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peewee678

Is flashing 100% safe or is it possible to make the Variax a "brick" (power outage e.g.)?

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Hi,

 

I'd like to experiment a bit with some flashing (rolling back to 1.9 for example). I flashed my 89F from 2.00 to 2.10 BTW already (ofcourse I already made the necessary backups).

 

What I'd like to know: is it possible -if something goes wrong in the process like the PC switching off due to power outage- that the Variax turns into a brick? As you may know: flashing a phone's ROM or PC's BIOS does sometimes result in a bricked (unusable) device.

 

So does someone know of any experiences with this or is it -by definition- always possible to reflash after something went wrong?

 

Thanks.

 

EDIT: It seems it is possible to brick it: http://rowbinet.co.uk/2012/05/20/line-6-jtv-review/ (scroll down to first response)

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You can destroy anything. Nothing in the universe is 100% safe...every computer I've ever owned has eventually "bricked" itself. Don't see why the JTV would be any different.

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Well designed processor systems can be recovered from "bricking".  Most are not completely protected - if they lose power at the right time, the flash may be erased and the new code may not be in place.  I always hold my breath when I update flash based stuff like my Pod and my Variax.  I do not do it often.  I have not rolled my JTV back but I have updated it to the latest version.

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As already been stated, there's no piece of electronic gear on the planet that's 100% reliable. I think, though, that the chances of having an issue with flashing the firmware is still relatively low despite the occasional issues you read of here. If you're worried about power issues, use a laptop. You have a built in battery back-up that way.

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I work with Flash based devices in my day job so I know how "flashing" works.  In many designs, there is a window where the flash is erased and the new code is not written to it.  In some designs, this is where you cannot lose power.  Good designs avoid this but many don't. 

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I work with Flash based devices in my day job so I know how "flashing" works. In many designs, there is a window where the flash is erased and the new code is not written to it. In some designs, this is where you cannot lose power. Good designs avoid this but many don't.

If we are dependent on "good designs" then the JTV may fall a little short. Plenty of issues, both major and minor. I'm on my 3rd one now, and now the effing knobs aren't illuminated when you select models. LED lights up, just apparently not into the knobs. I'm trapped in their gear cycle now, but after these bite the dust I'm doubtful I will get sucked in again.

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So does someone know of any experiences with this or is it -by definition- always possible to reflash after something went wrong?

 

Good post and I see some good responses. I have s slew of flashable devices and have never bricked one of them. Many of them are from 2008 and still going strong. Ok I better knock on wood now. All kidding aside have a battery back up device (UPS) if you have frequent power outages. I've spun the bottle quite a bit and came out alive. I don't think I'll ever be done flashing some device.

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To be honest, I'm more afraid off comm. problems (USB interface or drivers) then power outages. My Variax adventure started last sunday with a faulty USB interface and after reading about e.g. the sticky knob problem I'm quite skeptical of Line 6' hardware reliability. I once soft bricked my phone so luckily I could unbrick it with a USB jig but I would be devastated (sort of) if I'd hard brick my Variax after a week of use.

 

Indeed using a laptop with charged battery is one worry less but multiple things can go wrong in the process so I stick with 2.10 until a relevant update comes along.

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For those saying "anything can be bricked", there's a difference between bricking a device because hardware craps out, and bricking a device because the design doesn't allow recovery from a failed flash.

 

I've had my POD500 fail multiple times and it always can be reflashed because there's a hardcoded bios that can communicate with Monkey even if it didn't flash anything. 

 

I can't say the same for the JTV though. I don't know if it has any hardcode or bios or if it completely depends on the onboard flash memory. 

 

I've had a Variax flash failure before when trying to roll back and roll forward, but it still flashed afterwards. My last update gave no errors either.

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Is it under warranty?

Yeah it is but I don't want to risk losing it for weeks (or longer) so I'll just stick to 2.10 until a new version will be released.

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I think the risk that you will brick your JTV during v1.9 installation is extremely small. You are likely more at risk of personal injury by leaving your house today - especially if you plan to get in a car.

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I agree that it's low risk.  I do a couple things to make it lower risk:  I try to always download the FW image to my PC before flashing.  I don't touch anything on my PC or guitar while it's flashing.  I use my Pod so that power is coming from it rather than relying on my battery.  I have only done one update since I got it but it went smoothly with no glitches or errors.

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I've had a JTV flash fail in the middle of the process, and was able to recover.

 

While I don't know for a fact that they have some kind of "stub" loader in ROM or in a non-erased part of the flash memory, based on that experience, I'm inclined to suspect that they probably do.

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hi friends, sorry for my bad english! I´m from Brazil and i have a Variax JTV guitar out of garanty...and... bircked!! here in Brazil it is very expensive trying to fix this guitar in an authorized Line 6 Store. Anyone know any procedure to help me with that? My guitar no sound with no battery connected , with battery out only sound comes from the analog pickups ! When you insert a p10 cable with pickup selector switch in the middle position, the guitar is flashing the Variax controls in red color ! The monkey also does not recognize my guitar... It´s bricked doing a flash update!

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