Step 5: Un bricking a frozen Xbee.

Picture of Un bricking a frozen Xbee.
Alright, so the sort of disclaimer on this whole Instructable is that you may freeze up you Xbee during the update process when changing settings, and modifying the xbee via XCTU. Don't worry, it is rare. But if you happen to run into this dead xbee situation here are the steps to try before ripping some hair out, and declaring your Xbee's time of death. 

These steps we contributed by Cristof. Thanks to him, we have a solid step by step run down on how to attempt a fix.

1. Take the module out of the interface board.
2. Connect the interface board to the computer.
3. Open X-CTU make sure Baud Rate is set to 9600
4. Go to "Modem Configuration"
5. Put a check in the "Always update firmware" box
6. Select proper modem from drop down menu,
7. Select proper function set and firmware version
from drop down menus.
8. Click on the "Write" button. After a few seconds of
trying to read the modem, you will get an Info box
that says Action Needed. At this point, CAREFULLY
insert the module into the interface board.
9. You may get the info box again a short while after,
just use the reset button on the interface board.
Update: Well after letting this instructable soak for a while, some comments brought a missing piece to my attention. If you are working with an Xbee Explorer board that does not have a reset button, you can not complete the process. That won't do, so we have come up with a simple fix for you. Take a wire to jump a connection between RST, and GND. When it comes to the point that you need to reset (Hint this will work any time you need to reset.) just jump the two pins together, and you have reset the device! Good Luck friends.

Update 8/23 Thanks to reader kolment2003 a great recommendation to use a bread board, to switch for the Reset to Ground. This will allow a solid connection, and a reliable reset when you need it. Thanks  kolment2003

YAWN4 years ago
I dun have the USB explorer board! can I use the rs232 module to unbrick my xbee??!!??
Gelfling6 YAWN2 years ago
If you're using a version of X-CTU that talks to it via the RS-232, read the note above by kolment2003, which I just replied to. It should work the same, addint a momentary contact switch between pins 5 & 11, but only when X-CTU is in the middle of attempting to re-write the firmware, and failing.. the most recent version pops-up with a info window saying no response, yada.. yada.. yada.. then at the bottom: XBEE: Press and release the reset switch, info window will close...... might work?
kolment20035 years ago
Fixing Bricked Xbee 2.5 while using a usb explorer 1- solder some headers into the usb explorer to be able to attach on a breadboard 2- short out GND and RST with a switch ( just like the one for reset on arduino) 3- when asked to reset the xbee , short out GND and RST with the switch PS: i was never able to properly reset by just shorting the pins with a wire, but with a breadboard n a switch it works like a charm!!!!!!!
I just found this out myself after accidentally writing the wrong firmware to a S1.. Followed the instructions on a google page, but it still stayed unresponsive, short of the "do this..." window from X-CTU.. Then, I read the line.. press the reset.. But, the carriers from parallax or Adafruit don't have a reset button.. THEN it dawned on me, the pins (pin 5 & 11) as you said. As soon as I pressed the button on the breadboard, the info window closed, and X-CTU responded with writing firmware.. Now, the fun part for me.. learning the differences between the Series-1 (XB24 805.12.4 (?)) and the Series 2 (Not S2, XB24B)
thebadfrank (author)  kolment20035 years ago
Hi, Thanks so much for the input! That is valuable information. I will make some modifications to the Instructable to reflect this. Credit given of course. ;) Thanks for reading, and again thanks for the input.
jcarrr2 years ago
This works like a champ in every carrier I have tried it with. No wires, no buttons, no fuss. One of those "ahah" moments. Wish I had thought of it
mattsargent3 years ago
To un-Brick:

OK, I tried your UNBRICK technique and it worked once for me, but I did my mistake again and I could not get it back. I looked for a good long time and found the following. It even worked with my non-Digi usb board from Parallax...

It uses the X-CTU program and signals the module using break on the terminal window - you have to use the wire-to-reset trick, but it works!

gceselin4 years ago
I've bought two Xbee-PRO XSC with two XBee Explorer Regulated boards and a FTDI cable from sparkfun store.
I've tried to use them many times, but they don't work.

I've tried to manage them by X-CTU, Xbee module has been connect using sparkfun XBee Explorer Regulated board and FTDI usb cable. Parameters has been set to 9600 8-N-1 FLOW:NONE, API enabled, no baud change.
The test result has been "Comunication with modem..OK Modem type = Name unknown (ID = 42949672481228316) Modem firmware version= "
I've tried to disconnect the module or change it and the result has been always the same!
I've tried to update firmware by following your instruction, but X-CTU returned always the same sentence "Getting modem type....OK
Programming modem...Lost communication with modem
Write Parameters...Failed".
If I disable the API function and update, the Action Required windows appeared. I followed the instruction by resetting the module (pin5+ground) and the following sentence appeared: "Getting modem type....OK
Programming modem...Detected baud rate difference.
Make sure PC and modem baud rate is set correctly
Lost communication with modem
Write Parameters...Failed".
I've tried also by using "GUI serial Xbee3" for MAC OS, but neither it worked.
I've tried all the solution I found in internet, but they did not work. What I have to do?
Have I to use a XBee Explorer USB board instead of XBee Explorer Regulated board? Is it a problem of Vcc?
Thanks, Giuseppe.