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rootron5: how to root the retron 5

posted Aug 8, 2014, 1:13 AM by d graham
First, I would like to say that I am a big fan of the retron 5, I think it's a great device--anyone who likes retron video games should go buy one... 

I think this is the first public rooting of the Hyperkin Retron5, and I only soft-bricked my console once on the way, so I am pretty excited to share this with the world.

note: 
    -the controller will not be able to charge using the port on the retron while this is in use afaik 
    -this is only tested once on my device
    -usb settings are probably wonky so I wouldn't play too much with usb types other than adb unless that gets cleaned up

1. grab the factory restore from the hyperkin website: http://retron5.in/node/4  (maybe someone could mirror that incase hyperkin pulls the files)
2. follow the standard instructions until your sd card is formatted and has a file called update.zip on it (as a side note there is a neat magic number header on the sd card you can look at with a hex editor that causes the retron to mount data and cache on the sd card instead of the standard mount point)
3. delete the update.img from the sd card and replace it with the copy attached at the bottom
4. now continue to follow the standard instructions and flash the update with the retron recovery
5. connect with a mini usb and adb should be enabled and have root! enjoy!

this is kind-of a messy/hacky job on the update, but it's good enough for now.

Lots of interesting stuff in the stock rom:
 -check out retrondummy.apk or something like that for what looks like the lists of games supported (and probably with a small bit of reversing you could add your own games to the txt files) 
 -a cool chip tunes song (maybe they used for testing audio?)
 -the horse head picture that retron tech uses on facebook (and some other pics which maybe seem like easter eggs from the developers or something?)
 -retronUpdater seems like maybe it has the key for how the application files get decoded or something?
 -looks like the carts are probably having chr and prg dumped for nes, so I'm guessing the cart is just for show after the dump
 -it looks like it probably tries to run bootscript.sh if it exists on the data partition as part of init.rc

Download:


many thanks to my coworkers/friends and family who have been listening/helping me reach this goal! (glad I didn't have to buy that sdcard protocol analyzer I was looking at or desolder anything!)
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