How to Unlock Mio C230 Release 4 – The Easiest Guide Ever!

Right after I published the release 3.1, MoonBear contacted me and asked about some system files for the default Mio C230. He helped me to figure out a SD card based unlock procedure. I have since changed my unlock procedure to accommodate this.

What are the advantages using a SD card? Firstly, the unlock is easier when you use a SD card. A lot of people got confused about changing the folder name of the default location of MioMap. With the SD card approach, you don’t have to do that any more. Secondly, as I put more applications in the unlock package, there is not enough space in the internal flash drive. I now put everything on a SD card, this is not an issue any more. Thirdly, with earlier releases we have to hard reset the unit every time we disconnect it from the computer. Now that I use the SD unlock, the unit behaves better. Most of the time, I don’t have to do a hard reset. About 1 out of 5 times, I still need to hard reset the unit, so the problem is not completely fixed. Since I can just work on the SD card, I rarely need to connect C230 directly to computer, so this is not a big deal any more. Lastly, the modification of the internal flash of the unit is minimal. It’s also very easy to revert the unit back to the factory state.

If you already have a high speed SD card, you are fine. Otherwise, the first thing you need to do is to buy a nice SD card. Note that you cannot just use an age-old SD card from several years ago. Chances are your Mio cannot recognize it. This is the card I am currently using. 1 GB is sufficient for me. If you like to have a lot of MP3s and movies, consider a card with bigger capability(2 GB , 4 GB ).

Here are what’s new about this release.

  • SD based unlock.
  • 3 desktops.
  • MioMap skin chooser(switcher).
  • Expanded game section.

BEFORE YOU FOLLOW THE PROCEDURES TO MODIFY YOUR MIO C230. YOU KNOW THAT YOU MIGHT RENDER YOUR C230 UNUSABLE AND YOU MIGHT VOID YOUR WARRANTY. YOU DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISKS. THE FOLLOWING STEPS HAVE BEEN TESTED ON US MODEL OF MIO C230 ONLY. THEY ARE NOT MEANT FOR MIO C230 PURCHASED IN OTHER COUNTRIES.

Background

Before you begin, make sure you read the post entirely and you have no questions about each step. A little background might help you understand what you are doing. There is a back door for MioMap to run external application. This is different for different models of Mio GPS. For Mio C230, this back door is an application called autorun_ABC.exe (or GOCE.exe) on the storage card. What we are going to do is to have our unlock package on a storage card and trick the MioMap to run our unlock script. Note that with this approach, you don’t need to change the default MioMap directory. If you have changed the default MioMap directory, you’ll have to change it back before you try this unlock. If you have a USB cable, connect the unit to a computer and backup everything on the unit before you go on.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Download the zip file from here.
  2. Unzip the file and copy everything to a SD card. Note that if you already have a Skins or Routes directory, just copy the content of Skins or Routes directories to your existing Skins or Routes directories. Here is a screenshot of the folders and files on the storage card’s root directory.
    mioc230r4.jpg
  3. Turn off Mio C230 using the switch on the back. Insert the SD card into the unit.
  4. Turn on Mio C230 using the switch on the back. A dialog pops up telling you the unlock is done and begging for donation. 🙂 Click on OK to continue.
  5. (Optional) If you still have the default MioMap user interface(skin), you need to change it so that you can exit MioMap. I have included a modified skin in the Skins directory.
    • Click on Routes on the desktop.
    • Select MioMap Skin Choices and click on OK.
    • Select ComputerBits and click on OK.
    • A new skin is being copied, this process can take up to 30 secs or more.

Mini Manual

There are 3 desktops included in this package. You can use the left and right arrows on the lower right corner to switch between the desktops. The top row and bottom row are the same for each desktop. After unlocking, notice there is a small icon “ab” in the top left corner. If you tap on it, it opens up an on-screen keyboard. You need a stylus to us it. Make sure the cursor is in the input field of the window when you use it. Tap it again to close the on-screen keyboard. Right next to ab icon, there are 3 small icons. They are:

  • Restart: Restart the unit.
  • Landscape: Return the screen to landscape mode. This is useful when the screen is rotated 90 degrees by accident.
  • Volume: Change the volume. The default volume is set to maximum. You can use this to change volume before playing a game with sound like Tetris.

The bottom row from left to right:

  • GPS: Invokes MioMap.
  • Media: Invokes TCPMP. This is a versatile media player. It plays various video formats and MP3. It can also be used to view photos. I added the plugin to play FLV video downloaded from YouTube or other flash video sites. Plugins for playing Podcast video are also included.
  • FileMan CE: Invokes FileMan CE, a file manager for CE devices. You can use it to launch other programs not on the desktop or manage files.

Main Desktop

main.jpg

  • Paint: Invokes PocketPaint. This is a simple paint program.
  • Calculator: Invokes MyCalculator. To exit out MyCalculator, tap About and then the “X” in the about screen.
  • Photos: Invokes GQe. You can use it to view photos on the storage card.
  • Notes: Invokes NotePad, a notepad program for creating/viewing text files.
  • Routes: Route Management and MioMap Skin Chooser(Switcher). See the Note section for instruction.
  • uBook: uBook reader. It can open HTML, TXT, RTF, PDB and PRC (not secure) ebook files. A free Webster dictionary is included. I don’t know if anyone is interested in reading a dictionary, but it’s there.

Games Desktop

games.jpg

In this desktop, there are a lot of new games. Most of the games are from XFlib. If you like the games, please consider a donation to their site. You can download a lot more games from the site. A lot of games run in portrait mode. Ameridan has come up with a way using scripts to rotate the screen automatically. I have borrowed the scripts to run these games.

  • Lights On: Invokes LightsON. The goal of the game is to turn all lights on.
  • Free Cell: Invokes FreeCell, a poker game.
  • Sudoku: A Sudoku game from XFlib.
  • Caisses: A Sukoban clone game from XFlib.
  • HexaVirus: My personal favorite from XFlib. Your goal is to active every virus in 30 moves or less.
  • Aquella: A JezzBall-like game from XFlib.
  • BallBreaker: An interesting game from XFlib to test your reflexes. All the balls are shooting at your cursor. Try to lure the balls to hit the block(s) and break them.
  • Pipes: A classic pipes game from XFlib.
  • Tetris: A classic Tetris game. Click on the block to rotate it. Click on the left or right side of the window to move the block.
  • Shift: Another game from XFlib. Click on the border of the screen to move the blocks that can move in the direction. When 3 or more of the same block form, they disappear.

Utilities Desktop

utilities.jpg

  • RegEdit: Registry editor for your Mio C230.
  • iTaskMgr: Shows you CPU, Process and Task(Application) info. You can use this to terminal a process or switch to an application.
  • Move: Utility to move windows around.
  • DPMS: Turn your screen off.
  • Resinfo: Invokes Resinfo. It shows you some resources informations for your device. Kinda like task manager in Windows. You can use it to terminate applications or processes.
  • Restart: Restarts Mio C230. Use this when an application crashes or after you load new files to the SD card.
  • Rotate: Rotates the screen counter-clockwise by 90 degrees.
  • Snapshot: Invokes CapScrUtil. A screen capture utility. Remember to store the image to either Storage Card or My Flash Disk for easy access to the screenshots.
  • Settings: Invokes MioUtility, a control panel like application for adjusting backlight, volume, screen, power, date/time and language.

Note

  1. If you want to use your own background image, just create a 320×240 bitmap file. Put them in the Scriptdesktop directory. Edit the ini files in the directory to use the bitmap file you created. main.ini is for Main desktop, gmaes.ini is for Games desktop and utilities.ini is for Utilities desktop. Change the variable BackgroudBitmap to point to the new file.
  2. If you want to change or add the icons(shortcuts) on the desktop, you can do so by editing the files in note #1. An icon entry is like this.
    ICONXPBUTTON
    x = 0
    y = 95
    Command = Storage CardScriptyour_program.exe
    SizeNormal =64
    SizePushed =64
    ScaleAlpha = 80
    IconNormal = iconsyouricon.ico
    ScaleAlpha = 100
    IconPushed = iconsyouricon.ico
  3. When you have the program and icon(64×64) ready, copy the program to Script directory and copy the icon to Scriptdesktopicons directory and modify the variable Command, IconNormal and IconPushed. Note that you have to use absolute path for Command, but use relative path for IconNormal and IconPushed. If you follow this rule, you can use the included SystemInformation32.exe in that directory to test the desktops on your computer. This tool is very useful for those who like to change the desktops frequently. I have commented out some of the ICONXPBUTTON sections on the ini files. If you want to use them, remove the # signs in front of the lines.
  4. If for whatever reason, you cannot exit a certain application, you can use Resinfo to terminate the application. Tap the “ab” icon on the upper left corner. Tap “Ctl” and then “Esc” on the on-screen keyboard, this brings up taskbar. Once taskbar appears, tap “Programs” and then “Resinfo”. Use “Tasks” tab of Resinfo to terminate the application (task). You might want to soft reset (restart) the unit. Sometimes, the taskbar is on top when you run MioMap or other applications. It’s very annoying. You can disable the behavior by click on Start -> Settings -> Taskbar and Start Menu… and uncheck Always on top.
  5. Now that we have everything on the SD card, you don’t need to connect the unit to the computer any more. You can just take out the SD card and work on the SD card. When you are done working on the SD card. Insert the SD card back into the unit. If your unit did see the new files you added to the SD card, restart the unit by using the restart icon on the desktop. If you have Map files on your SD card, you might notice that the system soft reboots when you insert the card into the unit when it’s on. This is normal.
  6. If you still like to connect your unit to the computer, sometimes the unit freezes up. You will need to hard reset the machine using the switch on the back.
  7. Route management lets you Save/Load/Delete/Rename routes. The default location for routes is at Routes on the storage card. If you have saved your routes in other location, you can move them to here. To save a route, start MioMap. Plan a route as you wish. You might want to disable off-route automatic recalculation(Home -> Settings -> General -> Off-route recalculation) when you plan a route. When you are done planning, exit MioMap. Then click on Routes icon to run the route management program and click on “Save current Route” to save it. To load a route, click on Routes icon. Then click on “Load a saved Route”. Pick the route you want and click on OK. The MioMap starts up automatically with the route your picked.One added feature of this release is MioMap Skin Chooser (Switcher) by Mike FFI. If you have found a skin you want to use. Just create a subdirectory under Skins on the storage card. Copy the DATA.ZIP to the subdirectory. Please see this post about MioMap skins. Note that whenever you load a new skin, it takes a bit of time for the copy process to finish.
  8. The use of unlicensed maps is illegal. Please don’t ask where can you get maps not licensed for your device or how can you get MioMap to recognize the unlicensed maps. Any question regarding unlicensed maps will either be deleted or ignored.

Backing Off

If you don’t like it the way it is, you want to undo everything. It’s very easy to revert back to the factory state, just hard reset the unit using the switch on the back and copy the backup DATA.ZIP back to the unit if you wish.

If your Mio C230 is not working at all even after you perform the aforementioned steps, you can use the DVD that came with your unit to restore it.

MISC

Don’t forget the other posts about Mio C230

If you don’t have a Mio C230 yet, you can consider buying it from Amazon.

I published the original unlock guide on 10/31/2007. The guide is a FIRST and ORIGINAL unlocking guide for Mio C230. The guide has made hacking/unlocking Mio C230 possible and it has inspired other efforts for making Mio C230 a wonderful device to own. If you find my articles useful and you would like me to continue this project, please consider making a donation to my site. Thank you!



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50 Comments

  1. Dominique,

    Thanks for your kind words. You also have been given us some great tips about Mio C230. I have been thinking about the skin tip you mentioned. I think it’s the proper way to do skin for MioMap. Do you know an easy way to extract the changed files from the DATA.ZIP file?

  2. WOW! This is incredible!

    Installed like a dream without USB. Makes me think about just how much this thing can do and wondering if all of this just scratches the surface.

    Thank you thank you for providing this wonderful time sink.

  3. @Amida168 You should use winmerge utility (must unzip data.zip before) or ultra compare professional.

    By the way, why did you not use the “\Storage Card\GOCE.exe” trick ? with this you can do the unlock with much less steps … put file in sdcard, switch off/on the mio, make what you want with GOCE.mscr, soft reset and voilà.

    For the user there is only two thing to do : put the programms on the sd-card and do a hard reset.

  4. Dominique,

    Thanks for your suggestion. I will try those applications.

    The trick you mentioned is the same as my unlock. What you really need to do is put everything on the SD, insert it, hard reset Mio C230 and turn it off and on using the orange button. However, most people like step by step instructions. Therefore, I had to write down the steps in great details.

  5. I think you have a well deserved donation. This is what makes the Mio C230 better than the competition. I will be installing this new release as soon as I get done with this post. Be on the lookout for a few bucks in your pocket.

  6. I go this new R4 release running just fine. But I have a question; how can I get back the Microsoft viewers, the pdf viewer, windows explorer and the windows task bar? I would like to be able to integrate some of the other applications from R3 into R4.

    Thanks for the great work you are doing.

  7. Gilberto,

    Thanks for your complements and donation. I could always use a few bucks. 🙂

    The R3 you mentioned must be Ameridan’s package. I still don’t know if the Microsoft viewers and pdf viewer are freeware or not, so I didn’t include them in the distribution. You could however include the applications by yourself. Please see note #1 and note #2 for instructions. Let me know if you have problems adding those to the desktop.

  8. I wasn’t able to get the media player to play my .wmv files, avi files, flv files. It did worked for mpg files. Seems like it doesn’t have the proper codec. Is it possible to download the codecs and install it myself or better yet, you can show us how to do it? If not, how can I download the coreplayer and install it to the GPS? I don’t mind paying…

    thanks,

    Jason

  9. I always feel bad offering suggestion when someone has done so much work and made such a great final product. So no criticism here, but, if you think these might be worthwhile improvements, …

    Anyway, some possible extra features:

    1. Undo. Assuming there is room on the SD, or possible inserting another SD, allow an undo disk. This would help when a new update comes around, and we could start from a clean setup. OK, might be tricky after we have everything tuned just right. Just a thought.

    2. Update. What will we do when version 5 comes out? Is there an easy way to set up the next install?

    3. Possibly suggestions on what to put where so that we can use your tricks to install our own setups, or share them.

    Thank you for all of this great work!

  10. hello

    thank you amida168, we got a c230 as a cheap GPS, when I can get an SD card and some time it will become a PDA / game center, all good for long trips.

    One thing I would like to know if anyone has accomplished is adding nautical charts and topo maps?

    I know the c230 isn’t the the most seaworthy device, and the stand aloe battery life is probably limited, But if the software is there then the hardware can be protected and powered.

  11. Do you need to do anything to make room for files, as was required with earlier unlocks, or is everything solidly on the SD card?

    As I understand it, the executables you run are actually mortscript scripts, so it should be easy for anyone to set up their mio however they like (as scary as that may be). Is this correct? I’ll admit that when I first saw that you needed an exe file to for the bootups I figured I would never do any of this myself, but now it looks pretty promising.

    Are there any mscr repositories so we can see what various people are doing, or is it best to just go through all the mscr files in the zips and learn that way.

    Thank you for all of this work.

  12. Eep

    Look around for info on NoniGPSplot. You might be able to get that to work with TOPO and maybe even nautical charts.

  13. Jason,

    If you find a codec for the media player, you can just drop it in the Script directory. No other installation is required. You can always convert your existing multimedia files to play on TCPMP. I don’t have Core Player, so I don’t know how to install it.

  14. Murphy,

    Suggestion is always welcome. There is always room for improvement. I am not sure about the Undo disk thing. Can you elaborate a bit? Regarding the update, when the new release is out, you can just rename the Script folder and copy over the new Script folder assuming you don’t modify the old one. Otherwise, you can use another card for the new release. If you have modified my distribution, you probably know a lot about the inner working of it. You would know what to do when the new release is out. I’ll have some tutorials out when I have a chance.

    A lot of programming are done by scripting. It’s not that difficult to do if you have programming experience. In the past few months, I have seen a lot of reader claimed that they would never do something like scripting or hacking the user interface (skin). However, once they got started, they cannot stop! 🙂 When I first started, there is absolutely no information about hacking Mio C230. I published the first unlock hoping I can get people start exploring Mio C230. I think I have done a decent job.

    To answer some of your questions. No, you don’t need to make room for files any more. I am not aware of any repository of scripts. Maybe you can start one? 😉

  15. Eep,

    You are welcome. As Murphy suggested, there is an application called NoniGPSplot that can do straight line navigation. I am thinking to add that in my interim release or as an example on how to add an application to the desktop.

  16. Eep,

    I’ve had a NoniGPSplot package for C230 available on my Blog for almost 2 months now that I invite you to download. I’ve written mortscripts and included icons in the package that is intended to run from your SD card. With Amida’s new build, the location of MioTool will probably need to be changed from the Flash Drive to the SD card though.

    Here is a link: http://c230.wordpress.com/2008/01/11/nonigpsplot-for-mio-c230/

  17. OK, I’ll elaborate a little on what I would call the murphyfields dream machine. Actually, there are various flavors of this, depending on what people want. For all of these, the bottom line is simplicity…just stick in an SD card, turn it on, and you have your desired machine. Turn it off, take out the card, and it is back to factory default.

    There are a lot of people out there that are afraid to do anything on their 230. For them, the best option is to have them set up a SD card, stick it in, turn it on, and presto, they have an improved system. The down side is that, if I had that option i probably would not have learned as much about this, and that probably applies to others as well.

    And now, the MIO menu

    For the timid that want to feel a little adventurous we offer

    THE SKIN OF THE DAY

    simply select your desired skin, preferably from a PC menu (non on the MIO), create the SD, and BAM, skinned MIO without pressing a button on the unit other than to turn it on.

    ENHANCED POI

    Stick in the SD, turn it on, and suddenly you have 12M POIs and full US and Canada maps. Is there a way to get the MIO to look at the SD for the maps instead of internally, other than renaming or deleting something on the mother system? Suddenly the c230 doubles in value.

    THE FULL MONTY

    Basically the fine package you have now. Only other features (maybe): It would be nice to copy the original DATA.ZIP to the SD when your package starts, and have the option to copy it back so that the user can BACK OFF without the use of a computer or having to use any file management routines on the MIO. This is what I was thinking of with the I would expect that you would have to occasionally save the current setup occasionally to avoid losing custom mods while it is on. Not quite sure how this would happen.

    CUSTOM MONTY

    Same as above, but with instructions on how to install and update custom features. I think you have enough info for that available so maybe I will tackle that one eventually.

    Finally, on a side note, I noticed in AUTOPATCHER that there is a line assigning My Documents to the storage card. Will the same thing work with Program Files and other such items?

    Thanks again for offering this forum.

  18. Would it be possible to use a Sd card with built in bluetooth, and us the mio as a speaker phone for a cellphone.

  19. Hi Aminda,

    Do you mean that if we have unlocked our MIOC230 before we cant use this release directly. Could you please let me know how we can go about doing this for a already unlocked mio.

  20. Murphyfields,

    Thanks for the suggestions. I have started a post for people to request new features.

    The registry tweak in AUTOPATCHER doesn’t work quite well. That’s supposed to change the default My Documents folder, but I don’t think it’s working.

  21. DannyS,

    No, you cannot turn Mio C230 to a bluetooth speaker phone. However, there are some devices like

    this on the market that does it.

    You can toggle the safety driving mode by going to the Settings -> General.

  22. Vivek,

    You can still use this release after you change the MioMap2 directory to MioMap and hard reset your unit.

  23. I have a time issue. The unit is not changing from Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time automatically. If I set the time manually (making it +1 hour) using the Settings icon, the unit is still changing it to -1 hour after lunching the MioMap. It looks like it is not the unlock problem but the Mio; and I can not find where it is possible to set current time inside the MioMap.

    Please advise.

  24. hey im having problems with the unlock, it is running mio maps 3.3, and the diolog box wont pop up

  25. I have similar kind of problem as Danny has, The dialog box is not coming up and pop up is also not coming, Its running mio map 3.3. Please suggest me.

  26. Mio changes current time to -1 hour at the time it finds satellites. Anybody know why? Where is the place to set up time for MioMap (except of Settings on the Utilities desktop)?

    Thank you.

  27. David,

    You can see altitube by going to the GPS screen. If you want to see altitube at cockpit screen, you will need to use a different skin.

  28. DannyS,

    If you find the unit is acting up after exiting MioMap, try to soft reset (restart) the unit.

  29. prasnig,

    I don’t know exactly what your problem is, my guess is C230 cannot recognize your SD card.

  30. Amida168,

    I was just trying to unzip the contents of the zip file on to SD card, but it looks like I have to copy all the contents of MiomapR4 directory to the root directory of SD card. Its working now.

    I have one more problem, how do I switch it back to the desktop mode. When the device got unlocked I went to GPS option and now I am not able to go back to desktop mode. How do I do it?

  31. Prasnig,

    If you have not changed the Skin of your original MioMap, the only way to get back to the desktop is to hard reset your unit and do the unlocking procedure again. You have to do step #6 to get a MioMap skin with exit button so you can exit MioMap without hard resetting it. Note that the skin included when you do step #6 is only for US model of C230, also it’s better that you backed up your original DATA.ZIP in the MioMap folder. You can do it by connecting C230 to the computer using a USB cable.

  32. Any chance at a very quick mortscript tutorial?

    OK, I can create a text file, name it myscript.mscr, and if I double click it then it will execute. But how do I create a myscript.exe that then executes myscript.mscr. I did a very quick scan through the mortscript manual, but suffered from male pattern blindness and did not see what I was expecting to see. Any quick suggestions?

    Anything I need to download to my PC, or is everything included on the C230 after your unlock?

    Thanks

  33. Amida,

    I came across this last night and have no idea whether it works or not so someone like Prasnig that has a virgin version of MioMap needs to try this. If it works, just think of all of the aggrevation all of us could have avoided 🙂 to unhide the Exit Door.

    add to the [debug] section of SYS.TXT

    quit_button=1

    Ameridan, Dan, c230

  34. OK, I think I answered my own questions.

    Just copy and rename one of the blah.exe files to match a new .mscr file.

    So I could copy or rename sudoku.exe to myscript.exe, and it would then execute myscript.mscr. Don’t need to run anything or even download anything to get this to work. Is this correct? Pretty clever if it is.

  35. Murphyfields,

    Yes, that’s all you need to do if you want to run the script in that directory. If you want to run the script in other directory, you also need to copy the two extra file to the directory. The two files are

    MortScript.exe

    mortzip.dll

    . This is the site for MortScript. You can download the manual from the site.

  36. Thank you. I found the manual, but never quite found how easy it is to set things up in general. A few specifics about autorun.exe and dummy exe files, but since I never downloaded the original package, I didn’t realize it came with an autorun.exe that could be renamed as needed. I guess they call them dummy exe files for a reason.

  37. I wonder, if it is possible to switch between programs without exiting one and lunching another? (for example, to go from MioMap to Media Player) In other words, is it possible to minimize the application?

    And one more thing. Is it possible to listen to the music and/or watch video while using MioMap?

  38. Great work again amida:O)

    I didnt bother with this release iam happy the way i have mine now customized ..

    I was wondering …

    Do you know of a Slideshow App. that could work with the C230??

  39. does anyone knows where can i get a mexico.fbl map? i will apreciate your information. I cant fid it even on mio-tech web page.

    Thanks a lot.

Comments are closed.