Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Cybook Gen3 Firmware Upgrade - at last -

The first Cybook Gen3 firmware upgrade (version 1.1) is now available, thank you for your patience. With this build you will be able to enjoy several improvements. Check the link below to discover the features of this new firmware and how to download it.

We hope that you will enjoy this new reading experience.
Best regards,

Bookeen team

PS: you must be registered at to access the upgrade firmware utility.


Michael said...
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Michael said...
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Michael said...

Third try ... hopefully I'll get it correct this time.

On your upgrade instructions, I do have two minor comments. I am not meaning to complain, but I am trying to offer constructive thoughts so that you can improve.

1) You refer to the press of the 'enter' key. I wasn't really sure which key this was. I did figure it out, so maybe this isn't too much problem [grin].

2) You use the term "depress" the key. I understand that to a non-native English speaker this might sound like "stop pressing" or "let go of" the key. Unfortunately, in one of those weird English word constructions, depress means to push down. The closest suggestion I can make is to use the word "release", like this: You can now release the enter key.


Julie said...

Thank you!

I knew what the enter key was, but it can be quite confusing - for clarity sake, the enter key is the center button in the navigational button found on the lower right hand side of the Cybook.

I thought the same thing that michael describes in his second point. The proper instruction should be:

When the screen flashes, you can release the key; the upgrade process is launched.

zarko.modric said...

Hey Michael, let us others know what key is "Enter". I believe it is the central button on the lower right side of my Cybook, but when I pressed it nothing happened.

Anonymous said...

Zarko, you have the right button, but you do have to 'press and hold' it for a while, 20 seconds or so, before you see the screen flash. Then you will see the update start to load.

Michael said...


Julie is correct (and you also). The enter key is the button in the middle of the of the square navigation area on the bottom right face of the Cybook.

You mentioned it was not working. Let me try my understanding of the process. I'll give you a brief summary, followed by a few more detailed notes.

Download and unzip the new firmware. Copy the firmware onto an SD card. Make sure the Cybook is turned off and insert the card into the Cybook. Turn on the Cybook. While the system is starting up -- once the first picture is displayed -- Press and Hold the big square button in the middle of the navigation area on the face of the Cybook. You can release the button when the screen flashes.

More Detailed Comments
1) The file you download is in a special compression format called zip. You can't load zip format onto the Cybook. Unzipping is easy iIf you are using a recent version of windows. All you need to do is to double click the download. This will open the folder and you can see the actual firmware file "update_kernel".

2) It is this 'unzipped' "update_kernel" file that you need to copy and paste to your SD card.

3) Make sure the Cybook is turned off. Insert the SD card that contains the file "update_kernel" into the Cybook.

4) Turn on the Cybook. When the Cybook starts, it goes through two cycles. The cycle you want is the first one. It displays the words Cybook Gen 3 in large letters across the top, and has a picture of the Cybook underneath.

During this cycle, the existing firmware is loading. You can tell it upgrade itself instead of loading the old firmware. Simply press and hold down the enter key during this first cycle. The square button in the middle of the square navigation button is the enter key.

You are too late if you wait until the second cycle to press the enter key. At the second cycle you you will see three large dots (...) followed by a smaller image of the Cybook. During this stage, the Cybook has already loaded the firmware, and it is cataloging your library.

5) Keep holding the enter button until the display flashes twice. At that point you can release it, and everything will occur automatically.

7) After everything is finished, remember to delete the upgrade file from your card.

Tommy Persson said...

In the "What next" section what is included in the "New user interface features"? I really hope that displaying current "page" number is included.

Stephen Harris said...

Well, the upgrade is a little disappointing. Doing the upgrade itself was easy enough but the results... It still loses key presses (I can see the green light glowing so I pressed the button, but no activity results). It might be a little faster in response, but that could be imagination. And that's about it. All the good stuff (including, particularly, "directory view") is in the "what's next" section.

It still takes forever to boot if I install an SD card with 160 books (a mere 133Mb out of the 2Gb card).

Oh well... Baby steps. I still like the reader!

Anonymous said...

Upgrade was very simple and worked first time.
The unit seems a little more responsive now and bookmarking seems to work consistently.
Apart from that I've noticed nothing else.

charlie said...

Added firmware, ok, (happy). Fired it up ?, where is the difference (not happy)not much. Shame on BOOKEEN/// scrath that/// bookeen C.F.Tall

susgod said...


My SD slot never worked and right now I don't have the $80+ to send it back to you to fix. How can I update my CyBook without using the SD slot which will not hold an SD card in? I've downloaded the firmware to my PC. Can I transfer it directly to the CyBook hard drive, disconnect from the PC, turn on the Cybook, and then press enter?

Paulie said...

I'm having a problem with this upgrade. I can download it but when I try to open it, I get "zip file corrupt" message. :P

Would anyone have any suggestions? Thanks

Michael said...


I assume you've tried to redownload the file?

I had a similar problem with another file I was using. Turned out it was not redownloading the file, but it was just pulling it from the cache.

In FF3, I had to take two steps. First, I cleared the cache using the delete private data menu choice. Then I went to the download manager and told it to clear the list of downloaded files by right clicking on the list.

good luck
(not from Bookeen, just a Cybook user)

Azman said...

I've sucessfully downloaded the zip file & start the upgrading process. I saw th eupgrading screen. But after more than 155 hrs th epregress bar is stuck & not moving. Now my set is hanng & I cannot even reboot by set. Any advise is much appreciated.

Paulie said...

Thanks very much, Michael, I'll give that a try. And to the other bloggers, was very interested in reading your posts. It's a very tantalizing piece of equipment to me, if only it didn't seem so unstable!

misra said...

Great! I'm glad this coincides with BooksOnBoard getting a new shipment of the new edition Cybooks, which look good btw.

Chrystal Ocean said...

Please submit your Cybook Gen3 reader to Google Product Search, a free service. People could then list it on their Google Wish List. Here's the URL for adding Bookeen to the Google shopping service:

Anonymous said...

no problems here with the went smoothly.

the only thing I was wondering is....why can't I read my cybook while it is charging??? Or am I mising a step somewhere as I can't get past the screen that says "Connected"

nelsonescorcio said...

I've got the same problem susgod has. My Bookeen doesn't seem to properly read SD cards - tried it with many PC's and diferent SD cards, so it must be my unit fault.

I do not really need SD cards for memory reasons.

But it seems there is no way to upgrade the Bookeen's firmware without one!

Can someone please confirm it? Or explain me how to 'bypass' this SD problem?

Thanks in advance!

Azman said...

Its been 7 days since I posted my reqest for help. Sadly nobody reply. I would really appreciate for any assistance as current my set is not even detected when connecting to my PC.

Jennifer said...

No problem with my firmware upgrade.

Thank you Michael for giving very good instructions, I followed them and had no problem.

I have over 80 books loaded, and find scrolling through the various pages in the library is much faster than previously - big improvement here, thanks.

Also I find that the page turns may be a touch faster, the black screen between pages only flashes momentarily, as previously it paused longer on this screen which I hated. But from the moment you press the button to when the new page is shown is still too long.

I have not experienced as many screen freezes, where I need to reset to recover, so improvement here. Thanks

Also bookmarks work consistently now, big improvement.

Thanks Bookeen for the improvements, we look forward to further firmware updates to address the remaining issues.

Jennifer said...

For those that made a comment on the SD card not working, I thought the same with mine at first. My problem was getting the SD card into the slot properly.

I found if I use my fingernail to push the SD card into the slot further (just a touch lower than the top of the slot, it clicks into place.

Also note that when you insert the SD card, the front of the card faces the back of the Bookeen (the side which has writing), so that the metal contacts at the bottom of the back of the card face the front (of the Bookeen) and are pointing downwards.

Once the SD card is properly in place and you have booted into your Bookeen, you will notice in the library screen, there is the SD logo on the bootom black bar on the right hand side in the corner.

If the SD symbol is there, then it should work for you. If it is not there, then I would try using other SD cards, if you could borrow one if you don't have one, just to rule out a faulty SD card.

Hope someone may find this a help.

nelsonescorcio said...

Thank you very much, Jennifer, for your reply.

Unfortunately, I had already did everything you said: the SD card is in place, but it does not appear on the bottom black bar. I have also tried two different SD cards, so the problem is not the SD card.

The problem is, I’m afraid, the Cybook.

It is a brand new Cybook (it already has 512 MB of disk space), but the firmware is still version 1.0!

Has I said, I do not need an SD card for memory purposes, so it is a little bit frustrating considering returning the Cybook only because I can not upgrade it!

On the other hand, some other buyers are having the same problem – no SD card, and wanting to upgrade.

Can someone (hey, Bookeen guys, this is specially for you) tell me a way of bypassing this issue?

Again, thank you in advance!


susgod said...

In February I notified Bookeen that the SD slot of my new Cybook would not hold in an SD card. My nephew, an electrical engineer, checked that the card was being correctly inserted according to NAEB directions. May 8 I e-mailed Bookeen asking for an alternative procedure to load the firmware since my machine will not read an SD card. I am still waiting for a response.

Bookeen said...

We are willing to help, so don't hesitate to re e-mail us for any inquiries.
Our development team is actually studying on an improved way to execute the upgrade file so that you will be able to bypass the SD card.


nelsonescorcio said...
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nelsonescorcio said...

(now without any typos!)

Thank you for dedicating time to this SD card issue.

I truly believe the new 512 MB Cybook internal memory is more than enough for using the device for what it is primarily meant to be: an e-reader.

It will be a great improvement to find a way to bypass the SD card for upgrade purposes: customers won’t have anymore to by cards just for upgrading the device (as I did). And some of them still without being able to do so.

I will now send Bookeen, as requested, another e-mail about this matter.


corosiv said...

How about djvu support?

Michael said...

I just checked with a friends' ILIAD, there I can see the page number when I read a PRC book. Bookeen, please add "page number" to the new firmware... when will it come? thank you, Regards, Michael

jo. said...

Just got my Cybook. I am very disappointed. You clearly state that reading Chinese texts can be done by simply installing additional fonts. However, after installing a number of chinese fonts (simsun, amongst others), the Cybook still won't display my Chinese html files. I read that it is supposed to work with prc files, but why didn't Bookeenclarify that in the first place instead of cheating customers in buying such a sluggish, seemingly buggy and featureless device? I converted most of my Chinese pdfs to html, because I read that pdf support is not yet working properly, now I'm stuck with lots of useless files my Cybook won't let me read. Will this be fixed in a future firmware update?

Guiz said...

you can check here to find how to add new fonts to your Cybook.
then it should work!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to point out that the bugfix for the "unconsistent bookmarks" is the least you could do! It's a shame who bad this software is (hopefully was).. always searching between 2000 sites for your deleted bookmarks made me almost throw this reader against the wall!

Christine said...

Congratulations on making an already buggy piece of software even worse.

Since the upgrade, not only are bookmarks nearly impossible to create, but after less than an hour of reading the cybook simply stops working, won't even turn off. I have to reset it constantly to make it do anything. Immediately after resetting and going back to my spot, I make a bookmark. That is the only way I am able to find my place the book at all. After resetting, I have to go back to the most recent bookmark (which it never opens to) and page forward until I find my place.

Since the update, it almost never reads the sd card the first time. I have to remove and reinsert it a few times before it will be read.

Seriously. What functionality will you remove in the next update?

How I wish people considering buying this ridiculously high priced item, which comes with woefully little company support, would go spend their money somewhere else. Extremely disappointing. You can't honestly expect to stay in business like this.

Charlotte said...

Christine, did you try contacting the support team in order to resolve these issues?

Bookeen said...

Dear Christine and Iamwudu,

I do understand your frustration, but please use the customer support to communicate with us.


Anonymous said...

Pleaseeee you changed something extreamly annoying in the pdf reading... they are hard to read already coz you cant zoom and it doesnt recognice the letters BUT now when i press the right button it only skip a few lines instead of the whole area.... so instead of reading 1 pag with 2 clicks now i have to use like 5

(I have to read pdf with the bookeen in horizontal just so i can see something coz the font its just too small)
please upgrade a liltle the software... its bad enuogh already :(

Christine said...

Dear Bookeen,

I've written to you before. How else would I know how much your customer service sucks? Ignoring customer emails is not real helpful to the customers.

I'd like to return the cybook and get every penny back in a refund, and you can pay the postage. Will you do that? This product is junk.

nelsonescorcio said...

I believe Bookeen is making a serious effort regarding better costumer support.
I myself am experiencing serious difficulties to upgrading the firmware device (since the SD cards are no recognized) but I do exchanged dail e-mails with Bookeen regarding that subject, and I think the support team is trying hard to find a solution.

Why don’t you give it another try, Christine?

As far as the Cybook is concerned, I must say that, besides the known problems with the firmware that I too am experiencing, I am very satisfied with the product. In fact, I can even say I love it, because it does greatly what it is really meant to do: be a e-reader.
I think the main problem regarding some user experiences is their own (wrong) expectations: although every review (and Bookeen itself) reminds potential costumers that what they are buying is, above all, an e-book reader, many people seems to really want something else.
Well, it’s not. And I am glad it isn’t.

I believe that, over time, it will become an even better one. A better firmware (i.e., essentially, a more stable one) is a fundamental first step.


Dennis said...

I think that some remarks found here on the Cybook are a bit too harsh.

I'm a new Cybook user and I cannot comment on the differences between the previous and new version as I upgraded the device as soon as I got it (I agree on the poorly translated upgrade instructions but some common sense and logic can easily guide you thru...).

This being said, I find the Cybook a great reader - much, much better than the Sony' for what I know:
It is thin, light, the battery lasts for ever and it is easy to browse - they could have done a better job with the navigation keys tho.
You can even modify the font size as you go for easy-on-the-eyes reading!
I love the fact that it remembers the last page I read and opens the next session on that very same page (without the need to use bookmarks).

Of course, I wished the pages would turn quicker without that annoying black screen (but I understand that it is due to the e-ink technology used by all ebook readers currently on the market). Even more I wished the screen supported colors.
And I also would love to be able to organize my library (i.e. per author or per genre) instead of having that long never-ending list (if you've got more than a handfull of books that is...).

My only concern (if it really is one?) is that it seems that the SD-card is useless: the Cybook doesn't seem to see the books saved on it, but only those copied on the device hard drive (I have the SD logo at the bottom of the screen and the upgrade process was painless, so I believe my SD card reader works properly).

I only wanted to add my remarks because I found that comments posted here were generally much too negative and didn't reflect the overall quality of the device.
Great job Booken!

ohr said...

I have tried repeatedly to load new firmware -- I have redownloaded software , even reformated sd chip -- I place the “update_kernel” on the sd chip -- I place chip into cybook reader -- I power up reader -- As soon as I see the 1st screen with cybook on it shows I push the button on the bottom right corner -- The screen flashes -- When the screen flashes i release the button -- But the software never loads , It just continues to load up origional software -- I have tried repeatedly , I have tried it various ways -- Could someone please tell me where I am going wrong , Thankyou

Bookeen said...

Dear ohr,

you can contact us for support at we will be able to answer to your request.

Best regards


rfindeis said...

I cannot download the firmware. I get a 404 error. Can you please either fix this or point me to the file.


Doreen said...

I cannot download the firmware too. I get a 404 error. Can you please either fix this or point me to the file.


Paul said...

i cannot download the firware. I get a 404 error.


Bookeen said...

We are working on some modification to provide you a better service. The firmware upgrade (1.1) will be available again soon.
Best regards,


Simon Yeats said...

Just a quick one for those who can't get the firmware to load from their SD cards - same happened to me, UNTIL - i realised the SD cards go in facing backwards (face of the SD card facing away from you).
This solved my problem - the SD card 'clicked' in, then i was able to turn the unit on, wait for the first screen, hold the bottom right button for a few seconds, and the upgrade started and completed :)
cheers Simon

Bookeen said...

Dear Simon,

It is shown how to insert the SD card at the back of the device. Depending on your hardware version, it can be one way or the other. When the SD card is detected and your Cybook is switched on and displaying your library, you can see the SD logo at the right bottom part of the screen.

With best regards,

Bookeen Team

ahoo said...

My Cybook has stopped working properly in the last few days. It no longer remembers my place in a book, bookmarks don't work, and the reset button does not work either.
Everytime I use it I have to start from page 1 of my book again.
I have tried reinstalling the latest update (version 1.5 build 1093) but no difference.
I have checked content via computer and there are two files that may be corrupt but which I am unable to delete.
Can you suggest what I can try next please?

Bookeen said...

Hi ahoo,
I'm sorry to hear about your problems with your Cybook. I recommend you contact our support team by mail: support[at]bookeen[dot]com. They should be able to give you some advice.
Good luck!