A software engineer posted stating that 'extracting' the update from the camera will (most likely) NOT update other cameras. The actual updater adds codes to the existing file in the camera but the 'updater file' isn't stored in the camera. Hope this makes sense.
Actually, I'd say just the opposite. Most of the flash images i've worked with are the entire binary file of the 'os'. There's usually a CRC check to ensure the file is correct before writing it into memory. It's typically the same with upgradable computer bios packages. not to say there's any way to extract the flash image from the camera. I don't understand why Nikon forces users to send their camera in for such a simple procedure.
Wouldn't it make more sense for nikon to send out a cf card to all of it's dealers to do the upgrade? What would it take 1 meg maybe? This is the way my video editing machine worked. They issued upgrades every few months,can you imagine the shipping bills. My 2 cents,Harry
Nikon has done the math and probably came to the conclusion that its cheaper for the users to send them the bodies, have their technicians do the upgrade, and ship the units back than to have users field upgrade them, possibly turning their $2000USD units into non-functioning bricks if the flash process fails.
Firmware upgrades through flash programming is not a fool-proof process; if the flash process is interrupted for whatever reason, chances are the unit will refuse to function. No pictures, no power-up, no firmware... not even access to the firmware updater via the Display + Enter buttons.
Once the firmware is corrupted, the camera is useless. Worse, the firmware is stored in a flash memory chip (probably) somewhere deep inside the camera, so fixing a "dead" D100 would mean taking apart the entire camera and pulling out the chip and replacing it with a chip with properly-loaded firmware. This is the best case scenario if the flash chip is socketed; if it is soldered directly onto the circuit board, the entire circuit board would have to be replaced; a very expensive and time consuming process.
Simply put, Nikon doesn't trust that all their users are competent enough to perform the upgrade without mucking up the unit... and this may be a reasonable accessment.
Even if a non-approved solution is found to allow the user to flash the units I'd be very careful as Nikon may refuse to honour your warranty if the damage was caused by a user using an un-documented, service-related feature...
Sorry, I can't help with the mailing issue in the states (as I live outside). I have heard that even if you live next door to a service center, Nikon will still force you to send your camera to Kentucky or somewhere like that.
I just thought I'd post that when my upgrade was done, they had changed the USB setting on the menu. I forget if they had changed it from PTP to Mass Storage or the other way around, but they had changed it & thats where the menu was left at when I checked afterward. So, it seems they don't flash it from a card, but via a PC.
BTW, my upgrade took two minutes while my girlfriend waited at the Nikon Hong Kong service center...
It's well worth the drive for you! Took them 10 minutes to install version 2.0. Great people...no wait! They are set up in the middle of a new UPS warehouse (spotless beyond belief!) They handled my camera with gloves....5 technicans from Japan are in Louisville for another 3 weeks to handle this project. They receive about 35 cameras a day and mail them out the day they arrive. Nikon's National Technical Manager, Osamu Iwata, was very courteous...he heads up this team. Directions: Take I65 South and exit at Outer Loop West to 2240 Outer Loop Drive. This entrance is on your left. It takes you to the UPS Logistics Center which has a secure guard gate. Tell the guards you are there for Nikon to install the new version in your camera...they are in Door 514. They called the receptionist at that huge building and she gave them the ok to admit me. Be sure and have the return form from Nikon's web site. Enjoy the trip and the speedy service.