ARM Technical Support Knowledge Articles

How do I upgrade my Versatile Express and start up the system?

Applies to: V2M-P1


Generally with new releases of the Versatile Express DVD we provide new FPGA images, Boot Monitor and/or firmware updates that might fix known bugs or simply add new features to the Motherboard functionality. Therefore, it might happen that the DVD version we have originally shipped with your Versatile Express Baseboard when purchased is currently not the latest one. In this Knowledge Article we explain how to perform a complete System Recovery that upgrades the Versatile Express to the latest support files, so that you can eventually start up your system.


The Versatile Express DVD software can be downloaded from in the Downloads area by expanding the Development Tools section and choosing the most updated version from the Versatile Family/Versatile: Board Support Files subsection. 

Please follow the steps below in order to get the system into standby mode and ensure a successful connection between the PC and the motherboard:

  1. Connect a USB cable from your host computer to the USB-B connector on the rear panel of the Versatile Express system.

  2. Connect a serial terminal (38400 baud, 8 data bits, no parity, 1 stop bit and no handshaking) to the UART0 connector on the rear panel of the Versatile Express system.

  3. Connect 12 volt power to the Versatile Express system.

  4. Press the black button (hardware reset) on the rear of the Versatile Express system.

To update the system several steps need to be performed:

  1. Type in: Cmd> usb_on on the command prompt. This will facilitate the connection between the PC and the USB-B port on the Motherboard Express and eventually a direct access to the microSD card which contains the configuration files. The microSD card should now be visible as a USB external storage device.
  2. The recovery procedure erases all the files on the microSD card located on the Motherboard, therefore it is strongly recommended to back up the old contents of the card if they need to be preserved. Format the microSD card (FAT16).

  3. The Versatile Express DVD also contains a “Recovery” directory which allows us to update the system to a default configuration. Copy across all the files from the “Recovery” folder to the microSD card by dragging and dropping. These should contain the MB, SITE1, SITE2 and SOFTWARE folders and the “config.txt” in the root of the card. Preserve the directory structure.

  4. Press the red button on the rear of the Versatile Express system and wait for reprogramming to complete.

  5. Press the black button on the rear of the Versatile Express system and wait for the motherboard BIOS to be reprogrammed.

  6. At the end of this the terminal will show the Boot Monitor command prompt, similarly to the lines below:

    ARM Versatile Express Boot Monitor
    Version: V5.2.1
    Build Date: Apr 4 2013
    Daughterboard Site 1: V2P-CA15_A7 Cortex A15
    Daughterboard Site 2: Not Used

The system is now updated and you can have access to the MCC main menu, the flash, debug or EEPROM menus.

NOTE: There are occasions when it is not needed to perform a full system recovery, for example when an extra FPGA image is added or a configuration file is modified.

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