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Old 07-16-2012, 11:12 AM   #1
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Thumbs down Kindle 4 Unbrick problem

Hello all,

i have bricked Kindle 4. It can't boot self, stuck on tree picture (without progress bar). Only way to start normal to working state is through mfgtool (main) other modes working too (diags/fastboot). I tried following but without success.

- flashed main kernel, diags kernel, diags via fastboot
- flashed mmcblk0p2 via ssh from diags.
- erased /var/local

Anybody can help ? It looks like there is something wrong with booting bootloader or something. Thanks.
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumpa View Post
Hello all,

i have bricked Kindle 4. It can't boot self, stuck on tree picture (without progress bar). Only way to start normal to working state is through mfgtool (main) other modes working too (diags/fastboot). I tried following but without success.

- flashed main kernel, diags kernel, diags via fastboot
- flashed mmcblk0p2 via ssh from diags.
- erased /var/local

Anybody can help ? It looks like there is something wrong with booting bootloader or something. Thanks.
Re-charge the battery. Becoming a FAQ here.
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:09 PM   #3
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MfgTool boots using a custom u-boot bootloader, so it is possible that your u-boot image on the mmc is damaged. You may need to reflash it with fastboot. A good uboot image can probably be extracted similarly to how kernels get extracted (a new variation of the getkernels.sh script). There are currently no u-boot forensic images online that I am aware of.

Until you can reflash u-boot, you are stuck with an MfgTool "tethered boot".

BTW, did you try setting the bootmode var to main with fastboot?

Does anybody here have time to extract a K4 u-boot and provide a link?
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:16 PM   #4
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Battery is on 75 (diags info).
Quote:
BTW, did you try setting the bootmode var to main with fastboot?
Yes.

I extracted kernels images with getkernels.sh script from working k4 (my wife). Also i extracted whole mmcblk0 (about 1,5GB). Is it safe to flash whole mmcblk0 to different kindle via SSH ?

Anyone can extract u-boot image or how to do that ?

Thanks
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumpa View Post
Battery is on 75 (diags info).

Yes.

I extracted kernels images with getkernels.sh script from working k4 (my wife). Also i extracted whole mmcblk0 (about 1,5GB). Is it safe to flash whole mmcblk0 to different kindle via SSH ?

Anyone can extract u-boot image or how to do that ?

Thanks
Some parts of the mmcblk0 area are WRITE-ONLY and read as zeros. To read them, tools like idme request the data for those areas from a device driver. Writing the image may damage stuff like your device's serial number, pcbsn, etc.

On a K4, a damaged PCBSN can prevent uboot from initializing the RAM, bricking it. Apparently different revisions of the K4 use different (incompatible) RAM.

There is (usually) no need to backup more than the first 32MB of mmcblk0, because it is partitioned and contains stuff that you can image separately.

You should be able to extract u-boot from that image though, with a modified version of getkernels.sh. You would have to put the u-boot start and length into that script (or just use the dd command from it) to extract u-boot.
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:30 PM   #6
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Do you know start address and count in mmcblk0 of u-boot area ?
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Do you know start address and count in mmcblk0 of u-boot area ?
I would have posted it above if I did. I do not have time to search for it at the moment. Have patience, or do some of your own investigation (a recommended learning experience). If you find it, please post it here. You can examine the custom u-boot images in the MfgTool profiles for some strings that you can search for in your mmcblk0 image. There "might" be some info buried in this forum (somewhere) too. The bootloader probably starts with a flash header that would contain its length.
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:43 PM   #8
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ok. searching...
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:56 PM   #9
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Be aware that there are two bootloaders (u-boot, and u-boot bist). The smaller u-boot is designed to load and run completely inside the SoC (RAM in the same chip as the CPU). After the small u-boot initializes SDRAM, it loads into SDRAM the bigger u-boot bist (built-in-self test), which contains fastboot protocol and other goodies.

Things are not always as simple as you might expect.
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:01 PM   #10
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I have bricked more. Only uboot working through serial console. BIST not working and kernels damaged. Is there way to recover kernel only through uboot or any way ? Uff thx

Code:
version - print monitor version
uboot > boot
## Booting kernel from Legacy Image at 70800000 ...
Bad Header Checksum
ERROR: can't get kernel image!
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumpa View Post
I have bricked more. Only uboot working through serial console. BIST not working and kernels damaged. Is there way to recover kernel only through uboot or any way ? Uff thx

Code:
version - print monitor version
uboot > boot
## Booting kernel from Legacy Image at 70800000 ...
Bad Header Checksum
ERROR: can't get kernel image!
Checksums stored in flash headers may not be accurate after an OTA update, so that "Bad Header Checksum" may be "normal".

The "can't get kernel" may be because you did not load the kernel into RAM before running it with "boot". I am not sure though. Does somebody else know what is going on here?

You can study the u-boot source code from the amazon GPL download, to see what is going on. You can also study the u-boot main site for general u-boot documentation.

And of course, an MfgTool profile can be crafted that loads a kernel over USB and runs it in RAM (or a new program can be written to use USB Downloader protocol directly, which is a project that yifanlu is working on).

But first, can you get to fastboot mode with MfgTool? If so, you can reflash the kernel from there if you need to.
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:53 AM   #12
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Fastboot and diags mode did not work, only uboot. if i tried bist command in uboot, kindle stuck. So bist mode also did not work ;(
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Fastboot and diags mode did not work, only uboot. if i tried bist command in uboot, kindle stuck. So bist mode also did not work ;(
The you need to use a custom MfgTool profile that can flash a u-boot bist to your mmc, or you need to use the serial port to debrick it. Or you can wait until yifanlu gets his project ready enough to debrick it using USB Downloader mode with his software.
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