Recovering a Dead Gizmondo

Original Article

Common Faults

“Nothing Else to run, please contact Gizmondo Support”
“GTShell.exe has caused a FATAL EXCEPTION ERROR, blah blah blah”
“TTA or Gizmondo logo constantly spinning and not loading any further”
“General other odd behaviour”

Troubleshooting / Solutions

(starting from basic, to more complex)

Remove SD Card From Gizmondo
One of the more common problems with the Gizmondo not booting comes down to a faulty SD Card placed in the Gizmondo SD Card slot. Remove this and leave, then try restarting the Gizmondo again.

Draining the Gizmondo of Power
Remove the mains adapter power cable from the Gizmondo. Then, located on the back of the Giz, unclick the back plate covering the battery and remove the battery. Leave the Gizmondo without any source of power for anything from a few minutes, or you could leave it over night. Then connect them all back up again, and try powering on your Giz. This should drain the Gizmondo from any memory affects.

Soft Reset
Press and hold down for upto 10 seconds, [Home] and [Power] buttons together. This should do a warm boot, and reset your Gizmondo. Locate the buttons in the diagram below:

Hard Reset
This is fairly tricky to get right, so may take a few goes at this… The Gizmondo should be powered off before you try this:
Press and hold for a few seconds [Left Shudder] and [Volume] buttons together, then press the [Power] button.

Then let go of the [Power] button whilst still holding down the other two buttons, the Gizmondo will power up and you should then be presented with a message on the screen of the Gizmondo saying “Cold Reset – Press [Play] to start”

When the message is displayed on screen for a short time, release the other two buttons [Left Shudder] and [Volume] and then press [Play] button again.

The Gizmondo then basically restores/re-writes the Operating System to before it was corrupted, leaving a clean fresh OS.

Reloading the Operating System
This method should fix most situations, as it is reloading the Operating System on the Gizmondo. The Giz OS (known as a Service Pack, or SP for short) basically contains the heart of the Giz, which is Microsoft Windows CE 4.20 and then the Gizmondo System Files.

There is a choice of Service Packs to use, the 3x main ones are listed below:

HomeBrew Patch (can be applied to a fresh un modded Giz)
This is just the Patch, it does not contain any SP fixes… purely mods the BootLoader only.

Service Pack A with Homebrew Patch (also known as SPb Downgrader)
This requires you to Flash your Giz twice, one with the SPa and the second with the Patch.

Service Pack B inc Homebrew Enabled (The most up-to-date, complete, inc Homebrew)
This was the last official Gizmondo SP, it has been pre-patched with Homebrew enabled.

Download one of the above, however I recommend the “ServicePack B Downgrader” as this contains the original SPa firmware, but with the added bonus that after re-loading the OS, it then prompts and partitions the FileSystem, which is wiping clean the Internal Memory of the Gizmondo so no left over files are left behind.

Once that has finished, you may then want to install the latest SPb Homebrew firmware.

To make a ServicePack Card, you need a blank SD Card of 128Mb or higher, download one of the above files and extract it to your HDD. You should then see two files, called: Autorun.exe and Install.bin – As in the diagram below:

Insert the SD Card above into your Gizmondo whilst it is turned on, and follow the installation instructions. At the end of the OS Upgrade / Re-Load, you will be prompted to press [Play] which will then restart your Gizmondo and should boot you to the Gizmondo Gui.

Pre-Boot Fix (Run OS Update whilst Booting Up)

When ya get to this method of attempting to repair your Gizmondo, you know things are bad… Bad enough that the Giz will not load far enough to get you into the Giz Gui, and nothing else seems to work. This is one of the more trickier methods, and again comes down to timing.

Press the [Power] button, till you get the options to Keylock, Power Settings, FlightMode and insert SD Card with your chosen Operating System, it’s preferred to use the “ServicePack B DownGrader”.
Once you see the final screen, with the green circle Tick “Update Completed Successfully!” Press the [Play] button to restart your Gizmondo and with luck, should fully boot up to the Gizmondo Gui.

Hopefully, this Guide has helped bring those loved Gizmondo’s back from the Dead to live out their motto “I Can Do Anything” once more…

Written by lister, and edited for the Wiki by crashoverride025

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