style to the right (like in the picture above) so that it is taking up all the unallocated space. Click the “Showtime” icon and you’re all set.
    • Notation that for Windows users, I only recommend resizing the EXT4 sectionalisation for cards that y’all have just written with a new .img file. If you try and do this later on downwardly the line — for example, you restored a backup of your firmware onto a card, and so a week subsequently you realized you didn’t expand the EXT4 partition — you will probable brick the card and volition take to start over from scratch. Also, if you write a new .img onto a carte and it doesn’t seem to exist booting on your RG350, attempt to reflash the card and SKIP this pace and come across if the card still boots — sometimes, by resizing the firmware card, it tin can cause issues.
    • For Mac users, in that location have been times where I get errors with ApplePi-Baker and its partitioning resize feature. If this happens to you, uncheck the “Expand Linux Partition” pick and wink as yous normally would. Yous can and so use
      Paragon Difficult Deejay Manager
      to resize the sectionalization manually. This app costs $xl but has a costless ten-twenty-four hours trial, so become all of your sectionalization extensions done in those first x days; otherwise, you’ll spend one-half the price of an RG350 just extending a partition!
  5. Insert the new microSD card to your RG350. Insert your new card and put the device dorsum together if you had to remove the bankroll (i.e. you ain an RG350 and not the RG350M or RG350P). Be sure to align your shoulder buttons before you snap the device shut, they dislodge easily. You should exist good to become now. Like I mentioned earlier, you’ll take to re-install the emulators, which you lot can observe in my installation guides:

My comprehensive RG350 install guides:


Patching in HDMI support

HDMI support is a recent development, and does not crave a firmware update beyond firmware version i.5.1. Instead, you must add an updater OPK to your external/data microSD card, and run the programme through the RG350 itself. This process is fairly involved, and so I’ve made a
dissever guide for HDMI support.

RG350 “Rogue” firmware startup screen

Unofficial RG350 firmware

Starting last yr, a “fork” of the RG350 firmware was developed, and was aptly named “Rogue” firmware. This Rogue software has unique features, such every bit USB Wi-Fi dongle support, its own app shop, and a built-in updater (which requires Wi-Fi). All the same, if y’all read through whatever of the various RG350-related forums, y’all’ll find that this firmware is notoriously unstable and can often “brick” your device (i.east. return the firmware unusable).

Because the Rogue firmware is generally unstable, I recommend you lot stick with the official version. Yet, if you have a backup SD card of your stable firmware, and are willing to have a few risks, you might detect the Rogue firmware of value. You lot can find
installation instructions here, and links to the firmware are below:


Changelog

In this department I’ll provide a quick summary of any updates I make to this guide.

30JUN2021
– Added link to
Balena Etcher

24OCT2020
– Fixed some confusing wording.

16SEP2020
– Added links to installation guides

13SEP2020

– Added links to Paragon Difficult Drive Manager for Mac

08SEP2020
– Reorganized guide into fill-in, restore, and upgrade steps.

07SEP2020

– Added link to XMAME external card workaround

Hopefully this guide will assistance you back upward and update your RG350 firmware. If you have any comments or suggestions, please leave them beneath!



How to Install Custom Firmware on Rg350 Without Opening It

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