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Old 11-09-2012, 07:11 AM   #1
KoboTouchUser
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Document about Hacking a little more the touch

Hi guys,

First, I need to advise you that I'm French, and I speak a bad english...

I started looking for kobo touch hacks two weeks ago. I red anything I've found on this forum and from Google. I also red the doc from freescale on i.mx 50 boards and studied the ressources from the git of KoboReader.

My Kobo Touch is an earlier one with an i.mx 508 from freescale board, I then looked in
KoboReader/hw/imx508/cls/ and found the source of the kernel and u-boot.
By exploring u-boot source I found these lines in u-boot-2009-08.tar.gz/include/configs/mx50_arm2.h :

Code:
#define	CONFIG_EXTRA_ENV_SETTINGS					\
		"uboot=u-boot.bin\0"			\
		"kernel=uImage\0"				\
		"bootargs_base=setenv bootargs console=ttymxc0,115200 rootfstype=ext4 rootwait rw video=mxcepdcfb:E60_V220 quiet lpj=3997696\0"\
		"bootargs_mmc=setenv bootargs ${bootargs} root=/dev/mmcblk0p1\0" \
		"bootcmd_mmc=run bootargs_base bootargs_mmc;mmc read 2 0x70800000 0x800 0x1800; bootm\0"   \
		"bootargs_SD=setenv bootargs ${bootargs} root=/dev/mmcblk1p1\0" \
		"bootcmd_SD=run bootargs_base bootargs_SD;mmc read 0 0x70800000 0x800 0x1800; bootm\0"   \
		"bootargs_recovery=setenv bootargs ${bootargs} root=/dev/mmcblk0p2\0" \
		"bootcmd_recovery=run bootargs_base bootargs_recovery;mmc read 2 0x70800000 0x800 0x1800; bootm\0"   \
		"bootcmd=run bootcmd_mmc\0" \
		"verify=no"
It seems it is possible to boot my Kobo touch from SDcard*!

What I tried on my Kobo Touch*:

- I copied the mmcblk0 eMMC on SD at mmcblk1 with this command that I typed in an USB telnet telnet session with my Kobo device*:
Code:
> dd if=/dev/mmcblk0 of=/dev*/mmcblk1 bs=512K
- I changed the line*:
Code:
"bootcmd=run bootcmd_mmc\0"
by
Code:
"bootcmd=run bootcmd_SD\0"
in mx50_arm2.h file.

- I compiled a new u-boot with these commands*in extracted u-boot from the KoboReader git (on Linux PC):
Code:
> make distclean
> make mx50_arm2_config
> make
- I updated the u-boot.bin of my Kobo Touch with the one I built (using well documentaded Kobo upgrade method).

The Kobo Touch then booted.

Later, As i was trying to connect by wifi, it showed a black screen and did not respond anymore, it is charged, it is not recognized by the computer. Well, it is bricked.

SO PLEASE DO NOT ISSUE THE COMMANDS I GAVE YOU UNLESS YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING, IT COULD BRICK YOUR DEVICE. A SIMPLE RECOVERY WILL NOT BRING BACK NEW U-BOOT SO WON T UNBRICK THE DEVICE.
MAY BE YOU DON T HAVE A FREESCALE IMX 508 BASED KOBO TOUCH. WHAT I SHOWED IN THIS ARTICLE IS ONLY FOR THIS KIND OF DEVICE AND IT COULD EVEN BRICK IT. THIS IS PROVIDED ONLY FOR INFORMATION AND I COULD NOT BE RESPONSIVE OF WHAT YOU DID WITH IT


NOTE: I ve found the same types of u-boot lines in ntx based kobo touch, imx 507 based kobo touch, even kobo glo devices.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:24 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear that your Kobo's bricked, but thanks for posting the info.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:49 PM   #3
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Can you reboot enough to fix the boot code? And thereby unbrick your Touch?
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:06 PM   #4
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Very interesting.

Isn't the "internal" storage just another SD card? You could try to open your Kobo and put a working image on it.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:59 AM   #5
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Cannot reboot, black screen even after 24 hours charging. No recovery possible... I tried all known methods, I get a flashing red light but nothing happens. And the device is not recognized by the PC.

My kobo touch is an earlier one, freescale imx508 based, doesn't contain an internal sd.
Newer ones are imx 507 based and have an internal sd (that's what I red).
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:45 AM   #6
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If you want an IMHO, you'd be better off stripping down and removing the battery. Then try turning it on without the battery in (To clear any voltage left in the board), followed by leaving off for 24 hours or so to let the memory clear.

Try booting again after that and see if anything happens. I'd also try the factory reset sequences with and without the SDCard in, and see if that gets you anywhere. (If you get a light sequence, post it here even if the screen does nothing)

It's always possible the screen (or software) has decided to die at this time, and was completely unrelated to your U-Boot changes, and TBQH as it booted originally, I'd suspect this to be the case. A broken U-Boot should normally result in a brick no matter what, not something that dies a couple of days later
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:38 AM   #7
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I did not know where do I post, I post it here.

For "dosfsck" I have a question.

Kobo / Kobo Glo is doing the file check using dosfsck.
This is a problem if it contains double-byte characters in the file or folder name.

Contains 0x5c, 0x7c to the name of the double-byte character.
dosfsck would be recognized as a corrupt file. Then, they are removed from Kobo.

This Bug's detail is....

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...ols/+bug/49217

This problem has been reported in Japan, using the double-byte characters in a file or folder name.

Is there a way to fix this problem?
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ah- View Post
Very interesting.

Isn't the "internal" storage just another SD card? You could try to open your Kobo and put a working image on it.
Indeed it is, you can open the device and make an image of the SD. In this way you can always unbrick your device ;-)

I did it with mine and I can of course explain what and how I did )
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:31 PM   #9
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I wouldn't expect the bootloader to be on the internal sd card, but anything is possible...
There's still the possibility of it being stored on another chip. @jokeyth, did you unbrick it after fiddling with the boot loader or the os?
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giorgio130 View Post
I wouldn't expect the bootloader to be on the internal sd card, but anything is possible...
There's still the possibility of it being stored on another chip. @jokeyth, did you unbrick it after fiddling with the boot loader or the os?
@Giorgio: Ciao Giorgio (I am Italian ;-) ). I have made a perfect copy of the internal SD on my HD so to clone it on a bigger one that now is on my Kobo Glo. I did it just to see if it could have worked and also because it was a bit slower to load the books' cover when stored in an "external" sd. So I did not bricked my Kobo. As far as the bootloader is concerned I have no idea where it is stored... It might be on an internal flash and it might be flashed at each firmware upgrade. Nevertheless, seeing how the firmware updates are handled I will truly doubt so. Is your Kobo bricked?

For those who can read Italian here an interesting link:

http://www.ebookreaderitalia.com/via...ch-e-kobo-glo/

Jokeyth

Last edited by jokeyth; 12-28-2012 at 04:34 PM. Reason: adding a link
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jokeyth View Post
@Giorgio: Ciao Giorgio (I am Italian ;-) ). I have made a perfect copy of the internal SD on my HD so to clone it on a bigger one that now is on my Kobo Glo. I did it just to see if it could have worked and also because it was a bit slower to load the books' cover when stored in an "external" sd. So I did not bricked my Kobo. As far as the bootloader is concerned I have no idea where it is stored... It might be on an internal flash and it might be flashed at each firmware upgrade. Nevertheless, seeing how the firmware updates are handled I will truly doubt so. Is your Kobo bricked?

For those who can read Italian here an interesting link:

http://www.ebookreaderitalia.com/via...ch-e-kobo-glo/

Jokeyth
Ciao my Kobo is not bricked, I was just interested because I'm starting to look into modifying the bootloader ( http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=200772 ) and I'd like to find out if I could permanently brick my device by flashing a non-working one.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:04 AM   #12
jokeyth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giorgio130 View Post
Ciao my Kobo is not bricked, I was just interested because I'm starting to look into modifying the bootloader ( http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=200772 ) and I'd like to find out if I could permanently brick my device by flashing a non-working one.
Hi Giorgio,

Hacking the bootloader is not an easy task at all. It is a binary file and much more a binary file which is made for a specific embedded device. As I told you when I opened my Kobo I had a look of the hardware and I did not see any memory apart the internal SD, but this does not mean that it is present to the other side of the board or that the processor the Kobo is using has an internal flash memory where the bootloader is stored.

What I would try if I were in your shoes could be to see if I could emulate the Kobo on a PC. It is a Linux based system and there might be chances to make it work with virtualbox or wmaware. Maybe, it is not a good idea (I am not an expert of virtualization) but if you would be able to do it then you could make all the test you want without harming your real device.

Regards,

Maurizio.
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