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Old 12-03-2015, 02:10 PM   #1
pierrejo
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Kobo mini bricked, tried tinkering...

Hi guys,
I have had a working Kobo mini for a few years and I love it. It's been mostly collecting dust but I decided to try loading a few new books on it and connected it to my macbook - it was working fine then. The app complained that it needed to be updated, then the firmware.. I do both, somehow something happens (likely pulled usb cable while working on something else) and the Kobo mini gets bricked.

original symptoms are: nothing comes up on screen, on power up LED flashes green blue green and nothing. Screen is blank.

I tried soft reset, hard reset (taking back off and using paperclip..) but nothing changes. I stumble upon this post detailing how to flash and unbrick the Mini's SD card.

Here are the steps I feel that MIGHT have messed up the reader/SD card:
- My SD card is 4GB and readable when I inserted it in my usb card reader - I was able to navigate it. After the flash computer complains that it cannot read that disk ("the disk inserted was not readable by this computer") which leads me to believe that I may have fuxxored the card flash...


- My serial # "sticker" inside the kobo is printed "(SL) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" which is quite a few extra #s than the "N705000000000" the flash post refers to - I entered the 17 'x' actual number (omitting (SL)) using HexFiend editor, it did push the Hex fields a few bytes down....I saved..


- I flashed the SD card using procedure described here... a 'diskutil list' showed the SD card reader as /dev/disk2 - I unmounted and did a 'sudo dd if=Desktop/KOBOMINI1.img of=/dev/disk2' command. 30 minutes later the 'cannot read disk' message was on screen. Could the flashing the entire reader have fuxxored the flash? (original post uses gparted to determine location, but I figure osx's diskutil list is even)

- Original flash post says that gparted is used to shorten the partition flash because he is trying a 2GB card - but mine was 4, like the image provided... I tried to fix the image using disk utility but it won't fix/firstaid anything, even when pulling the image from disk... (step 7 in here)

- I put the card back in the Kobo and no LED powering up at all. Even after hard reset.

- I tried charging the kobo for a few hours, try to redo procedure.. same. No green or blue LED. surprisingly, this morning, I tried powering it up without the SD card in and I got a blue LED signal.

- Because of no LED and tinkering with the Kobo with it's back open, there might have been a few times where the SD card was loaded in/out without device being properly shut off. I hope I didn't damage anything.




Clues? Suggestions?
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:09 PM   #2
davidfor
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The things I can think of are:

- The serial number 13 characters long. For a Mini, it will always start with "N705". Exactly as specified in the other thread. If you changed characters after this, you might have changed something important. But, it is safe to restore the image without setting the serial number. Or at least no-one who has done this has complained.

- As you are restoring a 4GB image to a 4GB card, restoring it is all you need to do. Any further fiddling is likely to cause problems. Hence you should skip step 7.

What I would recommend is starting again. Unpack the image, fix the serial number and then restore it. If it doesn't boot properly, do a factory reset.

For a Mini, the factory reset is:
- Charge the device for at lease an hour.
- Hold the power switch in the off position for 20 seconds. This is to make sure it off.
- Hold the power switch in the on position and tap both bottom corners of the screen. Keep tapping until something happens.

If you get the timing right, the device will install the factory firmware from the recovery partition. If you don't try again but add a little extra time everywhere.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:12 AM   #3
pierrejo
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I re-flashed the mini SD card using the default serial from the img and it is now working.

I am curious how the default serial will play out, I'm going to try a factory rest to work with it - I can't believe I hadn't thought of trying the blank img, for some reason I was thinking I had to get the serial matching the unit in there...

Thanks for the help there, I'll work around a factory reset through menu now
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:06 AM   #4
davidfor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrejo View Post
I re-flashed the mini SD card using the default serial from the img and it is now working.
It isn't a default serial number. The image was made by someone pulling it from their Mini. They removed the serial number as it was the one for their device.
Quote:
I am curious how the default serial will play out, I'm going to try a factory rest to work with it - I can't believe I hadn't thought of trying the blank img, for some reason I was thinking I had to get the serial matching the unit in there...
The serial number isn't used for much and I haven't heard of anyone having problems with it set to all zeroes.
Quote:
Thanks for the help there, I'll work around a factory reset through menu now
Much easier than the tapping. Any time I've tried it took me at least three tries to get it right.
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Old 02-17-2016, 05:32 PM   #5
ivyfox
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A straightforward fix simplified

I had a virtually identical situation, save my Kobo Mini was stuck on the load screen but could be turned on and off.

Thanks to this thread, I - as a computer literate person but not a coder - was able to fix it.

Here's how:

1. I downloaded the Kobo_Mini.img and unzipped it, as linked here
2. I used an 8GB micro SD card (as that's all the local shop had)
3. I found Win32 Disk Imager from here and installed it to my elderly PC running XP Pro
4. I opened the unzipped image file in Win32 Disk Imager and saved it to the micro SD card plugged into drive E: NOTE: it takes about 20 minutes to copy.
5. I put the new micro SD card back into the Kobo Mini and switched it on, then did a soft reset when nothing happened. The setup screen appeared and I am so happy.

Thank you to everyone who made this possible: you empowered me to fix it myself. I don't have the money to buy a new Kobo and it was just 6 weeks past the guarantee's expiry. I paid £8 for a new micro SD card, not £80 for a new device.
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