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New Firmware Update Available for the Kyobo eReader – Is it Hackable?

I’ve just gotten an email from someone with Kyobo. My contact told me that a new firmware update had been released, and it was supposed to fix a number of the issues I’d noticed in my review.

It’s an official update, and I’d really like to tell you how well it works. Unfortunately, I haven’t been told how to install it and none of the obvious tricks have worked.

Update: A reader turned up the instructions. They’re in Korean, but simple enough to understand.

If you know how, please leave a comment with instructions. I’ll add to this post once I can install the update.

  1. Copy the file to the root of the microSD card.
  2. The update option is hidden in the privacy menu under Settings. (No idea why it’s there.)

While we’re on the topic, my unit shipped with the 11.23.2001 firmware. That might be the one contained in the update, but I’m not sure. If you have a different one, please let me know. Edit: I’ve installed the update and I now have the 12.19 firmware.

Update: I don’t see any significant change. Youtube still sucks. Loading ebooks might be slightly faster, but not by much. I’m still seeing the same poorly displayed content.

I know that telling you about the update and not including instructions isn’t a terribly useful post, but I have an ulterior motive. Since I have the update, I thought I’d post about it and hopefully draw the attention of a hacker or 2. This update is over 170MB in size, and it contains all the apps currently installed on the Kyobo eReader. I’m guessing that it is a complete update, not a partial one, and that means that it might be possible to build a hack based on the update.

If you want to give it a go, you can download the update from here.

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zinj January 6, 2012 um 2:37 pm

This is starting to look a little more promising. I hope someone takes up your offer to try and hack it. At the very least, I hope you get the upgrade installed and are able to let us know what it does.

reichsputin January 6, 2012 um 3:05 pm

Kyobo eReader was already hacked by Koreans:
(Registraton required. But you can use login certain1985 password ewery678 )

Nate Hoffelder January 6, 2012 um 3:31 pm

I think i logged in, but I’m stills seeing a blank page.

reichsputin January 6, 2012 um 3:39 pm

Strange. Worked for me in Firefox, Chrome and IE. You fill in the login and the password in the popup window and click the button to the right of the password form (not on the bottom of the popup). Then the popup closes, the main window reloads and you should see the content.

Nate Hoffelder January 6, 2012 um 3:45 pm

All I get is a warning triangle.

Edit: Now it worked.

reichsputin January 6, 2012 um 3:52 pm

I’ve uploaded the rooting instruction in PDF and applied ZIP packages for those willing to root not to have to login into the Korean site:

reichsputin January 6, 2012 um 2:53 pm

Update manual in Korean:

Probably you’ll make something out of the pictures. If not, you can try something like FineReader OCR -> Google Translate. Just straightforward Google Translate won’t work because the info is in pics, not text.

Nate Hoffelder January 6, 2012 um 2:59 pm

That told me how to do it, thanks.

reichsputin January 7, 2012 um 12:11 pm

No. Updating doesn’t wipe Android user data.

zinj January 11, 2012 um 10:20 am

Nate, please check out my post over at xda developers Someone has replied with rooting instructions.

zinj March 29, 2012 um 1:33 pm

Have you installed the second update yet? If so, where do you get it?

Nate Hoffelder March 29, 2012 um 1:34 pm

I didn’t know there was a second update.

zinj April 6, 2012 um 8:23 am

Good E Reader has a link to the second update. Still doesn’t work for me.

Nate Hoffelder April 6, 2012 um 8:28 am

It’s a hacked update, not the second one, and I installed it.

I couldn’t install any apps (nor did it come with anything useful) so I’m not sure what value it has.

zinj March 30, 2012 um 8:06 pm

I had a guy locally try and root my reader and he said he found that there is a second upgrade on XDA, but you need the first one installed before you can use it. Neither of us can locate the new one now. Incidentally, he wasn’t successful in rooting because without the first update the drivers won’t work. When I do the update I get the installation progress bar and it takes about 3 or 4 minutes to get to about 20% (as expected), then it jumps to 100% and then reboots. When I check the build number nothing has changed. Any idea what’s wrong? I’ve tried dozens of times.

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