Question about Rio Carbon MP3 Player

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Upgrader message I have tried to update my firmware on my carbon by using the mac os system while in upgrader mode and when it is finished it just keeps saying restarting but wont restart. Then If I turn it off and then back on again it goes right back to upgrader mode. This has been happening for about a week now!

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1 Answer

Re: Upgrader message

I've had the same thing happening and have been scanning the net for help. I finally got the player up and running, although I've lost aaaaaaaaaall my music....but at least I can stop shopping for a new player (for now). It was suggested on another site I plug it into the wall and keeep hitting reset and power in any random order. I would get strange things happening but it finally went back to normal and is now working again. There was no formula, just keep playing with the power and reset while it's plugged into the wall. I hope this helps.

Posted on Dec 30, 2006

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Rio carbon player does not start it reads UPGRADER. I tried resetting needle in hole but still reads UPGRADER

try puting a cf card in it or look up problem on google if this doesnt help hold in menu and power for 4 seconds see if this helps in undoing the upgrader message if not try connecting it to a windows pc with xp or 7

Aug 13, 2011 | Rio Carbon MP3 Player

1 Answer


can u upgrade the firmware and software uuse for it from the website maker ok save the update sto the hard drive then installl

Jan 26, 2008 | Rio Cali Sport MP3 Player


Wipe and reboot Rio carbon

Many problems have been found with the Rio carbon and although it is a good media player I think most people will have some problems with it.

Many of these problems can be solved by wiping and rebooting your player:

This may fix the upgrader message but if not the try replacing your hard drive (see:

Windows only... Sorry but I am not familiar with the way to do it with a mac or linux pc...

Open My Computer with your Rio plugged in.
Right click on your Rio player and click on format.
Leave the default values - if it asks you something then use your initiative.
Then click on format.
Then when it has finished formatting go to your firmware (can be downloaded from:
Follow the instructions and then it should load the firmware onto your player.
When it has done then your player should (in theory!) work properly.

Hope this helps


on May 16, 2008 | Rio Carbon MP3 Player

1 Answer

My rio carbon says upgrader and won't switch on any help thanks

Go here and download the firmware.

First Reset your player, Do not turn back on. Plug it into your usb cable. Download your updates then run them.

Do not touch your player till your done.

It worked for me. Right now it started to charge. I

I went here for a solution. Then ended up providing one. He he he. Good Luck.

Nov 25, 2008 | Rio Carbon MP3 Player

1 Answer

Rio Carbon Stuck in Upgrader Mode

Hi Allyson,
This is a problem which I have encountered alot with my Rio Carbon.
A solution which always works for me is to hold the player face down in my left hand and then slap the back of it with my right palm a little harder than I would if I was winding a baby.
Best wishes, I hope this works for you as it does for me.

Feb 17, 2008 | Rio Carbon MP3 Player

1 Answer

RIO MP3 PEARL stuck in UPGRADER mode

Your Pearl hard drive is probably broken. This is common because they are fragile. Replacing it is the olny solution if it is broken i'm afraid. Read my post: for more info.

Hope this helps,


Dec 29, 2007 | Rio Cali Sport MP3 Player

1 Answer

Plz Hepl Me

Stuck in upgrader mode. Try resetting by inserting a small #1 paperclip in the player. Otherwise, go to the Rio website at realnetworks and download the firmware upgrade.

-Tha Mp3 Doctor

Dec 28, 2007 | Rio CE2100 MP3 Player

2 Answers

Downloading problems

I tried you solution mowcius (except the part about burning it) and it didn't work. It showed up as an unrecognizable USB device in windows Vista and nothing I did got rid of the "Upgrader" screen.
I did get it to work, but remember the stuff I did could destroy the player. It worked for me, but if it hadn't I was going to pull the CF card and chunk the player.
I plugged the  2100 into Vista. Vista stopped responding during a file transfer and the 2100 went into "Upgrader" mode. Nothing I tried worked. A google search gave me this page so i tried it. 
I wasn't going to spend money on a CF card as I already have the broken volume wheel, so I thought "what if I took the CF card out, put it in a CF card reader, re-formatted it, reinstalled it into the 2100, then re-installed the firmware". 
I did that, but I couldn't get the "Upgrader" screen off during all of this. So I figured I'd try something that would either clear it or destroy it - i used a screwdriver to cross the positive and negative leads on the battery for a second. The screen went blank and I figured it was dead as it wouldn't respond to the power button. I plugged it in with the USB cable and the Firmware flash program saw it finally. I reinstalled the firmware and now it works fine. 
This may or may now work since crossing those wires could've burned the whole thing up or blown the battery up. I did this knowing these undesirable results were more than possible. However, it appears to have worked. 
If you're going to chunk yours and don't care about a possible fire/explosion you can try this.

Dec 28, 2007 | Rio CE2100 MP3 Player

1 Answer

Rio carbon upgrader message

Hi Linda, Your Rio Carbon is telling you that something is messed with its firmware and it can be resolved with an upgrade. You have to determine the exact model of your unit and download the firmware from Again you must choose the exact model. There are two ways of updating firmware updater or internet updater. complete instructions are also available. further you would need to connect your Rio to a PC to perform the upgrade. Good luck and pls post back should you need further information. Kind regards.

Aug 20, 2007 | Rio Carbon MP3 Player

5 Answers

My Rio says upgrader when I turn it on

UPGRADER is a mode that purges the firmware from the Rio player prior to flashing the unit. Firmware is basically the operating system for the player, so if it is corrupted any number of things can occur. You can enter UPGRADER mode to update the firmware on your player by holding down the MENU button when you power the Rio ON. Flashing the player in this mode erases all content. Try the following to get the unit out of UPGRADER mode, if powering OFF the unit will not correct it. ALL PLAYERS - If you accidentally entered UPGRADER mode, turn the unit OFF and then back ON again. - Download the latest version of the firmware for your player and upgrade the unit. Visit - It may be necessary to run the firmware update more than once. - This process may erase content from your player. - If the player is detected by the computer, it is recommended that you format the player, which WILL erase content from the player. - Macintosh user's try flashing the player on a PC. FLASH MEMORY PLAYERS - Remove the battery and replace it, this will reset the unit. The Rio Forge, Rio se510, Rio Cali [Black Rio Stick], and Rio Chiba [Black Rio Stick] can lock up causing the player to be unresponsive. If this occurs there are two things that need to be performed to resolve the issue. First you want to remove power from the player this includes the battery and a USB connection for 20 minutes to reset the player. There is a capacitor on the player that stores a charge that holds the player in the locked state. By waiting the duration the capacitor will discharge and the player should function as normal. Second you will want to upgrade the firmware to the latest version and format the player to prevent future occurrences. HARD DISK DRIVE PLAYERS - If you have a Carbon, Nitrus, Eigen, or Karma, use a paper clip to reset the unit. Your Rio will power off automatically when it has been reset. It may be necessary to connect the player to AC power and then reset the player if it will not turn on. If you are still unable to have the player exit UPGRADER Mode, then try it on another computer. UPGRADE FIRMWARE - Connect to the internet - Go to - Click on the appropriate player - Click on the FIRMWARE tab [showing by default] - Click on the latest firmware file [example: RioForge_firmware_133.exe] - Click SAVE when prompted - From the SA

Feb 14, 2007 | Rio Forge Sport Digital Media Player

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