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DOWNGRADING BDP-S390, BDP-S490, BDP-S590, ...

If you use SACD-R (raw ISO images burned onto DVD-R), Sony has recently removed support for this in their firmware. Users have also reported problems playing some files formats in recent firmware upgrades. To regain support, you will need to downgrade your firmware. Unfortunately, downgrading is not allowed by Sony. However, the following method has been tested to work on BDP-S380, BDP-S480, BDP-S390, BDP-S490, and BDP-S590.


Windows Instructions:

Due to popular demand for a simpler process, Windows binaries now include "EasyDowngrade.exe". Extract all the files to a directory of your choice, and run this for a simpler downgrade process!

  1. Download and extract to a folder of your choice. If you are using Chrome, you may need to press "keep".
  2. Download and extract the original Sony firmware that you want to install. There should be a .ID and .BIN file in this folder.
  3. Run EasyDowngrade.exe. You may need to right click, properties, unblock if the file is blocked (since you have downloaded an executable from the internet).
  4. Select the firmware file (the .ID file) you extracted and click Start
  5. Agree to the message(s) if you understand and accept the risks.
  6. You will be prompted to press "y" and enter twice. Make sure the dates & versions look sane.
  7. The .ID and .BIN have been modified. Now you can burn these to a CD and insert it into your player to downgrade

I haven't had many emails lately about downgrades, which hopefully means that this utility has been useful. If you have any comments or suggestions though, feel free to let me know!


Manual Compilation/Non-Windows Instructions:

Show instructions for:

S390

Environment

For compiling the code, I've tried it both on Ubuntu 10.04.4 with the built-in G++ compiler, as well as on Windows with Cygwin and g++ related packages (www.cygwin.com), and on Windows with the DJGPP compiler (www.delorie.com/djgpp). Whichever should be fine for just downgrading the firmware. The environment is not critical unless you are performing custom modifications. Whatever you have easily available should work.

You will not need a hex editor. If you would like to use one to verify anything though, I would recommend HxD on Windows or ghex2 on Linux.

Steps

  1. Download either Windows binaries here or source code bdp-s390.tar.gz. For downgrading you don't need all of the source files, but it makes compiling simpler. Extract the Windows binaries, or unrar the source code (using WinRar on Windows, or "tar -zxvf bdp-s390.tar.gz" on Linux) to a directory of your choice.
  2. Download the original Sony firmware that you want to install from http://www.mmnt.net/db/0/1/ftp.vaio-link.com/PUB/HAV/BDP/FW/ (e.g.
    UPDATA_M11R0422.ZIP
    ). Extract the
    MSB11
    -FW.ID and
    MSB11
    -FW.BIN into the same directory as above.
  3. Compile the code (you can skip this step if you are using the Windows binaries):
    • ON LINUX:

      Just run "./rebuild.sh" and the code should compile
    • OR ON WINDOWS:
      You will need to compile lut2.cpp, modversion.cpp, and genid.cpp. If you use Cygwin or DJGPP or similar, this will look like:

      g++ lut2.cpp -O2 -o lut.exe
      g++ modversion.cpp -O2 -o modversion.exe
      g++ genid.cpp -O2 -o genid.exe

      (for DJGPP replace g++ with gxx)
      As long as these files are generated without errors, you should be fine.
  4. First decode the ID file:
    lut D
    MSB11
    -FW.ID hex_substitution_01
    MSB11
    -FW.ID.dec

    (Note on Linux you need a "./" before lut)
  5. Then decode the BIN file:
    lut D
    MSB11
    -FW.BIN hex_substitution_01
    MSB11
    -FW.BIN.dec
  6. Modify the version and date strings:
    You can pick anything newer than the currently installed firmware. For example, I am using date =
    01/01/2099
    and version =
    M11.R.0999
    .
    modversion
    MSB11
    -FW.BIN.dec V
    M11.R.0999

    modversion
    MSB11
    -FW.BIN.dec D
    2099010100

    It will ask you to confirm each of these changes (press y).
  7. Re-encode the BIN file:
    lut E
    MSB11
    -FW.BIN.dec hex_substitution_01
    MSB11
    -FW.BIN
  8. Re-generate the ID file:
    genid
    MSB11
    -FW.BIN
    MSB11
    -FW.BIN.dec
    MSB11
    -FW.ID.dec
  9. Re-encode the ID file:
    lut E
    MSB11
    -FW.ID.dec hex_substitution_01
    MSB11
    -FW.ID
  10. You're done!
    MSB11
    -FW.ID and
    MSB11
    -FW.BIN should now be ready for flashing your player.

Recent Changes:

  • Modversion.exe was being detected as a virus by some virus scanners: see report on virustotal.com. While I'm quite sure this was a false positive, I have recompiled modversion.exe using Visual Studio 2013 on 09/13/2014, and it is no longer detected as a virus. Thanks to Martijn for letting me know.
  • EasyDowngrade updated 05/14/2014 to fix bug that file paths with spaces were mishandled. Thanks to Anthony for noticing
  • Windows binaries have been recompiled to no longer need runtime libraries, and to support Windows XP
  • Windows binaries compiled with Microsoft Visual Studio 2012/2013 are now available here
  • This process has also been tested on a Mac using XCODE, following the Linux directions

Results

Thanks to:

  • Victor for confirming a successful downgrade from M11.R.0493 to M11.R.0422 on BDP-S390
     
  • Mike for confirming a successful downgrade from M12.R.0491 to M12.R.0430 on BDP-S590
     
  • Rajesh for confirming a successful downgrade from M12.R.0497 to M12.R.0430 on BDP-S490 (Singapore Model)
  • Marcos for confirming a successful downgrade from M12.R.0497 to M12.R.0369 on BDP-S590 (Brazil Model)
  • Ian for confirming a successful downgrade to M12.R.0438 on BDP-S495
  • Bobby for confirming a successful downgrade from M13.R.0460 to M13.R.0369 on BDP-S790
    (unfortunately SACD-R is still broken in 0369)
  • Antonio for confirming a successful downgrade from M11.R.0493 to M11.R.0422 on BDP-S390
  • Raymond for confirming a successful downgrade from M07.R.0629 to M07.R.0615 on BDP-S480

Why not upload the complete ISO file here?

The actual firmware is copyright by Sony, so I don't want to risk copyright infringement by uploading a modified version of their firmware here. On this website you will just find utilities. Feel free to contact me if you have trouble with the above instructions.

DISCLAIMER

Downgrading has been successfully tested. That's all I can confirm. Modifying firmware is risky, may violate EULA agreements, and can potentially brick your Blu-Ray player. Please try this at your own risk, and if it works, let me know!

Copyright © 2013-2014 Malcolm Stagg