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Old 08-18-2013, 10:02 AM   #16
paola
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Originally Posted by rehemiau View Post
How to unbrick a 2GB Kobo Mini in Linux: (paola, you're interested in steps 2-4 but i wrote it also for others)

1. Download the image from fat265's webpage
2. If you use linux, I used Bless Hex Editor I found in the app center
If you use Windows you have to download a hex editor, like http://www.hhdsoftware.com/free-hex-editor which Jacques recommended over there
But anyway, I don't know how to perform the 5. step in Windows if you have a 2GB card
3. Open the file in the hex editor and find offset 200. If 'offset 200' doesn't say much: it's really the very beginning of the image, you will find it by scrolling the file a bit. It is a combination of 13 or so letters and numbers starting with N705 for a Mini.
4. Replace fat265's S/N with yours found in your own backup image. Your S/N is also written on the bottom of your Kobo Mini box (use just the same amount of letters/numbers, I didn't write /W there as I recall, I don't really remember). Save your file
5. I don't know how the hell did fat265 make a 4GB image out of a 2GB device (maybe his SD card has hidden 2GBs of space - it happens, sometimes it's just cheaper for the company to use a different card in a 2GB model).
To write the image from linux console i used dd:

if= is your .img path and of= is the device path, you can check it in gparted (mine was sdb because I used a usb adapter, mmcblk0 would be a default one for pc-built-in card reader, but better to check it anyway)
6. Wait a half an hour or so, there should be an error about the device being full if you use a 2GB card.
7. Then I noticed that recovery and system partitions are not being recognised in my file manager, so I opened gparted, right-clicked them and planned a check on them. Apply the changes and gparted should fix them.
8. Unmount the device (!) to make sure it can be safely plugged out
9. Put your card into your Kobo Mini and be happy

All written from memory so I hope everything is correct so even a layman can do it
rehemiau, thanks a million!

One thing which is not clear from your instructions is whether or not the destination card has to be formatted, or just overwritten with a new image - this won't be clear to a layperson

I do have a 4GB card in my mini, so it is possible that fat265 had the same. I've found the tools to read and write an image from Windows (plus I got a copy of Ubuntu and Fedora to see what is on the SD card, as windows does not recognise it and asks to format it - this was useful while I was trying to fix the card, but it did not work). I also have a sticker with the S/N inside the device, maybe others have that too.

Now I only have to be patient, as the fat265's image is still downloading (it has been doing so for the past three hours or so), and the download message says there are still 6 hours to go!
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:14 AM   #17
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As long as you overwrite the whole card, not only a part of it it doesn't have to be formatted.

Also, if you have a 4GB card you can resize the last partition after writing the image, I guess you'll gain around 1,8GB free space for your books (personally, I don't really need so much space for books but it could be useful as a pocket drive or sth)
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:16 AM   #18
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Having an image on hand is a good back up procedure for the Kobos especially. The S/N
occurs in a number of places starting at offset 200 any hexeditor will let you do a find&replace.

OT; but you should know that the current Diskinternals Linux Reader can mount your uSD card as Read/Write. You may still be able to make the corrections you need.

Luck;
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:16 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by rehemiau View Post
As long as you overwrite the whole card, not only a part of it it doesn't have to be formatted.
thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by rehemiau View Post
Also, if you have a 4GB card you can resize the last partition after writing the image, I guess you'll gain around 1,8GB free space for your books (personally, I don't really need so much space for books but it could be useful as a pocket drive or sth)
Yes, if and when I manage to get my Mini working again, I will consider doing that very seriously - I was terrified of even opening the device, but desperation makes us bold

Thanks again for your help, and more karma as soon as I can give it to you again :-)
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:21 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
Having an image on hand is a good back up procedure for the Kobos especially. The S/N
occurs in a number of places starting at offset 200 any hexeditor will let you do a find&replace.
Is it really in a number of places? Didn't know, I've read in an old topic that I have to change it in the beginning of the image.
BTW: What is the S/N used for by the software? I mean, besides the model recognition, is it send to my kobo account?
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:26 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rehemiau View Post
As long as you overwrite the whole card, not only a part of it it doesn't have to be formatted.

Also, if you have a 4GB card you can resize the last partition after writing the image, I guess you'll gain around 1,8GB free space for your books (personally, I don't really need so much space for books but it could be useful as a pocket drive or sth)
I find the "MiniTool Partition Wizard" home/free version works great for that.

You can also make a "hidden" folder to put in sub-folders and files that you don't want Nickel to process, in the extra space.

To make a hidden file or folder, on windows for use in a Linux environment,
just put a period/dot in front of the name and in back of the name. The dot in back of the name will disappear and you will have your ".name" Linux hidden folder.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:27 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
OT; but you should know that the current Diskinternals Linux Reader can mount your uSD card as Read/Write. You may still be able to make the corrections you need.
thank you Ken - but unfortunately Diskinternals does not allow me to write, only read :-(

On S/N numbers: I read this topic, and freely admit that I did not follow it very well, but the upshot for me was that even if you don't change it everywhere it should not make a difference, i.e. it is only the first occurrence that matters: or did I get this wrong?
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:37 AM   #23
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I changed only the first occurrence in offset 200 (the one even before any partition starts) and in 'device information' i have the right number.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:16 AM   #24
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The SN entry that starts at offset 200 (the first one) is probably all you need to change as it is likely the rest will be rewritten, but a find & replace is not that hard to do. There is no way of knowing what Kobo may decide to do with the firmware, in the future.

Disk Internals Linux Reader can work, but I also have Ext2Fsd running with my SD reader set in the "Ext2 Volume Manager" set to allow read write. Getting it to work can be a little tricky.

Luck;
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:21 AM   #25
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Paola, what happened to your Mini ?

I am so marking this thread as one of my favorites, very useful tips, thank you all !! (there are indeed some nice people on the kobo forum, but I guess you find them in the dev sub-forum ).
Hope I will not need that, but one never knows.

Last edited by aceflor; 08-18-2013 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:26 AM   #26
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Paola, what happened to your Mini ?
just being a tad too adventurous - I thought I had correctly uninstalled a hack to read in portrait mode, and removed what I thought were "left over" files, but it turns out I had not uninstalled correctly, or maybe something had gone wrong, anyhow now I know what "bricked" means

Thanks to all the good folks here I might be able to remedy my foolishness, and perhaps get a concrete incentive to study linux. I probably felt overconfident as with the Pocketbook there is no manner of hacks I had not installed, but I get the feeling that the Poocketbooks is much more "layman" friendly than the kobo. Anyhow, that'll teach me!
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:37 AM   #27
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3. Open the file in the hex editor and find offset 200. If 'offset 200' doesn't say much: it's really the very beginning of the image, you will find it by scrolling the file a bit. It is a combination of 13 or so letters and numbers starting with N705 for a Mini.
just double checking, when you say "open the file", do you mean the image file (.img)?

/never overestimate the layperson
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:41 PM   #28
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yes, of course
How's the rescue going?
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:43 PM   #29
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yes, of course
thank you!
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How's the rescue going?
still three hours to go for the image to finish downloading
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:56 PM   #30
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edit: false alarm, just my pc freaking out ;D

Last edited by rehemiau; 08-18-2013 at 01:06 PM.
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