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Old 03-28-2015, 12:48 PM   #1
LarfinGiraffe
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Kobo Touch N905 stuck in "powered off"

My kobo Touch is stuck at the "powered off" screen.
When I power it on I get a green flashing light for a few minutes, then nothing.
I have tried all the usual suggestions: 24-hr charging, home+power reset, paperclip reset etc etc but nothing rouses the beast. Sometimes I get a blue flashing light instead of the green one but nothing else changes.
Before I trot off down the shops and get a new one, I'm thinking that it might be worth flashing the internal sd card. After all, at this point I have nothing to lose.

I'm a complete novice at this with kobo, although I did do it with my phone a few years ago! Could someone please help me through this?

The Kobo is 15 months old bought Dec 2013, and the box says its model N905-KJP-S. I don't know where to find the serial number or IC or FCC (do I need these things?).
I have figured out how to open it and remove the SD card!
I have access to a linux box (linuxMint) and a Windows box.
Please can someone send me an image and some instructions on what to do next?

Thanks very much
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:27 PM   #2
Ken Maltby
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Do you see an internal uSD card? As I understand it, that model doesn't have one. If not, purchasing a new reader is your most rewarding choice.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 03-28-2015, 05:23 PM   #3
LarfinGiraffe
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It does indeed have a uSD card. Sandisk 2GB with a white spot.

Edit: just to make it clear, the uSD card sits in an internal slot that requires the back off to see, not the slot at the side that is externally accessible.

Last edited by LarfinGiraffe; 03-28-2015 at 05:27 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 03-28-2015, 06:33 PM   #4
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Ken was commenting on your report of having an "N905" Touch. There are three versions of the touch with the model numbers N905, N905B and N905C. The N905 doesn't have a removable SD card. The others do. They use different images, so we need the full model number. This is printed on the end of the Touch with the USB port.
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Old 03-29-2015, 02:49 AM   #5
LarfinGiraffe
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Many apologies, I hadn't understood where to find the numbers properly and was just reading the box! With the help of my son's "Where's Wally" magnifying glass, I see that its actually a N905C.
FCC ID NOIKBN905C
IC 8857A-KBN905C.
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Old 03-29-2015, 03:02 AM   #6
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:58 AM   #7
LarfinGiraffe
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Thanks very much for the image David. I tried it today. Using LinuxMint it's simply a matter of extracting the image, then double-click on the .img and Mint knows exactly what to do with it.

I installed the uSD and gave the kobo some hours to charge, then tried to turn it on.

Unfortunately I am still getting exactly the same flashing lights as I did with the old SD card, so the kobo is probably toast. If anyone has any other suggestions before I put it in the bin, please let me know.
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Old 03-29-2015, 02:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarfinGiraffe View Post
Using LinuxMint it's simply a matter of extracting the image, then double-click on the .img and Mint knows exactly what to do with it.
I think that would frighten me. And what did it with it?
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Old 04-03-2015, 05:42 AM   #9
LarfinGiraffe
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It summoned its "Disks" utility and asked to which device to restore the disk img. I choose the sd card and it wrote it there.
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Old 04-10-2015, 03:12 AM   #10
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The first thing I would check is the md5sum of the .rar, to see if the download went okay. From the Linux terminal, at the location of the downloaded file (substitute the correct file name):
md5sum "Kobo Touch N905C (no_serial).rar"
It should return: 8ab6e02ef8926fd948559d604f109d4b Kobo Touch N905C (no_serial).rar
Or ask the provider in a PM for the md5 hash of the provided file so you can verify the download. My output will only match yours if we used the same image file, of course.

If the md5 hash checks out, then you can try mounting the provided .img as a followup check. If it is successful, there are three mount points: KOBOeReader, recoveryfs, and root. With Linux Mint you should be able to right click the downloaded .img file and choose the option for mount.

Next, I'm assuming you put the sd card into a camera or some other such reader device, and then tried to restore the image? Since you are using Mint, I think there is an image writer that comes with it, other than 'Disks'. I would try a different image writer.

Again, after you write the image, the sd card should mount to those three mount points provided above, when outside the Kobo (such as in some kind of card reader).

Finally, if you are brave and really, really careful because you can easily overwrite the wrong disk and ruin your linux system and/or any attached devices, if you provide the wrong device at the command line -- you can try writing the image directly with 'dd'. But if you aren't pretty familiar with what I'm describing, don't do it would be my advice.

From the terminal, determine the correct device of the sd card.
sudo fdisk -l

Then, substituting for the correct path to the .img for 'if' and the correct SD device 'of'.
sudo dd if=/home/larfingiraffe/Downloads/yourimage.img of=/dev/sdx bs=1M

You didn't mention it, but one thing I did (and not sure if necessary) was to go into the .img and substitute the serial number for my device. I did this with a tool called 'GHex' in Linux. I inserted the serial number of my device into the beginning of the .img file, at the first occurrence where I saw "SN-N". Luckily, I had retrieved the serial number off my Kobo before it had bricked. It is also on the box the Kobo came in. Then I restored from that image. Again, I'm not sure if the device checks the serial number. Probably not, but @Davidfor may know whether this paragraph's step is even necessary.

It's possible that there is a problem with the sd card itself, in which case I'd try a different 2 gb sd card. I'm pretty sure your flashing light symptoms matched what I had, so my guess is that the image didn't get written correctly (instead of the problem being a failed SD card).
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Old 04-17-2015, 02:30 AM   #11
LarfinGiraffe
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Thanks AskzYDre for your very full response.
My md5sum is the same as yours.
Your are correct in what you suggest about the card having been used elsewhere before - I can't remember in what (it may have been the Kobo itself). Its a Sandisk Ultra 32GB.
My hardware doesn't have a micro sd card slot, but if I put the card in a usb "stick" micro sd card holder, I can mount the filesystem there and I get the three mounted filesystems. It looks as if the filesystems are complete, with three mountpoints KOBO eReader, recoveryfs and rootfs, so I'm tempted to think that the img write was achieved ok. Of course, there could be corruption at a lower level.
davidfor says the the serial number is not significant, and as I don't know mine anyway I can't do anything about it!
I will try the dd later today and see if it makes any difference, just in case "Disks" did something funny to the img. I'm happy at the command line. I also have a "USB image writer" utility but I think dd is probably the purest way.
I will also try a different sd card. I have read some entries where it appeared to make a difference but of course it could be that the poster got it right second time...
Other than that, I guess there may be the possibility that in fact the screen is duff, so actually its all working ok but cannot show me anything?
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:51 PM   #12
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Well, if the light went blue, green, then flashing green for about 30 seconds, then stopped flashing and there was no display, would definitely think something wrong with the screen, but yours flashes for several minutes. That takes me back to when my sd card firmware was corrupted and reflashing it fixed it all.

If you just don't want to fiddle with it maybe connecting with Kobo and actually get someone who can have a conversation instead of just reading a script, will result in a replacement. Or sell you a refurbished one at a reduced rate.

If I call there and get a script reader, I just politely disconnect and call again until I get someone/supervisor who will have a conversation. They replaced mine twice, once a fair bit out of warranty but I had to point out to them I had the exact same problem the second time and had called before the warranty expired (on my part, I just hadn't followed back up properly because it was intermittent). I decided I don't want to deal with Kobo again, I like the device itself, but when the Kobo's broken, that's it.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:40 AM   #13
LarfinGiraffe
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AskzYDre, I tried the dd thing and it didn't work. I used a San Ultradisk 32GB SCHC and I notice that the original is just a bog-standard sd card, so I'm wondering if the higher spec card is upsetting it. I'm going to try once more with the lowest spec non-sdhc card I can get, as I think its probably worth the £3 investment. I've seen a 2GB Transcend one from a reputable supplier.

Good on you for holding out against support! I'm in the UK so I'm not sure that tactic will work for me.
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:27 AM   #14
LarfinGiraffe
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Just to finish off this story, I did get another SD card, a bog-standard 2GB one, and used the dd command to copy the image. I also made sure I used a USB2 port instead of USB3 in case that upset it. However I still have no joy at all. Booting from a reset (power switch + home button) gives about two minutes of rapid blue flashing light, then nothing. Switching on using the power switch only gives blue-green-blue- then eight slower flashing green. I think this might be the "screen dead" signal that AskzYDre mentioned.

I think I'm done here, but thanks so much for everyone who provided helpful advice.

Anyone want a new 2GB Transcend micro-SD with Kobo already loaded on it?
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