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How do I update my Yamakawa firmware?

One of the great features of the Yamakawa players is that you can update the firmware for fixing bugs or adding new features.

The updating of the firmware is done, using a regular CD-recordable or CD-rewriteable, which you create using a CD-writer on your PC.

NEW: Patched Firmware versions and details

Note: this trick only works for hardware version > 2.1G !
Hardware versions lower or equal to 2.1G are only updateable by re-programming the EPROM which is not easy and should be done by the Yamakawa dealer.

Note: downgrading from version 41 might be very tricky!

Note: Flashing/Updating the firmware is NOT without risk! Please READ the DISCLAIMER!

Tip: consider visiting the Yamakawa DVD group at Yahoo groups!

Yamakawa

Little warning ...

UPDATING FIRMWARE IS NOT WITHOUT RISKS!

Always wait until the player shutsdown by itself!

Never switch off during update, NO MATTER WHAT YOU SEE on your TV-screen!

Firmware is ALWAYS for one, and only one, particular model ONLY!

I cannot be held responsible for screw-ups!

So you have been warned !

Your Yamakawa dealer might be able to repair your player by manually flashing the memory chip. Since it involves a lot of effort, this will not be free.

Overview

Tip before you start updating your Yamakawa: Print this page for reference !

Steps to walk through for a succesfull update:

  1. Download the firmware files
  2. Determine current firmware
  3. Alter password file if required
  4. Create an update CD (either recordable or rewriteable)
  5. Run the upgrade CD
  6. Test update
  7. New and patched firmwares

Download the firmware

Here you can download the firmware version 3H for the Yamakawa 715 right here. It includes the rom file and the password file required for updating. New/different versions can be downloaded at Seditec Germany.

Unzip the file (for example using WinZip) after downloading. You will find two files: "Bank30.rom" and "apassword".

If you like to use a custom background for your menu's and boot screen then please take a look at the Yamakawa Custom Background page for more information on how to modify the firmware for that purpose.

Note: the now following text is intended for the Yamakawa 715. Other brands or models might require different rom-files. Don't blame me if you're using the wrong rom-file and your player get's goofy on you!

Determine the current firmware

Using the secret code, we will now determine the firmware you are now using. Briefly this is done using these remote-control buttons:

"SETUP" - "SLOW" - "SKIP-LEFT" - "3"

Note: this trick is not working with firmwares 4x and newer.

My Yamakawa (we must have an example, so I used mine for that purpose) responds as shown:

Yamakawa firmware version 3H
Yamakawa Firmware version

Here we see firmware version "F*Y0XGPX--3H", on the firmware page you will find more details on the meaning of this code.

The most important parts of this code are the last two digits ("3H") and the character "G". Meaning firmware version 3H and this is a German version. Since I'm not German, I'd rather see the English version (that's why I updated my firmware).

Change the Password file

The code you just found is very important to determine the required password.

The password is used by the current firmware to allow you to update to the new firmware.

Not only is it a "password", it's also an identifier for the firmware update results.

One can indicate here also which OSD language one prefers and what native region should be use.

The password file must match your current firmware version, therefor we shall now edit the "apasswd" file.

1. open NOTEPAD (or any other basic ASCII editor, for example EDIT in DOS) and open the "apasswd" file.

Yamakawa firmware: version in Apasswd
"apasswd" file after opening

2. change the password as follows;

SET PROPER PASSWORD

The image above shows us the NOTEPAD with the "apasswd" file opened.

It's content, "F1R0XENX.3H CB51B65" indicates an US version 3H.

The first part "F1R0XENX", before the period - indicated BLUE in in the previous line -, needs to be altered.

In my situation, for example, I have firmware version "F*Y0XGPX--3H", the new code becomes "F*Y0XGPX.3H CB51B65".

Note that the firmware version "3H" is not used here ! Only the first 8 characters are used !

SET REQUIRED REGIONCODE

I live in region 2 (Europe), for more details on which region you should use, visit the DVD Regioncode page.

My Yamakawa is currently regionfree, which makes it useless for the update. I therefor have to choose region 2. Read the Yamakawa Set Regioncode page on how to set the proper regioncode (short: "SETUP" - "SLOW" - "SKIP-RIGHT").

Note: Your Yamakawa can NOT be REGIONFREE ! Updates will fail otherwise !

If your player is not regionfree and set, for example, to region 2 then your firmware code will show a "B". See in this table which number you should use:

Code
Regioncode
A
1
B
2
C
3
D
4
E
5
F
6

This character should replace the second character in the "apasswd" file, for example (blue indicated): "F2Y0XGPX.3H CB51B65".

Note: I replaced the "*" (or "B") with a "2".

SET OSD LANGUAGE

If you want the on screen display text to be in English by default, the change the "G" (German) to an "E" (English).

For this example (marked blue): "F2Y0XEPX.3H CB51B65".

Yamakawa Apasswd adapted for the new firmware ...
"apasswd" after changing

3. Now save the changes to the "apasswd" file.

Create an upgrade CD

Now start you favorite CD-writer software, for example Nero (which is my favorite - you can download a free fully functional trial version here). Make sure the CD file system is set to

ISO 9660, Mode 1 or 2,

DO NOT USE MULTISESSION,

DO NOT USE JOLIET MODE !

The title of the CD does not seem to matter.

Place both files ("Bank30.rom" and the adapted "apassword") in the root of the CD.

Make sure you're using the "apasswd" file you just created.

It does not matter if you're using a CD-recordable or a CD-rewriteable ...

If you're not sure how to burn a CD, you might want to check "How to burn a computer CD-Rom with Nero".

Now burn that puppy!

Run the upgrade

It's time to do the upgrade for real.

Please take notion of these warnings BEFORE YOU START, I cannot be clear enough about this, even the most experienced used seem to fuck this up too (hi Frank!) - and believe me, your player will be dead:

UPDATING FIRMWARE IS NOT WITHOUT RISKS!

Always wait until the player shutsdown by itself!

Never switch off during an update,
NO MATTER WHAT YOU SEE on your TV-screen!

Firmware is ALWAYS for one, and only one, particular model ONLY!

I cannot be held responsible for screw-ups!

So NEVER switch the player OFF! After the update finished, it will shutdown by itself!

During update you will see a lot of static! Don't be afraid this is normal!

Below you see an animation of screendumps of the firmware upgrade I did.

Note: the "black" screen indicates the start/begin of the animation, it can take a few seconds before it get's there... Pressing refresh or reload of your browser will bring it back to it's beginning frame,... unfortunally so will the rest of the webpage.

Yamakawa screen while updating ...
Firmware update in progress ... don't get scared now !
- Wait for the black screen, this is the begining of this animation -

Test the update

AFTER THE PLAYER AUTOMATICALLY SWITCHED OFF, one can test the functionality:

  1. Test the firmware version number
  2. Test if MacroVision can be switched off *
  3. Test if region-free is working *

(* = depending on firmware version, newer version might not have these features!)

Patched Firmware versions

Besides the official firmware versions (see Firmware page for more details) we can also find patched firmware versions outthere. The versions you find here are from the French website http://dvd.tristou.net/ (no longer availanle link, sorry ...).

Just as a precaution,... I have to warn you,... (these firmwares worked just fine for me, but you never know what can go wrong)

READ THE DISCLAIMER BEFORE YOU USE THESE FILES! USE AT YOUR OWN RISC!

VERSION 5.54

DOWNLOAD
VERSION
BT Chipset
(NO SCART!)
CS Chipset
(SCART!)

Yamakawa 713

Official release
Regiocode & MacroVision OFF
Yamakawa 715
Official release
Regiocode & MacroVision OFF
  • This version looks a lot like the previous versions, and seems to be willing to playback single MPEG1 and MPEG2 files.

  • The software capabilities (bugfixes etc) are similar to the firmware 6.x with the lack of the SmartNavi system.

  • This version does not have suffle/random playback of MP3's, see version 6.x.

  • Fastplayback has more speeds (2x, 5x, 10x and 15x).

  • Zoom support for both VCD and SVCD too (1.5x, 2x and 4x).

  • OSD in 4 languages (English, French, Chinese and German)

  • Video qualiteit is improved.

VERSION 6.20 - A2 and A3 releases

Note; the A2 and A3 releases are experimental (work OK though!) of firmware 6.20.

DOWNLOAD
VERSION
BT Chipset
(NO SCART!)
CS Chipset
(SCART!)

Yamakawa 713

Official release
06.a3
06.a2
Regiocode & MacroVision OFF
06.a3 06.a2
Yamakawa 715
Official release
Regiocode & MacroVision OFF

Update: For the Yamakawa 715 (BT), a modified 06.A2 firmware is available that supports miniDVD! Download it here.

  • A cool 3D Smart Navi menu system!

  • 7 playback types for MP3 etc:
    Single / Reference mark-One / Folder / Folder Repeat / Random / Shuffle One / Program-End.

  • Now supports MP2 audio files too.

  • Reads MPEG2 video files with a resolution up to 720x576 in VBR!

  • Browse and Playback of MPEG1 and MPEG2 video files.

  • Enhanced Fast Playback (2x, 5x, 10x and 15x)

  • Zoom support (1.5x, 2x and 4x) for VCD/SVCD

  • 3 menu languages: English, Chinese and German.

  • Enhanced video playback.

Below you'll see two snapshots of the very cool Smart Navi system;

Smart Navi - MP3 & MP2 audio - Random mode Smart Navi - Video file playback
Smart Navi - MP3 & MP2 audio - Random mode
Smart Navi - Video file playback

 

 


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