Critical Update Procedure for Witty Timer

We’ve recently found out a critical vulnerability of an internal element of Witty chronometer (NAND-Flash memory) that may cause stop of device operation (warning message “CRC Error”) or loss of stored data. To solve this hardware low-level problem, it is necessary not only to upgrade the firmware but also to upgrade part of the operating system and of the “boot loader”. To do this it is necessary to follow some more steps than for a normal firmware update.

Since it is necessary to format the internal memory, the data stored on the chronometer (athletes records, custom test definitions, start lists, test results) are transferred to PC (optional backup after user confirmation) and then completely deleted by the upgrade procedure; later the user has to restore the data from PC to chronometer.

The upgrade procedure is necessary for all boot loader versions 1.x and for all firmware versions older than 1.16.00 (both versions are showed when switching the chronometer on, during boot phase). When Witty Manager software detects that a chronometer is connected, it checks automatically the versions and it starts the Critical Update procedure if necessary.

The procedure is completely run by Witty Manager Software - version from 1.3.2 on. Therefore the first necessary step is the software update on the PC, if software version is older than 1.3.2.

As for every firmware update (and especially for this critical update), the device must have a 75% battery charge, PC must be power supplied (if by battery, battery charge must be enough), user must follow step by step the instructions showed on chronometer or PC and must not disconnect or switch the device off during upgrade.


Step 1: Update Witty Manager Software

To update Witty Manager Software to the 1.3.2 version: start the program, under the Menu “Utility” choose <Check Update> and download the Software update.

Alternatively, go to the Download section and downlaod the full or the update version to be installed.

ONLY in the case the device is blocked showing a CRC ERROR message: follow these instructions (if the chronometer starts normally and it shows the main menu you can skip those points and go directly to Step 2)

  • Switch off the device with the power-on-off button <Microgate> (maybe press for about 15 seconds the power button for a hardware switch off)
  • Press <STA> and <STO> buttons at the same time and then press the power-on-off   <Microgate> button and release all buttons – the screen will change in FIRMWARE RESTORE mode
  • In firmware restore mode press button <F4> (even if not mentioned). The screen shows:
  • Press <F1> to confirm (it will load up the recovery mass storage firmware)
  • Connect Witty with USB cable to the PC
  • Press <1> to connect the device
  • Proceed with below Step 2



Step 2: Start the Critical Update Procedure

Run Witty Manager Software,

If procedure has not been run at least once, a window warns that an update is necessary.

Switch the chronometer on, check that battery charge is enough (at least 75%) and connect it to the PC through the USB cable.


Step 3: Backup stored data

As explained before, the data stored in the chronometer will be completely deleted during the upgrade. By answering <Yes> to the save request, all data (athletes records, custom test definitions, start lists, and over all test results) are uploaded on the PC on the current database (please see par.3.5.2 of the Witty Manager manual for further information about database management).

If you want to save the data on a different database (an existing one or a new one), proceed as follow: :

  • Disconnect USB cable
  • Answer  <NO> to the save request
  • (Software will detect a connection error)
  • Create the New database or choose an existing one (Menu Utility > Database > New or Choose)
  • Connect the chronometer to restart the procedure; answering <Yes> to the save request

Step 4: Firmware and Boot loader update

Follow the instructions showed on the screen:

  • A first update phase starts with automatic reboot
  • Switch the chronometer on (by pressing key  < MICROGATE >)
  • Switch the chronometer off (by pressing key <MICROGATE> for 3 seconds and then F1 for confirmation)
  • Disconnect USB cable (chronometer goes back to main menu)
  • When the following message appears on the chronometer screen

    connect the usb cable.
  • A message appears on the chronometer warning to wait for the complete download of the last part of firmware and not to disconnect the usb cable
  • • At the end of the download, press key F4-RESTART on the chronometer to install the firmware

After the upgrade, the chronometer starts as usual and shows the main menu.

Check, on the first screen shot, that the firmware version is 1.16.42 or next.


Step 5: Data Restore from PC to chronometer

After backup of step 2, we can go on with the data restore (this is the standard procedure described in the Witty Manager User Manual – paragraph 3.4.2)

  • (check that the current database is that where you did the save at step 2)
  • Under Witty menu, choose <Upload data to Witty>, then “Test Definition” and “Complete athletes database”.
  • Press <Send>

Data are sent to the chronometer.

N.B.: Athletes records and test definition are restored. Test results are not restored on the chronometer (as usual) but they are available for analysis on the Witty Manager software.