Recovering your Player through a USB flash drive

January 15, 2021 Administrator Tech FAQs

The Xandabox is resilient to hardware and system failures. But, as with all devices, there is a slight chance that the Player may fail.

In case of a software failure, you might be able to recover your Playbox through “reflashing” it with the latest Xandadeck software. Reflashing will erase all of contents inside the Playbox (re-writing the whole SD card from scratch). Your settings will be retained, so your Playbox should re-apply all settings in the system, re-download all content required and resume playback without you doing anything.

If you are an advanced user, keep in mind that the only thing retained from the existing contents is the “SETTINGS.txt” file containing all settings. Any manual changes you have made into to the image through the command line will be lost (e.g. manually changing passwords, changing config.txt manually, adding other software, etc).

Resetting Settings before Recovery

The recovery procedure retains your Player’s settings. If you wish to remove settings, you can also follow this guide before following the Recovery procedure.

Preparing a USB flash drive

To perform this procedure, you will be needing a USB flash drive. Here are the requirements and some info on this:

  • It would be best to use a FAT32-formatted flash drive (most USB flash drives are by default formatted as FAT32). ext2/3/4 also works, and NTFS might also work.
  • The Xandabox does not change anything on the flash drive, so you can leave any other files you have on the stick.
  • Download the latest Xandabox Image zip file (about 700MB in size).
  • DO NOT RENAME OR EXTRACT THE ZIP FILE! Copy it (as it is) into the base folder of the USB flash drive.

IMPORTANT: Some flash drives may not work properly. During start-up, the USB flash drive might not start quickly enough, so it might not be functional within the first seconds of the startup procedure, so Xandadeck cannot detect it. This case is detailed below. If that is the case with your flash drive, try a flash drive of different make/model and find one that works

Reflashing your Player

After you have prepared a USB flash drive, follow these instructions to recover your Playbox:

  1. Plug the USB flash drive into the Playbox.
  2. Power up (or reboot) the Playbox.
  3. Upon start-up, and before showing the Xandadeck logo, the Playbox always displays a message that says Searching for USB drives…” while searching for the flash drive.
  4. If the Playbox finds the flash drive, it should display a message saying “USB drive detected”.
  5. If the Playbox does not show the “USB drive detected” message, then you will need to use a different USB flash drive because the Playbox cannot detect the flash drive you used.
  6. If you have correctly prepared the USB flash drive as described above, the verification and writing procedure should start. If you get any error message, check that you have properly prepared the USB flash drive.
  7. At this point, DO NOT POWER OFF YOUR PLAYBOX! Also, do not remove the USB flash drive! Allow the procedure at least 30′ to complete.
  8. When the procedure has been completed, you will be prompted to remove the USB drive. Once you remove it, the Playbox will automatically reboot.
  9. After reboot, the Playbox will re-apply all retained settings in the system.
  10. The software might also need to be updated online, so make sure you do not remove power from the Playbox to ensure everything goes smoothly.
  11. Please allow enough time to make all the required initialization procedures. Allow at least 15-20 minutes before worrying if nothing shows up on screen.

After the procedure is completed, you Player should recover, connect to the Internet, and start downloading content. Eventually, it will start playback.

Security Notice

For the advanced IT security-aware readers:

Xandabox Image files are digitally signed. The ZIP files contain information that verify that the specific SD card image was issued by Xandadeck. You cannot perform this procedure with an arbitrary image file, so an attacker cannot inject their own code into the system just by plugging in a USB drive and rebooting.


Leave your comment