Smok Alien 220W will not turn on


I had a secondhand Smok Alien, running VB1.0.2 firmware, that was working perfectly for a number of months, but I was only ever charging the batteries via the USB charging port. However, after opening the battery compartment, and removing the batteries, with the Smok Alien still switched on, it thereafter refused to start, once batteries had been replaced. It wasn’t just a case of just the display having ceased to light up, while the rest of the mod’s functionality remains, as is frequently reported. In my case, the Alien absolutely refused to start/boot.

My problems/symptoms seem to be the same as this post:

This morning, my Alien VB version stopped working totally. Yesterday in my bed used it normally, no problem at all. Finished vaping so i put the batteries in my external charger. This morning I waked up and put the charged batteries like every morning, no reaction at all. Tried lot of things, as i’m a pc repair technician i know how to fix things 😉

I saw on a support thread that removing the batteries without powering it off can cause this problem…

There are a number of Alien issues reported on the web – such as broken displays, failure to boot (as was my case), 510 connector issues and atomiser shorts – with an equal, or greater, number of suggested fixes – such as banging it on a hard surface, or using a 2.4 A charger. As already stated, some of the reported issues are that the display has simply died, but the mod still functions. After doing a fair bit of research it seems as if it is actually quite common to have an apparently bricked device, but it is equally easy to fix, by simply re-flashing the device…

See also

Repair services

Please excuse the double negative, but, from the look of the website, I am not entirely convinced that these links is not a scam:

However, according to the website, the issue which can be repaired is:

Display Has Stopped Working Everything Else Is Fine.

Unfortunately, this is not my case. “Everything else” certainly is not fine.

However, for the latter repair service, the description appears to match my issue more closely:

The Display Stopped Working And Now Wont Fire Due To Me Now Knowing What The Screen Is Saying

Quick Links


Install Threads

IC Manuals


From Smok Alien disassembly,

Took mine apart to have a look and it looks like the neg black wire was soldered to the brass ring which was then slipped over the SS 510 tube, most likely crimped in place with sealant inside to stop juice leaks.
No obvious way to remove it from the zinc body, best to desolder the lead at the pcb side because the zinc body is going to sink the soldering irons heat and make for a dry joint at best.
The white delrin center insulator just popped off easy enough with a flat screwdriver.

Smok Alien 510 brass ring
Smok Alien 510 brass ring

A brilliant disassembly video made by DJLsb Vapes, SMOK Alien Kit Full Review + Firmware Upgrade Tutorial + Charts and Graphs – DJLsb Vapes, watch it @39:21.

However, disassembly is not required for a simple re-flashing of the firmware.

Possible fixes

  • Using a charger
  • Hitting it
    • Smok Alien Fixed switch on problem – note the sensible comment: “Of course, doing this with the batteries in there is NOT a smart thing. if you damage the batteries, you’ve got a chemical fire and that’s not good. If this does work, it’s probably because some contact is being forced into place. Smashing thins is NEVER a good idea, pen the device up, check the contacts, put it back together.” Even the uploader admits in the video description: “Attention! This is a method for turn on the Alien Box when it has strange ignition issues, and the box not turn on. I have used my definitely dead box. If the box was still healthy, you would have seen ignite after shots.
      Attention After 3 week of using of this method my box is definitely dead. Its a destructive and unconventional method. I would advise you to contact smoktech assistance or contact where you bought it.”
  • Plug it in to a PC
  • Open it up
    • Smok al85 unbrick – however, this is for a mod that has been bricked by updating it with the wrong firmware. Shows the jumping of two connectors and then using a software tool, NuMicro ISP Programming Tool v1.44 to first erase and then reflash the device.
  • Updating with firmware
    • Smok Alien Not Working or Turning on – from first glance, this seems similar to the Smok Alien bricked – possible fix “. However, in the comments it states that “Had to use a 3rd party software to update the Alien to the newest, this got it out of the brick (but put the authentic smok software inside)”. Using NuMicro ISP Programming Tool, which is an ISP Tool (as above), from Nuvoton, version 2.03 (link). Please note that there is both a ICP and an ISP programmer. make sure that you use the ISP.
    • Smok Alien switch on problem – However, this shows that the NuMicro ISP Programming Tool method does not work, for this particular Alien belonging to the chap in the video
  • Modifying the battery door
  • Two pieces of foil on the battery contacts

Using the ISP

When I first connected the SMOK to a PC I first had an “Unknown Device” showing up in the Device Manager, under Other devices, as a WPM USB.

SMOK Alien - Device manager - unrecognised device (WPM USB)
SMOK Alien – Device manager – unrecognised device (WPM USB)

Once the driver had automatically installed

SMOK Alien - Device loader

then it was recognized as a USB input device.

SMOK Alien - Device manager recognised

Opening the NuMicro ISP programmer, and clicking connect:

SMOK Alien - ISP Connected

So, at least, the Alien appeared to be recognised, and with firmware version: 0x30.  Note the Part No. text box. From link:

Smok Alien with v1.2.2 Chip = NUC220LE3AN NuMicro ISP
Smok Alien with vb1.0.2 Chip = Nano120LE3BN NuMicro ISP

However, no file data is displayed, when hitting the Connect button. Now I am not sure whether that is because no local data file was selected, as in both videos (Smok al85 unbrick @2:10 and Smok Alien switch on problem @2:26), previously binary firmware files appear to have been selected, whereas I have “File not load”.

Finding the firmware files was not easy. The Smok website, ALIEN AND OSUB PLUS FIRMWARE UPGRADE GUIDE, does not list version B firmware. I had to go here, New Smok Alien Firmware Released, and then VB 1.0.2 firmware.

However, I then discovered that there is a later VB 1.0.3 version of firmware, from this site SMOK Alien 220 VB* Firmware Upgrade, which gives excellent instructions:

1: Download 1.0.3 from HERE

2: Disregard SMOK‘s instructions as they are WRONG!!!!

3: Unzip the firmware to a location you can find

4: Open up NuvoISP.exe

5: Make sure USB is selected and select Continue

6: Disconnect any atomizer

7: Remove the batteries

8: Make sure the USB cable is plugged into your computer but not the Alien yet

9: Find a big rubber band, hair tie or zip tie and lock the fire button down

10: Select the Connect in ISP

11: Now plug the USB cable into the Alien, it should connect

12: Select ERASE ALL and only ERASE ALL and select the Start button. You should get a confirmation it was OK

13: Select the Setting button

14: Configure the Chip Options to this and then select OK
SMOK Alien config

15: Select the APROM button and navigate to the 1.0.3 firmware located in the same folder as ISP. VIVI-98_FOR_NANO120_VB1.0.3_20170323.bin

16: Now select under Programming APROM & CONFIG and make sure these are the only two selections made.

17: Select START and wait for the Successful prompt.

18: Select Disconnect

19: Unplug the USB cable from the Alien

20: I’m sure you can figure out the rest from here………

However, the link (HERE) on the Smok website to the firmware is dead, and leads to a 404 page. This is the newer link, which also includes version 2.00 of the ISP programming tool: NUMICRO ISP PROGRAMMING TOOL FOR ALIEN VB1.0.3 (NOT FOR AL85). Note that these instructions of SMOK’s are apparently incorrect, as stated in the thread above – The configuration differences in SMOK’s instructions being:

  • the brown out voltage set to 1.7V (instead of 2.5V)
  • no security lock
  • and the external clock being used (and not the internal).
  • there is also a conflict between the text and the screenshots: 0x14400 in the dialog snapshot, but 0x1400 in the text

See below, SMOK’s suggestions (0xEBE7FF7E) are on the left, e-cig-forums suggestions (0xEFF7FF7C) on the right.


I followed the previous instructions, and the firmware appeared to install correctly:

Programmed Alien

However, the Alien still refused to start. Note that the Firmware Version is still 0x30 as it was prior to the VB1.0.3 update (previously I had VB1.0.2 installed).

Thereafter, I followed SMOK’s instructions and the same result… nada.

PlanetOfTheVapes thread for VB firmware


Main points

Link to VB1.0.2 firmware:

Note #18 says Config 1:

 there’s a config 1: number in the flash tool that must be “00013000” before you update

The Config fields, themselves, are not directly editable. However their values change, depending upon the selected settings.

For Config 1:

It is possible to get a value of 0x00013000 for Config 1, by changing the value of the Data Flash Size field to 47.00K:

Config 1: 0x00013000
Config 1: 0x00013000

However, only this thread mentions changing the value of Config 1 from 0x14400 to 0x13000, so I am not sure if that is a bogus red herring.

For Config 0:

I can not obtain 0xEFF7FF7C nor 0xEBE7FF7E – the Most Significant Bit (MSB), bit 31 or CWDT_EN​, is always set giving 0xF en lieu of 0xE:

  • FFF7FF7C​ (Internal/2.5/NoWatchDog/SecurityLock)
  • FFE7FF7C (Internal/1.7/NoWatchDog/SecurityLock) <= THREAD SUGGESTION
  • FFF7FF7E (Internal/2.5/NoWatchDog/NoSecurityLock)
  • FFE7FF7E (Internal/1.7/NoWatchDog/NoSecurityLock)
  • FBF7FF7C (External/2.5/NoWatchDog/SecurityLock)
  • FBE7FF7C (External/1.7/NoWatchDog/SecurityLock)
  • FBF7FF7E (External/2.5/NoWatchDog/NoSecurityLock)
  • FBE7FF7E (External/1.7/NoWatchDog/NoSecurityLock) <= SMOK SUGGESTION

See the section Config0 below, for an explanation of the CWDT_EN bit.

This thread also states that the original USB cable must be used – however, this is just referring to using an actual USB data cable, and not just a USB charge cable, which will lack the data lines.

Mentions boot loop, in #21, and this is the fix:

 The following is how I fixed this. Try, and it may fix your problem too: use the cable that came with your Alien 220W. Can’t stress how important this cable is(after so many unsuccessful tries, I won’t be surprised if Smok is using custom data pins in their own USB cables). It was the third micro USB cable I tried and it worked. Go to Download your update tool from there and follow every step of the instructions exactly down to the last detail. Before hitting “Start”, also check the “Config” button in addition to “APROM”. Only after taking these steps(and nearly a day of unsuccessful tries) everything is finally back to the way it was. I hope it works for everyone.

From #36

I was having some issues as well updating from vb1.0.2 to vb1.0.3 my device would just blink vb1.03 after updating it would turn on and run fine but once the screen turned off it would go back to blinking vb1.0.3 and I would have to press the fire button 5 times to turn the device back on tried reflashing , rolling back the firmware same issue on vb1.0.2 now.

I managed to fix this by reflashing vb1.0.3 again the link above shows the settings setup in smok’s tutorial what I did was change a few settings there. I did as suggested I set base address to 14400 , data flash to 42.00k and unclicked watchdog. The settings I changed was setting Clock Source Options to Internal rather then external , Brown out to 2.5v and selected Security Lock , went back to the main screen for programming I unselected everything and selected Erase all once completed I uncheck Erase All and selected APROM only and flashed and now all is fixed running vb1.03. Hopfully this helps someone out with the same issue.

Thread's suggested settings

Another PlanetOfTheVapes thread for VB firmware


Main points

More specifically from #30

I just read the instructions, but I can see why people get it wrong.

1. Take out the batts before upgrading.
2. You have to hold the fire button all the time during the upgrade.

3. There are 2 versions of firmware either A or B for the Alien. Version A will display V1.x.x when powered on (newest is V1.2.11), while Version B will display VB1.x.x (newest is VB1.0.2). So make sure yknow what device version you have and download the corresponding zip file before upgrading.

4. So for the fix, if you have tried to upgrade using the wrong version by mistake (which the people I have done the fix for did) simply redo the flash process with the other file (see below).

So for VersionA you need this tool and firmware;

For VersionB you need this tool and firmware;

Also read the instructions for the flash tool, which is in the manual or on Smok’s website.

Mentions bootloop, in #39 and the reddit thread, Smok Alien keeps turning off after vb1.0.3 update, used to solve.

Mentions the config number in #40.

Reddit thread

Thread: New Smok Alien revision with different chip explains firmware upgrade issues

Main points

The ICP can obtain a dump of the firmware, see this post. A link to the ICP tool,, is provided. However, I have had trouble getting it to connect to the Alien, for the reasons explained in the post:

Problem is holding the fire button and connecting the micro USB puts the device in firmware mode and will brick your device. You will have to reflash it using the ISP tool if this happens. So now, just blocked on figuring out how to get the ICP tool to recognize the device without being in “upgrade mode”.

The IC, in the Version B of the Alien, is the NANO120LE3BN (Datasheet: DS_Nano100(B)_Series_EN_Rev1.08,  link).

The IC, in the Version A of the Alien, is the NUC220LE3AN (Datasheet: DS_NUC200_220(AN)_EN_Rev1.00,  link).

Second Reddit thread – very detailed

Thread: Smok Alien keeps turning off after vb1.0.3 update

Main points

Removes boot loop, linked to from #39

Complete bootloop fix

DISCLAIMER: There are two versions of the Alien220 mod, so tread lightly!! Edition A will display V1.x.x (newest is V1.2.11) when powered on, while edition B will display VB1.x.x (newest is VB1.0.3). This fix is SPECIFICALLY FOR edition B (VB1.0.3).

Personal note: When your programming/IT team can’t provide correct instructions to install the OS correctly for the device that your company manufactures, it’s time for a new programming/IT team. C’mon SMOK.

ISSUE: By following SMOK’s ingenious directions located at, you’ve coded your Part No. incorrectly. Your Config Value should be 0xEFFF7FF7E.

Tools needed;

The boot looping asshole itself

Micro USB data cable

Computer (durr)

Software needed;

alien VB 1.0.2 (Shoutout to Armri for this!)

alien VB 1.0.3


  1. Take out the batteries and hold the fire button down. I STRONGLY recommend wrapping a hair tie or a strong rubber band around the fire button, because this MUST BE HELD DOWN THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE PROCESS, and your poor knuckles don’t need arthritis. Do NOT connect the device to your PC just yet.
  2. Open NuvoISP; make sure it’s in USB mode.
  3. Click the Connect button. With the fire button held down, connect your device via USB. You should now see that it’s connected.
  4. At the bottom, check Erase All and click Start. You should see a prompt stating that this step processed successfully.
  5. Click on Setting, and refer to this image as your guide (again, thanks Armri).Thread's suggested settingsOnce everything is setup correctly, click the OK button.
  6. Make sure that the Config option is the only option checked at the bottom and click Start. You should see a prompt stating that this step processed successfully.
  7. Under Load File, click the APROM button and open ALIEN_VB1.0.2.bin. Make sure that the APROM option is the only option checked at the bottom, and click Start. You should see a prompt stating that this step processed successfully.
  8. Click on the APROM button again and select the VIVI-98_FOR_NANO120_VB1.0.3_20170323.bin file. Click Start. You should see a prompt stating that this step processed successfully.
  9. Click Disconnect, and unplug your device from the USB data cable.
  10. Release the fire button.
  11. Replace your batteries and click the fire button 5 times.
  12. Voop.
  13. Contact SMOK and tell them to fire whoever wrote those garbage instructions.

Following this sequence, I get the error “No such USB device”, when using 1.44 of the ISP tool contained in the VB1.0.2 firmware package (from If I use version 2.00 then I get pretty much the same results as for the previous method(s). That is to say that everything appears to connect, erase, configure and upload correctly. However, thereafter the Alien still refuses to start.

Interestingly, this method writes the config separately, first, and then writes the APROM.

Note also, that the suggested config of 0xEFFF7FF7E is not the same as that in the screenshot of the dialog above (which is 0xEFFF7FF7C), and corresponds to NoSecurityLock, like so:


This method is also referred to from Bricked my girlfriends Alien VB, post #6.

Another detailed Reddit post

Thread: Smok Alien mod:Incorrect resolution?

Main points

This thread has a post which refers to the detailed Reddit post above, but also makes note of the 0xE versus ​0xF issue:

Okay, so I just did the update on my device and I didn’t have the same issue as yours afterwards.

I wrote a notepad file, separating all of the information and went through the images with a fine-toothed comb. And I noticed a bunch of subtle, but glaring errors that could lead to people bricking their devices even if they’re the correct version or misunderstanding what everything means.

What I did was match everything, *even down to the images. Probably like everyone else did. But then I noticed that my Config-0 was off by only one character while Config-1 displayed the correct info. And Smoktech’s was different.

Mine: 0xFBE7FF7E

Smoktech: 0xEBE7FF7E

The process was relatively fast, clicking through everything to match the options until I noticed that one option was still red and the other was green – while Smoktech’s example had both of their Config 0/1 settings as green.

You can manually edit Config-1 but you cannot edit Config-0. Whether this is because of how programming works or because of how the chip is designed, I wouldn’t know. *At least according to how they explain it.

It tells you to uncheck some things when they’re already unchecked, at least based on my experience. And the Watchdog info says it’s important to leave it unchecked, yet also says “check it if it isn’t” without explaining exactly why. I left it unchecked because it said “Very,” and because of the image. (see second Edit at bottom for info on strikeout)

After thinking that the 0xE/Smoktech *Config-0 might have actually been VB1.0.3 and their pictures were displayed on an already updated device, and then understanding that it’s entirely possible that they didn’t notice this error either, or that their region’s chips might be different than ours, I went ahead anyway to see what would happen, and clicked through all the options matching the pictures.

I also double checked what I did just to make sure everything was correct. The popup showed up showing it was a success, and I unplugged my device by disconnecting it through the program, still holding the fire button, and then disconnecting it from the computer before letting go.

This was the first time I’ve updated a vapor product’s firmware, but I will say that this was not a very user-friendly process. At one point, I halfway believed I let go of the firing button, but I didn’t.

It also leads me to believe that some don’t read the instructions correctly and then forget what just happened when they accidentally checked something they shouldn’t have, or clicked the wrong option (any of the three options instead of APROM, etc) assuming it’s a bad product or a bad company. *Then they get frustrated when the community isn’t willing to help, because they make throwaways with 0/1 karma and never communicate about what they did compared to the instructions.

It’s entirely possible that it was normal for my device to say what it did, but I hope it gives some context for you and maybe even helps you to reflash it. I’d call it a program error since your product still worked afterwards.

I didn’t have any issues before with 1.0.2, but Smok could do better with their desktop software and maybe their chips. They can’t expect everyone to be as detailed as these instructions.

Anyone else who might need this information in the future can benefit from this as well.

Edit: slight editing, added a sentence and a word.

Second edit: What the Watchdog info actually says is to unmark it twice, which is intentionally confusing, but might be a result of Chinese English.

Click setting,unmark the WATCHDOG,click “OK”(This step is VERY IMPORTANT,if not unmark the watchdog,the mod will turn on and off by itself)

So basically, keep it unmarked because they said it twice, even if they might have meant two different things. This might be one of the reasons for potential bricking. Overall, they could condense the instructions much better for the lowest-common-denominators of society or create more intuitive update programs so the process isn’t as lengthy.

It doesn’t expliclty mention anything about differences with my 0xF vs their 0xE Config-0 settings or about changing it, or about whether it’s important or not, but mentioning this scenario in their instructions would also be a good idea. Assuming this difference is an actual bug I discovered in this whole thing.

A noisy thread

Vaping Underground: Bricked my girlfriends Alien VB, refers to the detailed Reddit post above, Smok Alien keeps turning off after vb1.0.3 update. This is a very noisy thread., with a number of totally pointless posts. It is best to skip those and only pay attention to the posts by hendrikR and the OP strigamort.

Mentions the data cable (not a charging only USB cable) is required.

Mentions the config number in #16.

Attempting to use the ICP

For me, the ICP Programming Tool will not connect.

ICP initial dialog
ICP initial dialog

The Nano120 is of the Nano 100 series.

ICP main screen
ICP main screen

Clicking Connect, does nothing. It does the same whether the Alien is connected to the USB or not.

ICP Not connecting
ICP Not connecting

Config 0

The meaning of Config0 can be found in the technical reference manual of the Nano100 (trm_nano100(b)_series_en_rev1.06, link). Config0 is covered in section

Here is the schema of Config0

Config 0 schema
Config 0 schema

The Most Significant bit (MSB) bit 31, is the Force Watchdog Timer On  (CWDT_EN) bit:

Force Watchdog Timer Clock On

0 = Forcing the clock of Watchdog Timer to be enabled even if WDT_CTL[WTE] is set to 0.

1 = The clock of Watchdog Timer can be disabled by setting WDT_CTL[WTE] to 0.

Here is the extract from the technical manual:

Config0 - Bit 31

So, there is no consequence to the end user if config0 is 0xF or ​0xE. Having 0xF mearly allows the Watchdog timer to be disabled.

Why is a config number displayed in red?

Basically the values for Config0 and Config1  are shown as red, when the value, in the ISP tool, is changed from the value currently stored on the device.

Config1 displayed in red

Compare these two images


which are taken from this post:

Hello, NuMicro_ISP_Programming_Tool_V2.00 Chip capacity is not enough.

Picture of the problem device

I have a solid device that I use

You will notice that the Config1 in the first image is in red.

From my own tests, config1 is shown in red if the data base address offset is not 42 KBytes exactly (for the VB firmware). 42K is 0x14400:

Data Base Address

If you have a value for Config1, which is greater than the current value for Config1, on the target device, then it is shown in red, for example a Data Flash size equal to 42.5K (=> 0x14200):

Red Config1 -  Address too high
Red Config1 – Address too high

If you have a value for Config1, which is lower than the current value for Config1, on the target device, then it is shown in red, for example a Data Flash size equal to 41.5K (=> 0x14600):

Red Config1 - Address too low
Red Config1 – Address too low

If you then program only the config, for that new value for Config1, to the device (the Alien)

Red Config1 - low address
Red Config1 – low address

then the value will then be displayed in green:

Green Config1 - low address

Basically the values for Config0 and Config1  are shown as red, when the value, in the ISP tool, is changed from the value currently stored on the device.

Config 0 in red

Config0 is in red when I erased all :

Red Config0 - Security Lock set
Red Config0 – Security Lock set

and then I noticed that I had the security lock set:

Red Config0 - security lock set
Red Config0 – security lock set

If I cleared the Security Lock then Config0 was displayed in green

Green Config0 - security lock not set
Green Config0 – security lock not set

If you then program the Alien with the Security Lock enabled (and Config0 is shown in red), once it is programmed, then Config0 will show up in green.

Green Config0 - security lock set
Green Config0 – security lock set

Basically the values for Config0 and Config1  are shown as red, when the value, in the ISP tool, is changed from the value currently stored on the device.


From this post:

Quick Gotchas

  • v.1.44 of the ISP will not work with Version B firmware – you must use v2.00
  • The MSB is the Watchdog (any differences beween 0xE and 0xF can be ignored)


Quick Video on How I Fixed my SMOK G320 Blank Screen -SOLVED

One thought on “Smok Alien 220W will not turn on”

  1. The ICP tool won’t recognize the device because it requires that the device be connected through a programming tool such as the nu-link pro. Once connected through such a tool, the ICP programmer will recognize the device. However, the caveat is that if the security lock is set then the tool can not read or write to the chip. But, as you know you can erase all in the ISP tool which will set the lock to unlocked again, and then the ICP tool could be used to read or write from it(although reading from it would be worthless since it was just erased). At any rate, the options are basically the same in the ICP tool as they are in the ISP tool with the exception that the ICP tool will compare the on-board flash to the loaded file and let you know if they’re different(but again, not if security lock is enabled). So, basically if the ISP tool didn’t work then probably the ICP tool wouldn’t either. Although I suppose it never hurts to try. You can pick up a nu-link pro for about $38 on digikey or direct from nuvoton themselves.


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