X96 Mini S905-W - Cannot get LibreELEC to work.

  • I have a X96 Mini S905-W.

    I bought it thinking it was a 2GB RAM/16GB ROM model, it was sold as a 2G/16G and it even says so on the sticker between its feet, but upon booting the original firmware I discovered it was a 1GB/8GB model (unless for some strange reason it's decidedly not using half of its resources)

    I've burnt the LibreELEC img onto several sd cards and replaced the device tree file with every S905-W and S905-X (1gb and 2gb just in case) dtb file.

    I'm doing everything right, renaming it to dtb.img and overwriting the one on the SD card, using a toothpick to hold down the reset button when plugging in the power, and holding it down until an image appears... but an image never appears.

    Nothing works, I get no response, all I get is a black screen and no output signal.

    As soon as I remove the sdcard and reboot, it loads the original firmware.

    I've tried putting some other compatible firmware installations (ATVXperience ROM) on the sdcard and it installs correctly, this however refuses to work.

    I've also tried burning the rom directly onto the internal using the USB_Burning_Tool, which worked for other roms, but I get an error and nothing gets written.

    I've noticed the file structure of the sd card when burning a rom is completely different to what I see when I burn LibreELEC on there.

    I doubt that'll help diagnose the problem but I thought I might as well mention it.

  • If I was you, I will first contact the seller and asking for refund...


    About the booting to LE, which LE image you have tried? On my box, I tried with LE 8.2.3.1 from kszaq post but it doesn't work. Then I use the image from wrxtasy and balbes150, LE booted as supposed. So you should play around with different image to see which will work.

    X96 S905X 1G/8G WiFi 8189es 100M LAN - LE 8 @ 1.512GHz on SDCard.

  • If I was you, I will first contact the seller and asking for refund...

    Already have, seller hasn't responded. If I do manage to send it back for a full refund I've got the original firmware.


    Please post original dtb file and if possible bootloader log and PCB photo.

    I don't know how to get to the bootloader log / original dtb and I don't want to take it apart to get to the PCB for reasons mentioned above.


    About the booting to LE, which LE image you have tried? On my box, I tried with LE 8.2.3.1 from kszaq post but it doesn't work. Then I use the image from wrxtasy and balbes150 , LE booted as supposed. So you should play around with different image to see which will work.

    This one?

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1p6wmq6o9ts08yow3dnmax6tytsp445pb

  • I finally have it running!

    Thanks White, the other build did the trick, along with the 905X gxl_p212_1g.dtb device tree.

    It's really smooth most of the time, but sometimes it bottlenecks and freezes for about 10 seconds, I think that might be the crumby SD Card I'm using.

    Oh, and the gpu and cpu temperatures are pretty worrying (and I've not enabled the GPU overclock option in the AMLogic menu)

    After 30 minutes or so they're both hovering between 160-170 farenheit, and the box is hot to the touch, last I checked though the temperatures wouldn't even display, just '??'.

  • X96-Mini are notorious for overheating. You'll have to do some extra work to keep it cool.


    Mine runs at about 55°C-60°C after I added a CPU Heatsink, drilled some holes in it and placed it upside down.

    ODROID N2_S922 4G - 1GB Ethernet, X92_S912_q201 3/32G - 1GB Ethernet Box_Android 7.1.2, Mocool KM8_S905X 2/16 0.1GB Ethernet Box_Android 8.0, X96Mini_S905W 2/16G 0.1GB Ethernet Box_Android 7.1.2

  • I finally have it running!

    Thanks White, the other build did the trick, along with the 905X gxl_p212_1g.dtb device tree.

    It's really smooth most of the time, but sometimes it bottlenecks and freezes for about 10 seconds, I think that might be the crumby SD Card I'm using.

    Oh, and the gpu and cpu temperatures are pretty worrying (and I've not enabled the GPU overclock option in the AMLogic menu)

    After 30 minutes or so they're both hovering between 160-170 farenheit, and the box is hot to the touch, last I checked though the temperatures wouldn't even display, just '??'.

    Glad it helps.

    Sometimes, my box has freeze too, I don't know what cause. However, during the movie session, it plays smoothly until the end, only lag sometimes when I move around the menu or install addons...

    My box as hot as yours, around 71 Celcius. So I have take off the top cover and let it naked lol. Now it stay around 51-60. I'm thinking of using bigger heat sink and adding a fan. However, the chip is thermal glued with original little heat sink, so I don't know how to take that out, fry the heat sink up maybe? Sholander may I know your experience when replacing the heat sink please?

    X96 S905X 1G/8G WiFi 8189es 100M LAN - LE 8 @ 1.512GHz on SDCard.

  • On my X96mini box original heatsink was a piece of metal 3mm thick fastened with a screw to plastic cover of the box. Contact with the processor was over a 3mm thermo pad placed on the processor; when the cover closes the contact between the heatsink and processor is achieved.
    So, I had no problem replacing that with a heatsink for "South Bridge" chip on PC boards that now covers processor and memory chips. Can send you pictures to see how it looks now, if you are interested...


    I have no experience with glued heatsinks, but I know that it is very difficult. One has to use heat and carefully take it off with twisting motion, NOT pulling it of the processor.

    ODROID N2_S922 4G - 1GB Ethernet, X92_S912_q201 3/32G - 1GB Ethernet Box_Android 7.1.2, Mocool KM8_S905X 2/16 0.1GB Ethernet Box_Android 8.0, X96Mini_S905W 2/16G 0.1GB Ethernet Box_Android 7.1.2

  • On my X96mini box original heatsink was a piece of metal 3mm thick fastened with a screw to plastic cover of the box. Contact with the processor was over a 3mm thermo pad placed on the processor; when the cover closes the contact between the heatsink and processor is achieved.
    So, I had no problem replacing that with a heatsink for "South Bridge" chip on PC boards that now covers processor and memory chips. Can send you pictures to see how it looks now, if you are interested...


    I have no experience with glued heatsinks, but I know that it is very difficult. One has to use heat and carefully take it off with twisting motion, NOT pulling it of the processor.

    Your box has the whole cover as a heat sink, that's good idea. But mine has little tiny heat sink, so it was always hot. When I open the top cover and place it like that, the temp goes down to about 55-61 C. I have tried to slightly and gently lift the heat sink up but it's not moving. Maybe there are some trick out there...

    X96 S905X 1G/8G WiFi 8189es 100M LAN - LE 8 @ 1.512GHz on SDCard.

  • The trick is to let the CPU get very hot, turn off the box and then twist gently the heatsink left-right. Slowly it will alow you more and more motion untill it comes off. I have seen on youtube that the CPU has to be heated up several times untill one is able to twist the heatsink off.

    ODROID N2_S922 4G - 1GB Ethernet, X92_S912_q201 3/32G - 1GB Ethernet Box_Android 7.1.2, Mocool KM8_S905X 2/16 0.1GB Ethernet Box_Android 8.0, X96Mini_S905W 2/16G 0.1GB Ethernet Box_Android 7.1.2