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3Com/USR Courier v.Everything Flash

How to flash a Courier

USR produced 3 versions of the Courier "v.Everything" modem. The first 2 are distinguished only by the processor clock speed (20 or 25mhz) which is revealed in the modem's response to ati7 from a terminal program. The newest Courier uses a much different design. Each version has its own firmware flash files - available as DOS .exe files (SDL's) from the USR website. USR may also offer wizards or ControlCenter updates.

I don't recommend using the wizard to flash a Courier modem. To flash using the downloadable self-extracting files on the web, you need to know whether your Courier is a 20mhz, 25mhz, or latest model. If you don't know, this information is displayed by giving it an AT I7 from a terminal program:

USRobotics Courier V.Everything Configuration Profile...

Product type           US/Canada External
Options                HST,V32bis,Terbo,VFC,V34+,x2
Fax Options            Class 1,Class 2.0
Clock Freq             20.16Mhz        ==============This is a 20mhz
Flash ROM              512k
Ram                    64k

Supervisor date        07/31/97
DSP date               06/06/97

Supervisor rev         7.2.1
DSP rev                2.2.7

Once you know the clock speed, download the appropriate file from the USR V.90 page. Copy or move the file to an appropriate directory. (I create a c:\usr and then subdirectories for each sdl release.)

Open a DOS (Command prompt) window, and run the sdl file. This will extract a number of files.

Make sure your modem is not in use. Run the firmware update file (SDL20.EXE or SDL25.EXE); note that options for running it can be obtained by using this command line:

SDL20 /? -or- SDL25 /?

The main thing to be concerned about is the COM PORT (default = 1, use /C=# to change it), and BAUD RATE (57,600 or slower is safest, 115,200 fastest if your computer can handle it).

In any case, whether you use the wizard or the sdl, don't turn the computer or modem off or reset anything while the firmware update is in progress!


The oldest Couriers were limited to V.34 - when 56k was first introduced as x2, USR offered a free upgrade for a limited time for most V.34 Couriers, then began charging $60. (1998). This upgrade is in the form of a soft "key" that enables x2 on the modem. (In order to support V.90 or V.92, a Courier must have the x2 key.) Latest reports indicate that USR is again selling x2 keys for those who still have a V.34-only Courier they want to upgrade.

Igor Diagilev developed a Courier-compatible flash that enables x2 & V.90 in V.34 Couriers without purchasing a key. The files are available from Russia: id25_304.rar for 25mhz Couriers, and idsdl304.rar for 20mhz Couriers. These files are compressed with the (rare) .rar format, and you will need a free or shareware utility to decompress the .rar file (search the web if you don't have such software). After flashing with these downloads, the modem's ati7 will look like this:

!!! NOT For Sales !!!
ID_SDL v3.04 18/11/98, RUSSIA, Khabarovsk, Igor Diagilev ( )
USRobotics Courier V.Everything Configuration Profile...

Product type Russia (ex. US/Canada) External
Options HST,V32bis,Terbo,VFC,V34+,x2,V90
Fax Options Class 1,Class 2.0
Clock Freq 20.16Mhz
Flash ROM 512k
Ram 64k

Supervisor date 03/13/98
DSP date 03/13/98

Supervisor rev 7.3.14


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