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Old 09-11-2012, 12:11 AM   #1
Wiggles
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Is my Kobo borked?

Hi Everyone,

I turned my (original, non-touch) Kobo on today and found that all my books have gone missing. I can still navigate the menus and turn it on/off ok.
I haven't added any books in the last month or so, and it was last charged a week or so ago. It worked fine last night when i was reading in bed and hasn't suffered any misadventure between then and now.

When i plugged it into my PC, it appears as I:\ in windows XP, but when i try to open it, Windows tells me it needs formatting.
Running CHKDSK in command prompt gives me the error:
"The type of the file system is RAW.
CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives."
If i try the format disk option, windows reports the disk size as 1.9tb (?) I didn't try to actually format it.

I've tried a reset via the little hole on the back, and a factory reset via the menu to no avail.
It isn't recognised in Calibre or the Kobo desktop app.

Strangely, if i put an SD card in the expansion slot i can load books via calibre and have them work ok although calibre throws an error message.

Is there any way i can do a full format and restore? Or should i look at replacing it? I've got my Library backed up in Calibre, so i didn't lose anything. But I'm worried that it's going to die completely while i'm on my upcoming holiday; Leaving me bookless on a desert island
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:05 AM   #2
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The fact that you can read books from the SDcard means the FW is properly loading from the main storage (unless original Kobo is very different from the Touch I own), so I would say not all hopes are lost yet, and avoid formatting until all other options have been considered.

It could be that the USB is malfunctioning. Have you tried another cable, or another computer?
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:28 AM   #3
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Tried it at work on XP and at home on Win7 with a different cable, same issue.

Yeah, I figured the on-board storage can't be completely dead if it still works as well as it does. I won't do a format unless all else fails.

I can't seem to find a lot of info on doing a firmware re-install. All the guides i looked at either use the desktop app (which can't see my device) or need Linux (over my head).

Don't know if it makes any difference, but the error message Calibre (portable) presents is:
"calibre, version 0.8.68
ERROR: Error: Error communicating with device

unable to open database file

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "site-packages\calibre\gui2\device.py", line 84, in run
File "site-packages\calibre\gui2\device.py", line 437, in _books
File "site-packages\calibre\devices\kobo\driver.py", line 243, in books
OperationalError: unable to open database file"
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:20 AM   #4
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As far as I understand it, all Calibre or Desktop app operations are done through the filesystem, copying files to the main storage or editing files in situ, so as long as the drive won't mount on your PC you're hosed.

About Linux, it's fairly easy to run it in a Virtual Machine over VMware player and access the USB port from there. The hard part is finding what to do next... -->

Have you tried contacting the Kobo helpdesk, just in case?
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankieGom View Post
Have you tried contacting the Kobo helpdesk, just in case?
How do i contact them? (I've never hear of it )
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:32 AM   #6
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The help tab on kobobooks.com should give you access to a number of support options (FAQ, email, phone...).
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggles View Post
Tried it at work on XP and at home on Win7 with a different cable, same issue.

Yeah, I figured the on-board storage can't be completely dead if it still works as well as it does. I won't do a format unless all else fails.

I can't seem to find a lot of info on doing a firmware re-install. All the guides i looked at either use the desktop app (which can't see my device) or need Linux (over my head).

Don't know if it makes any difference, but the error message Calibre (portable) presents is:
"calibre, version 0.8.68
ERROR: Error: Error communicating with device

unable to open database file

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "site-packages\calibre\gui2\device.py", line 84, in run
File "site-packages\calibre\gui2\device.py", line 437, in _books
File "site-packages\calibre\devices\kobo\driver.py", line 243, in books
OperationalError: unable to open database file"
That error means that calibre can't get to the database on the device properly. This usually means the database is corrupt. The fix is usually a factory reset. But, that hasn't help you.

You might try http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...oReader.sqlite. I don't know if it will help, but it is worth a try.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidfor View Post
That error means that calibre can't get to the database on the device properly. This usually means the database is corrupt. The fix is usually a factory reset. But, that hasn't help you.

You might try http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...oReader.sqlite. I don't know if it will help, but it is worth a try.
David,
The device main storage does not mount properly when plugged into a PC so there is no database to open. I guess the reason it works is because the part of the storage that holds the firmware is not exposed to the PC.

I'm actually starting to wonder whether formatting from Windows, to restore a readable partition, followed by a factory reset would work... After all, main storage only shows a 1.4GB partition, which corresponds to the size of /mnt/onboard (i.e the partition where the database and all the books reside). Formatting, if it worked, would loose all content but at least the device would be fully functional again.

Wiggles,
I'd wait a bit to see if anyone has anything wiser to say before proceeding, just to stay on the safe side.

François
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankieGom View Post
Wiggles,
I'd wait a bit to see if anyone has anything wiser to say before proceeding, just to stay on the safe side.
Cheers for that. I'm quite happy for it to limp along for now. But i'll be eyeing off the Glo if i can't find a fix before the end of oct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankieGom View Post
main storage only shows a 1.4GB partition, which corresponds to the size of /mnt/onboard
Just double checked that, it actually reports as 1.99 Tb with exFAT the only file system option. So i don't think formatting it like that would help!

It shows as a 'healthy' 2048GB partition in the windows disk management window - strange.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
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David,
The device main storage does not mount properly when plugged into a PC so there is no database to open. I guess the reason it works is because the part of the storage that holds the firmware is not exposed to the PC.
Your right. I just reread the symptoms reported and I think I connected them wrong.
Quote:
I'm actually starting to wonder whether formatting from Windows, to restore a readable partition, followed by a factory reset would work... After all, main storage only shows a 1.4GB partition, which corresponds to the size of /mnt/onboard (i.e the partition where the database and all the books reside). Formatting, if it worked, would loose all content but at least the device would be fully functional again.
Unless Kobo comes up with something, this is probably the way to go. I have always assumed the factory reset reformats the visible portion, but maybe it just deletes all the files. If the underlying storage is having problems, Windows might show some errors that wouldn't be visible if the factory reformat did the format.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:09 PM   #11
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I've emailed help@kobobooks.com, waiting to see if they can come up with anything.

The format utility and disk management utility in windows are both reporting the main memory to be ~2 terabytes instead of ~2 gigabytes. I hope this doesn't indicate a larger problem than just corrupted data.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:25 PM   #12
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The email i got back from Kobo support

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobo Support View Post
Hi Andrew,

You can recover books that you've deleted from your Kobo account by following the instructions listed here: How do I get back a book I deleted from my Library?

Sincerely,
The Kobo Team
Helpful!
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:50 PM   #13
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:26 PM   #14
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The "Kobots"? Or maybe "Kobobots"?
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
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The format utility and disk management utility in windows are both reporting the main memory to be ~2 terabytes instead of ~2 gigabytes. I hope this doesn't indicate a larger problem than just corrupted data.
I'm 99.44% sure your internal 2GB micro-SD card is dying. Buy a new one (probably less than $5) and clone your existing card, then once it's cloned, clean the filesystem. In linux it would be a 'dd' followed by an 'fsck'. You can just as easily use a 4GB if you can't find a 2GB.
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