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Old 12-31-2011, 04:57 AM   #1
geekmaster
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Kindle Touch "USB Drive" Recovery method.

The purpose of this thread is to notify developers with a bricked kindle touch that there is a new way to unbrick their touch using only the USB Drive. No need to open the kindle and attach a serial adapter.

UPDATE: ixtab has published a USB Drive Unbricking guide using the "tar" method mentioned later in this thread. ixtab's method will be used for the Backup/Restore/Recovery tool mentioned later in this thread (until the "reserve" method is needed to replace it). The ixtab method is what inspired me to look deeper and find an alternative means that can survive disabling of this method, and can be a quick replacement for it when needed. This is all a very good thing. No more serial port recovery in many cases. Read more about it here:
http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Kind...ing#Unbricking

And this example shows how eureka used this to gain wifi SSH access to his bricked kindle touch:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...5&postcount=50


A new method has been found to restore various models of bricked Kindles ("Repair Needed" or stuck at startup screen with no progress bar) back to operating condition enough so that the damage can be repaired, or even restored completely from a saved backup copy. This is intended for developers who damaged their startup scripts and know what to repair.

Details of this method held in reserve until needed.

If your Kindle needs emergency recovery without a serial cable, PM me to discuss the details.


Last edited by geekmaster; 01-01-2012 at 03:40 AM. Reason: added update
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:45 AM   #2
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Do you think the method is publically feasable?

I think that every "brick" situation is different and needs to be analyzed and then (if all necessary "back changes" are known) a specific solution could be created.

Or do you think a common solution is possible?! (something like sending automatical upstart events)

Hmm, maybe we should create tar files of the whole system partition which can then be put as data.tar.gz files to /mnt/us?
Then at least hanging systems with changed files could be brought back to life.
But what about files which have been additionally added?
You have to know which files you added to remove them!?

At least a syslog to /mnt/us could always be made so that the reason for the hangig could be detected...
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:12 AM   #3
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It is my opinion that this is too powerful to give the script kiddies too many ideas, so please excuse my being a little cryptic. I would like this method to be a long term repair tool that does not get disabled by a firmware update.

This is for developers so they can undo the damage that they caused themselves with bad scripts or settings. This is the main reason why the Kindle Touch is getting bricked by developers. They can do repairs using this tool, given their own knowledge of what they were working on when it failed.

I also would like to see this grow into a full backup and restore system for files and folders, which can restore even to a bricked device.

We do not want the method published in detail so that it gets disabled in the next firmware update. Your suggestions indicate that you know which direction I am heading with this. Lets just say that it can be used to replace broken files with backups or repaired versions, bad files with benign (do nothing) files, replace missing files, or add new files. What and where depends on your needs. A full system restore from backup could be done in multiple stages to prevent memory exhaustion.

Hopefully, with the information provide here and elsewhere, the people who need to debrick their touch can figure it out. This also works for the Kindle 4 (Non Touch). It will work even with severely damaged startup scripts. If you have a bricked kindle touch or k4nt and do not have or want to use a serial cable, and if you cannot figure this out for yourself, you can PM me.

For earlier kindles we need to "help it" with some existing JB code and a small helper script. Unlike firmware version 4 and later, this will not work on older kindles if "too bricked". For that you still need a serial cable.

Last edited by geekmaster; 12-31-2011 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:24 PM   #4
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is it the tar hack revealed in another thread or have you found a new one? if it's the same one, it's already "published" with exploited flags needed...
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shinew View Post
is it the tar hack revealed in another thread or have you found a new one? if it's the same one, it's already "published" with exploited flags needed...
This will still work if that method gets disabled (unless this gets disabled too). That is why I did not wish to reveal the details publicly. This one can take over if the MP3 hack and the tar hack get disabled, but this one also works on the K4NT. It is a "reserved" method to be used later if needed. It will be available to those who need it, and enough information has been given in various sources already for some of the people who need it to figure it out on their own.

I originally provided more details in this thread, including giving credit to the author of that other hack for bringing my attention to this new avenue of exploration. I later removed most of the extra information from here because I do not wish to bring too much attention to either hack until those who really need this can get their bricked Kindles fixed.

I first found another tar hack that is like much other tar hack that you mentioned, but which has the same dependencies and may also fail if the other tar hack gets disabled.

I continued my search until I found a new hack that has no shared dependencies and will still work if that other hack gets disabled (unless amazon discovers and disables this one too).

P.S. I am being intentionally cryptic and vague in this thread, to help preserve this hack until we need it. Other developers have been given details for this hack so that it can be quickly implemented when it is needed. You can read more about the published method at the link provided in the first post update above. Both methods accomplish the same thing using different dependencies, so hopefully having this alternative method will keep the USB Drive recovery method viable for much longer.

Last edited by geekmaster; 01-01-2012 at 03:43 AM.
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:57 PM   #6
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There are plans to develop a complete GUI-based file and folder backup and restore system that can even replace or repair damaged files on some bricked kindles, and can replace new bad files with a benign file that will not prevent startup. The goal is to provide a package management system that can do backups and restores, recovery for some frozen or "Repair Needed" kindles, and can install jailbreaks, hacks, GUI enhancements, and native mode apps, on new and on "damaged" kindles. And all with an easy to use GUI Point-and-Click/Drag-and-Drop interface.

It would be nice to combine or package this Backup/Restore/Recover/Install/Configure tool with these existing projects:

yifanlus's KindleTool:
https://github.com/yifanlu/KindleTool

Sir Alex's KDT Kindle Diagnostic Tool:
http://www.siralex.info/2011/06/13/k...iagnostic-tool

Last edited by geekmaster; 12-31-2011 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:35 PM   #7
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Are you SURE this works? Don't want to format it just to get the ads again. Also, I seem to have an unbrickable kindle. I accidentally deleted the ENTIRE system folder, and then when I unplugged it, it worked just fine. Weird. PM me, because I tend to lose site URL's. Hmmm...thanks anyway!
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:06 PM   #8
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:47 AM   #9
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The method described in this thread (with details withheld), works up until 5.3.0 firmware, which locked down everything. It was shared with other devs here, but is no longer useful for the PW. Sad.

However, for earlier kindles, it may be useful if firmware updates break other methods but still allow the unpublished method here to work...
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterlubber View Post
Are you SURE this works? Don't want to format it just to get the ads again. Also, I seem to have an unbrickable kindle. I accidentally deleted the ENTIRE system folder, and then when I unplugged it, it worked just fine. Weird. PM me, because I tend to lose site URL's. Hmmm...thanks anyway!
The system folder? That hardly has anything to do with bricks... The factory reset feature actually does it. The problem comes when you try to mess with the internal FS. ("rm -rf /lib", for example)
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:51 AM   #11
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don't run the above rm command. (Honestly this should go without saying, but I accidentally did something similar when I wanted to see what it would do.... Having a curious mind has screwed me up a couple of times...)
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