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Replace Firmware on BeagleBoard Hardware

This example shows how to replace the firmware on the BeagleBoard hardware with Ubuntu® Linux® firmware that can run Simulink® models.

Before replacing the firmware, install the support package on your host computer.

After replacing the firmware, you can run a Simulink model on the BeagleBoard hardware.

The following steps provide an overview of the firmware replacement process:

  1. Support Package Installer locates a firmware image on your host computer or downloads new one.

  2. Support Package Installer uses the host computer to write the firmware image to a microSD or SD memory card.

  3. You transfer the microSD or SD memory card to the BeagleBoard hardware.

  4. Support Package Installer applies the IP settings you choose to the firmware on the BeagleBoard hardware.

Support Package Installer does not use the BeagleBoard hardware to write the firmware image to the memory card.

To replace the firmware on your BeagleBoard hardware:

  1. Open the Update firmware screen in Support Package Installer using one of the following methods:

    • Click Continue in the Install/update complete screen of Support Package Installer.

    • In a model, select Tools > Run on Target Hardware > Update firmware.

    • In a MATLAB® Command Window, enter targetupdater.

  2. Update firmware screen: Choose the BeagleBoard option and click Next.

  3. Choose your board version and click Next. This action enables Support Package Installer to display instructions that are specific to your hardware.

      Note:   The images in this topic only apply to the BeagleBoard xM hardware. If you are using the BeagleBoard Bx or Cx hardware, refer to the images in Support Package Installer.

  4. Make the connections shown and click Next.

  5. Choose to get the firmware image from the Internet or from a folder.

      Note:   The file size of the firmware image is approximately 1 GB. Depending on your connection, downloading the firmware can take from 2 to 60 minutes, or more.

    Internet: This option is selected by default. When you click Download, Support Package Installer checks the Download folder for a valid firmware image:

    • If a firmware image is not present, Support Package Installer downloads a firmware image from the Internet, and saves it to the download folder.

    • If a firmware image is present, Support Package Installer uses the firmware image already present in the download folder, and does not download a new firmware image from the Internet.

    Folder: When you click Download, Support Package Installer checks the Download folder for a valid firmware image:

    • If a firmware image is not present, Support Package Installer displays an error message that the image file is missing. To solve this issue, copy the firmware image from another location to the download folder, or choose the Internet option instead.

    • If a firmware image is present, Support Package Installer continues the firmware installation process.

    You must have write privileges for the download folder. If you use the default download folder, having write privileges is typically not an issue. If you change to a new download folder for which you do not have write permissions, such as a shared folder on a network, Support Package Installer generates an error message: "Error: Download the firmware. The download folder is not writable. Choose a folder for which you have write permissions".

    To solve this issue, copy the firmware image to a folder for which you have write privileges. For example, copy the firmware image from the shared folder on the network to the C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Temp folder. Then, update the Download location to the same folder, and click Download again.

    To locate the firmware image in a folder, search for a filename that begins with beagleboard_ubuntu. For example: beagleboard_ubuntu_11_04_r4_12_08_2011.img.7z

  6. Insert the microSD or SD memory card into a media card reader connected to your host computer. Windows® assigns a drive letter to the memory card.

  7. Support Package Installer does not automatically detect the drive letter of the memory card. It displays a drive letter for each device with removable storage.

    • If only one drive letter is available, click Next.

    • If no drive letters are available, check that the memory card is fully inserted, and click Refresh.

    • If multiple drive letters are available, open the Windows Start menu, choose Computer, and look for the memory card under Devices with Removable Storage.

  8. Click Write. Support Package Installer overwrites all previous data on the memory card with the firmware. This process takes several minutes to complete.

  9. Get the COM port of the serial connection in Windows. From the Windows Start menu, choose search programs and files for "Device Manager". Open Device Manager, expand Ports (COM & LPT), and identify the COM port of the serial connection to the BeagleBoard hardware.

    For example, the following image shows a DB9 serial port called "Communications Port" using COM1, and a USB-to-serial adapter called "Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port" using COM6.

      Note:   Some USB-to-serial adapters do not appear in the list of serial connections immediately after you install the software drivers. To solve this issue, disconnect/reconnect the adapter, or reboot your host computer.

  10. Support Package Installer does not automatically choose the COM port of the serial connection. After you get the COM port of the serial connection from Windows Device Manager, return to Support Package Installer, set Serial port to the COM port, and click Next.

    The following illustration shows COM 1 (Communications Port), which is a likely setting if you are connecting the serial port on your host computer to the serial port on the board.

  11. Insert the memory card into the BeagleBoard hardware, and follow the instructions for resetting your board:

    • For the BeagleBoard xM hardware, press and release the RESET button.

    • For the BeagleBoard Bx/Cx hardware, hold down the USER button while you press and release the RESET button.

    Click Next. When Support Package Installer detects a reset, it displays progress booting the board.

    If Support Package Installer does not display any progress, click Back. On the Select serial port screen. Verify that you selected the correct COM port, and close any other applications, such as PuTTY, that might using the serial connection.

  12. Review the automatically generated value of Board name.

    If your board is connected to a network with DHCP services, such as a Local Area Network (LAN) or a home network connected to the Internet, select Automatically get IP address, give the board a unique name, and click Configure. DHCP is a network service that automatically configures the IP settings of Ethernet devices connected to a network.

    If your board has a direct connection to the host computer, or is connected to an isolated network hub, select Manually enter IP address, give the board a unique name, enter static IP settings for the board, and click Configure.

      Tip   Guidelines for entering static IP settings:

      • The IP address must be unique for each device on the network.

      • The Network mask must be the same for all devices on the network. This value is also known as Subnet mask.

      • The Default gateway is usually the same for all devices on the network.

      Start by entering ipconfig on the command line of your host computer. This command displays network settings of the Ethernet adapters on the host computer. Look for the settings of the Ethernet adapter that is connected to the target hardware.

      Suppose that the Ethernet adapter connected to the target hardware has the following values:

         IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.2
         Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
         Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
      

      In that case, for the target hardware:

      • Set IP address to an unused IP address, between 192.168.1.3 and 192.168.1.254

      • Set Network mask to use the same network mask value, 255.255.255.0

    When you click Configure, Support Package Installer opens a serial connection and applies the settings to the board.

  13. Make a note of the board information. Then, click Next.

  14. Click Finish. If Show support package examples is enabled, Support Package Installer opens the example page for BeagleBoard hardware.

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