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Old 10-05-2013, 08:45 AM   #1
Aglaia
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Need help to downgrade firmware on the Kobo Glo

Hi there!

I'm new to the forum and could use some help.

I did quite a bit of research comparing different E-readers and finally decided on a Kobo Glo. I bought mine in December 2012 and was enjoying using it (for the most part) until it automatically upgraded the firmware to 2.6.1 when I synced it on the computer.

I so detest the changes in 2.6.1 that I've stopped using the Glo and am considering buying a Kindle. All I want is to go back to the firmware the device originally came with - which is either 2.5.1 or 2.5.2 (I don't know how to find out which version it came with, but I think it's 2.5.2) and then make sure it never upgrades the firmware again - I have no idea how to keep it from automatically upgrading.

I'm not great with computers and technical stuff - to be honest I'm finding using this E-reader somewhat overwhelming/frustrating and I could really use some help in plain English. I just want to relax and read my books!

I've read a couple of threads on this site about how to downgrade the firmware, but the instructions might as well be Greek to me. I'm not a dummy (far from it), but I would really appreciate it if someone would please be kind enough to provide me with the equivalent of "Downgrading Kobo Glo Firmware For Dummies".

Thanks in advance for your help!

Last edited by Aglaia; 10-05-2013 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 10-05-2013, 01:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aglaia View Post
I did quite a bit of research comparing different E-readers and finally decided on a Kobo Glo. I bought mine in December 2012 and was enjoying using it (for the most part) until it automatically upgraded the firmware to 2.6.1 when I synced it on the computer.

I so detest the changes in 2.6.1 that I've stopped using the Glo and am considering buying a Kindle. All I want is to go back to the firmware the device originally came with - which is either 2.5.1 or 2.5.2 (I don't know how to find out which version it came with, but I think it's 2.5.2) and then make sure it never upgrades the firmware again - I have no idea how to keep it from automatically upgrading.

I'm not great with computers and technical stuff - to be honest I'm finding using this E-reader somewhat overwhelming/frustrating and I could really use some help in plain English. I just want to relax and read my books!

I've read a couple of threads on this site about how to downgrade the firmware, but the instructions might as well be Greek to me. I'm not a dummy (far from it), but I would really appreciate it if someone would please be kind enough to provide me with the equivalent of "Downgrading Kobo Glo Firmware For Dummies".

Thanks in advance for your help!
To revert to the older version, you will first need to do a factory reset.

Since your Glo is working, the easiest way to do this is to use the factory reset from the Settings menu.

Check the Direct Links to Kobo Firmware link in the Kobo Developer's Corner or download the 2.5.1 firmware from this link: http://download.kobobooks.com/firmwa...date-2.5.1.zip.

After the factory reset, connect your Glo to your computer and let the Kobo Desktop application do it's thing. After that has finished and the eject your ereader pops up, do not eject your Glo. Instead close the Kobo desktop application. You will now need to locate the .kobo directory in the root of your Glo's internal storage (under Windows, you can find it through (my) computer. If you have a Mac, you will need to play some games to see the .kobo directory since *nix style operating systems hide directory names starting with a ".".

In that directory, delete the upgrades directory, the KoboRoot.tgz and the manifest.md5sum files. Open the 2.5.1 firmware zip file and copy it's contents to the .kobo directory (same directory and filenames as you just deleted). Now you can eject your Glo and then allow the firmware update to run.

You will not be able to sync over WiFi after this. When you sync via the Kobo Desktop application, it will attempt to "upgrade" your firmware so you will need to delete the upgrade folder and the two upgrade files before ejecting your Glo.

Good luck!

David
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Old 10-05-2013, 02:55 PM   #3
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2.5.1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aglaia View Post
All I want is to go back to the firmware the device originally came with - which is either 2.5.1 or 2.5.2 (I don't know how to find out which version it came with, but I think it's 2.5.2)
AFAIK, 2.5.1 is the latest version that does not have the book title on top of every page yet. So if that's a thing you don't like, I'd suggest to stick to 2.5.1.
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Old 10-05-2013, 05:05 PM   #4
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AFAIK, 2.5.1 is the latest version that does not have the book title on top of every page yet. So if that's a thing you don't like, I'd suggest to stick to 2.5.1.
I'm afraid that's not correct. I can assure you that when reading standard epubs, firmware version 2.8.1 (the latest) does not display the book title at the top of every page.

However, if you prefer kepubs then I believe the book title is shown at the top of every page no matter what firmware you use. I'm not 100% sure of this as I don't use kepubs myself.
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Old 10-05-2013, 06:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siard View Post
AFAIK, 2.5.1 is the latest version that does not have the book title on top of every page yet. So if that's a thing you don't like, I'd suggest to stick to 2.5.1.
The book title at the top of the page for epubs was a misfeature in 2.5.2. The 26.x, 2.8.x and 2.9.0 firmware versions that I have seen only show the title at the top of the page for kepub format ebooks.

I suspect that what Aglaia wanted was the version prior to the Glo getting the new interface so I suggested 2.5.1 due to that title issue with 2.5.2.

Regards,
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:17 PM   #6
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To revert to the older version, you will first need to do a factory reset.

Since your Glo is working, the easiest way to do this is to use the factory reset from the Settings menu.

Check the Direct Links to Kobo Firmware link in the Kobo Developer's Corner or download the 2.5.1 firmware from this link: http://download.kobobooks.com/firmwa...date-2.5.1.zip.

After the factory reset, connect your Glo to your computer and let the Kobo Desktop application do it's thing. After that has finished and the eject your ereader pops up, do not eject your Glo. Instead close the Kobo desktop application. You will now need to locate the .kobo directory in the root of your Glo's internal storage (under Windows, you can find it through (my) computer. If you have a Mac, you will need to play some games to see the .kobo directory since *nix style operating systems hide directory names starting with a ".".

In that directory, delete the upgrades directory, the KoboRoot.tgz and the manifest.md5sum files. Open the 2.5.1 firmware zip file and copy it's contents to the .kobo directory (same directory and filenames as you just deleted). Now you can eject your Glo and then allow the firmware update to run.

You will not be able to sync over WiFi after this. When you sync via the Kobo Desktop application, it will attempt to "upgrade" your firmware so you will need to delete the upgrade folder and the two upgrade files before ejecting your Glo.

Good luck!

David
Thank you so much for your help, David! I really appreciate it!

I got a bit confused when you wrote "Now you can eject your Glo and then allow the firmware update to run" because that made me think I needed to eject the reader through the Kobo Desktop Application (since that's the only way I had ever ejected the reader before). I took a chance and just disconnected the Glo from the USB cable (which is what I think you meant) and it worked. Then I followed the rest of your instructions.

So, now my question is this: am I going to have to delete those three upgrade files every time I sync using the Kobo Desktop Application in order to prevent it from forcing the firmware upgrade on me? What will happen if I sync via WiFi?

I'm very happy to have the older version of the firmware back, but this whole process has been a colossal pain in the *ss! I don't think anyone should have to go through this...Kobo should make firmware upgrades optional, not force them on their customers!
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:31 PM   #7
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I had no idea the official Kobo website provided users with downloads of previous firmwares. I looked it up but I can't find it anywhere on their website so could someone put a link for the first 2.8.1 firmware please as I am stuck with 2.8.1b ?
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:41 PM   #8
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I had no idea the official Kobo website provided users with downloads of previous firmwares. I looked it up but I can't find it anywhere on their website so could someone put a link for the first 2.8.1 firmware please as I am stuck with 2.8.1b ?
Check the "Direct Links to Kobo Firmware" sticky thread in the Kobo Developer's Corner subforum.
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:42 PM   #9
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By the way, my main complaints about the upgrade that was forced on me were the following:

- the text in the menus on the Glo had been made so small I could barely read them (I'm not very old, but I do wear glasses and I have an enormous problem reading tiny print)

- they removed the black line/bar that goes across the bottom of the screen when the light is on

- they made it more complicated to adjust the light settings

There were a few other things that annoyed me, but these were the major ones. Not being able to read the menus was huge for me. I actually wish they'd make it possible to enlarge the text on the entire device, not just in the e-books.

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Old 10-05-2013, 07:44 PM   #10
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I did and I can't find any OFFICIAL firmware link. And on this thread you can see there is an OFFICIAL link to the Kobo website for older firmware.

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Check the "Direct Links to Kobo Firmware" sticky thread in the Kobo Developer's Corner subforum.
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:00 PM   #11
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I did and I can't find any OFFICIAL firmware link. And on this thread you can see there is an OFFICIAL link to the Kobo website for older firmware.
Are you looking in post 1 of that thread?
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:19 PM   #12
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Unfortunately, I believe the post #1 Kobo official link to version 2.8.1 is now actually the 2.8.1b version from earlier this week. However, someone has kindly posted a link to a copy of their original 2.8.1 fw (15th July) at the end of the thread.
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:29 PM   #13
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Of all available links the ONE I need to that specific firmware is as you put it, the same as 2.8.1b How can I get less lucky than that ?

Yes someone has, I noticed but I am a little paranoiac and I don't install software that does not come from a trusted source.
Hence my search for an official firmware source and that first post contains ALL previous firmwares EXCEPT the one I need.
I also tried looking for it on the official Kobo website and I don't know how that post has all those old firmwares with links to the Kobo website because when I go to that website I can find nowhere a page with old firmware links.

Quote:
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Unfortunately, I believe the post #1 Kobo official link to version 2.8.1 is now actually the 2.8.1b version from earlier this week. However, someone has kindly posted a link to a copy of their original 2.8.1 fw (15th July) at the end of the thread.

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Old 10-05-2013, 08:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Aglaia View Post
Thank you so much for your help, David! I really appreciate it!

I got a bit confused when you wrote "Now you can eject your Glo and then allow the firmware update to run" because that made me think I needed to eject the reader through the Kobo Desktop Application (since that's the only way I had ever ejected the reader before). I took a chance and just disconnected the Glo from the USB cable (which is what I think you meant) and it worked. Then I followed the rest of your instructions.
If you have a Windows computer, you would use the Safely Remove Hardware widget to eject the ereader, on a Mac, you would drag the ereader drives to the Trash to eject them.

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So, now my question is this: am I going to have to delete those three upgrade files every time I sync using the Kobo Desktop Application in order to prevent it from forcing the firmware upgrade on me? What will happen if I sync via WiFi?
Yes, you will have to delete them each time. Syncing over WiFi is much iffier and I would say syncing over WiFi is not what you want to do.

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Originally Posted by Aglaia View Post
I'm very happy to have the older version of the firmware back, but this whole process has been a colossal pain in the *ss! I don't think anyone should have to go through this...Kobo should make firmware upgrades optional, not force them on their customers!
While I like having my ereader live on the bleeding edge, others would like to be able to find a firmware version they are happy with and stay there until there is a compelling reason to upgrade. At one time, you could fake the software version and prevent upgrades but that loophole has been closed for quite a while.

Regards,
David
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:53 PM   #15
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Yes someone has, I noticed but I am a little paranoiac and I don't install software that does not come from a trusted source.
Hence my search for an official firmware source and that first post contains ALL previous firmwares EXCEPT the one I need.
I also tried looking for it on the official Kobo website and I don't know how that post has all those old firmwares with links to the Kobo website because when I go to that website I can find nowhere a page with old firmware links.
There has been no such thing as an OFFICIAL link to Kobo firmware files since the days when a version for the original Kobo ereader was supplied. So looking for links to Kobo firmware files on their website is, at this time, a waste of time. The links in the Direct Links to Kobo Firmware thread are found by using Wireshark or a similar program to capture the network traffic for a firmware update and locating the link in those packets. As you notice the links all point to download.kobobooks.com/firmwares as the first part of the link with the hardware version (kobo3, kobo4 or kobo5), a release subdirectory and and then the update zip file name which makes them relatively easy to locate.

I haven't downloaded the 2.8.1 firmware file from the link supplied by bartbrat but if you want to do so, the md5 checksum for the copy I have is 008e0c5ad9b98aecb17f831059e446e2 which will give you some assurance that copy has not been tampered with.

Regards,
David

Last edited by DNSB; 10-05-2013 at 08:56 PM.
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