USB update to 8.2

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Stop hand.png WARNING:
The content of this section is considered
It is preserved for historical or documenting reasons.
Release 8.2 is obsolete, please see the installation section of the release notes in the latest stable release.

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with No-fail update to 8.2. (Discuss)

These USB update instructions are for XO-1 and release 8.2.1 only. They are designed for new users.

What you need

Let's do it! in 3 easy steps

re-flashing your XO will erase everything on it!
(which might be exactly what you want if you are donating your XO, for example)

1) Prepare

2) Go

3) Done

What can go wrong

The XO does not turn off

  • In extreme cases of software failure you may need to remove the power source and the battery if any light keeps flashing in your XO.

Less than four stars in "Release the game keys" message

possibly you didn't get all the game keys at once
  • power off again
  • with your thumb over the four game keys, and your fingers behind the case, press slowly, listening for four clicks, keep the pressure on, then turn on the power
  • press slightly harder on any of the game keys that isn't showing a star
  • once all four stars are shown, release the keys

No "Release the game keys" message

possibly no keys were pressed at the time the power went on
possibly the USB connection has issues
  • Try plugging in the USB drive to another XO port
If after trying several times this doesn't work, suspect the USB drive is bad
  • replace

No grid

If you got the "Release game key" message, but no grid after a couple minutes,
  • try another USB port. If still no go, suspect the USB drive or files on it - replace

Black grid with various yellow squares turning on and off

  • you pressed the cursor keys on the left instead of the game keys on the right
  • try again

No reboot

If you got the "Release game key" message, then the grid, but no reboot,
  • remove the USB drive, reboot manually
  • If no result after a couple minutes, try again from the start with another USB port.
If still no go, suspect the USB drive
  • replace

Where to get a USB drive with a Sugar update

Make your own

You will need a 512 MB or larger USB drive. Some people have reported issues with sticks over 4 Gb, but not with firmware versions after 2009.
Usually works. Includes instructions for updating Activities if you have wireless.
Making your own can get messy sometimes, like with U3 and such. This page has all the nitty gritty.

purchase one

if donating your XO to Bolivia

If donating your XO to Bolivia, Yama Ploskonka will send you a USB. yama at

to do

  • Illustrated instructions for downloading files
  • Instructions for updating activities right after an update (from No-fail update)