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Old 06-14-2021, 09:21 AM   #1
anarcat
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Question fails to resume intermittently

Hi!

I stil have my Kobo Glo HD (on which I tested, coded and deployed wallabako, for those who know about that project , but it's showing signs of age. The device is now about 6 years old, if my count is right, and while that's a respectable age for a computing device, I still have high hopes that I can keep using it for another 6.

The problem I'm having is that it seems to have trouble returning from sleep. At first, I couldn't quite figure out what the problem was: it would just seem to hang randomly. But now I feel it just is that: when the device times out into sleep, when I reopen the lid to start reading again, nothing happens: the display is stuck into whatever it was when I last closed the lid and it doesn't resume.

Tapping the power button doesn't resume from sleep either. Holding the power button turns the LED on very briefly, but then it goes off and never returns. Normally, the power button can be used to force-reboot the machine, but somehow that doesn't work: I've tried to hold the power button up to 20 seconds, no luck.

Plugging in the USB cord somehow makes the machine boot again: it then starts up Nickel normally and everything looks fine. Battery says "98%" and seems to charge normally. If I unplug the USB cord, I can use the device normally until the next suspend. If I suspend by hand and return soon after, it seems to recover correctly, so it doesn't happen *all* the time.

I am using koreader on that device, and I have tried to reinstall that, no luck. I also use Nickelmenu and plato, and I have done extensive hacking on the device to make various parts of wallabako work, so it could also be me that broke something, naturally. I haven't worked on wallabako for a long time now, so I doubt it's related. This feels more like a hardware / firmware issue.

My question is: what should I do with this? I've fallen back on using my Onyx Boox Note Pro 2 to read ebooks right now, but that's not really convenient: the device is really big and I don't like the built-in ereader that much. (You can install koreader through android, that said, but somehow font rendering is all aliased and weird, something which I need to bring up with the koreader folks.)

Alternatively, should I just get a new Kobo reader to replace this one? Are they still as hackable as they were?
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:32 PM   #2
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With those symptoms and description of what you have, I think you need to do a factory reset and find out if it is a problem when nothing extra is installed. Until you do that, it is hard to know if it is the device or something you have added.

There is a possibility that it is a failing SD card. That could trigger issues when waking that you don't see when booting or normally, but, it would depend on exactly what part of the card was going bad.

But, it does sound like it is crashing when trying to sleep. You say it still has whatever you were reading showing when you closed the cover. That suggests the problem is early in the sleep process or even something to do with the cover. That it sleeps OK when you use the button supports this. The wake is failing possibly because of whatever happens above. It might also depend on if you close the cover after putting it to sleep. To test some of this, I would disable the sleep when closed option.

Also, holding the power button down for 20 seconds is a way to force the device off. It is useful if the device hangs and you doesn't power off normally. After that, it should turn on normally. What happens if you power off the device when it is working OK? Does it power on with the switch?
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Old 06-14-2021, 08:09 PM   #3
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With those symptoms and description of what you have, I think you need to do a factory reset and find out if it is a problem when nothing extra is installed. Until you do that, it is hard to know if it is the device or something you have added.

There is a possibility that it is a failing SD card. That could trigger issues when waking that you don't see when booting or normally, but, it would depend on exactly what part of the card was going bad.
I actually have the original, stock SD card of the original device somewhere. I'll probably try to reproduce the issue on that, to see if there's a stock firmware, SD card or hardware problem...

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But, it does sound like it is crashing when trying to sleep. You say it still has whatever you were reading showing when you closed the cover. That suggests the problem is early in the sleep process or even something to do with the cover. That it sleeps OK when you use the button supports this. The wake is failing possibly because of whatever happens above. It might also depend on if you close the cover after putting it to sleep. To test some of this, I would disable the sleep when closed option.
That's a great idea, i'll give that a shot as well. I figured the "lid close" sleep was the same as the sleep button, but who knows...

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Also, holding the power button down for 20 seconds is a way to force the device off. It is useful if the device hangs and you doesn't power off normally. After that, it should turn on normally. What happens if you power off the device when it is working OK? Does it power on with the switch?
That's the thing that's weird with this bug: the "20 second hold" trick just doesn't work when it crashes that way. The power led blips *once* early after pushing, and then nothing happens, it doesn't actually turn off (or, to be more specific, back on: it's hard to tell it's off in that case...)
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Old 06-14-2021, 09:38 PM   #4
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I actually have the original, stock SD card of the original device somewhere. I'll probably try to reproduce the issue on that, to see if there's a stock firmware, SD card or hardware problem...
The old card has similar weird issues. It actually hangs as soon as i unplug the USB cable, even.

It also can't bootstrap after a factory reset: it can't seem to connect to kobo to get updates and aborts (and suggests downloading the desktop app, ugh).

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That (disabling sleep on lid close) is a great idea, i'll give that a shot as well. I figured the "lid close" sleep was the same as the sleep button, but who knows...
Well now the problem is i can't even test that because I can't boot the darn thing.

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That's the thing that's weird with this bug: the "20 second hold" trick just doesn't work when it crashes that way. The power led blips *once* early after pushing, and then nothing happens, it doesn't actually turn off (or, to be more specific, back on: it's hard to tell it's off in that case...)
I can confirm the "20 seconds poweroff" does not work.

There's something really strange. Even with the old stock sdcard, when i plug in the USB power, it works fine, but then as soon as i unplug it, the backlight goes out, and the entire machine hangs.

Could this be a power issue?
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:59 PM   #5
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The old card has similar weird issues. It actually hangs as soon as i unplug the USB cable, even.

It also can't bootstrap after a factory reset: it can't seem to connect to kobo to get updates and aborts (and suggests downloading the desktop app, ugh).



Well now the problem is i can't even test that because I can't boot the darn thing.



I can confirm the "20 seconds poweroff" does not work.

There's something really strange. Even with the old stock sdcard, when i plug in the USB power, it works fine, but then as soon as i unplug it, the backlight goes out, and the entire machine hangs.

Could this be a power issue?
If you had posted this first, then I would have said it was a dead battery. But, above, you do say it was running after disconnecting from USB until you let it sleep. How long was that? A few minutes or a lot longer? Even then, a battery at the end of it's life could fit what is happening. Some will appear to charge, but, don't actually retain any charge, or very little. It will depend on the battery and exactly how the charging circuit works. But, as you opened it to change the SD card, you should check you haven't accidentally unplugged the battery.

For the setup, that could be something blocking the connection to the Kobo servers. I haven't been to "Planet Ocean", so I have no idea whether they do or not. If that is the case, you will need to use a VPN or manually install the update. Of course, then you hit the problem of the device not running when disconnected from power.
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Old 06-15-2021, 09:52 AM   #6
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If you had posted this first, then I would have said it was a dead battery. But, above, you do say it was running after disconnecting from USB until you let it sleep.
That is correct: it *was* surviving a disconnect before.

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How long was that? A few minutes or a lot longer?
It's hard to tell. I'd say 10-15 minutes?

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Even then, a battery at the end of it's life could fit what is happening. Some will appear to charge, but, don't actually retain any charge, or very little. It will depend on the battery and exactly how the charging circuit works.
What is confusing is that the battery does not *appear* to be discharged: it was at 100%, and seemed to be charging...

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But, as you opened it to change the SD card, you should check you haven't accidentally unplugged the battery.
So that's one thing I was wondering about. *Can* I unplug the battery? I had the feeling it was just soldered on there... And if it's unplugged, wouldn't the UI notice and tell me somehow? Is there a way to confirm that the battery is plugged in through a shell?

I did try to fiddle with the battery connector once I realized that could be the problem. Couldn't find an obvious way to fix the connexion...

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For the setup, that could be something blocking the connection to the Kobo servers. I haven't been to "Planet Ocean", so I have no idea whether they do or not. If that is the case, you will need to use a VPN or manually install the update. Of course, then you hit the problem of the device not running when disconnected from power.
We all live on "Planet ocean" "How inappropriate to call this planet 'Earth' when it is quite clearly 'Ocean'. - Arthur C. Clarke" I'm in Canada, FWIW.

And now that you mention it, I wonder if that "stock sdcard" really is stock. I was surprised to see it booted in KFmon at first, i might have already have hacked the darn thing, and therefore `/etc/hosts` might be blocking kobo servers :/ This is surprising since i did try a factory reset: I would have expected that to wipe /etc/hosts...

Thanks so much for the ideas, more leads to go ahead with!
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Old 06-15-2021, 12:24 PM   #7
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As a reminder: you can't trust the battery gauge for much of anything, really.

So, yeah, I'd concur with David, that looks like a dead/dying battery (and possibly a funky PMIC on top of that).
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Old 06-15-2021, 02:38 PM   #8
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As a reminder: you can't trust the battery gauge for much of anything, really.
Now i'm curious: what's up with that? the battery gauge is fake?

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So, yeah, I'd concur with David, that looks like a dead/dying battery (and possibly a funky PMIC on top of that).
ouch... what's the PMIC? can i replace the battery?
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Old 06-15-2021, 02:55 PM   #9
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ouch... what's the PMIC? can i replace the battery?
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Yes, the battery is easy to change and it's quite easy to buy it, but I would start by replacing the SD card ... If it doesn't help, then think about replacing the battery ...

I looked carefully at your post, you seem to have changed the card. The battery is easy to purchase by searching 'PR-285083' on ebay / amazon / ali

Last edited by Semwize; 06-15-2021 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 06-15-2021, 05:02 PM   #10
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Yes, the battery is easy to change and it's quite easy to buy it, but I would start by replacing the SD card ... If it doesn't help, then think about replacing the battery ...

I looked carefully at your post, you seem to have changed the card. The battery is easy to purchase by searching 'PR-285083' on ebay / amazon / ali
Great! so something like this might work?

https://batteryclerk.ca/products/kob...-battery?ls=en

it's odd because the video there says to "disconnect the battery with tool" (?) and I couldn't quite figure out how to disconnect (let alone unglue) the battery myself. the video also shows how to change the battery in a Nook, not a Kobo (!?).

Is there documentation somewhere on how to do this replacement?
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Old 06-15-2021, 05:36 PM   #11
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For removing the battery I recommend a Plastic Putty Knife, take you time maybe heat the battery up to soften the glue.

The connector can be disconnected using a fingernail.

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Great! so something like this might work?

https://batteryclerk.ca/products/kob...-battery?ls=en

it's odd because the video there says to "disconnect the battery with tool" (?) and I couldn't quite figure out how to disconnect (let alone unglue) the battery myself. the video also shows how to change the battery in a Nook, not a Kobo (!?).

Is there documentation somewhere on how to do this replacement?
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:53 AM   #12
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"disconnect the battery with tool" (?)
For detaching back cover, battery, etc. can use such a set (it costs 1-2 dollars), or something similar



It is not a fact that the matter is in the battery - this is the most probable assumption.
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:42 AM   #13
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the display (eink glass substrate) is extremely fragile, the battery itself is also problematic (it's soft), and then it's glued in. it's a challenge to apply force without damaging anything. bring lots of patience.
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Old 06-16-2021, 03:23 PM   #14
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thanks for all the advice!

this is so much better to what Kobo ended up replying, which is:

Quote:
batteries are not available for replace, as we do not have repair centers, we do only replace the complete device under warranty, the warranty last one year since it was purchased from our Store
whee... i guess it's going to be a DIY battery replace!

Is there any e-reader that provides a more long-term support than this one-year ridiculous support program? it's even worse than phones!
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:33 PM   #15
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All of them, if purchased in the EU. At least 2 years according to SOGA, or similar local laws. Apple was fined in Italy for charging for a 2nd year.
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