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Old 07-06-2012, 02:24 AM   #1
arooni
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Kindle Keyboard (3G/Wifi) Frozen in Library Screen; Would *LOVE* your help!

Hi folks:

Bought my Kindle Keyboard a year or two ago when it was still called Kindle 3. In any case:

I was reading a PDF two nights ago and everything was going great. Then I decided to turn the page. It had locked up. I tried hitting all the buttons, and then doing the hold for 15 seconds on the power button as I was sure this was just a simple locked problem. It didn't seem to do anything so I went to sleep as I was exhausted.

The next day (today), I noticed the UI had changed to the Library Screen... so *SOMETHING* I did the night before had made that happen; and that gave me some amount of hope that this problem would be fixable. The battery was about 75% when this happened.

I tried a mind numbing number of things to get it working again. Here's a list below:

1) Hold power button for different times: 15, 20, 60 seconds, and even up to 3 minutes with no effect. Did this plugged into my computer (USB), a wall charger (not the official Kindle one but I've always charged off of this without issue).
2) Held the power button for 20 seconds, then held HOME for 60 seconds to try to get it to reset.
3) Opened the back of the case. Checked display cable was firmly attached. Hit the reset button on the PCB multiple times including holding it down for a set of time.
4) Removed the battery for several hours and then tried #1), #2) with no effect.
5) Now I'm charging it in the wall charger (light is still amber) so I'm going to let it charge over night.

When I did hook it up to the computer, Ubuntu didn't recognize it as a device as it had before as a mass storage device; and all I see in dmesg is:

[344164.344169] usb 2-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 19 using ehci_hcd

I'm really hoping there's something I can do; as using the out of warranty replacement (its $85) isn't really a great option seeing as I'm riding my motorcycle from Seattle to Argentina (currently in Colombia) and getting stuff imported to this country really sucks as they have a 26% import tax on anything you send yourself. So buy the time I would send it and ship it to myself I'm looking at about the same price as new... and I'm worried the same thing will happen in the future.

I'd love your thoughts! If I can't make it work; I'm wondering if it might be better to find a cheap ebook reader down here form China instead of buying a replacement.

Best,
David
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:51 AM   #2
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Have you tried bringing up the menu and doing a factory reset? That might be all you can do. Or maybe (if possible) get hold of Amazon's Customer service (the part that helps with Kindle problems) as it sounds like it might be more a problem that they might be able to help with. How big a file was the PDF? It might be that the Kindle is having trouble with it due to it being a large size file.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
Have you tried bringing up the menu and doing a factory reset? That might be all you can do. Or maybe (if possible) get hold of Amazon's Customer service (the part that helps with Kindle problems) as it sounds like it might be more a problem that they might be able to help with. How big a file was the PDF? It might be that the Kindle is having trouble with it due to it being a large size file.
I have tried pushing the menu button the screen is unresponsive. I have called Amazon and they will send a replacement device for $85, which just seems excessive especially due to the import taxes of Colombia. The PDF was a normal size, something like 2-3MB. And besides its now in the library screen instead of the PDF reading screen.

Also I noticed that after charging all night; the amber light was still amber in the morning nearly 12 hours later... so I'm wondering if it's worth trying to get a new Kindle battery? Or replacing the internals somehow?

Best,
david
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:23 PM   #4
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Since it's out of warranty, try opening the case and pulling the battery. This may allow the thing to reset.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluribus View Post
Since it's out of warranty, try opening the case and pulling the battery. This may allow the thing to reset.
From the original post:

Quote:
Removed the battery for several hours and then tried #1), #2) with no effect.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:50 AM   #6
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Kindle 3 can now be debricked using only the USB port, using the freescale "Advanced Toolkit" (K3 version of "MfgTool" used in simple debricking for K4/K5). Work is now in progress to simplify the procedure. You can read more about it in the Dev Corner forum.

Until recently, K3 debricking required using the serial port.

Last edited by geekmaster; 07-07-2012 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:54 AM   #7
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This sounds like a battery issue to me; I suspect that the battery is dead.
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:59 PM   #8
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If it's just the battery wouldn't it at least switch on if connected to a power adapter (I've an old laptop with a battery that won't hold a charge but when plugged in it'll still work)?
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l_macd View Post
If it's just the battery wouldn't it at least switch on if connected to a power adapter (I've an old laptop with a battery that won't hold a charge but when plugged in it'll still work)?
The Kindle firmware communicates with the battery to read its serial number. It will not boot with an unauthorized battery. The GPL code contains a compiler switch to over-ride that for factory use, but it is not built into the production kindles.

If your battery is not communicating, the kindle will not boot (unless it has custom firmware).

EDIT: Although it will not boot, a kindle may send some status information out the serial port even without a battery.

Last edited by geekmaster; 07-07-2012 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:43 PM   #10
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So is that a no then?!

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Old 07-07-2012, 06:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l_macd View Post
If it's just the battery wouldn't it at least switch on if connected to a power adapter (I've an old laptop with a battery that won't hold a charge but when plugged in it'll still work)?
Not necessarily, some devices only run off the battery. The plug is only there to charge the battery.

I would pull the battery out again and have it tested. I read somewhere that replacement batteries were available from sources other than Amazon.

I did a search and several places claim to sell replacement batteries and there was an article by a guy detailing how he did so. I saw nothing that required hacking the firmware.

Last edited by Fluribus; 07-07-2012 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by geekmaster View Post
Kindle 3 can now be debricked using only the USB port, using the freescale "Advanced Toolkit" (K3 version of "MfgTool" used in simple debricking for K4/K5). Work is now in progress to simplify the procedure. You can read more about it in the Dev Corner forum.

Until recently, K3 debricking required using the serial port.
This is great news! I'm reading through the thread now. If you use IRC/Skype, would you mind pinging me at 'arooni'? (i'm on freenode right now and will sign into skype).
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluribus View Post
Not necessarily, some devices only run off the battery. The plug is only there to charge the battery.

I would pull the battery out again and have it tested. I read somewhere that replacement batteries were available from sources other than Amazon.

I did a search and several places claim to sell replacement batteries and there was an article by a guy detailing how he did so. I saw nothing that required hacking the firmware.
It may be model specific. The GPL source code for the models that I read include battery checking code that disables booting if battery authentication fails. I can see why they do it, because lithium batteries are an inherent fire hazard if charged or operated incorrectly.

It is possible that the "factory over-ride" for some kindles was left enabled when the firmware was built. But more likely, instead of hacking the firmware, the battery may be hacked to pass the firmware checks. Some cheap chinese replacement batteries for various devices contain a cloned chip copied from an authentic authorized battery, allowing them to work. Unless authorized by amazon, they would be counterfeit batteries in that case, but may work fine anyway, and may or may not eventually burn down your house while being charged.

Or, the video may be showing an authentic replacement battery.

Last edited by geekmaster; 07-07-2012 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:16 PM   #14
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How do I check battery health?

How can I check battery health? I do have a multimeter; but have never tried to check a battery before; and I think there are more than two pins on the Kindle battery.

Best,
David
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:04 AM   #15
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How can I check battery health? I do have a multimeter; but have never tried to check a battery before; and I think there are more than two pins on the Kindle battery.

Best,
David
You really need to load test a battery. Measuring the "no load" voltage is not a reliable indicator of battery health (how long it lasts between charges).

A bricked kindle will often completely discharge the battery just while sitting unused. When completely discharged, it can take up to 20 hours to recharge the battery in "low power" (100mA) mode. A bricked K3 does not recharge reliably while connected to a computer.

If you kindle really is bricked, you no longer need to use the serial port to debrick it (as mentioned above). The "simple debricking" method has been adapted for the K3 (using the freescale "Advanced Toolkit" program). There is a "dev corner" thread for that.

Be sure to give the battery a fresh charge just before attempting to debrick it. It can go dead rather quickly when bricked if the CPU is "always busy" (perhaps making the battery and CPU a bit warm in the process).

Last edited by geekmaster; 07-08-2012 at 08:09 AM.
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