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Old 01-30-2011, 09:41 PM   #1
Ron46
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JBL Reliability

My first JBL lasted 11 months, then froze as amply described throughout these forums- will not go beyond first screen, activity light stuck on, no recovery by reset/reboot, cannot reload firmware. Ectaco promptly replaced it under warranty, but the new unit they sent me lasted ONE month. This issue has been around for over a year and I would have thought that the replacement unit they sent me would have had whatever hardware update was required to keep this from happening again. How can Ectaco continue to sell these when it seems they have not addressed this very serious problem?

What do I do now? What is the warranty on the REPLACEMENT unit?
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:46 PM   #2
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Ron, have you asked Jerry at Ectaco for a replacement? He has said on the Ectaco board that they give discounts for out of warranty trade-ins.

Newegg has the JBL on sale through tomorrow.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:01 PM   #3
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Ron;
Can you get to the Diagnostic Screen?

To enter the diagnostics screen:
Reset the device.
Then hold down three buttons. They are: "on/off" "zoom" and "menu".
When you see the jetBook screen let go of "on.off".
Keep holding the "zoom" and "menu" keys until you see a 16 item screen.
It's tricky, so it may take a couple of tries.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:19 PM   #4
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Generally speaking ken, when they lock up you can't get to anything.

They start to load, show the first jetbook logo, and get no further no matter what you do.

As to the OP, contact Ectaco, I am sure they will make it right.
They gave me no issues at all dealing with mine. Nice to see a company stand behind their product.
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:12 PM   #5
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It almost makes me wish it would happen to one of mine, almost.
You should be able to force it into the low level firmware routines, no
matter what.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:43 PM   #6
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Ken I've tried for weeks to get it into the low level diagnostics level. Never had any luck doing so whatsoever.

Didn't matter if it was on fresh battery's, or the usb cable.


No key or combination of keys pressed ever caused any response.

Didn't matter if it had an SD card in it or not.

It will boot to the point that you see the first Jetbook logo and goes no further.

Send me 100$ or a working JBL and its yours to play with mate.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostHawk View Post
Ken I've tried for weeks to get it into the low level diagnostics level. Never had any luck doing so whatsoever.

Didn't matter if it was on fresh battery's, or the usb cable.


No key or combination of keys pressed ever caused any response.

Didn't matter if it had an SD card in it or not.

It will boot to the point that you see the first Jetbook logo and goes no further.

Send me 100$ or a working JBL and its yours to play with mate.
Hmm... OK, how about if I buy you a new one on NewEgg and have them
include a $20 gift card, to cover your costs to ship the stuck one, to me?

We can Private Message to exchange shipping addresses.

Luck;
Ken

I hope you are in a part of North Dakota with a UPS store nearby.

Last edited by Ken Maltby; 02-02-2011 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:18 AM   #8
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PM sent, no need to pay for shipping as I was going to have to pay to ship it to Ectaco. Enjoy playing with it.
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:46 PM   #9
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recovered

Believe it or not, I recovered my JBL by resetting/ restarting about 10 times, and just leaving it on the stuck screen each time until it shut down from the 10 minute power down selection I had it set to. On about the 11th attempt, it started up, got part way (to the books picture) then stalled. On about the 12th attempt, it made it to the main menu. I shut it down then reloaded the firmware to be safe. I ran a chkdisk/ defrag on the SD card and now it runs fine.

This was pure luck, because when it is stuck on the initial screen, it responds to NOTHING, including attempts at a diagnostic startup or a firmware update startup.

I set the auto shutdown to 30 minutes to give it more time in case this happens again.

This event was triggered by an uncontrolled shutdown. Using NIMH batteries, when the indicator goes to 1/2, the batteries are about 2 minutes from being dead (the indicator seems calibrated to alkaline batteries), and you have to shut it down immediately. There is no warning either. Since I was reading, I must have missed the switch from 3/4 to 1/2. Ectaco really needs to add a "battery type" selection to the settings menu so the meter is accurate. It's just a matter of changing voltage thresholds- Palm Pilots did this 10 years ago! I have no plans to switch to throw-away alkaline batteries- I think they are environmentally irresponsible.

Ken- I would be really interested in what you find out with the defective unit you are getting- whether you can recover it and how you did it. Like I said, I was just lucky.

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Old 02-05-2011, 09:35 AM   #10
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Hmm... Interesting Ron. Perhaps you should use the USB cable and ChkDsk repair the
internal memory, (after backing up its contents, of course) as well.

As happy as I am that you got your's back, spontaneous remissions are hard to fit into
a diagnostic effort. It may imply that there could be a "time-out" mechanism involuved.
Either hardware or software where a cascade of waiting routines, for some wanted
response, physical or logical gets "looped" or "hung" in some fashion. (On the software
side of things, this is often an "error handling" issue that is hard to find in quality control
efforts.)

The lack of response to efforts to engage the low level firmware routines could
implicate the even lower level power management routines and hardware, as you
suggest.

I will, of course keep this thread informed of my efforts and results. Maybe something
I run across will spark another poster's discovery of the actual cause.

Luck;
Ken

Last edited by Ken Maltby; 02-05-2011 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 02-05-2011, 06:34 PM   #11
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I agree. Lucky recoveries do not add to the knowledge base. I think this is a low level failure that can be precipitated by a rapid, uncontrolled shutdown or other event. My problem with this is that the reset button is not a true reset, because when the reader starts up again, it tries to resume what it was doing before- run within a looped error and remain frozen. Even removing the batteries does not correct it.

I am not a machine code engineer, but there is a section of this reader (where the firmware resides) that we have no access to that can get corrupted. I would like to see a key sequence combined with the reset button that would clear this out so you could reload the firmware at any time. As it is now, if it is frozen, it does not respond to the Power/Right Arrow command for updating the firmware.

One could argue that this is a design flaw- the firmware section of the reader should never get corrupted unless you load bad firmware. It should not be dynamic i.e written to by the reader itself. In 20 or so years of computing, I have never seen a PC bios get corrupted all by itself. You must enter the bios and change settings or reload the bios to mess it up.

Last edited by Ron46; 02-05-2011 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:53 PM   #12
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Ok, "GhostHawk's" stuck JBL arrived today in the mail. I'll be checking it out in a few
hours.

Oddly, the tracking for the Newegg order has that one still in DHL's KY facility.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:24 PM   #13
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Well...this one is definitely stuck. None of the normal methods to force it into the
firmware routines is working for me, on this one. It won't go into standby mode and it
is seen as a device with a problem that prevents XP from recognizing the device.

I would have to say that if you encounter this particular "won't go past the jetBook-Lite
page" and the green light stays on a long time before it eventually times out; then there
is not anything even an experienced user can do by operational process to get it working.
At this point a normal user would have to make use of the warranty for Ectaco to repair
or replace the unit. This is a product where an extended warranty does make sense.

I don't know what the odds are that you will encounter the problem, I had to have
another user send me one that was stuck, as all mine work fine.


Now, since I am an abnormal user, I get to go beyond what a normal responsible person
might do and really take it apart and see what I can.

Luck;
Ken

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Old 02-09-2011, 02:23 AM   #14
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Glad to see that you finally agree with us when we say nothing works, Ken!
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:56 AM   #15
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Glad you got it already.

No sweat about the one thats stuck in shipping, I'm sure it will arrive when its ready. It is a backup really, I'm so attached to my Jetbook that doing without one is simply not to be thought of. Not to mention I'd make life miserable for everyone around me until it was replaced.

Funny though that it would go from Carson Calif to Hebron Kentucky for delivery.

2/3/2011 7:30 PM Carson, CA, Carson, CA, US Arrived at Delivery Terminal
2/3/2011 7:30 PM Rowland Heights, CA, Rowland Heights, CA, US Arrived at Terminal
2/4/2011 6:18 AM Carson, CA, Carson, CA, US Departed from Terminal
2/6/2011 5:15 PM Hebron, KY, Hebron, KY, US Arrived at Delivery Terminal

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