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01-20-2007, 08:48 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Indiana
Posts: 26
Newbie firmware question

Hi everyone!
I'm quite new to digital slr's and have never had to do a firmware update on a camera. I have a new k100d and it has version 1.00 on it. I downloaded the new firmware onto my computer and now I have a few questions before I try to install it. Frankly, I am scared to do it because I don't want to screw it up and send my camera back to pentax!
Anyhow, I dont have a card reader on my computer, so I have to copy the firmware onto my sd card by inserting the card into the camera, and then connecting the camera to the computer.
Ok, so in the directions it says:

Copy the above Firmware file [fwdc156b.bin] to the root directory in
the SD card.
If your computer does not have a card slot, you can copy the firmware
update file by inserting the SD card into your camera and then connecting
the camera directly to your computer.

2. If the camera power is on, turn it off.

3. Insert the update SD card (prepared in step 1) into the camera.

4. Connect the AC adapter to the camera.
If you are using a rechargeable battery, make sure that it is fully
charged, and if you are using batteries that are not rechargeable,
make sure that they are fresh batteries.

5. Turn the camera power on while pressing the MENU button.


Its step 2 that is confusing me a bit. In order for me to see the sd card on my computer (under my computer/removable devices), I have to turn the camera on. I'm probably reading more into this than I really should! Do I connect the camera to the PC, turn the camera on to find the sd card listed under removable devices, then drag the .bin file to the sd card?? I guess I am just confused because it says the camera has to be off, but the only way I can see the sd card to put the firmware file in is for the camera to be on....
Please help!!!! I'm a little slow when it comes to computers sometimes!!
Thanks so much. I've been lurking in this forum since I got my camera several weeks ago, and its been a great help in figuring out some features in my camera.

01-20-2007, 09:43 AM   #2
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klopus's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 56
I guess I understand what confuses you. There're two phases - 1) Copy binary file to the empty SD card 2) Use same SD card to upgrade the camera

Instructions that confuse you refer to the Phase 2 when you upgrade the camera with SD card that already has a file copied onto it. Your camera shouldn't be connected to PC when you're doing upgrade.

So you first need to copy firmware file to the SD card by whatever means you have. I use separate SD card reader/writer but apparently you use your camera connected to PC to do that.

Here's basically what you need to do:
  1. Insert spare SD card and format it in the camera,
  2. Connect your camera to PC and turn it on
  3. Copy downloaded firmware file to the root of the card
  4. Turn camera off and disconnect it from PC
  5. Follow instructions for firmware installation
01-20-2007, 10:10 AM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas
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Posts: 2,496
QuoteOriginally posted by jsteel77 Quote
Hi everyone!
I'm quite new to digital slr's and have never had to do a firmware update on a camera. I have a new k100d and it has version 1.00 on it. I downloaded the new firmware onto my computer and now I have a few questions before I try to install it. Frankly, I am scared to do it because I don't want to screw it up and send my camera back to pentax!
Reasonable anxiety, but I thought Pentax did a good job with the instructions. Read them through twice before doing anything, then follow them to the letter, and you'll (probably) be okay. :-)


QuoteQuote:
Anyhow, I dont have a card reader on my computer, so I have to copy the firmware onto my sd card by inserting the card into the camera, and then connecting the camera to the computer. Ok, so in the directions it says:

Copy the above Firmware file [fwdc156b.bin] to the root directory in
the SD card. If your computer does not have a card slot, you can copy the firmware update file by inserting the SD card into your camera and then connecting the camera directly to your computer.

2. If the camera power is on, turn it off.

3. Insert the update SD card (prepared in step 1) into the camera.

4. Connect the AC adapter to the camera. If you are using a rechargeable battery, make sure that it is fully charged, and if you are using batteries that are not rechargeable, make sure that they are fresh batteries.

5. Turn the camera power on while pressing the MENU button.


Its step 2 that is confusing me a bit. In order for me to see the sd card on my computer (under my computer/removable devices), I have to turn the camera on. I'm probably reading more into this than I really should! Do I connect the camera to the PC, turn the camera on to find the sd card listed under removable devices, then drag the .bin file to the sd card??

I guess I am just confused because it says the camera has to be off, but the only way I can see the sd card to put the firmware file in is for the camera to be on....
Okay. I think you're confusing two different phases of the process. The instructions above are talking about phase two. But you seem to think they're talking about phase one.

Will's "phase 1" - getting the update on to the SD card

First, you have to copy the update from your computer's hard disk to the SD card. In order to do that, you must mount the SD card on your computer's desktop (as if it were an external hard disk). The best way to do this is to use a card reader. They cost $20 or less at your local camera store; I urge you to buy one. Anyway, if you don't have a card reader and can't wait until you get one, then you have to connect the camera (with the card in it) and copy the files to the SD.


Will's "phase 2" - installing the update

Now dismount the card/camera, TURN IT OFF (= step 2 in the instructions above) and immediately REMOVE THE CARD.

When you've done that, you can now go to step 3 of the Pentax instructions above and proceed from there. If you ask, why bother removing the card?, my guess is that it probably won't make any difference. But I firmly believe that the reason I seldom have problems with these kinds of things is that I follow the instructions to the tee. So, I would turn the camera off, remove the card, then, um, put the card back in.

Holding down the Menu button while starting the camera (= step 5 above), is the gesture that tells the camera you're trying to install an update to the firmware. I am pretty sure that if you start the camera WITHOUT holding down the Menu key, nothing will happen at all.

One last point: pay attention to that instruction about using the AC adapter or fresh batteries. I gather that the worst thing that can happen is for the camera to lose power while it's half way through the install.

So, to recap:
  1. Download the firmware update from Pentax's web site to your computer's hard disk.
  2. Mount the SD card on your computer's desktop.
  3. Copy the update from your computer to the root (or "top level" depending on your perspective) of the SD card.
  4. Dismount/eject the SD card from the computer. If you had the card in the camera in order to be able to perform step 2 above, you should at this point disconnect the camera completely from the computer and put the USB cable away.
  5. TURN THE CAMERA OFF.
  6. Insert the card in the camera and close the SD card door. (NOTE: If you had the card in the camera in step 2, eject it first just to be completely in comliance with their instructions. Then put it back in.)
  7. Make sure you've got fresh batteries in the camera or have plugged the camera into an AC adapter. Very important!
  8. With the card in the camera and the update on the card, hold down the Menu button and start the camera.
  9. Wait for some sort of feedback from the camera. I don't recall what you see at this point but the camera takes over. It takes 1-2 minutes, if I recall correctly, but if it takes 5 minutes on your camera, don't panic, just be patient.
If anything I say above is at odds with the instructions from Pentax, then I am wrong and they are right: ignore me. But I think I'm simply paraphrasing what they've said.

Good luck.

Will

Last edited by WMBP; 01-20-2007 at 11:16 AM. Reason: changed "Menu key" to "Menu button"
01-20-2007, 10:17 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Indiana
Posts: 26
Original Poster
Thanks so much guys!!!! I understand it now. I guess I was confusing the two phases of the process like you all said This will be my first time doing this and I wanted to make sure I did it all perfect, and I think I can do it now!!!!

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