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Old 05-06-2013, 10:37 AM   #1
met67
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How to backup your Kobo's firmware on an SD card without opening it

Hi,

waiting for my Aura to come, I put together a simple hack to automatically dump the internal firmware of a Mark 4 Kobo (i.e. Mini, Glo, Aura and recent Touch) on an SD card. This should work on any recent version of the firmware...

As usual I assume no responsibility for any damage on your device, I have tested it on a Glo and it works for me…

You will need a SD card with enough free space to hold the whole firmware (i.e, 2/4GB for Glo, 4 for Aura, and so on). I used a 16GB SD, just to be sure
You should also start with a fully charged Kobo.

The trick uses a modified upgrade-wifi.sh script in /etc/init.d; this script is started during a firmware upgrade when there is a upgrade folder in .kobo, and I modified it to dump the internal card to folder KoboDump in the SD.

In order to dump the firmware, insert an SD with at least 2GB free (I suggest using a larger card…) in your Kobo, connect it to the PC and create an empty folder named KoboDump on the root of the SD. Then extract the contents of DumpScript zip and copy KoboRoot.tgz and upgrade folder in folder .kobo within the internal memory (be careful that KoboRoot.tgz and upgrade should be right within .kobo folder and not in a subfolder).

Now eject your Kobo and disconnect it from the PC: you should see the usual upgrade screens. If everything goes as expected, you should wait for a long time while the script dumps the firmware: on a Glo I waited more than 25 minutes for a 2GB dump.

After a (possibly quite) long time, your Kobo will restart. Connect it again to the PC and you should find that the KoboDump folder has been renamed to KoboDumpDone. Inside it you should find a dump.img file: this is your dump.
Copy it on your PC and you should be able to open it (under Windows) with DiskInternal’s Linux Reader, which gives you access to all the partitions: rootfs, recoveryfs and FAT.

To restore the original upgrade-wifi.sh, extract the KoboRoot.tgz from OriginalScript zip to the .kobo folder, disconnect and wait a couple of minutes until the script is copied back.

Let me know if this works for you, and which model you dumped with this.
Attached Files
File Type: zip DumpScript.zip (1.2 KB, 316 views)
File Type: zip OriginalScript.zip (787 Bytes, 239 views)

Last edited by met67; 05-07-2013 at 02:44 AM. Reason: Changed title
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:33 PM   #2
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Thank you for your work. This is something I was thinking of a long time, but did not dare to try myself because of missing knowledge of linux and bash.
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:48 AM   #3
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For the sake of completeness I am posting the code that I added to upgrade-wifi.sh and wich is responsible for the backup:

Code:
#
# Dump internal firmware on uSD
#
if [ -e /dev/mmcblk1p1 ]; then
  # mount uSD (umount first just in case udevd has already mounted it in readonly)
  umount /mnt/sd
	dosfsck -a -w /dev/mmcblk1p1
  mount -t vfat -o iocharset=utf8 /dev/mmcblk1p1 /mnt/sd

  if [ -e /mnt/sd/KoboDump ]; then
    # mount / as readonly and unmount internal FAT
    mount -o remount,noatime,nodiratime,ro /dev/mmcblk0p1 /
    umount /mnt/onboard

    # test uSD: if mount failed, /mnt/sd/.123sdcheck123 can't be created since / is readonly
    touch /mnt/sd/KoboDump/.123sdcheck123
    if [ -e /mnt/sd/KoboDump/.123sdcheck123 ]; then
      rm -rf /mnt/sd/KoboDump/.123sdcheck123
      # dump...
      dd if=/dev/mmcblk0 of=/mnt/sd/KoboDump/dump.img bs=512
      # rename KoboDump to avoid (improbable) loops
      mv /mnt/sd/KoboDump /mnt/sd/KoboDumpDone
    fi
    # restore mounted devices as expected
    mount -o remount,noatime,nodiratime,rw /dev/mmcblk0p1 /
    mount -t vfat -o iocharset=utf8 /dev/mmcblk0p3 /mnt/onboard
  fi
  umount /mnt/sd
fi
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:23 PM   #4
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Very nice, should be very useful for those who don't want to open their device.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:08 AM   #5
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I have checked the new 2.5.2 fw and the didn't change the stuff that I use so my zips should work fine with the upgraded version.

I have also checked the so called mark 3 firmware (the one for N905s) and the backup procedure should work fine also on thos Kobos.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:14 PM   #6
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Any news?

What about 2.6.1 on Aura?
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:28 PM   #7
Ken Maltby
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Does this copy the 10mg Unallocated partition at the start of the SD? Kobo is using some of that space as well. In other words is it a true clone of the internal SD card?

Luck;
Ken
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
Does this copy the 10mg Unallocated partition at the start of the SD? Kobo is using some of that space as well. In other words is it a true clone of the internal SD card?

Luck;
Ken
Yes, it does a full dump of the internal SD (or a true clone, as you call it).
Recently I took a dump of a friend's Glo and found that the size of the dump was that of a 4GB SD, so I enabled telnet on it and enlarged the user FAT partition without opening it, by using fdisk, a bit of tar and mkfs.vfat (please note that this is a bit dangerous...)
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:28 AM   #9
met67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parkher View Post
Any news?

What about 2.6.1 on Aura?
Yes, this should work also on 2.6.1 (on every kind of Kobo).
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:13 PM   #10
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So, my dump.img size of the internal card of Aura HD is 3,965,190,144 bytes.
Can somebody confirm that the size is correct?
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:54 PM   #11
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The image of my new pristine AuraHD is 3,872,256 KB

The image of my lightly used AuraHD is the same.

But that is just how Win7 Windows Explorer is reporting its size.

On Its Property page it's: 3.69 GB (3,965,190,144 bytes)

Looks the same to me.

Oh and the image came from the uSD card removed from my AuraHDs, not the dump described here.

Luck;
Ken

Last edited by Ken Maltby; 07-14-2013 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parkher View Post
So, my dump.img size of the internal card of Aura HD is 3,965,190,144 bytes.
Can somebody confirm that the size is correct?
This is also the size of my dump.img.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:19 PM   #13
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Dump works fine with a Mach 3 (old) Touch N905. But placing it back is probably not possible.

Last edited by Anak; 07-16-2013 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anak View Post
Dump works fine with a Mach 3 (old) Touch N905. But placing it back is probably not possible.
Why not? It would not likely be a problem in windows, as long as Windows sees the internal memory, just sees it, even if it says it wants to format it. You wouldn't of course. Then programs that write .img files will be able to put your image onto the internal memory. There are a number of free tools like that for Windows, I would expect the same for Linux.

Luck;
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:59 PM   #15
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The original N905 touches did NOT have an SD card in them....
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