Retron Labo CFW for all!

Retron 5 hardware info, hacks, and customizations.
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Posts: 14
Joined: January 24th, 2019, 11:12 am

Retron Labo CFW for all!

Post by stone » January 8th, 2021, 4:53 pm

So I figured I write a decent tut out for this since this CFW was dumped from my old firmware, i got a lot of user experience with it at the least. I would like to make a shout out to Mancloud and reminon2 on here as well, without their efforts this wouldn't have seen a public release.

So, first of all if you ever did a factory reset on the retron this should all look familiar as it is the same steps basically. The install itself if very easy, using the CFW has a small learning curve but it is easy too once you understand it.

as always with guides like this, you do this at your own risk. i am in no way responsible for bricked retron 5's, and if your power goes out while flashing the CFW that is possible, just as it would be possible with the official firmware on any device if it powers down when updating like this.

Things you need for installation:

SD card (regular one, once installed you can use an micro with an adapter but this install does not like micro SD adapters, i used a 4 GB one but you might get by with 2GB)

Win32DiskImager for writing the install to your SD card

find it here ... t/download

3. a copy of manclouds system restore image that includes what you need on your SD card you keep your roms on after installation.

must grab here ... Ll_Wr_tf_A

4. might as well get the get hyperkins SD erase while your at it, makes getting those pesky extra partitions off your SD card and formatting after installing easier

here ya go


1.unzip/unpack Retronlabo.7z file to desired location

2. install Win32diskimager if you have not already done so.

3. insert SD card into PC, note the letter drive of the SD card you are using, then openWin32DiskImager.

4. select letter drive of your SD card and click the folder icon to browse, locate and select the file named boot-recovery-SD-fullreset-v0.2.2_rooted_labo.img (make sure to extract that from boot-recovery-SD-fullreset-v0.2.2_rooted_labo.img.7z btw) that was extracted from Retronlabo.7z

5. write image to SD card, this shouldn't take too long, when done, ignore and cancel formatting extra partitions that appear, they are annoying but necessary for how retrons system restore works.

6. insert SD card and power on retron 5, if using a normal SD card it should boot to the system restore screen

7. with a wired controller choose Update rkimage from external storage, this will start the install process, do not unplug or power down the console during this process or you will brick your retron.

8. once install is complete, unplug your SD card and select Reboot System Now, if the SD card is still in the console it will boot it back to the system restore page so make sure to remove it.

9. re-insert SD card to PC and open win32discimager again, this time write the SD erase file to the card, this will automatically erase the extra partitions on the SD cd, there is other ways to do this but this is the easy way, you can't format it normally from there.

this concludes the installation part of the guide, next up will be setting up the SD card and directions on getting everything running properly
Last edited by stone on January 9th, 2021, 2:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

Posts: 14
Joined: January 24th, 2019, 11:12 am

Re: Retron Labo CFW for all!

Post by stone » January 8th, 2021, 4:53 pm

OK, so now that you got that pretty LOAD ROM icon displayed on your consoles home page, what do you do now? well you gotta get your SD card ready silly.

Micro SD cards with SD adapters are fine for this part, it is what i us anyways.

first thing you want to do is to go into the folder that is named SD_card that was extracted from the Retronlabo.7z file, there is two folders in there, copy both to the root of your SD card. Technically you don't NEED the retrofreak folder, but since the code for both those consoles are basically identical, and since mancloud used the retrofreak GUI for a normal retron 5 FW not long ago, their may yet be a use for it. that folder is up to you but you NEED the retron folder.

Inside the Retron folder, there is a few folders here.

i never got into cheats, so i am skipping this, but it should work much like cheats do on the retron 5 normally.

the Gameinfo folder is a nice feature, it has txt files that allow to write titles of the games that show up as unknown_XXXXXXX on the menu of the retron, this allows writing title for both roms and carts, i will focus on how to do that later.

Then there is the Roms folder. here you can run your backups, currently without doing a thing you will only be able to run roms from the consoles the retron already supports, but every consoles has its own folder, so make sure to put your roms in the right folder, if you do not know, PCEngine is turbo graphics 16.

Inside of the roms folder there is also a Config and Core folder, these folders is where most of the files we need for running extra emulators will be stored. there should be readme files in all the end folders that state what belong there as well but i will discuss this here.

the config folder.

already included is a libretro.ini and NSTdatabase file, the NST file is required for loading the nestopia core, but libretro.ini is your config file and is required for all external cores. I do not like how retron labo set up the key configs which is the ini file provided however, and highly suggest using this one ... o.ini?dl=0 trust me, try running sega sd games with labos ini then try mine and tell me which one you want to use ;)

what is not included is the BIOS files which i can not provide for you, you gotta find them yourself, but i will not leave you high and dry here.

you will want to run MD5 checks on your BIOS as an integrity check, you can run that check here, this is the only way to really tell if they are legit or not, but i will list all the BIOS that i at least have used and what their MD5 checks are, if you can find a match they will work.

Game Gear Bios, rename it MD5 check: 672e104c3be3a238301aceffc3b23fd6

sega/mega cd BIOS,

rename EU bios to bios_CD_E.bin MD5 check: e66fa1dc5820d254611fdcdba0662372

rename JP bios to bios_CD_J.bin MD5 check: bdeb4c47da613946d422d97d98b21cda

rename US bios to bios_CD_U.bin MD5 check:854b9150240a198070150e4566ae1290

for the FDS with nestopia,

should be named disksys.rom MD5 check:ca30b50f880eb660a320674ed365ef7a

Psx bios, you only want to use the scph5500 series bios i believe, please PM me if that part is wrong, more info on the different bios is listed here, currently I only used scph5501 for US, so this part could change in the future.

rename bios to scph5500.bin MD5 check:490f666e1afb15b7362b406ed1cea246

this is what i use, however games often crash after starting a game from menu, the german guide uses a US bios with a MD5 check of:924E392ED05558FFDB115408C263DCCF

PC-Engine CD Bios, they should be all regions, i found it best to use this 3.0 one

rename bios to syscard3.pce MD5 check:38179df8f4ac870017db21ebcbf53114

that covers everything you may currently want in the config folder, there may be others for emulators like the wonderswan or neogeo pocket but i never really used those. please PM me if that is the case. i will mention that these cores are based on armv7 libretro cores for retroarch. so keep that in mind because the naming of bios should be identical.

for Final Burn Alpha, you want to put your in the FBA folder, and your roms should be compiled i believe with mame 516 or FB ALPHA v0.2.97.30 DAT, i'll have to update this later but i think both work, the emulator is based off lrfinalburn2012, so it is a pretty old romset, i used clrmamepro to compile these though.

tip for organizing FBA zips though, i suggest just dropping the parent zip right into the FBA folder, no matter what it reads the parent from there, then make folders in the FBA folders for the name of each game and put the clone zips in there, then copy the clones, it will read the parent from the base folder still, and saves time loading, like metal slug 5 takes forever to load with the parent rom for example, but the clone roms are much smaller to load internally. i will get into this more in the next post however.

the rom format is as follows

FBA > .zip

FDS > .fds

gameboy and gameboy color all go in the gameboy folder

gameboy > .gb

gameboy color > .gbc

gba has it's own folder though > .gba

genesis > .bin .md or .gen

NES or famicom > .nes

SNES > .sfc or .smc

neogeo pocket > .ngp

wonderswan > .ws or .wsc

ok so, PCengine CD, PSX, and sega cd all need to be in bin+cue format, this is getting it's own post as you have to write paths into the cue files, so i am ending this post here to start the next one. btw i am typing this up while working too so sorry for slow posting, after the bin+cue post though the one after that will be how to load the extra emulation and actually make it run :)

Posts: 14
Joined: January 24th, 2019, 11:12 am

Re: Retron Labo CFW for all!

Post by stone » January 8th, 2021, 4:54 pm

OK now the CD portion of setting up your SD card. this can be the most confusing part, at least it was for me at first. if you have watched labos sega cd video where he runs sonic CD on this thing if i remember right he uses a cue+iso, but ya on this copy of his CFW iso's don't even show up in the GUI, and i have tried using them because of how the cue files work, yet it has never worked out for sega cd. so for sega cd stick to bin+cue as much as possible.

first off i would like to point out that with some consoles the bin doesn't have to be in the same location as the cue file, but to make things easier i will be writing this as if we were, i'll mention displacing bins for PCengine here but it seems to only work with that console. you load the cue as if it is the rom though and it points the console to the bin files it needs to load from.

what i am about to explain here, you should have a sample file in the genesis, psx and PCEngine folder, in the genesis folder it is SONIC_CD.cue.sample, these show how to set up the cue files which i will explain here.

ok say you have a sonic cd bin and cue and you want to load them from the genesis folder, to make things more clean i just make a folder in there named Sonic CD and copy both there. in this example i named it to sonic_cd.bin and same with cue.

so the folder path is now SD root>retron>roms>genesis>sonic cd

now if i open the cue in a notepad i have it set up like this

FILE "../../../../external_sd/Retron/Roms/Genesis/Sonic CD/sonic_cd.BIN" BINARY

TRACK 01 MODE1/2352

INDEX 01 00:00:00


PREGAP 00:02:00

INDEX 01 13:10:11

it goes all the way to like track 35 but those are all part of the one bin file so i cut it off past the 02 track,

this part FILE "../../../../external_sd/Retron/Roms/Genesis/Sonic CD/sonic_cd.BIN" BINARY

is where you set the path, with the ../../../../external_sd pointing to the root of your SD card and the rest to navigate the folders

now if you are a sega cd game with multiple tracks for the bin files that is possible too with more effort. here is an example how a few tracks on a multi bin game

CATALOG 0000000000000

FILE "../../../../external_sd/Retron/Roms/Genesis/Popful Mail/Popful Mail (USA) (Track 1).bin" BINARY

TRACK 01 MODE1/2352

INDEX 01 00:00:00

FILE "../../../../external_sd/Retron/Roms/Genesis/Popful Mail/Popful Mail (USA) (Track 2).bin" BINARY


INDEX 00 00:00:00

INDEX 01 00:02:00

FILE "../../../../external_sd/Retron/Roms/Genesis/Popful Mail/Popful Mail (USA) (Track 3).bin" BINARY


INDEX 00 00:00:00

INDEX 01 00:02:00

FILE "../../../../external_sd/Retron/Roms/Genesis/Popful Mail/Popful Mail (USA) (Track 4).bin" BINARY


INDEX 00 00:00:00

INDEX 01 00:02:00

note that the file names have (Track x) on them, as the name has to match the bin for each track, but it will work this way.

i don't really use the psx on here and when testing it i basically only got the main menu and would crash when starting the game, but you don't really need the pathing for it, just the right bin name, the sample there should be good to explain

now for PCEngine cd, it's pathing looks a bit different, and on this you don't even have to have the bins located within the pce folder, just the cue, the ys sample in the pce folder is a fine example of how to set that up within pce, so i would go by that, my example will change things up a bit however.

FILE "/mnt/external_sd/CD/Rondo of Blood/AKUMAJOU_DRACULA_X_-_CHI_NO_RINNE_(NTSC-J)_[KMCD3005].ISO" BINARY


INDEX 01 00:00:00

TRACK 02 MODE1/2352

PREGAP 00:03:00

INDEX 01 00:48:65

so this one was an ISO but PCengine will run with bin, or multiple bins as well. in this case instead of 4 ../ to back the directory up 4 times, it just uses /mnt to mount the sd card. in the example my bin is located in this folder path SD root>CD/Rondo of Blood, so the bin isn't even in the roms directory at all. pretty sure this only works with the PCEngine though. the cue is still in the PCE folder however with all the PCE roms which you use to load the game.

this is a bit hard to explain so i will try to help as much as i can with people stuck on this

but for now i will move on to the last part. running all the extra stuff on the console itself :)
Last edited by stone on January 8th, 2021, 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 14
Joined: January 24th, 2019, 11:12 am

Re: Retron Labo CFW for all!

Post by stone » January 8th, 2021, 4:54 pm

now on to the fun bits.

getting stuff to run

so when go into the load rom part of the menu you will see your folders on the SD card

four of the folders will look like this




#internal storage

note that internal storage isn't actually on your SD card, but you can delete the rom that is current loaded internally as well as delete config files you copied to the internals from it.

first with the config folder, you shouldn't have to delete anything copied to the internals from the config folder with the exception of the libretro.ini (i will get into this as it is important if you need multiple controller configs for FBA games), so honestly i would just copy every file you have set up for the various emulation cores and leave it, if you having issues with a core, you could try deleting the files that are for other cores in the #internal storage>config folder. i never really have this issue though. if you set up all the files i discuss in the previous post, you should be set for all the cores i have discussed.

now the #cores folder, this is where all the extra emulators go, if you copied all the folder the retron folder from the SD_Card folder you downloaded all the cores should be included that can currently be used. when you load a core there is no way to wipe it within the menu, so say you used the genesis gx plus core to run a sega cd game, but don't want to use that core on a regular genesis game, just reboot the console, that will wipe any cores you previously loaded.

basically though you just load the core from the cores folder, then you should be able to load the rom for that emulator from it's rom folder, and as long as you loaded all the files for that emulator from the config folder that you need, your good, you do need a cart in for this to work, any cart though. i suggest the smallest gameboy game you can get your hands on for faster loading. currently i am using alleyway which was a launch title, but the smaller the rom the cart has the better if you don't have gameboy games. gba carts are the worst though, since they tend to have the biggest roms.

if you are using the libretro.ini file from the SD_card, you may have to open it in a notepad on your computer and find the line that reads as genesis_plus_gx_region_detect=ntsc-j and change ntsc-j to ntsc-u for us bios and change it to pal for EU bios. if you used the libretro i suggested in the second post, it will already be genesis_plus_gx_region_detect=ntsc-u already for the US bios.

speaking of the libretro file i have a second one i want to share here ... o.ini?dl=0

this is mainly for FBA, as 6 button arcade cabs need a different button config, the libretro file here is for 6 button fighting arcades, the one i suggest earlier is for 4 button arcade games, which are mostly beat em ups, but the 2 seem to be enough for the FBA compatible roms you have to choose from. the configs on other emulators should be identical otherwise, outside of the original from the SD_card folder that is. if you use both like i do, i suggest setting up an entire new sd card for it with only the FBA games you need that libretro file for. that way it won't have to be a big sd card and would only be used sparingly

i also need to point out loading loops, if you don't have everything needed to run a rom right, the retron will keep loading over and over and it keeps you from really stopping it, take your cart out in cases like this, it will stop it so you can delete the rom copied in #internal storage, or if you load a rom from an emulator that will run it will fix it too, then put your cart back in

that is about all i can think of for this guide for the time being. DM me if you have questions, or you could comment here as well if you want so others can see the answers
Last edited by stone on January 8th, 2021, 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 14
Joined: January 24th, 2019, 11:12 am

Re: Retron Labo CFW for all!

Post by stone » January 8th, 2021, 5:08 pm

thought i was done, but then i remembered, the #gametitle folder.

this is pretty easy to grasp.

if you open one of the .txt files for a given console, it will have a list that is like this

"game ID";"game title"

the game ID will be a sting of numbers and letters, and the title will be that games name when loaded in the retron.

for example if california games was unknown on the retron, it would say something like unknown game _ F2B10AA2

you want to jot down the F2B10AA2 part, this is the games ID.

now open your MD.txt for genesis, add a line like this

F2B10AA2;California Games

then if you go into the #gametitle folder under load rom in your retron, then copy the MD.txt, all the game ID/game titles will be loaded internally, this will make it do that game no longer shows up as unknown, and will show as whatever you named it as. the provided files atm are mixed with JP titles though, so you will be renaming your games to the JP names if you use them without scrubbing those off. still a cool feature though

Posts: 1
Joined: February 19th, 2023, 8:51 am

Re: Retron Labo CFW for all!

Post by ptxwil » February 19th, 2023, 10:41 pm

I dunno if there is still support for this but could we get pictures of how to set up the Sega CD part? I've been trying for a few days and I still can't get this to work at all.

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