What follows is a guide on how to upgrade the AtGames Atari Flashback X (2019 model) to support external USB flash drives.
Note that this guide is provided solely as a reference and all responsibility falls on the person performing these actions, including the possibility of damaging your console and voiding your warranty. In other words, you perform these actions solely at your own risk, so make sure you know what you’re doing and are aware of the potential risks.
This unofficial guide is provided as-is with no guarantee or support of any kind (I am not the author). No typos or other possible errors have been corrected and the information that follows is subject to change without further notice.
Tools/files you’ll need:
1. Philips head screwdriver
2. “Y cable” (OTG split cable with at least: 1x male 5-pin micro, 1x female 5-pin micro, 1x female Type-A USB, must be able to supply power to the male micro USB):
- Tested Y cable Example 1: Amazon link
- Tested Y cable Example 2: AliExpress link
3. 5-pin Micro to Type A USB cable
4. RKDevTool v2.69 (AndroidTool_Release_v2.69.zip, part of Download Package below )
5. DriverAssistant v4.8 (DriverAssitant_v4.8.zip, part of Download Package below )
6. Firmware image (ar3060_1015.img, part of Download Package below)
7. USB drive
8. Windows PC
Before you start:
Unzip DriverAssistant_v4.8.zip and run DriverInstall.exe to install the driver on your PC.
Make sure Atari Flashback X console is turned off and use screwdriver to unscrew the 4 screws at the bottom.
Carefully open the cover without disconnecting any cables inside.
Connect micro USB cable between the console and your computer.
Unzip AndroidTool_Release_v2.69.zip and run AndroidTool.exe.
Press and hold the recovery button on the PCB and power on the console.
Continue to hold the recovery button until the tool shows “Found One LOADER Device” in its status bar.
Click on the “Upgrade Firmware” tab and then click on the “Firmware” button.
Locate the firmware image on your PC, click on “Upgrade” button and wait until “Reset Device Success” shows in the status window.
Turn off the console and disconnect it from your PC.
To prepare your USB drive, make sure it uses FAT (FAT32) file system. You can choose this when you format the drive. Make sure your drive uses the MRB partition style*, otherwise the console will not recognize it. (*See Step 5.1 for conversion steps.)
Create a “Game” directory under the USB drive, make sure the cases are correct or your games won’t be loaded.
The console only takes game files with “.a26” extension (rename other formats like “.bin” to “.a26” as necessary), make sure you have the correct extension for your files and copy them into the “Game” directory created in the previous step.
Step 5.1 (Optional)
Use the following steps to convert your USB drive to MBR and format it on a Windows PC (Note: This is only necessary if your USB drive is not already correctly formatted for use with the Atari Flashback X.):
Warning: The formatting process means data loss, so please back up anything important before proceeding.
- On your keyboard, press “Windows” + “R” at the same time to open “Run” Window, then type “Diskpart” and click “OK” (click Yes if prompted by the User Access Control) to open a command prompt window.
- Type “list disk” and hit “Enter” to see all disks connected to your computer, and you identify which drive needs to be formatted. Warning: You must choose the correct disk or you risk formatting your PC’s drive. (We will use “disk x” in the following steps.)
- Type “select disk x” and hit “Enter”, then the command prompt will display a message, “Disk X is now the selected disk”.
- Type “clean” and press “Enter” to initialize disk.
- Type “convert mbr” to set disk to use MBR.
- Type “create partition primary” to add a new partition to the disk.
- Type “format FS=FAT32 QUICK” to format the new partition to use FAT32.
- Type “exit” to close the prompt, you are now ready to use the drive.
Connect the power cable and the USB drive to the console using the Y cable and turn the console on.
If all goes well, you should see a new file menu called “Ext. USB Drive” at the bottom left of the screen with all your games inside.
Did the reimaging of the software to the Atari Flashback X and now there is no sound when playing the games. Both the ones that came with the original Atari Flashback X and the ones that are on the external USB drive. So this is an issue.
Thank you for any help with this matter.
Hit up email@example.com and they’ll be able to help you out.
@bill loguidice is this update from atgames? I did the update, it worked fine. I added one game to my game folder. Didnt see it there so i deleted my game folder and re-added the game folder. Did not show any games. No matter what drive i used. It make a screech sound at the atgames logo on boot. I tried to reinstall the firmware but when i try to connect to the pc it says usb device not recognized. I tried multiple computers and cables too to rule that out.
You can try contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
I forgot to add i already had games working in my Game folder before adding 1 more game
I have the same problem . Did You solve it ?
Does it also replace the internal games? What if I do it on deluxe version with 120 games?
No, it creates a sub-menu for the SD card. It doesn’t take anything away. You can contact email@example.com for more info.
Any chance that something like this could be done for the Genesis Flashback 2017, which has a micro USB? I know it has an SD slot, but was thinking of this being a good way to convert this older model into a development platform.
I meant, mini USB of course; not edit option
how do you hold power button? its a switch
Does this also work with the “Not Special Edition” of the Flashback X?
In Germany the Special Edition seems to be unavailable and I don’t want to order oversea.
Does this firmware work with the AR3060?
On ATGAmes website there seem to be 2 different firmware version for both consoles…
It’s best to check in with AtGames directly. They’re not my instructions.
It seems that it replaced my special edition games with normal game set, so my Flashback X deluxe with 120 games now has only 110 games. Not a big deal. Also note that the games does not have to contain any space character in the file name, otherwire it will not load the game.
You should let firstname.lastname@example.org know so they can provide the correct firmware so you’re not missing games.
I was rummaging through the image files of the upgrade package and noticed that there are 112 .a26 files, not the 110 you might expect. Intrigued I compared the ROM names to the list here. https://armchairarcade.com/perspectives/2019/10/29/full-game-list-for-the-atari-flashback-x-2019/ The 2 additional ROMs are Freeway and Video Olympics. I haven’t actually checked yet to see if they are available to use. It made me wonder if I can delete any games I really dont like and maybe add in a few I do then generate my own image file to load into the flashback.
Alternatively I was wondering about soldering a small cable with a suitable USB socket directly onto the existing micro USB port PCB so I can just leave a USB stick inside the flashback. It would be easy to secure the stick to stop it flapping about inside. It means I wouldn’t need the Y cable which I just know I am going to loose! Obviously I would have to open the unit if I to disconnect the stick first if I ever had to upgrade the firmware again or change the games on the stick but I think it could be worth it for the convenience.
Any progress on the internal USB socket for a (semi-) permanent storage for extra ROMs?
An update that others might find useful. I bought my flashback X second hand on eBay Germany so its just possible I got a flashback Special Edition sent to me in a Standard Edition box. The images on the front of the box dont include “Special Edition 120 Games” on and the tiny info on the side of the box said MODEL AR3060/M717 so I assumed it was just the standard edition. Silly me! I tried flashing with the standard edition upgrade. It appeared to flash ok but did not upgrade. When I checked the on screen “About” info it told me that it was an AR3060s_v0.1.5. Problem solved! (s for special edition).
The latest 3060s firmware version downloaded from ATgames after registering flashed fine.
Next problem was my choice of old 1GB memory stick. It formated in Windows just fine. There was nothing actually wrong with it however the Flashback refused to see it. Replacing it with a more modern stick cured my problem.
Are there updated directions on adding box/cartridge art to the files?