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Old 03-03-2012, 01:04 AM   #1
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Posts: 11
Karma: 16808
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: New Zealand
Device: Kobo Glo
A stolen Kobo, its replacement, and the woeful case of the sticky affiliate

Hello all,

I am in dire need of assistance. I have a device that will not connect to my account, a helpdesk that insists on quoting the FAQ at me, and I've exhausted all options other than asking the Internet.

TL;DR version first: My Kobo Touch, following a factory reset, refuses to connect to the Kobo store, but instead insists on connecting to the store of the local affiliate. I desperately need to change it back.

For those who prefer the full story, let me tell you my tale of woe...

A couple of months back, I bought a Kobo Touch from Whitcoulls in New Zealand, as an upgrade to my Kobo WiFi. While I had my Wifi, I had never bothered using the online store, as the device was tied to Whitcoulls, whose store is rather pitiful - Whitcoulls specialise in satisfying the mainstream, and I have no desire to limit myself to the likes of Dan Brown and Stephanie Meyer.

To my delight, though, when I installed the setup app, the login it prompted me for was not a Whitcoulls login, but a proper Kobo one, which I had from using the Android app on my tablet and phone. I registered my device, and built up a modest library, and revelled in the delights of cloud-based bookmarks, and being able to shop from a decent sized selection of books without having to use side-loading from ADE or Calibre.

And then the damned thing went missing from my bag. I don't know whether it fell out, or if it was taken, but it was most definitely gone.

I immediately bought another one, and set it up with the desktop app, whilst dashing off an email to Kobo customer support asking if there was a way I could deactivate the old one, just in case someone had actually nicked it (I'd already removed my credit card details from the account). Kobo replied by saying that the safest thing to do would be to deactivate my old account and create a new one, and they'd transfer my library across. "Go ahead," says I.

Then came the tricky part. On their instructions, I performed a factory reset on my device, and went to register it with the Desktop App, using my new account. Or at least, that was the intention...

Instead of being presented with a Kobo login screen in the setup wizard, I was instead presented with a Whitcoulls login screen. "Hmmm," I said, and opened up the filesystem... Sitting in the .kobo folder was an "affiliates.conf" file, containing the string "affilaite=Whitcoulls".

Folowing advice I found on a thread here, I changed the line so it said "affiliate=Kobo", and attempted to re-register. The file changed itself back to saying "affiliate=Whitcoulls".

So, I did another factory reset. Lo and behold, the "affiliates.conf" file was absent from the file system. Just in case, I uninstalled the Desktop App before going any further, and removed all traces of it from both the file system and the Windows Registry, restarted the machine for good measure, and reinstalled.

As soon as I started the registration process, the "affiliates.conf" file appeared on the device again, containing, once more, "affiliate=Whitcoulls".

I have tried numerous solutions to this. I noticed that if I reinstalled the Desktop App without doing another Factory Reset then it would allow me to login to my Kobo account, but as soon as it started synching to the device it would require me to overwrite the local account settings with the Whitcoulls account before continuing.

The closest I have come thus far is when I did the above, but before allowing it to synch, updated the User table in the device's database to contain my UserKey and Email address from the Desktop Apps database from before it overwrote the local account. This allowed me to see my (non-Whitcoulls) library, and even buy books through the store on the device - but it won't let me open them.

I can, of course, side load books, or download the books in my library using Digital Editions, but this doesn't let me synch my library between devices, or use the built in store on the device.

The Kobo Helpdesk have made suggestions such as "Reinstall the software" or "Merge your accounts", both of which will leave me with a device that is still tied to the Whitcoulls store - even if the account CAN be merged, since I would surmise that if Whitcoulls and Kobo shared Authorization / Authentication systems then I'd just be able to log in with my preferred account. By and large, they are not inspiring confidence that they even understand the problem.

This problem is driving me nuts. Could somebody help me, please?


Mike Norrish

Last edited by MikeNorrish; 03-03-2012 at 01:19 AM. Reason: Updated to contain the full text after accidentally, and prematurely double-posting.
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