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Update WinCE embedded on head unit

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  • Update WinCE embedded on head unit

    Hi All
    First post and new to
    Have searched far and wide for a similar situation but to no avail. My situation is, I've purchased an all-in-one DVD TV GPS Bluetooth USB SD double din head unit off of EBay (China model) and so far I'm very impressed. All functions as advertised but I was hoping to upgrade the OS and maybe change some of the dated icons and backgrounds. Reading through the forums, I've come to believe that the OS is Wince 4.2 embedded on the 64MB rom with 64MB ram. Is it possible to extract a rom image to a PC, extract the rom files, edit the icons, background etc re compile the image and then flash the rom with the newly compiled image? Any help most appreciated.

  • #2
    Unless the headunit has some means of outputting data to some device, I don't know how you'll be able to pull that off.

    I'm not saying it's impossible. I just don't see how it could be done.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?

    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


    • #3
      I was thinking of trying to connect my notebook up to the head unit throught the USB interface and try an Activesync connection as if it were a PDA then extract the EEPROM bin files using a program I found. Then try and extract the fils fom the EEPROM image, change the icon and background files for the head unit applications, somehow recompile the EEPROM image and the use Activesync to reflash the image onto the rom sort of like applying updated firmwae to a computer. Any thoughts?


      • #4
        I do not think that will work. You cant just "active sync" with any device randomly. It is a proprietary protocal that must have certain "handshake" requirements to work. If you just plug into a randm port and try it your chances of failure are high. Also, to reflash it while it is running activesync is like being in windows, then calling a full format of your windows drive and expecting windows to run fully from RAM until the backbone is back in there. I am sorry but I dont see this working.

        Your best bet is to open it up, and actually use a pin interface directly to the microprocessor pull the firmware from there, mess with it on the PC, and then reflash it directly that way without the unit even being on and then next time it wakes up it is different with no idea of how it got that way.
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        • #5
          Appreciate the advice, was a long shot but I thought I'd give it a try. Found a site showing Viper hardware where compilers hook up to the board as you describe, test their software and flash the image. Thanks again


          • #6
            WinCE requires a lot of hardware-specific customization. It's not like regular Windows where you can install an off-the-shelf version on any piece of hardware.

            If you can get the hardware manufacturer to provide you with CE 5 or CE 6 firmware, then you're set. If not, you're out of luck.

            Generally speaking you should not expect to be able to upgrade the OS for Windows CE devices unless the manufacturer has a history of providing such upgrades.


            • #7

              Thanks for the reply. I've come to the conclusion that it's probably more trouble than it's worth, trying to do what I want to do. I doubt the manufacturer would post an updated firmware being that the unit is a chinese model and since I can't track down the manufacturer. I simply wanted to change the graphics not necessarily the OS version although that woul've been good also.


              • #8
                Open it up. See what kind of flash chip is in there, if its soldered to the motherboard then its really almost impossible, however the rom may just be on a standard SD or CF card. If so, Pull the ROM and mount it under XP or Linux to start hackin' away. You never know there may be a USB header on the PCB's inside the unit. Just have to take the unit "under the knife" to find out.
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