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Old 09-21-2021, 07:34 AM   #1
DoomsdayDog
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PocketBook Basic 2 (PB614) unresponsive, always in FEL/flashing mode

Hi everyone,

I am investigating a seemingly bricked PocketBook Basic 2 (614). The screen has only shown the Basic 2 logo since I unboxed it, power and navigation buttons are unresponsive, not even the power led lights up when connected to power. I tried various combinations of holding down buttons. I only got some clues by connecting via USB to Linux:

Code:
❯ lsusb
[...]
Bus 001 Device 007: ID 1f3a:efe8 Allwinner Technology sunxi SoC OTG connector in FEL/flashing mode
Code:
sudo sunxi-fel version
AWUSBFEX soc=00001625(A13) 00000001 ver=0001 44 08 scratchpad=00007e00 00000000 00000000
And information on the chip from sunxi wiki: https://linux-sunxi.org/A13

Ideally I'd like to restore the bricked device to a functional status if possible. I have an identical PocketBook that works and was hoping to somehow clone information from the functional device to the bricked one.

I also don't mind flashing some other image on the device, whatever works. I tried following some tutorials on the sunxi wiki, but this is way above my knowledge level. If someone has any tips or ideas where to look next, I'd be grateful.
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:01 AM   #2
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Did you look inside? Internal MicroSD is present?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaRoY3uqRrQ
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:34 AM   #3
DoomsdayDog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhedgehog View Post
Did you look inside? Internal MicroSD is present?
Hi nhedgehog,

Yes, the MicroSD card is present and fixed in place, as far as I can tell. However fdisk -l never detects any storage when I connect the e-reader via USB to computer.
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:38 AM   #4
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Did you try booting it up with the MicroSD from the other device. If so, what was the result?
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:40 AM   #5
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PS: Before doing this, make a backup of the working card via Linux outside of the Pocketbook.

PPS: This could help too:
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=340419
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Old 09-22-2021, 03:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhedgehog View Post
Did you try booting it up with the MicroSD from the other device. If so, what was the result?
Thanks for the suggestion, I tried:
1) Simply putting the internal MicroSD from the working device into the brick -> no reaction.
2) Cloning the internal MicroSD of the working device to the internal MicroSD of the brick and patching as per http://www.luator.de/linux/2019/11/2...ce-memory.html, no luck either (but I learned a lot!)
3) Performing a firmware update on the brick, based on the manual and firmware from the official site https://www.pocketbook-int.com/int/s...etbook-basic-2, still nothing.

Out of curiosity, I also put the SD card from the brick into the working device: it booted right away and prompted me to accept the license agreement, then I set the date/time and arrived at the welcome screen with the default library of classic english books.

I wonder if it's a power issue in the brick, given that the power led is unresponsive when I press it or attempt to charge the device.
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Old 09-22-2021, 03:51 PM   #7
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I'm out of ideas. Have not heard that this ever happened. Sounds like a ROM problem to me. Last idea: Put the working SD in the external SD slot and try to boot.
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Old 09-22-2021, 03:58 PM   #8
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This could help:
https://linux-sunxi.org/PocketBook_Touch_Lux_2_(626)
Especially:
Quote:
Entering FEL mode with default pocketbook software: device powered off, press right button (square symbol), power on while keeping the button pressed. There is not LED or indicator showing if the device is on. However plugging the device to a computer through USB will show there is something. lsusb:
Could it be that one of your buttons got stuck?

And some more infos here:
https://linux-sunxi.org/FEL
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Old 09-22-2021, 04:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhedgehog View Post
Could it be that one of your buttons got stuck?
I think you're right! I hadn't noticed before, but the left button (page up) feels strange, as if there's a lump under it, and it will only go down about half as much as the right button or as the buttons on the normal Pocketbook. I'll have a closer look tomorrow.
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Old 09-22-2021, 04:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhedgehog View Post
Last idea: Put the working SD in the external SD slot and try to boot.
It was worth a try, but sadly nope
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Old 09-22-2021, 04:11 PM   #11
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Yeah checked it. It is the right button from the directional pad. Must be stuck on your device.

Edit: Had mine pressed while booting up same symptoms like your device (no LED, no screen, Computer (win7) recognised the device as something strange). Unplugging the device from computer and booting up without pressing the right button from directional pad while longpressing power button brought my normal bootscreen back.

Last edited by nhedgehog; 09-22-2021 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 09-22-2021, 04:19 PM   #12
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Cool, even got some nice dmesg.txt written in my internal memory from doing this.
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Old 09-22-2021, 05:05 PM   #13
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Be careful with the battery plug and -socket. Mine were somehow glued together and I accidentally pried them together from the board. Had to solder the battery directly to the board afterwards which was a pain in the ....
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Old 09-23-2021, 03:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhedgehog View Post
Be careful with the battery plug and -socket. Mine were somehow glued together and I accidentally pried them together from the board. Had to solder the battery directly to the board afterwards which was a pain in the ....
Noted. Anything else I should know? Is the battery a safety concern since the device is not really powered off? I have zero experience handling electronics. Are gloves recommended?
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Old 09-23-2021, 03:59 AM   #15
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Gloves no. Unplugging the battery is recommended but only if possible.
If not possible:
Be careful that the screws are removed without letting them fall back on the board.
Avoid any metallic objects the can shortcircuit the board.
Next to the battery plug is the screen ribbon cable plug, which is hidden behind some tape. After everything is done make sure this plug is still well connected or plug it in again.
Avoid static charges, meaning touch a radiator or some other grounded metallic object before beginning to work on electronics.

Last edited by nhedgehog; 09-23-2021 at 04:01 AM.
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