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Old 08-26-2014, 07:12 AM   #1
James Bryant
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My wife threw my Jetbook Mini into the Sea - and FB2 does not open in the new one.

My wife threw my Jetbook Mini into the sea.*

I have bought a replacement, serial number JBM10012648, firmware 0.4.0. (I have mislaid my notes of the serial number and firmware version of my drowned friend.) I had, of course, backed up my eBook files, both on my hard drive and on a spare SD card, but when I put the SD card in my new machine it does not work. It is a 4 GByte SDHC card, exactly the same size and brand as I used in the drowned machine, as SD, as opposed to SDHC, cards are now virtually unobtainable.

To be more specific I have set the auto turn off to "Do not turn off", inserted the card, pushed the reset button, and left the book for several hours in case it needs time to sort the card contents. (The card contains 3,208 books in 425 sub-sub-sub-directories - I organise by author - root directory on card is eBook, sub-directories are A-E, F-J, K-O, etc., sub-sub-directories are A, B, C, D, E; F, G, H, I, J; etc.; and sub-sub-sub-directories are authors' names.)

I have then tried to open books. The .txt files (which are all small - 2-5 pages max) open after a delay of over a minute, and page turns, which were virtually instant on the old machine, take several seconds. The .fb2 files do nothing for nearly a minute, then announce that book formatting is in progress. Formatting, which, even ignoring the initial delay, seems to be slower than on the old machine, and the invariable result, with .fb2 files prepared on Calibre and which worked on the old machine, is a single page book - and that page is blank. Attempts to turn the page yield messages "This is the last page" or, going back, "This is the first page". If I now press the Back (ON/OFF) key the author (sub-sub-sub-) directory displays for a fraction of a second and then the display jumps back to the machine root directory with the SD card directory missing. If I turn off the machine and then on again the missing SD card directory reappears a fraction of a second later than the display of the items in the machine directory.

If I put an .fb2 file in the machine internal directory, or in a specially-created subdirectory ("eBooks") in the internal directory, the machine ignores it - and if I try to open the sub-directory reports that it is empty.

I have used "Upgrade Patch" in "Settings" to reinstall firmware 0.4.0 with JBM_Eng.pkg downloaded from Ectaco's website but the behaviour is unchanged. Is the book faulty? Or is the fault in firmware 0.4.0 and I should be using an earlier version? If this is the case where might I get it?

* It was an accident and I forgave her at once - but it's far too good a story to forgive AND forget.
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Last edited by James Bryant; 08-26-2014 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:25 PM   #2
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Sorry I can't be much help. I've had my Mini for a little more than a year and gave up on FB2 shortly after I got it. FB2 had always taken much longer to open -- sometimes taking so long that the Mini went to sleep and I had to try again. Performance with TXT files is much better.

Have you tried using the "reset" button (with a paper clip) on the back?

I'm also running 0.4.0 Firmware.

I know that's not much help. Good luck!

Last edited by cromag; 08-26-2014 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 08-29-2014, 02:46 AM   #3
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Good to hear it was an accident. When I read your header my 1st thought was "what did he do to tick her off." Still accidents do happen. I accidentally broke my 1st K3 by having put it on a surface for a moment and having it fall off and face down onto a hard floor. Of course luck would have it that my warranty had run its course a few weeks before. Did you have the SD card installed when the old reader took its swim? Maybe some salt water got in and shorted something out inside it. Or perhaps there is a formatting error on the SD card.
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:07 AM   #4
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Good to hear it was an accident. When I read your header my 1st thought was "what did he do to tick her off." Still accidents do happen. I accidentally broke my 1st K3 by having put it on a surface for a moment and having it fall off and face down onto a hard floor. Of course luck would have it that my warranty had run its course a few weeks before. Did you have the SD card installed when the old reader took its swim? Maybe some salt water got in and shorted something out inside it. Or perhaps there is a formatting error on the SD card.
Swim was sink to bottom - reader & SD card all lost. I had the content backed up on an identical card, which does not work in the new machine - see my original post.
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:13 AM   #5
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Swim was sink to bottom - reader & SD card all lost. I had the content backed up on an identical card, which does not work in the new machine - see my original post.
It was rather late when I posted, but it could still be a formatting problem with the new SD card. I have one that is in two pieces the bigger one of which is an adapter so that the card can interface with my digital camera. Did you format the SD card before putting books on it? That might be it. Or maybe you just got a bad SD card. How big a card does your reader take? For example, if it only takes up to 8GB and you try to use one with 16GB that might be the source of the problem too. I know my camera can only handle an SD card size up to 8GB and anything larger wouldn't be compatible.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:43 PM   #6
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Swim was sink to bottom - reader & SD card all lost. I had the content backed up on an identical card, which does not work in the new machine - see my original post.
Even if it's the same brand, the cards might not be "identical." Many companies buy their cards from manufacturers rather than making their own. My "Mini" is very picky about SD cards. It might still be worth checking a few different brands.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:54 PM   #7
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Time to get an Aura H2O for reading around your wife.
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:24 PM   #8
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Time to get an Aura H2O for reading around your wife.
Well, as long as it's shallow water!
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:01 AM   #9
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Aaarrrrggggghhhhhh!!!!!!! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I have now tried ten 4 GB SDHC cards.

Six work in the Mini, four don't. All work in my camera, my tablet, and my Raspberry Pi. Two of the ones that don't work in the Mini are apparently identical to, and were bought at the same time as, two that do work.

Seems to me that Ectaco need to work out what is wrong with their SD card interface hardware or software (or both).

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Even if it's the same brand, the cards might not be "identical." Many companies buy their cards from manufacturers rather than making their own. My "Mini" is very picky about SD cards. It might still be worth checking a few different brands.
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:54 AM   #10
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Aaarrrrggggghhhhhh!!!!!!! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I have now tried ten 4 GB SDHC cards.

Six work in the Mini, four don't. All work in my camera, my tablet, and my Raspberry Pi. Two of the ones that don't work in the Mini are apparently identical to, and were bought at the same time as, two that do work.

Seems to me that Ectaco need to work out what is wrong with their SD card interface hardware or software (or both).
Sounds like they are too fussy. Can Ectaco format the card? Is so then this may be a solution.

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Old 09-01-2014, 11:01 AM   #11
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Time to get an Aura H2O for reading around your wife.
I did consider this, but it doesn't seem nearly as user friendly as the Jetbook Mini (which goes happily in a trouser pocket and allows five layers of sub-sub-directories, making sorting by author very convenient).
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:31 PM   #12
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Aaarrrrggggghhhhhh!!!!!!! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I have now tried ten 4 GB SDHC cards.

Six work in the Mini, four don't. All work in my camera, my tablet, and my Raspberry Pi. Two of the ones that don't work in the Mini are apparently identical to, and were bought at the same time as, two that do work.

Seems to me that Ectaco need to work out what is wrong with their SD card interface hardware or software (or both).
I suspect this is why I was able to get my Mini so cheap -- it was returned to the store by another customer. When I got it, it had a Micro-SD card (in an adapter) installed and didn't work consistently. I tried a couple other cards, and found a few that worked well (and a few that didn't).

Glad it's working!


EDIT: By the way, I've never had a similar problem with my JetBook Lite. It has been happy with any card I've plugged into it.

EDIT #2: And that Micro-SD card works just fine in a no-name Android tablet.

Last edited by cromag; 09-01-2014 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:36 PM   #13
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It sounds like there are some variations in the quality of the manufacture of SD cards. Or maybe it's a problem with how they are stored/shipped by the manufacturer so that some become damaged somehow in transit.
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:01 AM   #14
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It sounds like there are some variations in the quality of the manufacture of SD cards. Or maybe it's a problem with how they are stored/shipped by the manufacturer so that some become damaged somehow in transit.
No doubt at all about variations in quality (and, of course there are rogue traders who program N GB cards as 2N or 4N GB cards (or even more) or claim higher speeds than their card is actually capable of).

But I do suspect that there is a flaw in the Jetbook Mini's hardware or firmware which causes SDHC cards which are well within some specification (speed, logic thresholds, data timing - I dunno) but not close to the typical value to misbehave when used in the Mini.
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:45 PM   #15
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Most ereaders are based on Linux, and so can be a bit fussy about the filesystem type on the SD card. They mostly require some type of FAT filesystem. It's best to let the ereader format the card before use so that it gets a fully compatible filesystem on it. In this case, you don't want to erase the contents on the backup card, so it would be best to format some other card in the ereader, and then copy the contents from the backup to the formatted card via a PC.
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