ROCK Install Guide

ROCK Install Guide

Roon Optimized Core Kit (ROCK) comes with a “factory reset” disk image, which is meant to be flashed onto a USB flash drive. When the device is booted from this USB flash drive it will partition, format, and initialize your SSD.      

1. Prepare your NUC hardware & accessories for the install

Installing ROCK requires the following hardware & accessories:
  1. An Intel NUC from our supported models list
  2. 4GB or more RAM that is compatible with your NUC model
  3. 128GB or larger M.2 SSD that is compatible with your NUC model
  4. Keyboard + Mouse (Mouse is optional but can be helpful configuring your BIOS)
  5. Monitor or TV that can be connected to NUC and the cable (via HDMI/Displayport/etc.)
  6. (Optional)  A 2.5" internal SATA disk. You can only use 1, so don't bother with more
    1. For more information about storage options for use with ROCK, see here
  7. An existing internet-connected computer (Mac, Windows, or Linux) with a USB port
  8. A USB flash drive 1GB or larger in size
You can find what RAM and M.2 SSD type are compatible with your NUC model by searching for it on Intel's Website and looking at the model's product specifications page. At this point, there's no operating system on the NUC, but it should boot and you should see the Intel welcome/splash screen. Note that this screen should also have the correct keyboard shortcuts for entering BIOS which you'll need in Step 2.
Before moving forward, please ensure that the NUC has the M.2 drive installed, RAM installed, a keyboard connected & the monitor connected. Also ensure you have another computer and the USB drive nearby. 

2. Preparing your NUC's BIOS

You’ll need to update your BIOS to the latest version for your NUC and then make a couple of changes to your NUC’s BIOS in order for ROCK to work properly. At this point, your monitor and keyboard should still be attached to the NUC.

2A. Updating the BIOS

  1. Search for your NUC model on Intel’s website
  2. Locate the BIOS under the Downloads page for your respective model
  3. Copy the .bio file to a flash drive formatted as FAT or FAT32 and plug it into the NUC
  4. Power cycle the NUC and press F7 on startup to enter the flash BIOS tool
  5. Select the BIOS file you saved to the flash drive
  6. Update the BIOS according to the prompts on NUC screen
Please see reference pictures of the flashing process below:

2B. Configuring the BIOS

  1. Boot the NUC and press F2 during startup to entire the BIOS configuration screen
  2. In the BIOS configuration screen, start by setting your BIOS to the factory defaults by pressing F9
  3. Once you've restored your BIOS settings to the default, make the following changes:
    1. Disable Secure Boot 
    2. Make sure UEFI is enabled on the Boot Priority screen
    3. Set the boot order to boot from your SSD first (you can drag the drives into the proper order if you’re using a mouse. Otherwise you can use the "+" and "-" keys)
    4. Disable Network Boot
    5. Enable USB Boot but make sure the SSD has boot priority
    6. You may need to enable the M.2 slot, depending on the BIOS version
    7. Save your BIOS changes

  4. Make sure you save your BIOS settings by hitting the F10 Key

Please see reference pictures of the configured BIOS settings below:

3. Download

To install ROCK, you will first need to download the factory reset disk image to another computer (like a Windows PC or a Mac). You can download the image from here. After the download, this file has an extension of ".img.gz" -- you do not need to decompress/unzip it.

4. Writing to a USB flash drive (from a second computer, not the NUC):

Now that you've downloaded the image to another computer, you will need to write this image to a USB flash drive. You can do this by using Etcher, Rufus or by using the Linux Command Line as noted below.

Option 1: Windows / Mac OS / Linux

  1. Plug in your USB flash drive (it must be larger than the factory reset image size -- 1GB is more than enough)
  2. Download and install Etcher from
  3. Start Etcher
  4. From the Etcher application interface, select your `.img.gz` file as "the image"
  5. From the Etcher application interface, select your USB flash drive as "the drive"
  6. Click on "Flash!"
Please see reference pictures of the flashing process for Etcher below:

If you are having any issues flashing with Etcher, you can also try RufusPlease see reference pictures of the flashing process for Rufus below:

Option 2: Linux Command Line

  1. Uncompress your .img.gz file by running "gzip -d roonbox-linuxx64-nuc4-usb-factoryreset.img.gz", which will leave you with a ".img" file
  2. Plug in your USB flash drive (it must be larger than the factory reset image size -- 1GB is more than enough)
  3. Run "sudo dmesg" to determine the device name given to your USB flash drive. It will be something like "/dev/sdb"
  4. Unmount any directory your flash drive was mounted to
  5.  Run "sudo dd bs=10485760 if=roonbox-linuxx64-nuc4-usb-factoryreset.img of=/dev/sdb" (replace “sdb” with the appropriate device name). This can take a few minutes, depending on the speed of your USB flash drive

5. Installing

  1. Turn off your NUC
  2. Unplug any USB storage you might have plugged into it. You can plug it back in after your install
  3. Insert the USB flash drive you prepared earlier into the front of the NUC
  4. Turn on the NUC and press the F10 key on your keyboard. Continue to hold the F10 key down until you appear at a menu that is asking you which device you'd like to boot from
  5. Select the USB flash drive
  6. Follow the instructions to install the Roon OS. This procedure can take a few minutes, depending on the performance of your USB flash drive and the SSD to which you are installing
  7. Once it is done installing, unplug the USB flash drive and hit ENTER to reboot
  8. On the next boot, don't hold F10. Your NUC should boot from the SSD, and a few seconds later, you should see a Roon message displaying the IP address of the NUC. This IP address should be entered in a web browser (on another computer) in order to complete ROCK setup (installing Codecs)
Please see reference pictures of the ROCK install process below:

6. Installing Codecs and Setting Up For First Run

You must install the appropriate Codecs for ROCK to function properly. You can do this by following the instructions here or by visiting the web UI listed on the console of the machine, click on the "?" next to "Missing Codecs" and follow the instructions. Be sure to also confirm that ROCK is on the latest version. You can trigger ROCK to update by selecting Reinstall from the Web UI.

Please see reference pictures of the codec installing process below:

7. Using ROCK

  1. Start Roon or Roon Server
  2. You will need to connect to ROCK by selecting it from the "Choose Your Roon Server" screen
  3. Note: If you've already used Roon before with another server, you will probably want to migrate your Roon database to ROCK. You can find information about migrating your database to ROCK here
  4. If you're having trouble, try clicking "Disconnect" in Settings, or "Select A Different Server"


  1. If Roon can not find your ROCK device, here are some ideas on how to troubleshoot the problem:
    1. Check the web UI about missing codecs
    2. Check your network. For Roon to find your Roon OS device on the network, make sure you have the ethernet cable plugged into your device and DHCP is available. Also, make sure your Roon software is running on the same LAN as the Roon OS device
  2. If you are still having issues with the install, please reach out to our technical support team on Community


Don't forget to see what Roon members are saying about ROCK on our Community Site!

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