I first hacked my Panasonic GH2 in the Fall of 2011, and until recently, it’s remained that way. I would sometimes consider putting the original firmware back on it, but I never committed to the idea. Recently, a patch gave me a little trouble, so I decided to hack my camera back to its original state, just for the sake of starting fresh. Before I transplanted my camera’s brain, I needed to make 100% certain I wasn’t going to screw it up.
Returning a GH2 to it’s original firmware is a basic procedure. It’s not an advanced technique. To the people who visit personal-view regularly and hack their cameras over and over again, it’s a completely boring topic. However, if you’ve never done it before and are in need of clear instructions, they are nowhere to be found.
I read the forum for over an hour, trying to find these simple instructions, and the best I could do was this post, written by Vitaliy himself:
In May of 2012, Vitaliy Kiselev said:
“I think this had been answered about 100 times. Load firmware in PTool and do not touch anything (I mean patches), save firmware to other file. Load in camera. Period.”
I decided to follow Vitaliy’s simple, two sentence instructions, and I was able to load the original firmware back on my camera. However, if you’re looking for more thorough and complete instructions (so you don’t accidentally brick your expensive little camera), I provide them below:
1) Download the original firmware for the GH2 onto your computer. Here’s a link to a page on personal-view.com that has a link to the original firmware download: http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/330/new-gh2-firmware-leak#Item_4 – it will arrive as a zip file. Click on it to unzip it. When unzipped, the firmware will appear as “GH2__V10.bin” – please note that there are two underscores in its name.
2) Create a new folder on your computer and put all of this stuff inside of it. Name your new folder “GH2 Original FIrmware Hack” or something obvious like that. Put it in a obvious place, like on your desktop. Put the original GH2 firmware (GH2__V10.bin) in this folder, and put the ptool exe in there (you can learn how to download the ptool in my How to Hack the GH2 post).
3) Launch ptool on your computer, if you’re on a Mac, Wine will launch and present you with this dialog box:
All you have to do is click the “Go” button. That’s the only thing you have to do with WineBottler. If Wine doesn’t launch and do it’s thing, you likely need to revisit the instructions in my How to Hack the GH2 post.
4) Now you have to load the original firmware for the GH2 into ptool. Click on the blue “Load Firmware” button at the bottom left of the ptool interface, and navigate to the folder where you placed the original firmware that you downloaded, (remember, the name is GH2__V10.bin), highlight the firmware by clicking on it, and click Open.
5) If the “Version increment” box in ptool isn’t checked, click on it and check it.
6) DO NOT click any of the buttons at the bottom of the ptool interface. I’m referring to the row of round buttons with letters inside of them.
7) Now you have to “export” the original firmware out of ptool. Click on the green button in the bottom right corner of ptool that says “Save Firmware.” A window will open titled “Save Firmware Image.” Type in what you’re going to name the original firmware, but don’t get creative and clever with the name. See the next step…
8) It’s important to name the firmware something specific, yet not identical to the other file in your folder. The orignal firmware is named GH2__V10.bin so you should not name your new firmware the same thing. What I do is incrementally name the new firmware one digit higher, so in this case it would be GH2__V11.bin. The double underscore is important, so make sure that’s a part of your new name.
9) Save the new firmware in your folder (so you know where it is).
10) Format a good SD card in your GH2. Make sure you’re using a freshly recharged battery (it’s really bad if the battery dies while the firmware is updating, you need to avoid this). Only use a battery, don’t use the Lumix DMW-AC8 AC adapter, because a power surge can interrupt the hack and screw up your camera. Some people say that it’s better to use a Panasonic Lumix lens when you’re hacking. Other people say things go smoother when you put the camera in a custom mode when hacking (the C1, C2 or C3 position on the right dial on top of the camera). I read this in other people’s instructions, so this is what I do too.
11) After formatting your SD card in your GH2, turn off the camera and remove the card, and load it into your computer. You can use the built-in SD card slot on a newer Mac or an external SD card reader, or you can connect the GH2 to your computer with the digital cable that came with the camera.
12) Drag the new firmware that you just saved out of your folder, and drop it onto the SD card icon on your desktop. The hack will land in there and just sit beside the other folders in your SD card (you know those usual GH2 SD card folders: DCIM, MISC, and PRIVATE). Here’s what it should look like inside the SD card with the hack inside of it:
13) Eject the card from your computer (or dismount the GH2 if you connected with the cable). Put the SD card into your GH2 (make sure the camera is powered off when you insert the card).
14) Turn on your GH2. It will power up and start operating like everything is normal. Press the Play button (the button with the green arrow on it that you press to look at images and videos).
15) The GH2 will go into the odd screen titled “BODY VERSION UP” that looks like this:
The words on the screen ask you “START VERSION UP?” with the option of choosing Yes or No. Press the up arrow (the ISO button) to select Yes, and press the Menu/Set button to activate the process.
16) This is the most important step… While the camera is updating its firmare DO NOT TOUCH IT. Carefully set the camera down on a flat surface and let it peacefully update itself. It’s very important not to press any buttons or to turn off the camera during this process.
18) When your camera completes the firmware updating process, you are essentially finished! The only thing you have to do now is to format the SD Card inside the GH2 again. If you don’t do this, the weird BODY VERSION UP? firmware update screen will appear every time you press the green Play button on the camera.
Congratulations! You now have an unhacked GH2!
If you found my instuctions helpful, you can help me out by simply clicking on the little Amazon logo below. Click on it right before you make a purchase at Amazon.com. I’ll receive a small commission, even if you’re buying a can of Cat Repellent, not a GH2. Thanks in advance!