Help with upgrading a Slice unit to latest OS and software

  • Good evening all,

    I have a Slice media player (SMP) which I bought back in its kickstarter days. Due to apathy, it's been sitting in its box this whole time and now that I have a few days of leave from work, I thought it might be a good time to set it up for my daughters tv room.

    Upon hooking it up to the tv I notice that (obviously) it has the 2015 OS and Kodi 14.1 software installed. I think the SLice software is dated 20150327. For me this is too far out of date, so I would like to update the unit to the latest OS and software. Further to that, I also bought a CM3 (and copper heat sinks) about a year back with a view to swapping out the original module. The time of reckoning has finally arrived.

    I remember back in the day that the forum offered numerous posts as to how to update, install a heat sink etc etc. I suppose I always to it for granted that the forum would always be there. Now that the fiveninjas forum is down and with my being reliant on it, I have no idea how to update this unit. I am just an end user, but if I have to I don't mind getting my hands dirty. Been online pretty much the whole day trying to figure out how to do this, but really didn't get anywhere. Some of the posts I came across assume you have an understaning of coding and I am not sure if they apply specifically to Slice or if they are generic solutions.

    Finally came across this website and, as it now seems to be the defacto Slice forum, I figure it would be the best place to find my answers.

    So, can anybody here offer any insight as to what I need to do to upgrade/ update my SMP or at least direct me to where I can find that information. I tried the page but some of the information there may as well have been written in greek.

    If anyone can help, it would be greatly appreciated, but in your response please bear in mind that I am new too all this.

    Have a good day.



  • Go to the downloads page (downloads – LibreELEC) and select FiveNinjas Slice. Upgrade instruction will then be displayed.

    If yours is an original Slice it will have a CM1 module in it.
    A lot of people upgraded to a CM3 (like me), as it is a lot faster.

  • Hi again,

    Thanks for your response westland16. As I noted in my post, I am new to this process so you will have to bear with my questions. I do have the intention of upgrading to a CM3; bought a unit a few months ago for that very purpose.

    My first question would be, do I need to swap out the CM for the CM3 BEFORE I undertake the upgrade of the OS/ software? I assume that to be the case.

    Next question is re the download listed on that page (LibreELEC-Slice3.arm-8.2.3.tar). I assume this contains both the LibeElec OS and the Kodi software. Is this correct? So my understanding is that after flashing the eMMC card on the CM3 (thru windows) the current versions of libreElec and Kodi will be avialable after a reboot. Will the noobs software be needed as part of this process?

    Further, I notice in other posts there seems to be more current files, eg., LibreELEC-Slice3.arm-8.90.008.img.gz. Again I assume this is the current updated version of the previous file.

    I am sure there will be more questions to follow, but... baby steps. ?(



  • It was a while ago when I did it, but yes, swap to the CM3 first as the builds are different.

    This is the scary part as you need to be able to see the eMMC partions on you PC (some people have trouble) so you can format it correctly.

    Follow the instructions until you have a bootable CM3, then you can set LibreElec to update from the latest channel, which will download 8.90.008.

  • Thanks westland,

    So just to clarify, the procedure is,

    1. Replace the CM board with the new CM3 board,

    2. by following the instructions on the webpage, flash the eMMC on the CM3 by downloading the rpiboot program and installing thru windows,

    3. this should result in the eMMC appearing as a storage device in Windows,

    4. download the 8.90.008 image,

    5. use either Win32DiskImager to write the unzipped 8.90.008 (for CM3) image direct to the eMMC, or,

    use etcher to write the zipped 8.90.008 (for CM3) file direct to the eMMC,

    6. Once you have written an OS image, make sure J4 (USB SLAVE BOOT ENABLE) is set to the disabled position and/or nothing is plugged into the USB slave port. Power cycling the IO board should result in the Compute Module booting the OS image from eMMC.

    >>I assume this means to reboot the Slice.

    >> Where is the J4 located? I cannot see it in either etcher or win32diskimager.

    All starting to make (a bit of) sense now. Will give it a go over the next day or so.

    Thanks again,



  • steps 4 + 5 can be done with the libreELEC USB SD creator downloads – LibreELEC this is what i used a long time ago. Once its installed its easy to update.

    Cant say i remember anything about J4, how i remember it is power the slice and connect the USB to get to the eMMC, dont power the Slice and connect the USB to get to the internal hard drive.

  • Install the drivers to Windows and then connect the Slice to Windows via the micro-USB port. Windows should see something is attached. Now add power to the Slice box and it should power up in 'disk' mode allowing the eMMC to be written. The drivers aren't brilliant and it can take a reboot of Windows and some patience before the CM3 cards shows up as a disk target, but it's the only method.

  • Hi,

    Well I finally took the plunge and,

    1. swapped out the CM board for the CM3 board,
    2. installed the rpiboot drivers,
    3. connected the SMP with the USB cable, powered it on and, lo and behold there it was as a windows disk,
    4. wrote the 8.90.008 file to the eMMC of the CM3 by using the libreELEC USB SD creator. Took about 30seconds.

    Seems to have gone smoothly coz when I connect to the TV, it seems to work fine. in now branded as LibeeElec, no mention of Slice anywhere. The Slice media player has 'lost' the Slice themes and feel. Is that to be expected? Is there anyway I can get the original slice themes back? Tried to 'Get more' themes but nothing seems to happen even though I am connected to the net.

    In the USB-CD creator, as per the image below, I bypassed 'Number 1 - Select version' and went straight to 'Number 2 - Select file' and selected the 8.90.008 that I had downloaded. Not sure if I was meant to select the default Slice (CM3) with the 8.2.3 image and then upgrade to the 8.90.008.

    Further, what is meant to happen from here? Next time I want to upgrade, do I have to connect to my Windows pc and go thru steps 3 and 4 again ? :( Or does it upgrade automatically thru the system settings?

    Once again, thanks in anticipation.



  • There's nothing we can do about the original Slice theme as it wasn't maintained by Five Ninja's (or anyone else, largely because it contained fonts that were not licensed for open/public distribution) and Kodi moved on so the old skin is incompatible and missing things. Estuary has some alternative colour options though, and IMHO the dark blue (almost Slice-blue) "midnight" colour scheme is nicer than the default. If you're desperate for something more Slice-like during boot you can run "mount -o remount,rw /flash" and copy the file dropbox linked below to /flash/oemsplash.png. It's a simple tweak that will survive upgrades. It's the original 'noobs' boot splash that Slice used, but with the "press to enter recovery mode (=)" blanked out as we don't ship noobs as part of our OS images.

    Dropbox - slice_1080p.png

    From now on you can update from the Kodi GUI using the LE settings addon. See

    - the skin and settings addon layouts will change a little in LE 9.0 from what's in the video but the core idea/process remains the same. No need to flash the CM3 card again unless something goes bad and you deliberately want to do it.

  • Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the image. I assume the 'mount' command you noted is to be input via the SSH console. I really liked the images that the Slice 'architecure' theme had, so would have liked to have kept that....oh well, no drama.

    Re the skins, would it be safe to say that I have dl the skin first before selecting 'Get more' in the settings options?



  • If you "get more" it opens the add-on browser .. or you can navigate there directly to install them (in Kodi settings or from the home-screen).

  • I am trying to get my original Slice working again. Two weeks ago all was fine. Two days ago i went to use it to solve an issue for my wife and finally prove I was not stupid in buying it all those years ago. It was dead!!!! Nothing on the screen. I was advised to install the Librelec and Kodi again.

    I can get the BCM2708 device showing on the USB taskbar icon and on device manager, but when I run the rpiboot.exe, it shows several steps progressing in a command window but the device disappears from the device manager and the eMMC does not appear as a disk in the explorer. I notice that it has been said that the driver is a bit temperamental but I have tried many times and I have tried reboots of the laptop and nothing seems to help. Anyone got any ideas? Maybe the CM1 module is stuffed?

    Help please......