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Emergency Bootload

This document explains how to perform the "emergency bootload" procedure on a KeyCarbon USB.

In the unlikely event of the bootload process not completing as expected, this procedure will resurrect the unit.

Technical Level

This document is aimed at people with a reasonable technical level; this procedure involves opening up the case of the unit, and shorting two holes on the circuit board.


This procedure is very safe. You cannot damage the unit using this technique. If anything goes wrong, simply unplug the unit, then start again from step 1. There have been no reports of the unit not responding after a bootload.

Technical Support

If this procedure is too difficult for you to complete, please contact technical support. We can perform the procedure for you, at a cost of $40 plus shipping costs. Total time taken will be between 10 and 15 working days including shipping.

Step 1: Open up the Case

Open up the case of the unit.

You can use any method. The method we use is to insert the tips of needle nose pliers between the two plastic halves of the case, at the plug end, then slowly pull the handles apart to separate the two casing halves. The two halves should pop apart with a click. You can twist a wide screwdriver between the case ends, at the plug end.

Step 2: Short the two holes next to the text "EB"

Locate the two holes next to the text "EB" (for Emergency Bootload") on the circuit board. These holes are also accompanied by the text "PL3". Short these two pins together electrically.

Anything conductive will work, including a paper clip or a piece of wire. We use metal tweezers with fine tips that can be inserted into the holes.

Step 3: Power up the unit

Plug the unit into the USB port of your PC. Because you have shorted the two pins next to the text "EB" (for "Emergency Bootload"), the unit is now in "Bootload Mode".

Step 4: Remove short

Remove the short between the two holes next to the text "EB".

Step 5: Bootload firmware into the unit

Download and install the "KeyCarbon USB Windows Toolkit", from:

Bootload the software as per normal.

Step 7: Test the unit

Close down the "KeyCarbon USB Firmware Upgrade" utility.

Power cycle the unit by removing it from the USB port, then inserting in again.

Open up "Wordpad", type "phxlog" - the menu should pop up. Click the plastic case back into place to finish the procedure.