Federico Fuga

Engineering, Tech, Informatics & science

Flashing an AllWinner device via LiveSuit from Windows 8

10 Apr 2013 13:46 +0000 AllWinner Windows

Flashing an AllWinner device using the LiveSuit tool from Windows 8 isn’t as obvious as it seems.

First, as usual with a new operating system, not all drivers works and you must find the “right” version.

Second, as the previous issue wasn’t enough, with Windows 8 isn’t possible without some trick to install an “unsigned” driver.

“unsigned” driver means a device driver that isn’t approved by Microsoft; on previous Windows versions, when installing an unsigned driver Windows asked for approval to the user. Today, Windows 8 doesn’t ask for approval and sometime refuses the installation without telling anything, it silently exits the driver installation window.

So, first you need to force Windows to fall back to the “old” and polite behavior, gently asking the user to install though warning the user for potential damage. Then manual install the drivers and run the livesuit.

To instruct Windows to accept unsigned drivers, you need to restart it in “troubleshooting” mode.

  1. Move to the right, bottom corner of the screen, a sidebar pops up and select the gear ("Settings" option)
  2. Select the "Change PC settings" option and go tin the "general" tab.
  3. At the bottom of this page, you'll see an "advanced startup" option, click on "restart now" and the pc will restart.
  4. At boot, a new menu will popup: select "troubleshooting" and the option #7, "install unsigned drivers".

The box will start normally, but you’ll have the option to tell the O.S. to install any unsigned driver.

Now you’ll have to manually install the LiveSuit drivers, because simply running the app will not work.

So power off you tablet, press the “volume up” button and while pressing insert the USB cable. Then press 7-8 times the power button. Windows should tell you that it need some driver to be installed, but it will fail.

Then, start the driver management window, select the non-working device, select “update drivers” and manually choose the Livesuit directory. Windows warn you that “installing unsigned driver can be dangerous”. Anyway, accept the risk and install the drivers.

After that, running LiveSuit should work as usual.

The LiveSuit version I used is “1.07-2011026”, and you can find it on the internet by looking for “LiveSuitPack_version_1.07_2011026.exe” on google.


Further links:

For a detailed (but not 100% exact) procedure to enable unsigned driver installation, see this post. Note that you must click on “Change PC Settings”, not on the “power” button.