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Old 02-04-2012, 09:46 PM   #1
john_pb
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Kindle Touch bricked after firmware update

Googling the above particular issue, I came across this forum so naturally I thought I'd run it past the local gurus:

My new Kindle Touch 3G developed a random reboot problem, which was not going away just by doing a re-set. Another annoying issue was the occasional turning of two pages even after only a very light tap on the screen.

Several users at the Amazon forum reported this issue went away after a firmware upgrade to version 5.0.3 (my device had 5.0.1 installed).

I downloaded the firmware binary from the official Amazon link and installed as per their instructions. The Kindle then rebooted twice, as according to Amazon was to be expected; however on second boot, it got stuck and eventually ended up on the "Your Kindle needs repair" screen.

Hard reboot (i.e. the 20-second hold of restart button) makes no difference.

The device is not modified (i.e. no jailbreak).

When plugged into a USB port on my main Linux computer, it shows up as "Amazon Kindle" in dmesg, but comes up with "cannot enumerate device". It cannot be mounted, so no file transfers into the root drive is possible.

On a Windows machine, it shows briefly as a "Removable Drive", but trying to open the folder gives a "Please insert disk into drive X" error.

Having read the majority of this forum's messages & wiki related to bricked Kindle Touch, I am now of the opinion this device cannot be fixed and will need to be sent back for a replacement. I am a fairly experienced Linux user (10+ years), but certainly not a developer and some of the stuff you guys here discuss is way over my abilities - hence the decision to send it back.

What I would like to know though is how I can avoid this problem in the future. I live in Australia, and Amazon does not officially sell the 3G model here, so getting a replacement is a little more complicated than it should be & will take a least a month, which is a pain - hence I'd rather not have this happen again.

The only idea I have as to why the upgrade bricked the device is that perhaps the downloaded binary was corrupt. Amazon does not provide any checksum file which would allow to check the download before installing.

Is there any way to make the upgrade less likely to fail?

I'd be keen to hear any comments you may be willing to offer.

Cheers.

John
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:17 AM   #2
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There are possible ways to fix it, but a simple reliable way is being developed. It may take some time so please be patient. Read this:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...&postcount=407
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:03 AM   #3
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Thanks for that, geekmaster. I have now found out that Australia Post will not carry any items with lithium batteries, and a courier to the US would cost around $70, so it makes the whole enterprise of sending the Kindle for replacement somewhat uneconomical. I'll just have to hang on to it and hope one of the developers here does come up with a fix.
Thanks again & cheers.
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john_pb View Post
Thanks for that, geekmaster. I have now found out that Australia Post will not carry any items with lithium batteries, and a courier to the US would cost around $70, so it makes the whole enterprise of sending the Kindle for replacement somewhat uneconomical. I'll just have to hang on to it and hope one of the developers here does come up with a fix.
Thanks again & cheers.
I have a fix that uses only the USB port. It does not require removing the back cover or using the internal serial port. I can do a FULL factory restore, making your kindle just like when it was fresh from the factory. After this full factory restore, you kindle will even ask you which language you want to use. The only requirement is that you supply a backup copy of mmcblk0p1 (the root partition) from it or another kindle of the same model.

My fix also allows restoring the full /var/local partition back to factory defaults without losing the USB drive contents, for cases where /var/local became full and bricked a kindle because of too many books causing a large collections database.

It also allows less-invasive methods of finding missing or damaged files, and replacing individual files with original files, extracted from a user-supplied backup of mmcblk0p1 or backup copies of individual files.

And for those who have experience with linux shell commands, my fix also allows file system exploration at a root shell prompt, so that you can manually repair damage to the main root file system, by booting from the diagnostic partition and pushing a reverse shell to a host PC using netcat (nc).

I am making a debricking tool that uses my fix, which will work for both the k4nt and the touch, while designing it to be more automated, more foolproof, more user-friendly, and simplifying it so that using it will require a minimum of technical expertise...

Last edited by geekmaster; 02-10-2012 at 04:56 AM.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:36 AM   #5
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I also think that maybe you can include a copy of root partition from K4NT & KT with your tool - I doubt many people around here who have bricked Kindles have another one in normal state just to make a dump.
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:39 PM   #6
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I also think that maybe you can include a copy of root partition from K4NT & KT with your tool - I doubt many people around here who have bricked Kindles have another one in normal state just to make a dump.
The root partition includes proprietary scripts that belong to amazon. Although people have posted them elsewhere, providing them here would violate mobileread policy.

The tool could probably tell the user where to download a copy though, and perhaps even do its own "wget".
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:06 PM   #7
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Hello

This is my first post. My Kindle Touch is a brick. I had no Jailbreak. I received a request to activate the wifi and the next day I had the screen needed repair.

I read everything I could in the forum, but I'm afraid my knowledge is almost nil.

geekmaster see you talk about a fix that with a copy of mmcblk0p1 can repair my Kindle. Where is this fix? Is this already available?

Many thanks for the help.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by muydificil View Post
Hello

This is my first post. My Kindle Touch is a brick. I had no Jailbreak. I received a request to activate the wifi and the next day I had the screen needed repair.

I read everything I could in the forum, but I'm afraid my knowledge is almost nil.

geekmaster see you talk about a fix that with a copy of mmcblk0p1 can repair my Kindle. Where is this fix? Is this already available?

Many thanks for the help.
A lot of people are getting their kindle 4 or kindle touch bricked during an update, even with no jailbreak or other hacks.

There are multiple ways to repair it, with different levels of complexity or risk.

I have custom u-boot images that can boot your kindle to whatever mode you want (main, diag, or fastboot) even when it is thoroughly bricked. One way to repair it is to boot to fastboot mode and reflash the main partition with your mmcblk0p1 image, using the kindle fastboot tool from yifanlu. Another way is to boot to diag mode and use ixtab's jailbreak to run /mnt/us/RUNME.sh, and in that script to "dd" the mmcblk0p1 image to the main partition. You can export the USB Drive from diags, if it is not visible while bricked.

You need to know some linux commands, or wait until I, or yifanlu, or another developer, release a simple-to-use reliable safe method. I have been working on one, but my "real" job is taking a lot of my time right now...

Last edited by geekmaster; 02-16-2012 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:57 AM   #9
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too newbie

Thank you very much for responding so quickly.

As I am in Spain, the Amazon service does not send a new Kindle to my country, then I have no other solution than trying to resurrect the kindle. I tried the method Ixtab. I used files and RUNME.sh data.tar.gz but without result.

I insist that my main problem is the total lack of knowledge, so I'm sure I'm asking silly questions . Thank you in advance for helping me patience.

1. Where I can find the custom u-boot images to make a fastboot?
2. I have a kindle touch like mine still works correctly. How I can get the file mmcblk0p1? Do any thread explaining it?

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Old 02-17-2012, 08:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muydificil View Post
1. Where I can find the custom u-boot images to make a fastboot?
2. I have a kindle touch like mine still works correctly. How I can get the file mmcblk0p1? Do any thread explaining it?
1. I am trying to build u-boot that works for touch and k4nt. Now only for k4nt.
2. dd if=/dev/mmcblk0p1 of=/mnt/us/mmcblk0p1.img bs=1024

Last edited by geekmaster; 02-17-2012 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:17 PM   #11
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Here is another tool to help repairing kindle touch and k4nt:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=169645
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:39 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by geekmaster View Post
I have a fix that uses only the USB port. It does not require removing the back cover or using the internal serial port. I can do a FULL factory restore, making your kindle just like when it was fresh from the factory. After this full factory restore, you kindle will even ask you which language you want to use. The only requirement is that you supply a backup copy of mmcblk0p1 (the root partition) from it or another kindle of the same model.
Apologies for lack of response; I have been away for a few days with limited access to the Internet.

Regarding your update: This is great news!

I have another Kindle Touch which I have bought for my wife (and have been scared to upgrade it to 5.0.3 firmware so as not to brick it as well...!), so I could potentially make a backup copy of its root partition to use in the restoration of my own KT.

Can you offer some instructions as to how to proceed with the recovery, or is it better to wait till your tool is finished?

As I said earlier, I am a reasonably experienced Linux user, so should be able to handle some CLI.

Cheers.

John
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:29 AM   #13
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OK, having now read your other linked post, I've fired up my Windows XP Virtual Box guest OS and am very happy to report I have been able to enter the diagnostic mode in the bricked KT and export the USB drive.
However while all my books etc can now be accessed, I cannot see anything that looks like the root partition on the mounted drive.
Anyway, no time to play now, but I am pretty confident now that this Kindle can yet be saved.
Thank you very much again & I'll be having more of a play with this over the weekend.
Cheers.
John
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:00 AM   #14
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To access the root, you need to copy missing dropbear files from mmcblk0p1 (if it has dropbear, from yifanlu's simple ssh) to mmcblk0p2. Then there is a menu item in diags that starts SSH, where you can see the root of the diags partition. You need to "mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 /mnt/mmc" and make changes inside /mnt/mmc/etc/* or wherever...

The dropbear files need to be copied using a "jailbreak" script. I am working on making this easy and reliable for both the k4nt and the touch.
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:54 AM   #15
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Thanks geekmaster for more instructions. Looking over the amount of work you've been doing on this, I wonder if you ever sleep? ;-)

I've had a quick run with some of the stuff described on this thread:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=169645

Specifically I thought I'd test out the /usr/sbin/factory_reset approach, but it did not work. The RUNME.sh appears to have been executed as the Kindle showed two output files - RUNME.done and RUNME.out - but it did not display the text message and it is back to the "...needs repair" screen.

This would indicate that there must have been a fairly serious problem with the firmware update and probably the only way to fix it will be via the replacement drive image.

I'll play a bit more later, but thanks heaps once again for your work and, equally importantly, for taking the time to document it here and respond to people in such detail.

Cheers.

John
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