Spark Core V1 flashing yellow, but don't want to lose program code

Hi folks,

I actually got into spark in an attempt to debug a larger board which is part of the Grove Ecosystem. The spark is basically the brain that turns on and off the lights and pumps and apparently makes the larger accessory board functional. Many of these grove ecosystems have become unresponsive and will not turn on any of the accessories so I figured the problem must lie in the spark unit.

The spark has a slow flashing white light when on the board and powered on.

When I plugged it into the USB on my computer and held down MODE it started a fast yellow flash. The troubleshooting I found on the Particle website suggests it needs a factory reset. However I do not have a copy of the program code necessary to run the Grove Ecosystem and unfortunately Grove cannot give it to me either.


  1. Will doing a factory reset remove the program code from the chip?
  2. If so is there any way to get that program code off the chip without factory reset? (So I can put it back on after reset.)
  3. If reset clears the program code is there any way to fix my Spark without losing the code?


You can see where the spark sits in the board in the pics below.

If this device was preprogrammed by Grove and they did their job properly the factory image on the device which will be reflashed on factory reset should be their original program.
But before you perform the factory reset get back at Grove and get their written word that they have put the correct image on and if they haven’t you may be able to ask them to flash your device OTA or send you a flashable binary - you won’t need the sources.

I guess the problem is that the CC3000 has lost its memory and would need a

particle flash --usb cc3000

But first make sure Grove will assist if things go wrong.
If you can move onto the Photon (even if you may need to pay Grove a few bucks for it) which is much more reliable.

Thanks for your help ScruffR!

  1. I don’t understand how flashing OTA would be possible since I cannot get the device to connect via USB or show up on wifi.

  2. I would be happy to try the particle flash code but my guess is that also requires a USB or wifi connection.

  3. Grove is no help whatsoever :frowning:

  4. I actually have two units now in this exact same condition so if one loses its source it’s not necessarily the end of the world. Do you think a factory reset would somehow fix the connectivity issues? If so would that guarantee the grove code is lost?


I meant after you contacted Grove and got the assurence that they would reflash your device OTA once you had performed a factory reset, you can proceede with the factory reset (which hopefully will bring your device online again).

I might have missed this in your original post, but where did you actually mention that you cannot connect via USB?

Without Grove’s help you will have a potentially useless device either way, so you can risk flashing the cc3000 patch first and if this doesn’t help you can still try the factory reset.

BTW there is a dfu-util command to pull the binary image off a device but I can’t recall what that is for the Core’s application binary.
Maybe @rickkas7 can jump in here

Hey yeah sorry I should have made that more clear. In the CLI setup tells you to hold down the mode button to get it to blink blue. Holding mode led to a flashing yellow instead, so I figured that was a sign enough something was wrong and I also wasn’t 100% sure it wasn’t USB readable. But now after trying DFU mode (which does flash yellow), and also doing a factory reset (I have two units in similar conditions now so I figured a factory reset was worth it), I still can’t get it to be read via my CLI install, either with setup or dfu-util -d 1d50:607f -a 0 -s 0x08005000 -U corefirmware.bin

Also now when I plug it in it does the normal slow white flash, but when I hold mode it stops flashing and just becomes a steady slightly dimmer white. Reset gets the light slowly flashing again.

When holding MODE down leads to blinking yellow, then you may have hit the RESET button too.
To enter Listening/Setup Mode you need to power up the device and then press and hold the MODE button.

And as I already said, you may need to flash (in DFU Mode)

particle flash --usb cc3000