GP2X Issues

This page is deprecated. It shows information that is no longer true, or is obsolete.

There has been some concern over defects and design flaws with the GP2X and if these problems can be address with patches to the firmware. The goal of this article is to clear up what exactly the known flaws are and conclude what steps must be taken for them to be corrected.

Should I get a GP2X now or Wait?
  • Yes, if you are purchasing a second edition. Please note: it is hard to buy a first edition unless you are buying second hand, so you should not have to worry about accidentally ending up with a first edition GP2X.
  • If you are purchasing a first edition, read on...


GP2X Mk1 (First Edition)

The original GP2X was not quite ready for the casual user even if all they wanted to do is use it as a portable video player, and it was certainly not ready if they wanted to use it as a portable gaming device. The firmware had some annoying bugs, and there were some very real questions about the build quality. This is not to say that the GP2X Mk1 wasn't a good piece of hardware, but that it was released a bit before it was ready for the general public.

External References: [1] [2]


Buy a 2nd Edition GP2X, with upgraded firmware and fixed internals.

Battery Problems

Power Consumption

The GP2X is currently chewing through batteries; even high-end NiMH batteries are only lasting 2-4 hours, and Ansmann 2600 mAh Photo-Accus 4 h 54 min has been confirmed. As expected the 2nd core isn't running at full speed anymore (staying in reset mode = minimal power consumption) and the Tv-Out chip isn't powered at all time. But still, running the 2 cpu's at full speed will draw around 400mA and thereby will chew through batteries (tnx vimacs for the info).

Conclusion: Use CPU/LCD-Tweaker to change the cpu's clock to a low value if you are not running any heavy app(ie: music, image, text).

Life of Batteries that come with the GP2X

The batteries that come with the GP2X are standard alkaline batteries and these do not work well in a high drain device such as the GP2X. In fact many users are reporting these batteries as dying in as little as 45 minutes. Just as with a digital camera NiMH batteries will last much longer and they are rechargeable. It is a common misconception that rechargeable batteries are not as good as non-rechargeable batteries, but clearly this is not the case. NiMH batteries are rated in milliamp hours, with more being better. It is recommended that you use at least 2000mAH batteries with the GP2X to ensure several hours of use. These batteries are becoming increasingly common and can be found in many retail stores such as Target in the United States.

Conclusion: Use NiMH batteries

External References for Battery Problems: [3] [4]

USB Problems

Update: Firmware 2.0 resolves most, if not all, of these USB issues.

Some GP2X users have had no problems at all connecting their GP2X's to their PC, however other users cannot get their PC to recognize the device if it's plugged into a USB 1.x port, and yet other users cannot get the device to work no matter what they do. This is a fairly complicated problem that can be attributed to either; the gp2x firmware, the host computer's OS, or the physical usb connection. If a problem occurs at any of these points the USB functionality will not work. If you are experiencing problems with getting your GP2X to connect to your computer, it is recommended that you evaluate each of these possibilities. Additionally, there are limitations to what can and cannot be done over USB at this time.

It is important to note that the GP2X must be on its USB connect screen and an SD card must be inserted before it will communicate to the PC at all. Simply plugging it in is not enough.

Firmware 2.0 fixes these problems. The GP2X is now recognised as a USB 2.0 removable disk.

Onboard NAND memory not available through USB

An SD card is needed to copy files through USB to your GP2X. This has most likely been done as a precaution, as it is rumored that if the onboard NAND is filled up then the device will not boot. A future firmware update may set a little area aside (500k-1MB) for users to copy simple things on there.

In Firmware 1.4.0, you can copy files from the GP2X explorer, but it is recommended that you put nothing on the NAND.

In firmware 2.0, you select which memory the USB connection will present to the host PC.

Conclusion: Possible since firmware 2.0.0

External References for USB Problems: [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

Defective USB Cable

Some users have reported that the USB cable that comes with the GP2X is defective and that replacing this cable with a standard miniUSB cable fixed this problem. As this is a fairly easy to do, it is recommend that if your GP2X is not recognized by your computer that you first try using a different USB cable to verify that you are not suffering from this problem.

Conclusion: Replace the faulty USB cable

Original Firmware has poor compatibility

The GP2X firmware versions below 1.0.1r3 had very poor compatability for connecting via USB to a Windows XP computer. In many cases the "device is not recognized" error would be displayed, or the device would be recognized but a drive letter would not be assigned to it. For some users these problems have been corrected by later firmware releases, especially in versions 1.0.1r3 and beyond.

Conclusion: Use latest firmware

Device works in USB 1.x ports but not 2.x ports

The compatibility of the GP2X’s USB connection is much better in USB 1.x mode then it is in USB 2.x. 2.x compatibility should be corrected in future firmware releases.

Conclusion: Use the latest firmware

Client OS Software Problems


Versions of Microsoft Windows prior to Windows XP do not support the GP2X natively. It may be possible to add support to Windows 98 through the use of add-on drivers, however this is not supported. Windows XP users may be forced to go through "voodoo" like rituals in order to have their computers recognize the device. This is due to Microsoft's extremely poor implementation of USB that frequently results in resource assignment problems. This is not a problem with the GP2X in particular but a problem with Windows itself, although if the GP2X required fewer resources from the host system it would lessen the problem to an extent. There are four common methods for resolving USB software problems on Windows XP, each of which is described below.

  • Bitcoder's downgrade USB and working method!
    • Change your BIOS settings in order to change the USB version from 2.0 to 1.1 or 1.0
    • If you dont have that option in your BIOS then you can do that by software: go to "control panel->system->hardware->hardware manager" and disable the "USB enhanced host controller"
    • Plug your GP2X and it should work without any problem (tested on several PCs including desktop and laptop)
  • Plug & Pray Method
    • Unplug all USB Devices from your computer
    • Reboot your computer
    • Plug the GP2X into your computer
    • If it is not recognized try a different USB port
    • If the device starts working plug your other USB devices in
  • Dijitao's Method:
    • Update Drivers for all your USB devices, and your Motherboard. Note that some devices might currently be using generic Microsoft drivers instead of vendor specific ones, i.e. your Logitech mouse – it's imperative that you switch to using the drivers from the vendor as these tend to cause a lot less problems.
    • Reboot computer and enter the bios. Disable in the bios all unused device. COM ports, Parallel port etc...
    • Disconnect all USB devices (use a PS/2 adapter for your mouse and keyboard if necessary)
    • Boot Computer into Windows
    • Remove System devices\PCI bus from Device Manager
    • Reboot Computer
    • Watch Device Manager add everything back in (hopefully with more intelligent resource assignment)
    • Connect GP2X, if it doesn't work now you might have a hardware problem
    • Connect all other USB Devices one at a time verifying they work
    • Reboot with all Devices connected
    • Verify everything still works
    • Disconnect the GP2X and reboot
    • Connect the GP2X and verify that it's now working, if not you will need to have your GP2X plugged in when you turn on your computer for it to work.
  • ROMaster2's Method:
    • Turn off Computer
    • Unplug everything other than the power cable
    • Turn on Computer for 15 secs, then turn off
    • Plug everything back in EXCEPT the other USB Devices
    • Turn on Computer and boot up
    • Plug the GP2X into your computer
    • If it is not recognized try a different USB port
    • If the device starts working plug your other USB devices in

Conclusion: Microsoft's USB implementation is not terrible. GPH hasn't put much effort into making the product USB1.1/2.0 100% compatible/friendly.

Mac OS X

OS X should theoretically have no problems recognizing the GP2X, but reports vary. One key issue is that many Macs use USB2.0, and GP2X with firmware lower than 2.0 has problems with this as mentioned above. If you have a separate Apple keyboard, this contains a 1.x hub. Laptop users could try using an external 1.1 hub, or upgrade your firmware Mac-How.

As of Firmware 2.1.0 (October 2006), OS X recognizes the GP2X as an external storage device on USB 2.0 ports. If you cannot connect to your powerbook, try upgrading the firmware.


Linux should have no problems as long as the proper support for USB storage devices and SD media has been compiled into the kernel. If the device is not recognized in Linux and you are running a "mainstream" distribution and you haven't rolled your own Kernel then you most likely do not have a client OS related problem.

SD Card Problems

Cards 2GB and larger do not work

Firmware 1.1.0 and higher support 2Gb and larger, however older firmwares do not. Simply upgrade to fix this limitation.

Conclusion: Firmware upgrade needed

SD Card Compatability

Some users are reporting problems reading some brands of SD cards. This has not been addressed by GPH but it should be fixable with a firmware update. In the meantime a list of SD card compatibility has been established on this wiki and has been updated by users as they discover which cards work, and which do not.

Conclusion: Firmware upgrade needed

External References for SD Card Problems: [13] [14] [15]

GP2X cannot see SD card

If the SD card is formatted to FAT32 using Windows XP via the GP2X, Windows XP sees the disk as a hard drive, not a memory card, and so it formats it in the wrong way (creating a partition table etc). The gp2x can't recognize that kind of partition table and so it doesn't show up. The answer is to format the SD card using a card reader.

Screen Problems

A number of new users are confused by random lines and 'snow' on the screen when the battery is running out of power. You may want want to try replacing your batteries before continuing to diagnose the problem.

Diagonal Lines

Some users reported seeing diagonal lines across the screen at times. The problem was acknowledged by GPH and the newest firmware contains a cheap "fix" for this, while it doesn't actually FIX anything. The problem is still present and only CPU/LCD-Tweaker seems to help it (press the B button for UPLL mode).

Conclusion: Fool yourself with the cheap fixer implemented on the newest firmware, hold your breath till GPH actually fixes the problem or use CPU/LCD-Tweaker because it's the only thing that helps the problem.

One White Line down side of screen

Problem acknowledged by GPH.

Conclusion: Upgrade firmware to 1.0.1r3 or newer to resolve.

Light/Dark Spots

Some users have reported that their GP2X's have light or dark spots on the screen. Disassembly of the GP2X shows that this is most likely caused by a component touching the back of the LCD. Disassembling and Reassembling the GP2X while carefully ensuring that everything is neatly tucked in its place should resolve this problem, however at this time this cannot be confirmed.

Conclusion: Disassemble/Reassemble GP2X. Reported fixed in 1.0.1r3 firmware.

Half the Screen is Brighter than the other Half

A small minority of users have reported that half of the screen appears brighter then the other half. GPH have acknowledged this problem and claim that a firmware patch will correct this problem. Some people are skeptical that the firmware could correct this problem. The root of the problem may be the same as the Light/Dark spots problem, in which case Disassembly/Reassembly may fix it. It is worth noting that many users have commented that they have not observed this problem.

Conclusion: Only a small number of GP2X's seem defective in this manner. Reported fixed in 1.0.1r3 firmware.

The screen came with scratches in it

Older GP2X units were shipped with not one but two pieces of protective film over the screen to keep them from being scratched. Many people have believed their screen to be scratched when they get their unit but in fact they simply didn’t know to remove the second layer of protective film.

Conclusion: If you've bought one of these older units, make sure you remove both layers of protective film before concluding your screen is scratched.

Tip: Just pick at the corners of the protective screen for a bit with your nails, and then pull it out.

The screen flickers

The screen seems to display the images at a weird refresh rate and it flickers. It appears to be interlaced. In emulators it seems that all frames are not displayed. Similar to the "Diagonal Lines" problem, this is not fixed by any firmware update.

Conclusion: Problem still not fixed by GPH. Try using CPU/LCD-Tweaker to activate UPLL mode .

External References [16] [17]

Sound Problems

Speakers are on even when headphones are plugged in

This is the same problem as Headphone Jack No Connected Tightly Enough, a solder point is loose. It's easy enough to fix even if you are inexperienced at soldering, and the procedure to remedy the problem has been detailed step by step on the forum by chronomitch.

Conclusion: Common, easy to fix

Garbled Sound when headphones are plugged in

Some users have reported that they hear crackling or distorted sound while using head phones. In all but one documented case this turned out to be caused by the headphones not being plugged all the way in. The fit of the headphone jack has been described as quite snug by several users.

Conclusion: Verify headphones are plugged all the way in

Headphone Jack not connected tightly enough

Some users have reported that the headphone jack is not connected to the PCB tightly enough and therefore the external plug sinks in a little when the headphone jack is plugged in for the first time. This appears to be an issue widely blown out of proportion as it received much attention when first noticed, but now no one seems to be complaining about it anymore. While the jack may move in a little when headphones are attached for the first time, this does not seam to be a problem. However one user has had his headphone jack snap completely off, but this seems to be an isolated incident.

Conclusion: Very Rare

Speakers are Mono

The two speakers on the GP2X seem to produce the same sounds, thus indicating that the GP2X's speakers are not stereo. This has been confirmed by multiple users now. It is important to note that this only applies for the internal speakers on the GP2X; headphones work fine with full stereo sound. Nk has created a program that corrects this problem in software.

Conclusion: Will be fixed in a firmware patch at a later time, in the mean time a tool created by NK can be used to fix this problem Download Here.

Left/Right Stereo Channels are Reversed

The left and right stereo channels are reportedly reversed on some units. This should be easily fixable through a firmware update although GPH has yet to comment on this issue.

Conclusion: Fixable with firmware update

External References: [18] [19] [20]

Joystick Problems: (needs input)

Directions Not Registering

Some GP2X users have reported that the joystick is not properly registering all directions, and that left is particularly unresponsive. A method to fix the joystick is to pull off the plastic cap, put a small bit of (black!) paper on the shaft then replace the cap. This lifts it slightly so it does not catch on the plastic of the case. It is much more responsive. Updating the firmware should also help in fixing this problem of the joystick not registering all directions.

Conclusion: Easily Fixed by following steps above

Large Dead Zone

Some users have reported that the GP2X has a large deadzone – meaning that the stick has to be pushed quite far for a direction to be registered. This does seem to be the case however the problem should be fixable with a simple mod to the GP2X. This mod would involve taking the GP2X apart. Others have stipulated that the dead zone is actually a software problem and maybe fixed via firmware. Evidence of this is how responsive the stick is in the menus and how unresponsive it is in homebrewed games. Since the stick is functionally the same as an 8 button directional pad, the confusion may come from the perception that it "looks" like an analog stick, and therefore should act like one, when in fact it does need to be pressed completely in any given direction to activate the sensors.

Conclusion: Dead Zone does exist, however its cause is disputed. May be fixed through hardware mod or new firmware depending.

External References: [21]

Joystick Limp and Unresponsive

Some users have reported that the GP2X joystick can become limp and unresponsive like the spring has failed. This is not usually a broken joystick but rather something inside the joystick being out of place. It usually can be fixed by jiggling, pushing and pulling gently while rotating the stick. This may take some time but you should eventually feel a small click and the stick will function normally after that.

It has been suggested that these problems are caused by users treating the joystick like a d-pad rather than a joystick. This may be the opposite of the fix described above; sliding the finger on the stick as if it were a d-pad rather than just pushing may cause the stick to rotate and become misplaced.

Grinding noises, however are very bad and can indicate a truly broken stick.

Those in need of a replacement joystick part should look for Alps part # RKJXL100401V or similar.

Prospective buyers in the United States can try (unverified).

Prospective buyers in the UK/EU can try RS Online (unverified).

External References: [22]

Video Problems (needs work)

Video playback drains the battery quickly

As discussed under the battery section, there is currently a bug in the firmware that is draining the battery while playing back videos, because the two ARM processors run at 200 MHz all the time.

Conclusion: Will be fixed in coming firmware update

Random Crashes

The video player is extremely buggy and many users are reporting frequent crashes.
Conclusion: Will be fixed in coming firmware update

Claimed Supported Codecs aren't actually supported

Some of the codecs claimed to be supported by marketing material aren't actually supported. It is reasonably safe to assume that support for these codecs will be added in later through firmware updates. Some people are skeptical that WMV support will happen as WMV support under Linux is naturally less then ideal, and WMV support on non-x86 versions of Linux is all but non-existent.

  • Claimed Supported Codecs
    • Divx (3,4,5,6)
    • Xvid
    • Mpeg
    • WMV
  • Actual Supported Codecs (see Video Encoding for details)
    • Divx (3,4,5,6)
    • Xvid
  • Claimed Supported Container Formats
    • Mpeg
    • Avi
    • WMV
  • Actual Supported Container Formats
    • Avi
    • Ogm (rename your .ogm file to .avi for fimware before 2.1.0)
Conclusion: Only a couple of .AVI videos work, while this was supposed to be a good multimedia player. GPH has done no further effort into getting more codecs/containers to work up to now.

External References: [23] [24] [25] [26] [27]

Other Helpful Articles

Personal tools