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Old 07-21-2006, 06:22 AM   #1
ali
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Reinstall issues / hacking limitations

I interpret this as: If we break the OS when hacking, we cannot fix it ourselves, and we'd have to pay for the "repairing".


Code:
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 11:49:26 +0200
From: info@irextechnologies.com
To: [...]
Subject: RE: Reinstall Iliad OS

Dear [...]

Thank you for your interest in our solutions for electronic reading.
Because of the large number of reactions, it takes some time to answer
all information requests. 
We do apologies for this late reaction.

In answer to you question I herewith would like to inform you that it is
not possible for the individual customer to do a reinstallation of the
iLiad, this needs to be done in our repairs centre.

If this is covered by the warranty depends if the iLiad has been
operated according to the instructions of the user manual.

If you are interested to learn more about the possibilities to develop
for the iLiad platform, I suggest to visit our developer portal:
http://developer.irexnet.com/.

Kind regards,
The iRex Team

-----Original Message-----
From: [...]
Sent: Wednesday 19 July 2006 11:40
To: info@irextechnologies.com
Subject: Reinstall Iliad OS

Dear Sir, Madam,

The Iliad does not come with a tool to restore factory contents, i.e.,
reinstall it after an iDS software update failed or people fiddled with
the software.

What options does one have? Send it to you to have it reinstalled?
(Would that be covered by the warranty)? Can I restore it myself?
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Old 07-21-2006, 07:20 AM   #2
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I guess so.

So the first one to break their iLiad will open it up, see, how the flash memory ist integrated and then find out, how to put a clen iLiad OS version on it. Good idea, to have a backup ready
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Old 07-21-2006, 07:23 AM   #3
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Which key combinations has been tried yet to bring up a mantainance menu?
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Old 07-21-2006, 07:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tribble
So the first one to break their iLiad will open it up...
OUCH!
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Old 07-21-2006, 07:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2
Which key combinations has been tried yet to bring up a mantainance menu?
Hmm the problem is that such menu, if existing, would appear in ttyS2, the serial port inside the box.
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arivero
Hmm the problem is that such menu, if existing, would appear in ttyS2, the serial port inside the box.
Nope. Display could be anywhere. Zaurii have a special program in their BIOS (resp. the counterpart for that architecture) that can do reflashs. It would be useless to have that menu in the OS, as you couldn't recover from kernel bugs.

So far I see four possibilites:
  1. You can boot into an alternative mini-OS. The flash drive (/dev/tffsa) has a size of 245M. Sound strongly like there's some 11M hidden, which could very well contain reflash software.
  2. The connector contains a JTAG interface. This is absolutely common for embedded devices, and would provide both hardware and software developers some means for debugging.
  3. There's a special controller that would reflash when some magic code comes in through usb/network/whatever. This is how the reflash software of the Zaurii worked.
  4. Special key combos to reflash on power-on.


The Iliad is essentially the same architecture as a Zaurus. I bet they did something similar. Notice early Zaurii (5000/5500) don't have an integrated boot menu, but both reflash with magic code and pressing C+D+Reset worked.

Also they *must* have a simple way to reinstall the device. It would be developer's hell for them otherwise.

I think we need to attract (more) hardware guys in this forum. I suck when it comes to hardware.
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ali
The flash drive (/dev/tffsa) has a size of 245M. Sound strongly like there's some 11M hidden, which could very well contain reflash software.
Is that from di, or some other utility that uses a blocksize of 1024?

Last edited by ath; 07-21-2006 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ath
Is that from di, or some other utility that uses a blocksize of 1024?
This is "kilo", base 1000. The dump (from dd) is 245366784 bytes, that is 245*1000^2, or 234*1024^2. So there's something missing to 256M.
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