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Old 12-14-2007, 04:35 PM   #1
Adam B.
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How to unbrick (reflash, restore, etc) your iLiad

So you've gotten brave with programming on your iLiad. You like to dig into the internals and write some scripts. Maybe for automatically downloading comics or an MP3 Player from the contentlister. But something went wrong, and now your iLiad won't boot. Don't worry, it happens. I've had to reflash a few times myself. As long as you have firmware 2.11 and the developer package from iRex, you should be able to recover from most problems.

I should note that I said should. There are some things you can do to your iLiad that could cause problems that the reflash option won't fix. The most important, is working with the embedded flash. This includes the boot loader and the waveform. Flashing these (you must use a special command), could cause your iLiad to be unusable. But other than that, you should be fine to replace the Kernel, Initrd, and the root filesystem.

So lets get started. Here's what you need to perform a reflash:
Alright, so you've followed the instructions on getting the developer package, and you want to be sure that you are able to reflash before you break anything. Here's what you need to do.
  1. Make sure your iLiad is powered off, with nothing on the screen.
  2. Hold the connect button in the upper right hand corner of your iLiad.
  3. While holding the button, press the power switch on the bottom.
  4. Count to Five while continuing to hold the button.
  5. Release the connect button.

You should see the boot image appear. After a second or two, the whole screen will flash white, and it will start to boot normally. Congratulations! Your iLiad is able to be reflashed. You should have no fear for working in the root filesystem.

Now, lets go through the steps you'll need to actually perform the reflash.
  1. Unzip the cf-card-contents.zip.
  2. You should see a folder called "images" and a file called "config.txt"
  3. Copy these to the root of your memory card. (Not inside any other folders)
    • For example. If on your windows computer, your memory card is drive "E:", you should have E:\images and E:\config.txt
  4. Unmount your memory card and insert it into your iLiad.
  5. Make sure your iLiad is powered off, with nothing on the screen.
  6. Hold the connect button in the upper right hand corner of your iLiad.
  7. While holding the button, press the power switch on the bottom.
  8. Count to Five while continuing to hold the button.
  9. Release the connect button.

You will see it going through steps that are very similar to updating the firmware on your device. It will reboot at the end and bring you back to the main screen. Performing this method, you shouldn't loose any of the files on your internal memory. But it's always good to make a backup just in case.

If the above does not fix your device, you will need to do a format of your iLiad to return it back to factory settings.

Doing the following will delete everything on your internal memory! Back up all books, documents, notes, etc before continuing.

How to perform a format of your iLiad:
  1. Backup all of the files on your internal memory.
  2. Unzip the cf-card-contents.zip.
  3. You should see a folder called "images" and a file called "config.txt"
  4. Copy these to the root of your memory card. (Not inside any other folders)
    • For example. If on your windows computer, your memory card is drive "E:", you should have E:\images and E:\config.txt
  5. Edit your config.txt with notepad.
  6. Delete everything in it, and type "format" (without quotes).
  7. Unmount your memory card and insert it into your iLiad.
  8. Make sure your iLiad is powered off, with nothing on the screen.
  9. Hold the connect button in the upper right hand corner of your iLiad.
  10. While holding the button, press the power switch on the bottom.
  11. Count to Five while continuing to hold the button.
  12. Release the connect button.


It will reset everything to factory settings, and you should be able to then update to the latest release without problems.

You can find more detailed information in this pdf. But the above guide should help most users who need to unbrick their iLiad.
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:11 PM   #2
TallMomof2
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:31 PM   #3
mocelet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam B. View Post
You should see the boot image appear. After a second or two, the whole screen will flash white, and it will start to boot normally. Congratulations! Your iLiad is able to be reflashed. You should have no fear for working in the root filesystem.
For completeness, can you describe what you would see if you are not set up for reflashing?
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:52 AM   #4
Adam B.
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Originally Posted by mocelet View Post
For completeness, can you describe what you would see if you are not set up for reflashing?
If it's not setup for reflashing, holding the connect button will have no effect and it will boot up like normal.
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:58 AM   #5
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Will the installation of the Abiword be undone after the unbrick? I'm just curious. As I understand, the Abiworld will make changes to the registry.
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:24 AM   #6
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Will the installation of the Abiword be undone after the unbrick? I'm just curious. As I understand, the Abiworld will make changes to the registry.
The registry changes may remain. I haven't tested that. You will need to reinstall the application part because it recreates links on the internal memory.
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:35 AM   #7
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Reflashing from v 2.12

Can this procedure be done if you have 2.12 already installed ?
Or am I out of luck now ?
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:29 PM   #8
Adam B.
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Can this procedure be done if you have 2.12 already installed ?
Or am I out of luck now ?
Every firmware after 2.11 will have this ability.
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:38 AM   #9
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So mine seems to be dead after trying to update it - problem is the holding the button and restarting it doesnt seem to do anything HOWEVER i cant get it to a point where theres nothing on the screen.

I dont know if i cant get it working cos its been screwed up or just because it doesnt support this option.

Either way i'm in huge trouble...
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:59 AM   #10
lorenzomikael
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Originally Posted by MScottParkinson View Post
So mine seems to be dead after trying to update it - problem is the holding the button and restarting it doesnt seem to do anything HOWEVER i cant get it to a point where theres nothing on the screen.

I dont know if i cant get it working cos its been screwed up or just because it doesnt support this option.

Either way i'm in huge trouble...
I initially have the same problem as I could not power off my Iliad. It went through a continuous cycle of rebooting. What I did was to press the reset button at the back during the time that my Iliad went blank (before it starts rebooting again - you have to do it fast). It broke the cycle and my Iliad was powered off. I did what Adam B. instructed and my Iliad is okay again.
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:58 AM   #11
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It does not work for me.... I coud not power off my iLiad. It's still frozen. It doesn't go to reboot cycle. It doesn't react at all
On screen it remains "Software upgrade in process".
1. I connect a power. Light is red.
2. I press backhole (reboot).
3. I press connect and hold it.
4. I press switch to the left and release it.
Switch became green, but nothing happened.
I could make switch orange when I didn't press connect button, only on-off slide to left...

Last edited by hel; 05-22-2008 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:01 AM   #12
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Exclamation

my odd scenario today:
I bricked my iLiad this way:
# testing some [non released] software
# frozen iLiad, never ending blinking LED
# I reset iLiad
# iLiad boots, but booting doesn't finish

I have to flash!
# flashinging to firmware 2.10 with default config.txt values
# requesting iLiad Development Package
# updating firmware from 2.10 to 2.12
# update done
# iLiad reboots
# iLiad starts IDS automatically again, download of iLiad Development Package.
# iLiad reboots & it ends in a never ending "reboot loop"
Bang!
I have to flash again!
# flashing to firmware 2.10 with "format" in config.txt
# updating firmware from 2.10 to 2.12
# update done
# iLiad reboots
# requesting iLiad Development Package
# download of iLiad Development Package
# iLiad reboots, uuuuhh, this time w/o "reboot loop".

To sum up, never request "iLiad Development Package" before connecting iLiad to iDS, when you know iLiad will update the firmware with next iDS contact.
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Old 05-22-2008, 11:12 AM   #13
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You are happy with your odd scenary... I am not... Still doesn't work.
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Old 05-22-2008, 11:28 AM   #14
yokos
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You are happy with your odd scenary... I am not... Still doesn't work.
Yes, this is a sad thing.
Imho your iLiad is dead bricked, because software upgrade was stopped at some stage.
"Software upgrade in process" keeps on screen because it was on screen when the screen was updated the last time [e-ink].
Your iLiad doesn't know how to boot anymore.
I think you have to sent it to iRex.
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Old 05-22-2008, 11:37 AM   #15
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Yes, this is a sad thing.
Imho your iLiad is dead bricked, because software upgrade was stopped at some stage.
Does the iLiad only have one copy of the bootloader and root fs? Apparently, the Cybook only has a single copy, but the PRS-505 and Kindle have a backup (What would you like in the next gen Cybook (Gen4)) which allows easier unbricking.
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