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.

MK802 Mini PC with paperclip

Rikomagic has uploaded a recovery suite to its support page, but that download link can be a bit flaky. You might have better luck downloading the 269MB file from a mirror.

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

 

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31 replies on “How to re-install MK802 firmware”

  1. I tried this but I couldn’t get the LiveSuit program to work properly on my Windows 7 machine (even the Windows 7 version.) It would never complete the process. Ultimately what I did was grabbed the image file (en-us-NEW2-ak003.img) out of the zip file and then from within Linux copied it to an SD card within my Linux machine with the command
    dd bs=1M if=en-us-NEW2-ak003.img of=/dev/sd
    where here is the device letter of your SD card. Before doing so plug in the card first and do
    cat /etc/mtab
    to see its device letter (b, c, d, e or whatever). Then you should unmount it with the command
    umount /dev/sd
    where partition number is the actual current partition that got mounted (i.e. something like
    umount /dev/sdb1)
    Then run the above duplication command. Note that this only has the letter (no partition number) and that it will erase the sd card.
    Next I put this in the SD slot of my MK802 II device and booted it and it did boot into an updated version. I assumed it booted it off the card, but when I popped out the card and booted it, it still booted into the new version. So the device must have recognized the image update on the SD card and copied it over.

    It is possible that my monkeying around with the MK 802 device from within Windows with the above instructions actually did work at some point and I didn’t notice. (The software never showed it properly completing.) If that is what occurred then I am just deluding myself that the above process worked. However it would make sense to design the device to copy the image over from the SD card as I did.

  2. hi everyone
    I am having problem in video calling. The moment I start my camera, the video is perfect. but when other received it they only saw green lines. I have also tried with other software as well but my video still have those green lines. Please helppp me.

  3. Thank you a lot!
    I had made a brick my minipc, and now it´s working again!

    Thank you again.

    Luis.

  4. I did this and it worked (everything on the pc).

    but then i plug my MK802+ to my TV and the TV says “no signal”
    i repeated the process with the Rev2 Firmware, still “no signal”.

    Is my MK802+ now broken?

  5. I bought this item https://lightake.com/detail.do/sku.54773 MK802+ and I am not able to start it up. I decided to load up the firmware but I can’t do that. Is this device legit?
    I tried this method but I stuck at the point where drivers are ready but LiveSuit is not
    recognizing my device…

    Any chances this device is able to be
    flashed/restored?

    posted this question at miniand forum as well without an answer so far…

  6. Well, I got the image loaded but i seems like it just keeps restarting, I see a greenish Android screen that looks like a boot screen. My HDMI connection keeps cutting out like it’s restarting over and over. Is it installing it? It’s been like 5 minutes now. Guess I’ll wait to see if it gets done…

  7. Lets face it: The manufacturer could not care less and failed to post firmware that works. None of the Experts here know how to fix the update bug..
    Basically you are lumbered with a pile of junk. Forget it and throw it in the bin.
    China Buys is now selling this for $45. It aint worth 45 cents in its present state.
    I have tried updates with win XP/7 64 and 32 bit verson. None of them work.

    Another pile of unsupported Junk from China. Forget it !!!
    end of story.

  8. I’d like to try the firmware update but when I’ve tried the clip method nothing seems to happen. I’m pressing before plugging into usb (and tried after, pressing for a long time …) but nothing … is my mk802 unable to reset or am I making mistakes in something?

  9. I have just got one of these and runs cool for me. On ADSL2 speed appears reasonable. BUT.. It has Skype. I can log in and see my contacts and IM bar is active But… How does one interface a camera/mic. I have a Logitech USB cam/mic which works great on PC. But can find no information. The “manual” says nothing about it. I have tried the USB input. Guess I need a cam apk?
    PCs I know inside out but these devices I am lite on knowledge. Anyone help?

  10. Ive tried 3 diferent pcs but all of them recognise the device as android” and dont accept the usb driver provided. ?????

    1. make sure u keep pressing the reset button while plugging in the usb. press reset button for another 10 seconds. (DO NOT RELEASE RESET BUTTON IN THE WHOLE PROCESS). This works for me.

  11. Counting myself lucky they have this tool, as my testing the first of three I bought appears to have fried or otherwise upset it (no boot now).

  12. You mentioned that sometimes the MK802 does not want to read the card. What do you do when that happens? Try a different card? Wait for the card (or the MK802) to cool down?

  13. I’ve had mine for 5 days and today when plugging it in the LED light up orange and nothing displayed over HDMI. Has anyone seen this behavior before? I am downloading the recovery as we speak, but you’re correct – their site is Very flaky – I get anywhere from 45mb to 120mb of the file and then it just marks it complete, so I’m getting it from the DepositedFiles site which is significantly slower. Is there a Proper way to shut down the PC? I have been just turning off my TV which is also powering it via USB and I suspect that’s what has caused the current behavior.

    Thanks!

      1. Mine has the same problem on my Panasonic plasma but works fine on my Hitachi plasma,LG lcd and Sanyo lcd.

        1. Hi Some of the mini PC was set the refresh rate to 50Hrz it might cause some problem with NTSC computer I set my to 60Hrz from my computer screen and it works on my TV

  14. can we see a new video of the mk802 running the puppu linux image that has been floating around? Also, have you had any success dd an image directly to the internal storage of the device over the existing android partition?

    1. Kinda… it will backup all your apps and settings, but a Nandroid backup creates a copy of absolutely everything on your disk — so even if you can’t boot into Android you can use a recovery utility such as TWRP or ClockworkMod to restore your system.

      That’s assuming you can get TWRP or ClockworkMod installed… right now I don’t know if there’s a way to do that, so you’re right. Titanium might be the next best thing.

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