CHDK on Canon PowerShot S100 for Beginners (Completely Safe)

Canon PowerShot S100 running CHDK
Canon PowerShot S100 running CHDK

Despite the wealth of information regarding getting Canon Hacker Development Kit (CHDK) on your Canon Powershot S100, there are many options mixed up with old information.

For those who are new to the camera hacking game, and want an completely non-destructive way of trying out the CHDK follow these steps:


  1. Take a photo (JPG format) on your S100 camera.
  2. Copy photo from SD card to your computer.
  3. Use Automatic Camera Identifier and Downloader (ACID) to identify firmware version of camera.
    1. Download and install ACID from
    2. Open ACID and open the photo taken with the S100.
      Take note of the firmware version for your particular S100.
      (Will be either 1.00D, 1.00E, A.01A, A.01B or 1.02A).
  4. Download CHDK version suitable for your firmware
    1. Go to, scroll down to the PowerShot S100 section and download the full zip file corresponding the camera firmware version.
  5. Unzip contents of the zip file and copy to the root directory of your SD card.


The camera will operate as per normal.
In order to use the CHDK, the following needs to be performed every time the camera is powered on:

  1. Remove SD card from camera and lock it by sliding the small switch.
  2. Replace SD card into the camera.
  3. Turn on camera in playback mode by pressing and holding the play button.
  4. Press the menu button.
  5. Scroll down to “Firm Update…” and press the FUNC. SET button, and update the firmware.
  6. Enjoy CHDK after camera restarts.


Should there be problems, you may need to have prepare your SD card as a bootable type. In order to do so, insert the following between steps 2 and 3 in the installation procedure

  • Use EOScard to format your SD card to be bootable.
    1. Download “EOScard.exe from
    2. Start EOScard, find your SD card, click refresh, select the “BOOTDISK” checkbox, click the large “CHDK” (lower left) button and then “Save” (Upper right).



This method is known as the “Firmware Update Method” amongst the CHDK hackers, but despite the terminology does NOT actually update the camera’s firmware.

It tricks the S100 into thinking it is doing an update, but loads CHDK into the camera’s temporary memory (RAM).  NO firmware flashing takes place. For this reason the above procedure must be carried out each time the camera is powered on order to use the CHDK there is no chance of doing harm to your camera.

By J

Australian born. Japan based. Dealing in international trade, motorsports management, athletic performance coaching and consulting.

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