How to Unlock Mio C230

Original Release

This is the original release that started it all. It is the first unlock guide ever published 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.

Release 2


In the first release, I did not tweak the desktop at all. The second release is my first attempt to make the desktop more appealing.

Release 3

c230r3-black.jpg c230r3-clownfish.jpg

This is the first release based on what I called iMio theme. 🙂 People like the look of the desktop very much. A lot of similar desktops are popping up after I published this release.

Release 3.1

mioc230r3-1.jpg mioc230r3-1-clownfish.jpg

I added the Routes Management to this interim release.

Release 4

[Updated: 3/3/2008]

main.jpg games.jpg utilities.jpg

The biggest feature of this release is the SD card based unlock. Thanks to MoonBear, the unlock procedure is the easiest compared to previous releases. With more and more applications added to the package, a single desktop is not enough to hold all the applications. I created these desktops so that it’s easy to switch between different desktops and it’s also easy to add more desktops as needed. The Routes management has also been updated to switch MioMap skins (Mike FFI).

Release 4.1

This release includes the following new features:

  • Cab files installation
  • .Net Compact Framework 3.5
  • Increased Storage Memory
  • Functional Taskbar

Don’t forget to click on the title of the release to check out the details for each release.

Here is a list of my other articles related to Mio C230

An important note about unlicensed maps: 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.

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  1. I’ve been Googling “c230 hack” everyday waiting for someone to create what you’ve come up with today! EXCELLENT WORK. Your instructions are great and worked great – much simplifed from the unlock instructions for the C220. For those of us that have never played with other GPS units though, nor the Mio c220, if you could expound on your programs in the Scripts folder, a little (making your site a one-stop shop), I would be happy to donate to your site.

    I would like to know more about the intricasies(sp?) of the programs like BananaPC, such as what are the 2 functions next to X (close)? I am assumming your MioMap icon links to the MioMap execute in the MioMap2 folder. Why is there a sleep icon and a power button icon? they both seem to do the same thing. What is the icon above the power button (Mov…) do?

    Again, I’m not complaining; I finally can play now. I just feel that an expansion of your efforts will make YOU the C230 Hack King that folks would gladly donate to if they don’t have to go to GPSpassion to try and get clues as to using the other little programs. By the way the clock on the main screen seems to show the GMT date, which tonite is one day ahead of mine, rather than the day shown in clock settings.

  2. C230,

    The post is just the first step. I tried very hard to get a working system that I can use without hard reset the system frequently. The next step would be to fine tune the desktop and install additional programs. The sleep icon and power button icon are redundant. I’ll get rid of one in the next release.

    The MioMap icon links to a script in the Script folder. The script does some processing and invoke MioMap.exe in the MioMap2 folder. It also reboots the machine when you exit out MioMap.exe

    If you are interested in BananaPC, you can visit this site.

    I noticed the time and date are not always correct. I’ll look into it.

  3. thankkkkkkkkk youuuuuuuuuuu

    you are simply the……BEST.





  4. Lioltgo,

    I have not tried that, so I don’t know how to do it. If you know a public and free map that I can download, I can try it on my Mio. If you are talking about pirated maps, then I cannot help you.

  5. Amida,

    I’ll do what I can to help you refine the package.

    Regarding the Greece map, what I did to load a Canada map is to erase an unused U.S. state map file (California.fbl in my case) from the Map subfolder (since you can copy back in later from your DVD, and copy Canada.fbl in it’s place. Link to version 2007.1 file is ; I picked the smaller file with 3 million POIs, rather than the larger file. There probably is a way to copy to SD disk instead, but I don’t have one yet.

  6. C230,

    I found that the power button icon and the sleep icon are not the same. The power button icon puts the system to sleep, while the sleep icon only turns off the display.

  7. c230.

    mission finished!!!!!!!!

    i loaded destinator for pna.

    if somebody wants the..know-how my pleasure to help

    thank you for unlock


  8. the date is correct , just not here. I removed the callout for date.ini and changed time.ini so that it is a AM/PM clock by changing x=30, width=75 and changing the format string to read: Format = hh’:’mm’:’ss tt

    Also, the gpsCalculator works in the C230

  9. C230,

    Do you know how to get the taskbar to work? I already load it at the startup. However, it works intermittently. I am hoping to use it consistently.

  10. Not sure what you mean. Do you mean why doesn’t the Mio show up on the taskbar of the PC connected to the Mio? It never shows up for me anymore, nor was I ever able to install the USB driver; I’m thinking this is related to the USB cable I am using. I’m using a USB ver 1 cable (5-pin) which will charge the Mio and allows me to see the flash drive and the storage card as “Devices with Removable Storage” in My Computer. I am not able to see the Mio’s Windows directory though. Perhaps your USB cable is not a reliable version 2 cable.

    The first USB cable I used was a cheap retractable type and all it would do is charge the Mio; nothing else.

  11. I fooled around for a couple of hours playing around with the border parameter in fondo.ini and the Autohide parameter in script.mscr and actually did get to see the taskbar once, but as you stated, it didn’t remain after the next power-up.

  12. Amida,

    Would you like to use my package as R2, or are you already refining further? Any luck with the taskbar repeatability? I think it might be better leaving it alone in that users of the 220 / 250 unlock complained that the taskbar wouldn’t hide itself properly when using MioMap.

  13. C230,

    I have been busy recently. It will be a while before I release it again. There is a utility called “ShowTaskbar”. It’s by the same programmer who wrote SystemInformation. You can find it here.

    Click on “Nützliche Tools” to get to the download page. However, the utility just brings Taskbar to the front. It can not unhide the toolbar. If the autohide is set, taskbar is still hidden. I still have problems getting the taskbar to unhide. 🙁

  14. Cirrus2,

    You are welcome. I don’t know why C320 doesn’t have TTS. My guess is that it’s an earlier model. Maybe you can hack it to do TTS, but I don’t have a C320 to try.

  15. C230 has only been available for about 4 weeks – it is the successor to the C220 with TTS, MioMap 3.3 and a brighter backlit screen. I’ve been very pleased with it, including the stability of the software, especially compared to the Nextar X3T which was my first GPS (for about 2 days).

  16. Amida,

    I read somewhere that Fondo shifts the desktop over to get the icon backgrounds to fill in better. Thinking that the toolbar is formatted for 320 wide, I changed x=320 in fondo.ini to x=0 and the taskbar be much more reliable now, although once in awhile I’ll see it on Mio’s initial orange screen, yet not in the desktop. Running control panel seems to activate it in those circumstances. See what you think.

    I’ve spent a few hours and updated your package some more by updating time zone registry settings so that the 2007 changes for DST work right now, the default time zone is GMT-5 (EST), the date works right now, key clicks and screen tap sounds are automatic, File Manager font is Tahoma 7, and instead of having to find autopatcher with the file manager after a hard reset – I came up with a menu that presents you with:

    □ Unlocked C230 Desktop which automatically runs AUTOPATCHER and presents you with the C230 desktop pictured above. When choosing MioMap from the desktop, you will be able to return to the desktop using Amida’s BananaPC option.

    □ GPS Only (MioMap 3.3) which goes right into MioMap directly as your unit does automatically as shipped from the factory. You will not have the BananaPC option of exiting MioMap – if you wish to do so you will need to do a hard reset.

    Maybe I should figure out a way to post the download…

  17. Amida,

    After spending hours trying to getting the Taskbar to appear on demand*, I’ve stumbled on a method that seems to work consistently, atleast in conjunction with all of the other tweaks I’ve added to your R1 build. It seems that running Windows Explorer from File Manager (you will find it in \Windows\Programs) not only fixes the icon associations in File Manager, but it resolves the “Unable to find taskbar window” that so frequently appeared and voila – a hidden taskbar pops into view. I tried adding “Windows Explorer.lnk” to “Windows\Startup”, but that doesn’t seem to take.

    Using a stylus to unhide the taskbar and selecting “Desktop” using the last button on the taskbar – you’re good to go!

  18. The Canada map addition to MioMap works independent of the unlock which lets you access other functions on your unit.

  19. Sv7jar,

    I don’t know how to unlock C320. Have you tried my C230 hack on it? Before I read something about it’s not possible to hack C230, but I proved that it’s not true.

  20. amida,

    it seems there is no wceload in the C230 which is needed for installing cab files. do you know of an alternative?

  21. C230,

    I don’t know any alternative to wceload. I usually try to extract the cab files by myself. My release 2 is about ready. I will work on possibly activesync and application install next.

  22. I tried cabinstl, but it didn’t quite work.

    I’ve come up with the registry change needed for activesync, but haven’t been brave enough to try it:

    #<>Do not uncomment the following line unless you want to change the USB connection from Mass Storage Class to ActiveSync Serial

    #RegWriteString (“HKLM” , “Drivers\USB\FunctionDrivers” , “DefaultClientDriver” , “Serial_Class”)

  23. don’t know if i missed this, but do you follow the same instructions to unlock the c220, or do you have to download another script or something? thanks.

  24. Howdy,

    you did a fine job. Nice little car, but is there a way to use a different pic for “wallpaper”?

    I just got this little thing and your modifications make it much more valuable.



  25. Cctxxx,

    If you want to change the background image of the hacked c230, just create a 320×240 bitmap image of your choice. Name it back.bmp and replace the one in the F:\Script directory.

  26. Hello,

    I was able to get iGuidance v4 to work with c230. I installed my licensed copy of iNav iGuidance v4 on my WM5 (Acer n300) first. Then I copied the folder from my WM5 storage card to the root directory of the c230 card. I found the four DLL from and placed them in the same folder as iGuidance. I have not tested all the features, but general navigation seems to work without any problems. COM port needs to be set to COM2. Could anyone help add a shortcut button to iGuidance on the main screen?

    There are two issues:

    (1) The Menubar (File/Tools/View/etc…) covers part of the current street name and stats (time/remaining/distance/mph) when car is not in motion. It auto hides when car is moving. Anyone know how to correct this?

    (2) Sometimes when launching iGuidance, it does not do anything. You have to reset the c230 and relaunch.

  27. Thomatran,

    I would suggest you try out release 2. It’s more stable and it’s easier to modify. When you use release 2, all you need to do to add a button to the desktop is by editing the main.ini in the Script folder. For your first issue, are you referring to taskbar, the one like the Windows taskbar with a start button? If you use release 2, taskbar is not invoked by default.

  28. lioltgo,

    The download you provided is commercial software. We would like to know how you made it to load Destinator on Mio. However, this blog doesn’t support unlicensed software. The link will be deleted. Thanks.



    open this and you must change port from 5 to 2 .it is very important.

    i hope to help you


  30. hi,

    For c230&Amida u guys rock!!. It would have taken me forever to do this. thank you! I have question for Thomastran: I have done exactly what you did with a axim51v, but i cant run ig4. I tried igqvga and vga but says cant find igqvga.exe components missing. have 4 dlls, placed inav\iguidence in both storagecard and flashdisk at root. any suggestions? (sorry abbreviated all:)the findgps works though???

    thxagainfor all the work guys(love my mio230(except it being off by about 50yds)

  31. thomastran

    i forgot to add structure of folders: storagecard\inav iguidance\4 dlls etc. as a test i also copied from my axim to root of mio in \flashdisk\inav\iguidance and still can not get to run. I have tried both the iguidanceqvga.exe and iguidancevga.exe. any suggestions anyone?

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