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Old 06-03-2014, 09:21 PM   #1
kindlecrasher
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newb bricked his kindle paperwhite - usb unresponsive

hi,

so i've searched through this forum and others to see if there's anything i can do and i just wanted to confirm first hand that i'm screwed.

current status:

- bricked and stuck on kindle title screen with the person under the tree silhouette.

- battery was at full charge when i bricked it (file systems seems to have corrupted while i was doing file operations with "mntroot rw").

- holding down the power button for 20-40 seconds causes the screen to blank to white and then come back to the kindle tree silhouette scene.

- connecting to usb does nothing... computer does not recognize the kindle as a drive anymore.

===========================

so is there any combination of discharging or button/screen pushing that i can do at this point to attempt any recovery?

since mine is a paperwhite, is the ttl serial cable thing even an option for me?

thanks... anyhoo... no big deal... wasn't even using the kindle much before i started playing with it to jailbreak and such. just thought i'd do my due diligence before abandoning it.

thanks much.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:03 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kindlecrasher View Post
hi,

so i've searched through this forum and others to see if there's anything i can do and i just wanted to confirm first hand that i'm screwed.

current status:

- bricked and stuck on kindle title screen with the person under the tree silhouette.

- battery was at full charge when i bricked it (file systems seems to have corrupted while i was doing file operations with "mntroot rw").

- holding down the power button for 20-40 seconds causes the screen to blank to white and then come back to the kindle tree silhouette scene.

- connecting to usb does nothing... computer does not recognize the kindle as a drive anymore.
Are you screwed?
No, but you have created a great opportunity to learn things for yourself.

===========================
Quote:
Originally Posted by kindlecrasher View Post
so is there any combination of discharging or button/screen pushing that i can do at this point to attempt any recovery?
Not likely.
But impossible to know for certain, since we (and probably yourself) do not know what changes where made to the system image files.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kindlecrasher View Post
since mine is a paperwhite, is the ttl serial cable thing even an option for me?
Yes it is, and it may be your only one.

If you haven't found the write-ups on it (the serial port) yet, try
these hints on using our forum:
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=237083

Quote:
Originally Posted by kindlecrasher View Post
thanks... anyhoo... no big deal... wasn't even using the kindle much before i started playing with it to jailbreak and such. just thought i'd do my due diligence before abandoning it.

thanks much.
Abandon?
Why not e-bay it as: "almost new, not working"?
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:19 PM   #3
kindlecrasher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knc1 View Post
If you haven't found the write-ups on it (the serial port) yet, try
these hints on using our forum:
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=237083
thanks much.

i have a feeling that i might have caused the kindle to run out of disk space somewhere....

i was using kterm and i downloaded the rest of the system tools (like vim) and i was copying them all to the /usr/bin ... then it started erroring in kterm and then i tried rebooting... which ended badly.

i'm having trouble finding the serial cable info but i'll keep going through it.

thanks.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kindlecrasher View Post
thanks much.

i have a feeling that i might have caused the kindle to run out of disk space somewhere....

i was using kterm and i downloaded the rest of the system tools (like vim) and i was copying them all to the /usr/bin ... then it started erroring in kterm and then i tried rebooting... which ended badly.

i'm having trouble finding the serial cable info but i'll keep going through it.

thanks.
Those where back when the PW2 was new (the PW1, K5-Touch, K4 all have the same serial port connection pad layout).

See if filtering your searchs by user: npoland helps find the general time frame.
I know the threads are here, I just don't know where (if not in the prefix index).
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:23 AM   #5
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What OS is on your host PC?
Can you get even a few seconds of access to USB storage?
Did you install USBnetworking?
Did you install the add-on for the rescue pack?

- - - -

And yes, the files of the system image live in a limited size partition.
Which is why we avoid adding to (or changing) that part of the file system tree.
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:58 PM   #6
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Thanks again, found some stuff on the serial cable so I put in an order for a 3.3v ~ 1.8v ttl USB thing... It's a Chinese make from ebay which should get here in a month...

I'm using win 8.1 x64 and also an asus eee net book with win xp for connecting with the kindle. I get absolutely no recognition by either device when plugged in to USB.

I believe I did install the rescue pack but I did not install usbnetworking (as there were a lot of warnings against newbs who don't know what they're doing).

My current plan is to connect by serial and see if I can interrupt the boot process and manually delete all the kterm accessory files I was copying into /usr/bin ...

Since that's what I was doing when it started going south, I'm hoping it's just a matter of my having overloaded a partition and that causing this fatal result (which seems like a bad way to implement a system but I guess it wasn't designed for users to go mucking around in there).

Thanks again.
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by knc1 View Post
And yes, the files of the system image live in a limited size partition.
Which is why we avoid adding to (or changing) that part of the file system tree.
Ooooooo...

So is there a chance I'll be able to boot into a minimum configuration and just delete the contents of the offending directory?

I think I have the PUTTY part down but I'm kind of at a loss for how to interrupt the boot loop and getting into a recovery console.

Any tip on where I can find that kind of info around here? Or I guess even at a Linux site or something?

Thanks.
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Old 06-06-2014, 01:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kindlecrasher View Post
Ooooooo...

So is there a chance I'll be able to boot into a minimum configuration and just delete the contents of the offending directory?

I think I have the PUTTY part down but I'm kind of at a loss for how to interrupt the boot loop and getting into a recovery console.

Any tip on where I can find that kind of info around here? Or I guess even at a Linux site or something?

Thanks.
It is printed on the serial port as the system boots - -

The first message is from u-boot, which gives you the chance to interrupt the process before it starts the kernel.

The second message is from the kernel, which gives you the chance to interrupt the process before it switches from the initramfs to the installed file system.

^^^ This will be the one you want. Then you can mount and diddle with the "main" partition as you wish. (Note: It can't get much worse than it is now. )

Last edited by knc1; 06-06-2014 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 06-06-2014, 09:08 PM   #9
kindlecrasher
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NICE!

thank you so much. That was the info that I needed that I couldn't find. Thanks much and I'll report back with the results when that serial cable finally gets here from hong Kong.

Appreciate the help.
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:19 AM   #10
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Hi, I also bricked my PW2. Can you give me the link to the serial cable you got? I want to try too.
I think I left the wi-fi on and I have installed rescue pack and usb networking. What can I do?
Thanks
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:48 AM   #11
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@aryeh: Unless you did something seriously wrong, you should be able to recover, either through USBNet or the rescue pack.

Read the docs of both those tools, then hard-reboot your device plugged to a computer with a decent USB stack and see what happens.
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Old 06-22-2014, 04:21 AM   #12
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well,

here's an update on my situation - basically, got nowhere and my pw1 is going into the spare parts bin.
=========================

SETUP:

here is the inexpensive usb to uart ttl adapter that i got:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/331216510147...84.m1497.l2649

i got it at just less than $5 with free shipping.

FYI, it took 16 days to get from hong kong to california, usa. and it was an excruciating wait where i was researching every possible aspect on how i might tackle it.

but i have no idea if it works or not!

i found and installed the driver without a problem here:

http://prolificusa.com/portfolio/pl2...ge-controller/

and when i plug in the device, both an xp and win 8.1 system recognizes the device for what it's supposed to be. there's also a test app that comes in the driver package and it lets you sniff the com ports (0-15) to see if the assigned port is indeed your device.

both computers assigned the device to com3 and when i check com 3, the device checker says it's working.

================================

CONNECTING:

i KNEW that trying to tape the wires to the TINY ASS headers on the pw1 would be hard... i was not mistaken. just incredibly difficult. hell, it would be difficult to solder the wires on without shorting out the connections! if you've seen pictures, the headers look just like that... but TINY!!! definitely less than 1cm from nodule to nodule (and there are 3 nodules - Rx, Tx and GND... the GND especially is really tiny).

so what i ended up doing, just to see if i could get a signal at all is start up PuTTY with the right settings and then just held the GND and Rx onto the proper nodes.

then you have to reset the kindle which involves holding down the power switch (which, without the cover on is extremely shallow and you need your fingernail to do it) for 15 seconds. now imagine doing that while desperately trying to hold TINY wires to TINY nodes.... it's FUCKING HARD!

but in the putty console, i never got a text stream.... i got maybe 10 characters over 3 minutes of trying but i have a feeling that was just some noise that i was creating as the wires jiggled on and off the contacts.

i also tried (with a power button reset each time) GND + Rx + Tx (VERY difficult), GND + Rx, GND + Tx, Rx + Tx and then GND + Tx on the Rx nodule and then GND + Rx nodule (to see if the contacts were flipped)....

but bupkus... no text stream.

==============================================

CONCLUSIONS:

- the USB UART TTL device plugs into the USB and is recognized as the proper device by its driver.
- that's it.

i don't know if the headers on the PW are just not functional OR if the TTL device i got won't interface with it for some reason.

NOTE: the PL2303TA USB To TTL RS232 Converter Serial Adapter Cable that i got is listed as support 5v (with a red wire connected which did not come into play in this case) and 3.3v ~ 1.8v ... everyone says that the kindle serial header is 1.8v. and i'm not sure that 3.3v ~ 1.8v is entirely up to spec and maybe it wasn't connecting at the right voltage? but if you want something that's specced specifically for 1.8v and nothing else, without any other language there that blurs that line, you have to go with something like this:

http://www.digikey.com/scripts/DkSea...90032995282645

which is $25. with shipping, you're looking at $30. screw that.

for me, i only started playing with my pw1 again when i heard about hacking it to get terminals and frotz and stuff onto it and wasn't really using it before so it's not a great loss for me.

but the thing that really makes it sting is that i HAD IT HACKED and WORKING!!! got Kterminal on it, got Frotz working, got KUAL on there... everything was working!

but the Kterm package came with a bunch of utilities and this is where i shot myself in the foot.

=============================================

WARNING:

- i wanted to put the kterm utilities (stuff like vim and stuff) into proper folders... somewhere where i could just type "vim" into kterm and have it run... basically somewhere in the root directory.

- i wanted to put the programs in /usr/bin ... that seemed like an appropriate place. but on the kindle, even hacked, even when using KTERM, the root directories are locked. you need to get root privelege. i asked someone how to do that, they answered (definitely not their fault).

- i started copying the programs into /usr/bin and that's when the kindle's behavior started going screwy... i figured i'd reboot... and that was all she wrote... in the background, behind the boy and the tree screen, it must be in some kind of boot loop....

- i figured that the worst that could happen was that i'd have to undo what i did and delete the additions. i did NOT expect that copying stuff to the root directory would BRICK the device!

- SO LET THIS BE A WARNING: - DO NOT write things to the root directory. you CAN gain the priveleges to do that. DON'T!!! i have not seen this warning anywhere... actually that's not true - people have said that you "may" brick it if you write to the root directory... i'll put it in stronger terms - YOU WILL BRICK IT IF YOU WRITE TO ROOT DIRECTORY. VERBOTEN. DON'T DO IT!

- i am sure that there must be a TOLERANCE... that you could copy ... i dunno... say, 2mb into there and still be fine... but i don't know what the tolerance is. NOBODY ELSE knows what that tolerance is. so definitely take heed - do NOT copy anything to the root directory! don't even acquire write permission. just don't.

- all the terminal programs like vim COULD have been run from their safe locations in the user drive space where i put all the other hack stuff... but i wanted to be "extra clean" and put everything in its right place.

pretty dispiriting... but lessons learned.

when de-bricking requires tweezers and industrial level soldering skills, that is way beyond my skill level. once i bricked it, i was finished. at least i only spent $5 to find that out.

anyhoo, that's it for me. be very very careful with your hacks. think twice before doing anything that COULD brick it... especially with the PWs. there's just not a lot of info out there and if you get to the point i ended up in, you're in for a world of microscopic pain involving tweezers and solder and jeweler's glasses and needing 5 arms. not worth it.

Last edited by kindlecrasher; 06-22-2014 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:06 AM   #13
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Nice summary.
All true and useful words -
**IF** someone happens to read them before shooting self in foot.

Thanks for the write-up, you couldn't have made the story much clearer.

PS:
If you are close to a school or university that teaches electronics -
their student lab will have the special equipment -
just find a student who will to bring those pads out on small gauge wire.

Last edited by knc1; 06-22-2014 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:29 AM   #14
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Yup :/. FWIW, the "don't write to the rootfs, EVER." thing has been true since the beginning of the Kindle line, and is one of the reason we make use of some wonderfully tortuous stuff sometimes ;D.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:50 AM   #15
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did you try changing the settings in Windows explorer to show all ports whether or not there is a device installed? you may get access to your kindle.
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