Unlocking the Mio C230 – Version 2

[UPDATE]  Version 3.2 released on December 10, 2007 


On 11/16/2007, Amida168 released version R2 of his Mio C230 Unlock script which I am again building upon as my MioC230-NXT-R2 release contains some more registry tweaks, a different hard reset strategy, functioning taskbars, Freecell game, Notepad, Volume Control, Photo Viewer, more shortcuts, easier-to-read time display and a background image I created.

Unlock Version NXT-R2


Installation procedure

  1. Turn on C230 and connect it to the computer using a 5-pin Mini-B USB 2.0 cable (not included in the package).
  2. C230 will show up as a flash drive in My Computer as Mio Device. Mine is assigned as F drive. I’ll use F drive in the following steps. Substitute it with the actual drive letter of your system.  If you have a SD card in the slot, it shows up as well – in my case as G drive.
  3. Rename the folder F:\MioMap\MioMap to F:\MioMap\MioMap2.
  4. If you are using a SD card, create a MioMap folder and within that folder a maps folder so that the path appears as G:\Storage Card\MioMap\maps.  You will have alot more flexibility if you then choose a map file from F:\MioMap\MioMap2\maps and move it to the maps folder on your SD card.  MioMap will see it after a hard reset as if nothing happened.  Or one that you won’t be using (Puerto Rico perhaps?) can simply be deleted, since it’s easy to explore your MioMap DVD and copy it back later, if needed. 
  5. Download MioC230_NXT_R2.zip from this site.
  6. Extract the files from your download and find the two folders MioMap and Script.
  7. Copy MioMap to F:\MioMap\ and copy Script to F:\ as in the screenshot. 
  8. Disconnect Mio C230 and do a hard reset by sliding the switch on the rear of your C230 to OFF and back to ON again.
  9. After calibrating the touch screen, you will be presented with two menu options (and Cancel):
  • Unlocked C230 Desktop which automatically runs AUTOPATCHER, does a soft reset and then presents you with the C230 psuedo desktop pictured at the top.  When choosing MioMap from the desktop, you will be able to return to the desktop using Amida’s BananaPC option.  [This is the default option]
  • GPS Only (MioMap 3.3) which takes you right into MioMap directly as your unit does automatically as shipped from the factory.  You will not have the BananaPC option of exiting MioMap – if you wish to do so you will need to do a hard reset.
  •  Cancel, rather than choosing one of the first two actual options.   This will take you into File Manager as Amida’s R1 script does, giving you the flexibility to explore further prior to running any scripts.

Note 1: If you hard reset your unit, you will be presented with the step 9 options once again.

Note 2: If you wish to undo the enhancements and return the Mio C230 back to factory condition:

  1. Turn on C230 and connect it to the computer using a USB cable.
  2. Rename the folder F:\MioMap\MioMap to F:\MioMap\MioMap3 (or delete) and rename the folder F:\MioMap\MioMap2 to F:\MioMap\MioMap
  3. Copy back any map files you may have deleted or moved to your SD card 
  4. Disconnect the cable and hard reset C230 using the switch on the back of the unit.

Note 3: Remember, every time you disconnect the USB cable linked to your PC, you will need to do a hard reboot and choose the default menu option that reruns the Autopatcher program.  The time and date will also need to be reset, unless you are going right into MioMap with autosync enabled.   This is why you should use a SD card in conjunction with a USB card reader for adding programs and storing media files once you’re happy with your unlocked Mio setup.

Note 4: Mio has not left too much room available on the Flash Drive, but if you are using a SD card, it is easy to free up some space by either installing programs on the card, or moving a map file or two to \Storage Card\MioMap\maps (explained earlier in this blog).  Puerto Rico is 4MB; California is 66MB as examples.  MioMap will see the files in both locations. 

Using your unlocked C230

You’ll note that the MioMap icon and the Media Player are larger than the rest.  My reasoning for this is that they will probably be your favorites and you are likely to access these without a stylus.   The other icons…

  • MioTool – hitting the small “ab” box in the top left corner with your stylus will reveal a virtual keyboard for entering data.  To turn the keyboard off again, just hit the icon again.  Another method of engaging the keyboard is hitting the keyboard icon on the taskbar (2nd from the right).
  • MioMap 3.3 – a scripted shortcut to the original navigation program that came with your Mio C230 that first closes MioTool and starts BananaPC, which has three small icon squares that each act differently depending on whether they are tapped or held down.  Remember about where they appear while MioMap loads up as they hide themselves after a few seconds.  The first icon is an X, which if tapped will close MioMap and soft reset.  If held down it will present you with several options, including switching to other programs running in the background.  The second icon puts your currently program in full-screen mode, which doesn’t apply here, because MioMap already runs in full-screen mode exclusively.  The third icon, if tapped toggles the mute function and if held down – presents you with a volume control panel.   Amida’s primary purpose for this program was to serve as an exit door back to the desktop to avoid using the hard reset option.  MioMap version 3.2 had an exit button built in to the home window and we all wish they’d left it there.  Now that I’ve got taskbar working I’ve got to advise you that you may wish to toggle the taskbar off before bringing up MioMap as it can interfere, and BananaPC will get you around anyways.
  • TCPMP Media Player – described earlier in this blog.  Ok, you want to play a music playlist or an audiobook while using the navigation functions of your GPS?  Yes, it works!
  1. Bring up the taskbar in your desktop (discussed earlier) either hidden or exposed
  2. Click Media Player icon and start up your music (or you can start it later if you wish)
  3. Tap the far right area of the taskbar and select Desktop
  4. Click on MioMap icon and observe the location of the BananaPC icons
  5. By tapping and holding down the X icon, you’ll be able to select TCPMP Media Player (or any other running app) and bounce back and forth.

The audio settings for MioMap are independent of your other programs, so if you hit the mute icon in MioMap so that you don’t get 15 reminders that you are approaching your exit, the music plays on!

Shortcuts 2nd row-from-bottom across:

  • Suspend – suspends the C230 in sleep mode, using some power though – so don’t use this in place of the actual orange power button.
  • Windows Explorer – my primary reason for using this shortcut is to fix file icon associations in File Manager and to resolve the Show Toolbar performance.
  • pNotepad – viewing txt files and for creating quick txt files with the virtual keyboard
  • Volume Control – graphic volume control display
  • Pocket-G Freecell – so you can have a little fun.  Stylus recommended though.
  • An empty spot for a shortcut of your own (plus room for another 8 shortcuts above this row)
  • GQ Photo Viewer – GQ is easier to use for viewing multiple photos than media player, and it has a zoom function
  • Restart – soft reset button

Shortcuts 1st row-from-bottom across:.

  • DPMS – puts your screen to sleep while everything else continues to run.
  • Taskbar toggle – toggles the taskbar on and off in whatever state it is in (hidden or revealed)
  • FileManCE2 – Two-pane File Manager application alternative to Windows Explorer
  • Move Any Window – the mouse icon, is used when you anticipate needing to move windows around (those that drag properly can just be slid over with your finger) or gaining access to the right mouse function by opening this program window beforehand
  • MioUtility – quick access to adjust Backlight, Volume, Screen calibrate, Power, Date/Time and Language.  This is the program that older units like the Mio C220 used to exit from MioMap into, but MioMap 3.3 has been written such that these choices are all available from within the program now.
  • WR-Tooks ResInfo – Quick access to status info on battery, program memory, storage memory, Flash Disk useage, Storage Card useage, tasks and processes currently running, system information and settings.  Most of this information is also available from Control Panel as well.
  • My Calculator – a scientific calculator that is large enough to use without a stylus
  • CapScrUtil – a screen capture utility. Remember to store the .bmp images to either Storage Card or My Flash Disk for easy access to the screenshots.




  1. […] 3, 2007 at 3:42 pm · Filed under c230 ·Tagged mio c230 [UPDATE]  Version 2 released on November 23, […]

  2. timrude said

    Thanks for the update. I’m playing with it now.

    I’m curious about something basic here. Why is it necessary to use a psuedo-desktop application when Windows CE has a desktop already? Is is just to be able to provide custom-sized or caption-less icons?

    As you reported, sometimes mine also goes to the orange screen with the minimized taskbar after a reset. When it does this, I found that I can pop it up with Ctrl-Esc, then copy shortcuts from \Windows\Programs to \Windows\Desktop and I’ve got what looks like a regular Windows desktop with icons on it.

    I’m wondering if maybe using the built-in desktop would prevent some of the issues with the taskbar. All this ‘skinning’ is fine and all but I’d prefer reliablity and consistency over a cooler looking interface.

  3. c230 said

    We’re all learnin’ and playin’. I kind of thought the same thing, but in actuality the psuedo desktop seems to be much more stable than the WinCE desktop and much more versatile too. Let’s see what you come up with though! Personally though I’m quite happy with the R2 package.

    Just figured out how to export gpx track logs today, but that’s another blog.

  4. timrude said

    Well, I’ve been wrestling with trying to customize it for hours and I’m not getting anywhere fast. I was able to use the standard Windows desktop (ugly as it is) but the whole thing wasn’t any less ‘quirky’ than with the psuedo desktop skin.

    My taskbar always appeared, but I could never get it to not be minimized. Every boot I had to pop it up, turn off Auto Hide and Always on Top manually, and then it would work ok. I tried changing the registry settings, even posting a message to Explorer.exe but no way could I get it to automatically have the taskbar set like I wanted.

    I’m not so sure I want to fight with it any further. It’s been fun but has ended up just a waste of time.

  5. Daniel said

    I’m excited at the potential in the c230, however, being a tech newb, i feel hesitant to dive into the unlocking process.

    question: how likely is it to render the gps ‘unusable’?
    (i don’t want to brick my new baby)


  6. c230 said

    If you follow the instructions,especially for steps 3 & 4, not very likely. You can always put everything back the way it was. Windows is in ROM, so when you hard reset it reverts back to factory load. Don’t mess with any files in the MioMap2 folder while you’re learning as this is where the MioMap software and all the settings will be located.

  7. chien said

    Anyone knows how to restore a brick c230? Didn’t try to unlock but just test the connection with pc.

    When I disconnect it from my pc, the c230 screen say “…..restore from dvd…” then I run the mio restore software but it said “insufficient memory” Cannot copy any files to Mio device. Also tried hard reset but no luck. Called Mio support, they told me to return to Amazon 😦

  8. c230 said

    I’ve never has to do a restore, so hopefully someone else chimes in. My guess is that you should empty the Flash Drive (the OS and USBconnect is in ROM, not the flash drive), do a hard reset, and try again.

  9. xxzz said

    I would try deleting files from the F drive. MioMap and or MioMap2

  10. c230 said

    Does anyone have an icon file (.ico) of a Mio C230? If you look closely, I’m using a TomTom icon in my psuedo desktop.

  11. amida168 said

    If you use IcoFx, you can create the icon by yourself.

  12. Daniel said

    Hey C230, I followed the steps, and it was a success! I even put a video on it, it runs really smooth. Thanks for the awesome tutorial!

    P.S. any way to change the wallpaper? thanks~

  13. c230 said

    You’re welcome and thanks for the positive feedback; that is why I started this blog! As to the wallpaper, add a line in autopatcher to rename \Windows|wallpaper.bmp to wallpaper_orig.bmp and then another line to copy your 320X240 wallpaper bmp image into \Windows|wallpaper.bmp

    If you meant the psuedo desktop wallpaper that I worked so hard on :), just replace the back.bmp in \scripts folder with your own image. If it is better than mine, share it, but I think I like a “clean” background best.

  14. Roddey said

    I like your wallpaper that you worked so hard on

  15. chien said

    Finally, I found the corrupted files by using the unlock script but choose cancel, then go to file explorer and found a folder name “FOUND_000” which should be map folder and delete it. So, I can recover map from the DVD. Thank you very much.

  16. c230 said

    I knew that Cancel option would come in handy someday. That’s probably what Amida had in mind too in his R1 – you get to see what you’re working with before doing anything as he probably did in order to come up with the original unlock package.

  17. […] 29, 2007 at 12:31 am · Filed under mio c230 [UPDATE]  Version 3 released on December 2, […]

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