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Old 01-04-2013, 04:22 PM   #1
kibbler1138
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K3 KB not fully refreshing, pixelated text, some inverted colors

I've yet to see any posts about a similar issue, everything I find relates to cracked screen substrates or "yes, you may want to hit Alt+G"...


My wife's 2yr old K3-Keyboard (3G) had the notorious "loose screw" issue. You could hear it rattling around, but it never seemed to cause problems. Just recently, I decided to cause a ton of problems and take care of it myself.

I turned the Kindle off (held power button just until the screen went blank), opened the case, and out popped 4 of the small black screws. I did not see where they were hiding, they just shook loose. Put them back together, and restarted the Kindle.

Booting up, it looks fine, even the main menu looks pretty good, but text within books looks as though there's no anti-aliasing - very pixelated, and images (lock screen, illustrations in books, hidden picture gallery thing) are inverted in some places and sort of overly contrasted in others.

I tried a bunch of stuff, removing screws again, checking for broken traces, etc. Wound up buying used K3 KB (wifi-only) off ebay. Swapped screens. No luck, same issue. I tried the original screen in the new Kindle - when I hotswapped them (Kindle was running, just swapped the display connector), the images looked normal on the old screen, but when I restart the Kindle (hold power off for 30 seconds, let go, wait for boot) with the old screen attached, the problem returns.

So - I have two Kindle Keyboards. I'll call them "G" (wife's original with 3G) and "W" (new one with just wifi)...

1) Running G with G's screen OR W's screen ---- problem
2) Running W with W's screen ----------------- all is good
3) Running W with G's screen ------------------ all is good until I restart

Here's a pic of the two kindles side by side. The original with the problem is on the left.

I've tried doing multiple restarts, swapping out all possible components, and doing a factory reset. No dice.

I figure there may be something wrong with both the image on the flash chip in the flexible display connector and the mainboard. The flash chip on the display connector (holds the waveform info) gets read on startup, so I assume that's why things get borked when running scenario #3 above.

I haven't seen anyone else complain about this. I'm hoping running through the de-bricking process may help (maybe the latest upgrade to 3.4 got corrupted somehow due to screws shorting something?), I'll start that tonight.

Hoping for any insight into other places to look. Called Kindle support, but they were no help. Sorry for the wall of text!

Last edited by kibbler1138; 01-04-2013 at 04:30 PM. Reason: Change image link to URL
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:28 PM   #2
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Attachment!

Sorry for the Dropbox link, attaching smaller image of messed up Kindle screen here....
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kibbler1138 View Post
...
1) Running G with G's screen OR W's screen ---- problem
2) Running W with W's screen ----------------- all is good
3) Running W with G's screen ------------------ all is good until I restart
...
It sounds like G has been damaged by the loose screws. If W with G's screen fails after a restart, how do you get it working in the first place? Are you "hot-swapping" the screens?

Last edited by geekmaster; 01-04-2013 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:59 PM   #4
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Looks like the same problem this person is having:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=200546
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=201082
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:09 PM   #5
kibbler1138
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geekmaster - yes, I'm hotswapping the screens initially and everything looks good, then restarting and things go south.

pidgeon92 - wow. That youtube video is exactly what I'm encountering. I promise you I googled the hell out of this issue, and ran searches in this site and youtube. Thank you!
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:53 PM   #6
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Hi, I have the same problem!
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...light=waveform
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:35 PM   #7
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So I found some sort of solution on amazon.com: let the battery run completely out, the start charge and after it boots up make a factory reset.

Well, I tried it now, battery was empty, started to charge, then boot and factory reset, but the picture remained the same.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:08 PM   #8
kibbler1138
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Can't be fixed.

So what this problem basically boils down to is physical damage to the eInk display driver chip on the board, and potentially the flash chip on the display itself as well. In your case, Zirowe, it's probably just the chip on the mainboard, as you've replaced the screen.

It's not recoverable through any software means. And depending on where the damage has taken place, it would be no small task to try to fix the physical issue.

FWIW, I tried using the unbricking method to revert to v3.0 of the software and make sure that I wasn't dealing with a software corruption... no dice.

I have no idea if this approach is even reasonable, but I even tried running my heat gun over the mainboard (separated from the rest of the kindle) to see if maybe I could reflow the solder and repair any cracked connections. It didn't make any difference, but I'm not even sure I had a successful reflow.

It would be awesome if any professional EE types wanted a fun project to see whether a physical fix is possible, but the payoff is most likely far below the effort required to sort out a solution.

I'm ebaying for a new kindle
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