Playdate crashing regularly

I've been testing a game on the Playdate that has been crashing it, I believe because of memory usage. The last time it crashed, though, the Playdate refused to restart. I had to wait until it ran out of charge before it would restart. Now, though, it randomly crashes even if I'm not running the game. Even if I leave it in the menu it will eventually crash.

I'd like to reset the device. Is there a way to perform a factory reset on a Playdate?

In the playdate settings app, go to system -> factory reset

Thanks Aiden. I did a factory reset and the device is still crashing. Every time I try to enter a field in the wifi settings screen it crashes so it looks like it's every time I try to save something.

Do I have any other options without sending it back for repair?

It could be a problem with Playdate OS, did the factory reset send you back a few versions, or did it keep the same OS version as before? (you can check via settings -> system -> device info)

I can't get back to settings any more, can't get out of the setup screens.

The crash truly is random, I kept trying and after 4 or 5 crashes got through the setup.

I'm on version 1.12.3

Gotcha. There are a couple of other things you could try that I think could work:

  • Reformat data disk using the playdate's serial port. In the reverse engineering repo there's a document that has all of the information on the formatdata command here. (edit: now that I think about it this may not do anything, I'd recommend the other option instead)
  • Tell someone from Panic about your problem and see if they can walk you through reflashing the OS. This is probably your best option because even if the OS isn't the problem they can help you find the issue and hopefully resolve it.

We've had a few other reports of this happening, wound up replacing the units. I still don't know what's going on here. :frowning: One last thing to try before contacting support about an RMA: There's a reset button inside the recess for the crank handle, inside a little hole you can stick a paperclip into. Try holding that down for a few seconds to do a full powerdown reset, then let go. With luck that'll clear out whatever weird state it's gotten into. :crossed_fingers:

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I'll give it a go, but I suspect letting the Playdate run out of charge would do the same thing and that's the first thing I tried.

Hi Dave, I think that worked :slight_smile: No crashes since I used the paperclip.

I'll let you know if it stops working again, but so far I've been playing games on it for 30 mins or so with no issues.

Thanks Dave and Aiden, looks like I might not have to send the naughty yellow brick back after all!


Just checking in on this: Has the crashing come back since you did the paperclip reset? I'm still a bit shocked that it actually worked :sweat_smile:

Aye, I was getting crashes every time I tried to open any game, until the paperclip reset.