• Automotive,  Tech

    A Little Hint When Updating AVIC Firmware

    To update the firmware on the Pioneer AVIC series GPS navigation systems, you need to utilize an SD card formatted in MS-DOS FAT16. If you’re using a Mac, this might be difficult for you to come by because Disk Utility only formats MS-DOS discs in FAT32.

    Of course, the solution is to use the Terminal. BUT FIRST YOU MUST USE Disk Utility TO PARTITION THE SD CARD. The whole reason behind FAT32 was that the FAT16 file system for MS-DOS/Windows had this memory issue where it couldn’t handle any primary or secondary memory (HDD or RAM) larger than 2 Gigabytes. So if you look at machines from the mid to late 90s, you’ll see that they were maxed out at 2GB of RAM and 2GB partitions even if the hard disk had a larger capacity. Well, for whatever reason, the same goes for the firmware upgrade program that is riding on Pioneer’s AVIC series GPS systems.

    If you’re using an SD card larger than 2GB (who isn’t), you’ll first need to make 2GB partitions using Disk Utility. Then use the Terminal to format ONLY THE FIRST PARTITION on the SD card – Essentially making the SD card into a 2GB card.

    The Terminal command you’ll be using is newfs_msdos. You may look at the man pages if you want to learn more, but for now, the command you want is:

    sudo newfs_msdos -F 16 /dev/partition_location

    *partition_location probably being disk1s1 if the SD card is the only storage device other than your main HDD.

    Go ahead and mount this partition using Disk Utility again. Drop the un-zipped AVIC110 folder onto the SD card, and use CleanEject* to eject the SD card without the Mac writing un-necessary invisible files to the volume. Pull the SD card out of the reader, lock it, and you’re ready to put it in your car nav.

    *CleanEject is donation-ware made by JaVaWa. Check them out!