The MK802 $74 mini PC ships with Google Android 4.0. It also ships with root access enabled, which means it’s possible to delete important system files or make other changes that could leave you with a less-than-useful operating system.
The good news is that it’s possible to boot an alternate operating system such as Ubuntu Linux from a microSD card (although I’ve found that sometimes the MK802 doesn’t want to read the card).
But it’s also possible to re-install the original MK802 firmware, or flash a firmware update.
If you have a 64-bit PC, you can also download the 64-bit version of LiveSuit.
Once you’ve done that, here’s how to use the tools to re-install the firmware (or install alternate firmware) using a Windows PC:
1. Unpack the MK802_recovery.rar file to a folder on your PC.
2. Open a Windows Explorer window and navigate to the MK802_recovery directory and locate the subdirectory called “livesuit” and open it.
3. Double-click the LiveSuit.exe file.
4. Choose the SelectImg option to choose your recovery image and then locate the en-us-NEW2-ak003.img file in the MK802 recovery directory.
5. See those two small holes on your the front of the MK802 by the HDMI port? One is for the status LED. Poke a paperclip in the other one to press down on a button and while you’re holding down that button connect your MK802 to your PC using a USB to mini USB cable.
Note: If you’ve already installed the drivers and this isn’t your first time using LiveSuit to install a firmware update, you can probably skip ahead to step 10… or just sit back and let the software do its thing. It pretty much runs itself from here on out.
6. Your computer will find new hardware but won’t be able to install the drivers properly.
7. Open the Windows Device Manager and look for an “Unknown Device.”
8. Right-click on the device and select the option to “Update Driver.”
9. Choose the option to “Browse my computer for driver software” and navigate to the livesuit directory and select the “UsbDriver” folder.
10. As long as LiveSuit is already running, once Windows successfully installs the drivers the app should recognize your device and start installing the firmware.
11. If it does not, you can click the SysUpdate icon to get started.
12. You may see a message asking if you want to overwrite all of your settings or keep your apps and settings in place. Choose the option that best suits your needs.
13. Once the process is complete, unplug your MK802 and disconnect the power source if it’s using a separate one, then plug the power (or USB cable) back in to turn it on and boot into Android again.
I’m still looking for a way to create a system backup of the MK802, preserving my files, apps, and settings. But since I haven’t found a way to install a custom recovery yet, I feel a little safer playing with this little computer now that I know how easy it is to basically perform a factory restore by re-installing the original firmware.
Update: You can also now install ClockworkMod Recovery on the MK802 to make a complete backup of your device or to restore from an earlier backup.
The RK804 Android 4.0 Mini PC is available from AliExpress for $74.
via Rikomagic forum