[Advanced] List of released firmwares / Manual updating of bootloader alone on Clip V2?

Ay up all! First post here, so please go easy on me! :slight_smile:
I recently bought myself a 2GB Sansa Clip as I needed a small and unobtusive MP3 player, and earlier today I discovered RockBox which - Handily enough - Seems to be able to co-exist with the Sandisk firmware, allowing me to dual-boot between them as desired. :slight_smile:

After reading a number of pages on the RockBox wiki and learning a bit more about both that and my Clip player in the process, I’m thinking of using a personalised version of RockBox on my player (A Black Metal orientated theme with band logo display and a UI in Norse Futhark, most likely! >:-).
For reference; My current firmware version is showing as v02.01.16F (Does this mean I’m using a Clip V2? The S/N corresponds to BE08******-2GB) and being a power user I’d prefer to update things by hand rather than having to install the Sansa Updater - Especially as I have no home Internet connection with which it would download updates! :slight_smile:

Backing-up, obtaining, and writing Firmware images:
To install RockBox, I’ll need to replace the stock bootloader with the RockBox provided one so that the player loads RB on boot. I also want to take a back-up of the existing firmware so that I can restore it in the event of failure or later sale of the player. I’m already comfortable with this in principle, but all of my attempts to back-up the firmware so far have failed. :frowning:
So far I’ve tried dumping the last 20MB of the player’s flash storage (I’m using it in MSC mode on Linux) using DD, and trying to boot the device into “Factory” mode to expose the firmware partition for dumping, but neither has worked. Can anyone please tell me where I’m going wrong, and how I can expose the firmware partition for dumping and manual flashing? (Or alternatively: How to have my Clip copy an image of the firmware to the main user partition. :slight_smile:

Finding firmware updates - Past and present:
I’ve already spotted and downloaded the latest v02.01.35 update (And noted NOT to tell it I’m an E.U. national! :wink: which I’m just about to poke with my Hex editor to see if I can use that as a transit medium for the RB bootloader (See below) but I’d also like to grab a copy of other historical firmware updates for later up/downgrading if desired. I did see a link somewhere to a list of previous updates (Either here or on AnythingButiPod) earlier today, but I’ve lost it. :frowning:
Does anyone know where I can find a full and complete list of Sansa Clip firmwares for this purpose? (If there isn’t one yet, could a Mod please throw one together and make it a sticky? :slight_smile:

Implementing a custom bootloader by importing it via a firmware update:
Because the bootloader flash utility (Linux version) provided by RockBox doesn’t seem to support my player, I’m thinking the only two ways I can install the RB bootloader are:

  1. Dump relevant sectors of the firmware partition to file with DD, replace the Sandisk bootloader with the RB one using my Hex editor, then dump the image file back to the player with DD again. (Not possible unless I can access the firmware partition directly), or
  2. Download and extract a firmware update from Sandisk, replace the bootloader inside that with the RB one via method above, then drop the *.bin file onto my Clip for the current firmware to update from.

Does anyone think that one/both of the above methods will work, or are the update BINs signed in some way?

Farewell for now, cheers in advance for any help, and apologies for the long post! >:-)
+++ DieselDragon +++

Maybe I’m missing something, but this all sounds complicated, for something that seemingly can be done simply.  (And yes, from the firmware you currently have, you have a version 2 Clip.)

–  There is no need to try to copy your Clip’s original firmware, as the firmware already is available:  the latest firmware in the firmware upgrade sticky at the top of this forum; and an archive of all but the very first firmware at the anythingbutipod.com Clip forum, as you note. 

Anythingbutipod Clip forum:  http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=119

Anythingbutipod Clip forum Clip firmware archive:  http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=51524

–  I guess I don’t understand the issue with installing Rockbox, as the RockboxUtility to install Rockbox works on Linux, according to its information, and in fact supports the Clip v2. 

From the Rockbox manual for the player:  http://download.rockbox.org/daily/manual/rockbox-sansaclipv2/rockbox-buildch2.html

The RockboxUtility:  http://www.rockbox.org/wiki/RockboxUtility

Am I missing something here, or did I just misunderstand something?

Maybe this helps.