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Helix Floor Model No Longer Booting


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Howdy all, first time posting.


I've had my Helix since about late 2018/early 2019. It has always worked without a problem for the past few years. Recently it started giving me the :-28 and :-33 errors. Of course these told me it was time to actually update the firmware since I hadn't done that since purchasing (bad idea, I'm aware. Haha). 


I got it updated and thought any freezing or failure to boot issues were resolved.

But boy, was I wrong.

The issues have since gotten worse with updating from 2.3 to 3.1

It has only properly booted once, and then it stopped working before I finished playing my first song for warmups. Since then, I reinstalled the 3.1 update and it has not helped.

I either get the :-28 error and it never boots, I get the :-33 error and it doesn't boot and goes into update mode, or it just freezes before booting up. This most recent time trying again it actually booted to my first preset screen, but was frozen from there and wouldn't turn pedals on/off or go into tuning mode.

Please help. Since purchasing this unit a few years ago I've since gotten rid of my entire set up and went all digital. I just want to practice my warmup songs and then play. Lmao

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10 hours ago, eddieauguri said:

I reinstalled the 3.1 update and it has not helped.



A couple of points here.

The current firmware number is v. 3.11  


Also, you don’t say if you followed the release notes about making backups of your presets, then restoring them from the backup.


When the update completed, your Helix should have rebooted and gone through the rebuilding presets process. Did this occur?


The release notes also advise that you perform a factory reset of the hardware after updating the firmware. Do you do this?


As you seem to have upgraded your firmware directly from 2.3 to 3.1, I will have to point out that at v.2.8 the firmware core operating system was changed. This particular update seemed to create a state of panic for some users when they encountered the “Boot failure” message and it looked like their unit was bricked. This was an expected issue and fully covered in the release note. You didn’t mention if this part of the update happened to you?


Another thing is, as you are coming from an older firmware revision all your presets need to be upgraded to the existing format to be able to use them without problems. Every time you load one of you old presets then your Helix should go through the “rebuilding presets” routine. You didn’t mention if you have seen this happening - if it did you would know as it can be quite a time consuming process.


Having said all this - essentially if this is a software issue then it’s not the end of the world and there are fixes to try - up to and including a re-install. Those :-28 and :-33 error codes have been reported here previously and It would mean trawling though the forums to find them, therefore at the moment my suggestion would be, as is usual when weird stuff starts to happen - factory reset, rebuild presets and update to the latest firmware. Rinse and repeat. 

Hope this helps/makes sense.


Helix Floor/LT

Button Combination



LED light Fun

3 & 4

Test Mode

5 & 6

Global reset

7 & 8

Reset setlists to factory, Keep IRs

8 & 9

Reset setlists to factory, Clear IRs

9 & 10

Reset setlists to factory, Global reset, Clear IRs

10 & 11

Upgrades existing presets to latest format

11 & 12

Clear current preset

5 & 12

Clear setlists, clear IRs, Return system settings to default

6 & 12

Safe boot mode

To use Reset Options:

  • Power off the Helix
  • Hold the desired button combination
  • Power on the Helix
  • Release the button combination


Please note: Buttons are numbered from top left to bottom right.




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