New Kobo Firmware 3.17 May Cause Rebooting Issue

Kobo Aura H2O

Kobo released a new software update for their line of ebook readers this past week.

The new firmware version is 3.17.0. It’s available for the Kobo Glo HD, the original Glo, the Kobo Touch, the Kobo Aura, Aura HD and Aura H2O—so basically everything except the Kobo Mini.

Like usual, Kobo doesn’t provide a changelog so it’s hard to tell exactly what changes are included in the update.

Mostly there’s just this 3.17.0 discusion thread at MobileRead with some insights from hardcore Kobo users. Overall it sounds like a fairly minor update with no major changes.

One controversial feature with this firmware is something called sickel. According to reports, it can cause Kobo ereaders to experience automatic rebooting issues under certain circumstances.

Apparently sickel is designed to force a Kobo ereader to automatically reboot when it takes too long to respond to a task. The problem with that is it can sometimes cause a device to reboot when it’s taking too long to respond to normal operation, like when opening large PDFs.

So if you are suddenly having issues with your Kobo ereader spontaneously rebooting or getting stuck in a boot loop, it’s sickel that’s causing it. If you’re having problems there’s this Disable Sickel Hack, and this experimental patch to increase the time it takes to trigger a sickel reboot.

To get the new 3.17.0 software, you can wait for it to automatically download and install on your Kobo ereader when connected to WiFi, which could take a week or two. Or you can download the update now from the Direct Links to Kobo Firmware thread and install it manually (install directions are on post #3).

2 Responses to “New Kobo Firmware 3.17 May Cause Rebooting Issue”

  1. The update we’ve all been waiting for!

  2. Nathan, I rate your blog as an essential companion to Kobo owners who don’t comb the forums for odd news. This is at least the third good piece of “actionable intelligence” I have found here about the Kobo Aura HD, which is great in several ways, but quirky in others. I have lots of big pdfs on my Aura HD (old books as pdfs, i.e.–it deals with these well under normal circumstances). From my reading of the forum, this update would result in bootloops on my machine, even as the Kobo tried to load thumbnails of the pdfs, and certainly while processing a pdf. I have disabled auto-updates until further news.