Production Playdate stuck "Applying Update"

I played around with the bootloader according to some instructions I found in this old thread[1] and now my Playdate is stuck in the same loop that @patrickriordan found his device stuck in [2]!

What do I do? I'll stop trying random things, that only made things worse :upside_down_face:

[1] Won't boot after system update "invalid bootloader file"

[2] Won't boot after system update "invalid bootloader file" - #4 by patrickriordan specifically:

stuck in a Applying update, then weird glitch image, then applying update again.

Can you boot into Recovery mode by holding wake and menu together for several seconds?

This will install an older version of the system from which you can update.

Your games and data will be safe.

It's rebooting too frequently for the hold to register.

(Well, that's what I think is happening anyway. I've tried various things but nothing really seems to do anything. The little crank reset button resets it, but it goes right back into the update loop . . . it doesn't stay on long enough for me to look at its files via the USB cable anymore (oops) . . . and I have tried holding the wake and menu buttons together for at least a minute to no avail)

@matt Just checking to see if there's any hope! If there's nothing that can be done that's ok :sweat_smile: my fault for trying out random stuff

Please contact support at

Any update on this, this issue struck me today updating a developer preview unit
(that's yours, @matt :frowning: ) to 2.0-beta4. Not sure what version it was on before, but definitely a 2.0 beta


  • 1 frame of blank screen
  • 1 frame of playdate logo
  • 1 frame of Applying system update
  • repeat

The led flash red twice during each loop. Loop repeats about two times per second

  • holding lock and menu together for 10+ seconds: no effect at all
  • holding paperclip reset: boot cycle stops in it's tracks, resumes when paperclip is removed
  • holding a + b + lock + menu + paperclip reset:


After a few more tries with paperclip only it entered the BOOT segment.
There seems to be a sequence to it. If you manage to time it right, the boot partition is shared. Then if you eject the drive from your laptop and try again, the DATA segment is shared. Is there anything I can do from here?

version.txt: 64d4efa9ccbd-2.0.0-beta.4-buildbot


playdate boot (1.4 MB)

I resolved my issue by using a pdfw 1.13.7 firmware file I got from another user and placing that in the recovery partition(aka BOOT segment)

After that, the launcher wouldn't run because of mismatching versions (os: 1.13.7, launcher: 2.0)

I copied over a 1.13.7 launcher.pdx and settings.pdx from the system partition of my other, working playdate, and copied it over (this required unlocking the bootloader). After that, I had a working 1.13.7 system which I could use to update to 2.0 beta4, this time successfully.