[BETA] Unable to flash OTA Photon firmware


I have been unable to update the Tinker firmware that came with the Photon. I have try both the Particle Dev and the Web IDE and nothing. Even though both IDEs say the firmware update was successful.

The simple code I’m pushing is:

void setup() {
    pinMode(D7, OUTPUT);
    digitalWrite(D7, HIGH);

void loop() {

The Photon’s led colors go like this:
Breathing cyan (before the flash) --> solid magenta --> flashing magenta --> solid white --> flashing green --> breathing cyan.

Once the Photon comes online again, it still has Tinker on it.


Are you using an alpha photon? I dont think the photon has shipped yet.

V0.4.0 release has instructions to fix the OTA issue if you are on beta

I’m using a Beta Photon, just got it.

Where/what is V0.4.0?

Do you have access to latest firmware?

I though the firmware was added automagically when compiling in the cloud.

Are you refering to compiling the firmware binaries locally and flash it through UDP?

Look at the v0.4.0 release. You might need a stlinkV2 to update the firmware or DFU should work well.

Will update one i get a chance to check things out


If you look under the releases tab, there are instructions to update via OTA or DFU-util. Can you try to upgrade your system firmware and see if things are ok?

Hey @kennethlimcp - thanks for jumping in but these instructions aren’t quite right. People are starting to get real Photons off the line.

@sazp96, a quick triage. You say it’s a “beta” Photon - where and when did you receive it?

The long and short of it is that Photons that are currently being distributed from the manufacturer will automatically update to the latest firmware. A small number of Photons were distributed as part of an early access program; if you have one of those, we need to give you instructions on how to get your Photon ready for primetime. Let us know which camp you’re in and we’ll help you out.


Hi @Zach, I got one of the early access Photons (I received it last Tuesday). Can’t wait to start playing with it. :slight_smile:

Got it! We’ll put together some documentation on how to get your Photon updated with the release firmware -probably won’t be until tomorrow though because the whole team is at Maker Afairs right now. Thanks for your patience, we’ll get you sorted out soon!

That sounds great. Thanks a lot!!

Have fun at the Maker Faire!

Hello folks,

I followed the instructions provided by @mdma and @dave on the topic below:

I flashed [V040] (https://s3.amazonaws.com/release-binaries/photon/photon_parts_v040.zip) by OTA and DFU. Everything seems to work fine, but after flashing a simple app from the WebIDE it still doesn't run on the Photon.

Is there another step I'm missing?


1 Like

@sazp96, @zach, I’m in the same boat, I have an early access photon and cant get any simple apps to flash OTA either. Been trying to for the last week or so.

You may also need to reprogram the bootloader. The bootloader is available at https://github.com/spark/firmware-private/releases/tag/photon-RC4, in the all-rc4-update.zip file - bootloader.bin.

Before attempting to write the bootloader using JTAG, please flash the the unlocker.bin to 0x8020000 via DFU - this will ensure the flash is write-enabled.

That should get you up and running.


@mdma, are there instructions on how to specify the location “0x8020000” when flashing via DFU? I dont remember seeing a place to do this, when I flashed other code via DFU.
Also the link you gave seems to be broken, getting 404 error.

Right now I don’t have at ST programmer, been thinking of buying one, or should I wait for the new Particle shield?

The release is now available in our public firmware repo. https://github.com/spark/firmware/releases/tag/v0.4.1

This page provides the release files and gives the instructions for DFU and how to specify the address.



@sazp96 and @wesner0019, please follow the instructions in the release notes that @mdma linked to - if you still have any trouble, let us know!

Thanks @mdma and @zach. Quick question, where can I find:

  • system_pad_BM-09.bin
  • bootloader.bin

I couldn’t find them in here: https://github.com/spark/firmware/releases/tag/v0.4.1


@sazp96 I added the missing system_pad_BM-09.bin binary to the v0.4.1 release.

Thank you @BDub. Could you also add bootloader.bin?