How To: Custom screensavers on an Amazon Kindle 4 (non touch) using Windows 7.

So I recently got a fourth generation Kindle and wanted to get rid of the stock screensavers (Emily Dickinson seemed to be the only one that was displayed and it started to scare me after a while...)

I had a look around and there are a few tutorials but none of them seem that comprehensive so I decided to document my efforts and write my own.

Firstly, this will void the Amazon warranty and it isn't my fault if you break everything or cause a nuclear disaster.

This was done on a Windows 7 machine.
Grab a copy of "Putty" before we start. Clicky

Step 1:
Plug your Kindle into your computer via USB

Step 2:
Using Notepad, create a blank file called "ENABLE_DIAGS" (without quotes) on the root directory of your Kindle. Make sure it doesn't have the .txt extension that is added by default. Do this by selecting "All Files" under the "Save as Type" option.

Step 3:
Eject your Kindle from your computer. On the Kindle, click the MENU key and scroll down to "Settings". Tap the middle button.

Hit MENU again and scroll down to "Restart". Tap the middle button again.

The Kindle will now restart into Diagnostics Mode.

Step 4:
Wait for the Diagnostics menu to load. This will take a minute or so and along the way will make the screen look like its broken...It isn't.

Once loaded, scroll down to " N) Misc individual diagnostics" and tap the middle button.

Then scroll down to "Utilities" and tap the middle button.

Then scroll down to "Enable USBnet". Tap the middle button.

This will then set up your Kindle as a network device. Wait for a minute or so for your PC to detect it and install the drivers.

Step 5:
Go to your network adapter settings (Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections) and right click on the one that says "USB Ethernet/NDIS Gadget" in the description. 
Select "Properties" and then double click on "Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)" 

In the top portion of the window press the "Use the following IP address" radio button. Enter as the IP address and as the Subnet mask.

Step 6:
Open Putty and enter in the IP/DNS Hostname field. Leave everything else as default and click "Open". 

You will see a prompt about security, click "Yes".

You will then be asked for a username, type "root" without the quotes and hit enter.

The password is "mario", again without quotes.

You will then be given another prompt.

Type (or copy and paste line by line) everything you see in blue.

mntroot rw
mkdir /mnt/us/screensaver
mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 /mnt/base-mmc
mv /mnt/base-mmc/opt/amazon/screen_saver/600x800 /mnt/base-mmc/opt/amazon/screen_saver/600x800.old
ln -sfn /mnt/us/screensaver /mnt/base-mmc/opt/amazon/screen_saver/600x800

Then type "exit". Putty will close.

Step 7:
On your Kindle, Click the right arrow to exit. Then select "Disable Diagnostics". Tap enter, confirm and wait for your Kindle to reboot.

Step 8:
It will take a few moments to reconfigure but that is it!

Plug your Kindle into your PC and drop any screensavers you want in the "screensavers" folder. The image MUST be in .PNG format and have a width of 600pixels with a height of 800pixels.

If you have any questions just post a comment and I'll do my best!


Anonymous said...

I did everything in your guide but the thing is, I can;t exit Diagnostic mode. The only thing that K4 does is go back to the main menu of diags mode whenever I try to exit it. help

Anonymous said...

After doing this and putting images that are the correct size and file format into the screensavers folder, I just get a blank screen when I turn my kindle off and no images appear. Please help!

SK said...

Also getting a blank screen and have rebooted the Kindle, but still blank.
I am not very good with linux, but all the commands seemed to have been executed OK. After copying I checked to see if the files existed in /mnt/base-mmc/opt/amazon/screen_saver/600x800 and they were there. So the link is OK, files are OK, but still bank... If anyone has any idea on what could be wrong?
Firmware 4.01

SK said...

OK got it :)

At first the folder was named 600?800 instead of 600x800, don't know why though, guessing I copied from another website and got wrong encoding or something...
Anyway, I renamed that folder to 600x800 and that I think i made the mistake to run
ln -sfn /mnt/us/screensaver /mnt/base-mmc/opt/amazon/screen_saver/600x800
again. Somehow it now created a screensaver folder in 'amazon/screen_saver/600x800' so the files ended up in 'amazon/screen_saver/600x800/screensaver'

So if you get a blank screen, follow all steps again until you get to putty, login as root again and type
"mntroot rw"
"mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 /mnt/base-mmc"
"cd /mnt/base-mmc/opt/amazon/screen_saver/"
check contents of the dir by typing "ls"
if you see a folder 600x800 type "cd 600x800" to go to that dir and type "ls" again to check if your PNG files are there.

If your folder 600x800 does not exist create it by typing "mkdir 600x800" or rename it.

Good luck :)

Anonymous said...

I can see folders named "600?800" and "600?800.old" but when I try to rename "600?800" to "600x800", it works but I list directory again and I still see "600?800"!

Anyone able to help?

Anonymous said...

I was using 'rename' instead of 'mv', working now!

mackerelskies said...

okay, so I followed SK's comment because I got the blank screen issue. Went all the way to 600x800, which exists and got this:

root@[192_168_15_244] screensaver]# ls
600x800 600x800_ adunits
root@[192_168_15_244] screensaver]# cd 600x800
-sh: cd: can't cd to 600x800

And looking through google I can't seem to find anyone who has had this particular error on the Kindle, so if anyone's got a clue what the problem is, I'd appreciate it. I have all these shiny wallpapers just screaming to go...!

RobM said...

So I've followed these instructions got the blank screen.

So I followed SKs instructions and everything looks as it should be, folder is called 600x800 as it should, they are all teh correct sized pngs.

Any advice?

Anonymous said...

my kindle wont even go into diagnostics mode, help?

Matyi said...

If you see a blank page only there can also be a problem with the image format. The size of 600x800 and the PNG format don't seem to be the proper requirements. According to my experiences so far the PNG format is mandatory, but I have an image which my Kindle displays even if I resize it (although distorted) and I also have an image which it doesn't display no matter what the size is. Both PNG. I compared the two files with some tools and they seem exactly the same (but the image data of course). So... kinda tricky.

Radha Parama-Sundari DD said...

password is not working! Please helppp!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this guide. But maybe there are 2 things to say:
1)Blank screen! Everthing all right but only get a blank screen: you forgot to tell us that in order to make the Kindle load/recognize the new screen savers you have to REBOOT the Kindle everytime you copy/delete any png. So at least: connect it to pc, copy png's and then reboot manually. After the K4 will show the new screen savers
2)Why dont you simply link the visible dir to the original 600x800 instead of renaming it to old and recreate an empty one? This would give acess to the original png's too, and make it possible to backup them without any loss...

TheSeng said...

Hi, i would like to know does this support firmware 4.1.1?

If anything goes seriously wrong, possible way to restore kindle in original?

Anonymous said...

it didnt detect and install the kindle but im getting a local connection 2, but then im getting connection refuse in putty.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful walkthrough, pictures tell more than thousand words!