How to Fix Your Broken mobiBLU Cube

I’m reposting this because a number of people have found the instructions for fixing the mobiBLU cube useful — especially in light of the fact that the mobiBLU website is useless. I want to extract just the cube stuff out of the original post, and hopefully this post will get the Google juice of the original so that people can rehabilitate their formerly bricked players. Certainly, Hyun Won doesn’t seem that concerned about it but I am, fellow netizens.

My MobiBLU cube MP3 player has been acting up, failing to start with the buttons and requiring hard resets with a paper clip. I decided to update the firmware. The updater only runs on Windows, so I fired up my one Windows box and downloaded and installed the firmware updater. When I ran it, it hang for minutes looking for the device (which was already mounted as a lettered drive and which I could see via the file system.) The instructions say that if that happens, you hold down the play button, press the reset button with a paperclip for 5 seconds, release the reset but keep the play button depressed until you get a recovery screen. Wow. I did all that, a thing popped up on Windows saying that the “USB Recovery Device has been installed, reboot to make it active.” Dear god, what a pain but I did it. When I rebooted, nothing ever happened again. The installer looks for the device forever, the reset never again prompts any response, nothing every happens.

I’m about this close to throwing this piece of crap out the window. I strongly recommend against anyone buying the MobiBLU. It’s cute and tiny, but is a pain to use on its best day and eventually eats itself. There are a few rampant iPod haters on here (and it is only a matter of time before the exact same anti-iPod rant gets commented on this post as I’ve received one dozen times already) but my Shuffle was fun to use and caused me zero problems up until the day it failed catasrophically and stopped mounting on the computer. The mobiBLU was never fun to use and caused ongoing problems for a long time. I’m half tempted to pull the Shuffle out of the drawer and see if it magically works now. If the mobiBLU can’t be updated and continues to act finicky, I’m thinking about going for the slap cheapest MP3 play that takes SD cards as its media.

Thus far today, I’m pretty sick and tired of things that Just Don’t Work.

Update: I installed the mobiBLU updater on my wife’s computer, followed the instructions to the letter. When I did the reset and it entered recovery mode, I pressed “Update”, then the program bombed out with a “semaphore time out period expired” error message. Now the device is completely dead, won’t mount or turn on or anything. I guess that’s that, end of the line with this device. I strongly recommend that people avoid this manufacturer.

Here is what commentor Jared posted that allowed me to fix my Cube.

I had the same problem Dave had, and I figured out how to fix it, since I couldn’t find anything on it.

Here’s how to fix that “semaphore” problem.

If you’re getting this error, install the CD software that came with the DAH-1500i, that’ll install the firmware that was defaultly on the product (100.100.105), when installing that, a popup comes up that says “the Recovery file is newer than what you’re installing, would you like to keep the newer one, click NO, so everything’s back to where it was. So, continue with that. Now, make sure it’s working properly, and that it turns on and mounts, and has allocated memory. Now, install the 100.100.122 firmware setup. This’ll overwrite that file you said “No” to. Reboot. Now trying installing the x.x.122 firmware, the way you were trying and it should work. It’ll read

Current firmware: 000.000.000
Firmware Upgrade: 100.100.122

Hit start! If you see “Allocating table”, that’s a good sign!

Then you’re good to go!

Thanks Jared. Anyone who has had the same problem with this thing, hope this fixed it.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

32 thoughts on “How to Fix Your Broken mobiBLU Cube”

  1. Rick A says:

    Isn’t there a software fix for dead first gen. iPod Shuffles? Not sure if that’ll fix your Shuffle woes, but I’m sure you knew of that already.

  2. dave says:

    Rick, the issue I have is that the Shuffle never mounts and is never recognized as a device by the computer. Not really much you can do via software when the computer doesn’t know the shuffle is hooked up. When this happened, the Shuffle worked fine until the battery finally ran down but after that it wouldn’t mount, recharge or anything. This is the second one I had, both did the same thing after about 7 months.

  3. Steve says:

    I had the problem you had…got the “semaphore time out period expired” than the cube was totally dead.

    contacted their tech support (took 20 redials to get a liver person) and walked through firmware reinstallation and updater.

    What I overlooked was to keep holding down the play button AND hit the reset pinhole for three seconds while proceeding with the driver installation.

    Works fine…for now (fingers crossed)

  4. DEE says:

    My device sucks! I want to install the firmware from the original CD (100.100.100), but I can’t! It’s the same error, as by 100.100.122, semaphore time out… I can switch it on, but it has no memory and I can’t copy files to it!

  5. Jeremy says:

    I had the same problem with the semaphore timeouts, locking up, blinking note on startup on the cube, etc.etc.
    What ended up fixing my update woes was switching to a different USB port. Go figure. The only thing I can figure is that the front mounted ports are on a different chip on the motherboard, whereas the back ports run directly to the chipset. I don’t know exactly what the difference is, and frankly, I don’t care. It works now!

  6. Jeremy says:

    In reference to my earlier post, in fact, the manual for the 1500i does state on page 19 that errors may occur if the unit is plugged into a hub or front mounted port (or at least something along those lines).

    And I test this theory.

    I plugged the cube into the front ports, failed every time.

    I plugged the cube directly into the mobo using the rear ports. Success every time!!!

    There ya go! Hope this info helps somebody down the line!

  7. MATT says:

    Hey this would be good if my cube messed up. Lol. I was debating on to update or not and i saw this and i was like well ill do it cuz ill prolly be able to fix it with this help but luckily it works perfectly fine. thanx for putting this up to make me update. =)

  8. James says:

    I’ll echo Steve on this one. Just had one of these fiddly little things to sort out after the thing wouldn’t boot up (stuck on flashing startup screen). Make sure you follow the reset instructions in the manual to the word – just pressing ‘reset’ doesn’t work:

    If you see this screen for more than 2-5 minutes, simply hold down the “Play” button first and then press the “RST” button using a paper clip for 3-5 seconds. Release the “RST” button and remain holding onto the “Play” button until a window pops up (Recovery Mode).

    This sorted mine out good and proper. Now if I could just find a way of getting those lines of broken LEDs to just light up, I’d be happy…

  9. David C. says:

    Unfortunately mobiblu isn’t very good in the directions and documentation department. I ended up finding slightly different directions at their other site. But I probably already did the damage by using the directions from the shiny glossy USA mobiblu site.

    Anyway, though they were a little cryptic, the directions here worked and I am up at 122 now.


  10. Norm says:

    The MobiBlu is junk and a cheap ripoff dont be fooled by the hype its garbage. Mine Died when it just wouldn’t turn on any more, no matter what. Big disappointment. You may be happy with it now, but in the end you will be frustrated.

  11. dave says:

    I wouldn’t say I’m “happy” with the mobiBLU. It has more or less been a disappointment the whole time I’ve had it. However, I’ve already paid for it so I might as well get out of it whatever I can.

    I don’t know what the hype is that you are talking about. I bought it from a recommendation on the Daily Giz Wiz, after which I learned my lesson. Dick doesn’t use many (or any) of these gadgets every day, he fiddles for a little while. Other than that mention, I’d never have heard of this piece of junk.

  12. dylan says:

    ok my mp3(mobiblu) cube is like messed up it will hardly ever play a song and when it does it is only one song and then none of the others with play but are still on the mp3 chose list
    what do i do to make it play all the time

  13. izzy says:

    By mobiblu is messed up in so many ways.
    – the mp3 decoder is messed up i have to pause and then play to get the mp3 to work( plays fine for wma’s)
    – i get this weird garbble of noises during playback.
    -it wont turn off, ill hold play it says bye but stays there and then turns back on.
    – and i cant try the old firmware since i dont have the CD.

  14. Randy says:

    I am having major problems with my cube. To get it to even charge, I have to bend the cable all around and force it in the cube and place it in weird positions. Any suggestions? Mine hasd actually been nice to be until now. Not a problem for a whole year. It even survived a few runs in the washer.

  15. Kamel says:

    Randy, I had same problem with my Sony CD player few years ago, it uccurs when you bend the headphone plug while in the player. You could try to get new headphone socket, but i’m not sure whether its cheaper than new player…

    Hi, i’m having major problem with my cube as well. Mine is recognized by my Win XP Home as Media Transfer Protocol device (MTP) and NOT as USB flash disc, so I cant throw files in it. Moreover, Media Player cannot synch files with it… crap.

    How to force my PC to ‘know’ cube as USB flash, instead of MTP?

  16. Francois says:

    Mobiblu cube, piece of junk… After 3 months of inactivity, it simply doesn’t recharge the battery anymore. Even if I perform a hard reset, doesn’t work. For a 100$, what a piece of junk!!!!

  17. kaci lynn says:

    this damned thing has been driving me crazy for 2 months-charge it all the time& all it does is blink-what a waste of $$$$$$$$$$$

  18. Bob Bobson says:

    Heck, I can’t even find where to get firmware for this thing!

  19. Unclewill says:

    I had my cube for 2 years it works good. i was thinking of upgrading the fireware but read all this i think ill leave good alone. Now MobiBlu’s us2, now that was junk. after 1 month it just stop working. i was in Mcdees looking at the videos turned it off got home (around the corner from Mcdees. it was not working any more. and i cant get a hold of the company to return it.that just not right…..

  20. Alissa says:

    I want you all to know that with some tinkering you can fix the warbles and most power problems…but when your battery DIE DIES…well I can’t seem to find a place to get a replacement…..UGH….I have upgraded the firmware so many times and reset it and updated it again….that was a bad enough headache..and now…after all this NO WAY TO REPLACE THE BATTERY?!?!?!?!?

  21. Devika says:

    hi… could you plz tell me a site form where i can download the software? i have misplaced the CD which came with my DAH 1500i… i am not able to find any site on which the software is available

  22. Alan says:

    the screen doesnt work for mine. just plain white light. the sound works fine. i think my cube is missing some files needed for the graphics to work. where can i download the firmware from? i cant find it anywhere???!!!

  23. Alan says:

    i have the cube 2. ive got the cd, but not sure which file it is. and what to do with it? i tried copy and pasting all the files from the cd to the cube but nothing happened. someone please post a direct link for the cube update. thanks

  24. Patricia says:

    I have had my mobi blu 1500 1GB for 4 years and it just pooped out. The Battery finally did. I went to the web site when I first got mine and it said you had to send them in to have the battery changed. Said something about it taking 6 weeks. No prices were given. These now are selling at amazon for about 40.00 brand new. I have never upgraded anything on mine the entire time that I have had mine. They have now updated the cube with a smaller screen and different buttons on the side. I have heard many people have had issues with the newer versions. I suggest the 1 GB with the one large button on the side oppossed to the newer ones with the 4 buttons on the side. I just bought my new one and am loving it all the way. I bought the same exact one as before not the newly updated one.

  25. kay says:

    OMG STEVE i could kiss you now!!! thanks alot i didnt know i had to hold down the play button.

  26. Virginia says:

    I have 2 Mobiblu’s, 1500i, (gifts for my folks) and they both have the same promblem. Played only one song and quit. I reformated both and reinstalled using the CD. However, the three files that were on the cube are gone and the installation did not put them back on. How can I get those files back?

  27. Virginia says:

    I think the easiest fix is if someone emails me the FM, LIVE, and VOICE folders and files for the MobiBLU 1500i. Pleeeeease. I’ve been search the internet for two days and have reinstalled the software at least 10 times.

  28. Virginia says:

    I hope you can help. My problem is the folders and files that came installed on the MobiBlu 1500i were deleted when I reformatted the cubes (2 of them for my parents) Upon re-installing the software, the files (FM, LIVE, and VOICE)were not replaced. Therefore (obviously) it will not play. Can you or someone email me the files? Emails to mobibluamerica go unanswered and of the two numbers I found one is disconnected and the other goes unanswered. I’m sure the MobiBLU’s will work if I can just get those files put back on them. Can anyone help me with that?

  29. Heriberto Espino C. says:

    Can someone post a site where I can download the file that I need to repair my cube please?

  30. jesse says:

    every time i press play on a song it restarts

  31. kr says:

    Hi, I am having problems with my new cube 5, it won’t turn on. I can go through the menu when it’s connected to a usb port, but immediately when I disconnect it, it will shut off. I can”t seem to turn it on, holding the play button doesn’t do anything. Any suggestions appreciated.

  32. Hayden says:

    Hello. For some reason, whenever I select a song on my mobiBLU cube, it shows the song for about 1-2 seconds, frozen. Then it shows the little flag-with-a-u logo on it twice, then restarts. Any ways to fix this?

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