Android: Upgrade Downgrade Kindle Fire Firmware Bug

If you use a Amazon Kindle Fire 2015 (45$) Generation „Ford“ or other Android Tablets,Smartphones you must know some MAJOR Informations about the Firmware Handling.

Amazon Kindle Fire 2015 Ford

  • If you were asked by the Fire OS or Android to „Upgrade“ the Firmware OS, DON’T PUSH YES it without READING DETAILS! I prefer ALWAYS NO FIRST!
  • Use ALWAYS a SDCARD to hold the MAJOR Data of your Tablet, cause if bricked or damaged you can’t pull off the DATA!!!
  • Android Firmware Images INCLUDE not only the OS, it includes DRIVERS, and the MAJOR BOOTLOADER!! Cause Android Devices use no real BIOS!!
  • If you Upgrade, you can RUN into BIG TROUBLE! Broken Drivers like no WIFI connect, freezing Screens on Boot, or BRICKS like the „BLACK SCREEN of DEATH“ which destory the Tablets cause you can’t reach the BOOTLOADER for RECOVERY MODE and SITELOAD the FIRMWARE again!
  • UPGRADES to bigger Version Releases like 5.1 to 5.3.X CAN’T be DOWNGRADED! Cause the DOWNGRADE don’t force overwrite correctly the BOOTLOADER, or leave the NEW BOOTLOADER untouched which can’t find the old KERNELS Names!
  • As MAJOR INFO you should know that the „adb shell tool“ is a DEVELOPER TOOL which doesn’t ASK anything to confirm, if the Firmware File is wrong or damaged! It flashes without any testing and any protection check! YOU have to KNOW what you ENTER!
  • You can’t reach anything, if the Tablet is BRICKED and you can’t reach the RESCUE MENU MODE! Cause NAND Chips need a connect from adb shell tool to USB then to EEPROM Chip!
  • To be sure prevent the Tablet from reaching the Amazon Update Servers by blocking the Domains on a Blacklist at the Home Router
  • A pulling out the Battery, does often NOT HELP on Tablet! You often don’t need to open the Case for this try!
  • If you can, buy Tablets, without Bloatware, but with SDCARD Connector, with a more basic Android called „Stock“ OS (have seen this on cheap No Name China Tablets)
  • Check the Internet Media for Hardware Infos which Hardware allow easy root access, some Manufacter allow this like Fairphones with special opened OS.
  • For Kids usage purge the Amazon Account on the Tablet, this prevent unallowed Setups
  • Android Firmware EEPROM Chips mostly glued onto the Mainboard, if the Firmware writing fails the device is a toaster.. no normal User can plug out the EEPROM Chips to flash them outside!
  • Opened Tablets can be seen here 

.. never change a running System.. if you MUST not..

Remarks:

  • If someone find a Solution to flash the NAND chips without the Recovery Mode then mail me please!
  • This Firmware Handling is the SAME on all Android or Embedded Devices like Openmips, Openwrt Routers ..

Ubuntu Debian: Installer Messages during Installation Realtime Debug Installer Mode

If you boot your PC on a Setup CD into „live“ mode after some time the Desktop Unity or Gnome starts. After successful testing the PC with the current Drivers and Kernel you can select „Install“ by pressing the icon left on the desktop. But here the Problem appear that you dont see any informations about bugs, crashes, or other major messages during the setup. Without this you are not able to find any errors later, or you cant tell a supporter what happend!

Workaround (#comments!):

  • Always open a gnome-terminal as first step instead of pressing the installer icon!
  • move the gnome-terminal window on lower screen area to 100% width!!!
  • Enter there:

$sudo tail -f /var/log/syslog   # some Linux uses /var/log/messages!

  • Now press Installer icon! and view Log in realtime

Hope this help to fix bugs like freezes of often seen SSD Errors I/O…

Debian: Update SSD Firmware without CDROM

If you want to update the SSD Firmware of a device you should know some things:

  • Do you REALLY need the update? Bugs? If NOT exit here!
  • Firmwareupdates can destroy DATA on Drives!
  • Data cant be restored if the Controller fails after Update
  • Downgrade a Firmware to older is most IMPOSSIBLE!!

.. now you need a USB Stick 4GB and the ISO File of the Firmware Disk of the Manufacter then open the Gnome Terminal or Console and:

$sudo su - #become root
$apt-get update && apt-get install unetbootin gparted # install the tools
$dd if=/dev/null of=/dev/sdc bs=10240 count=1 # delete usbstick unmounted with zeros (factory reset)
$gparted /dev/sdc #create new Primary Partition with FAT32, set "managed flags" to "boot lba", now exit gparted
$mount /dev/sdc1 /mnt #mount usbstick to /mnt 
$unetbootin #select FreeDOS at Menu, and select /dev/sdc1 and create the FreeDOS Stick, then exit unetbootin WITHOUT reboot!
$mkdir /iso && mount -o loop /home/yourusername/firmware-cd.iso /iso # mount the CDImage to /iso readonly
$cd /iso && cp firmware.img /mnt/firmware.img # copy firmware-data to usbstick

  • NOW, reboot and unplug other HDDs of the PC, ONLY the SSD must be insert!
  • Boot the PC on the usbstick, on the unetbootin Menu PRESS „Tab“ to get the „Unetbootin-Console“!
  • Here change the value of „initrd=/ubinit“ to „initrd=firmware.img“ and PRESS ENTER
  • Follow now the Firmware Update Dialog and Reboot with disconnected usbstick and replugged Drives…

Ubuntu Vivid Debian: Kernel I/O Errors SSD SATA NVIDIA Chipsets

If you use a PC with a SSD Drive and a Motherboard which uses NVIDIA chipsets you may see Errors on boot

Command „dmesg“ Output like..

Buffer I/O error on device sdc, logical block 41
ata5: EH complete
ata5: EH in SWNCQ mode,QC:qc_active 0x1 sactive 0x1
ata5: SWNCQ:qc_active 0x1 defer_bits 0x0 last_issue_tag 0x0
dhfis 0x1 dmafis 0x1 sdbfis 0x0
ata5: ATA_REG 0x41 ERR_REG 0x84
ata5: tag : dhfis dmafis sdbfis sactive
ata5: tag 0x0: 1 1 0 1 
ata5.00: exception Emask 0x1 SAct 0x1 SErr 0x300000 action 0x6 frozen
ata5.00: Ata error. fis:0x21
ata5.00: cmd 60/08:00:07:04:00/00:00:00:00:00/40 tag 0 ncq 4096 in
res 41/84:00:07:04:00/84:00:00:00:00/40 Emask 0x10 (ATA bus error)
ata5: hard resetting link
ata5: nv: skipping hardreset on occupied port
ata5: SATA link up 3.0 Gbps (SStatus 123 SControl 300)
ata5.00: configured for UDMA/133
sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] 
Result: hostbyte=0x00 driverbyte=0x08
sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] 
Sense Key : 0xb [current] [descriptor]
Descriptor sense data with sense descriptors (in hex):
72 0b 47 00 00 00 00 0c 00 0a 80 00 00 00 00 00
00 00 04 07
sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] 
ASC=0x47 ASCQ=0x0...

This is a bug by the NVIDIA Manufacterer NOT by LINUX!

The Problem is that the hardware command „swncq“ (DMA-64bit) is set to on by the „default“ Kernels now, but older nvidia chips don’t support it! Only DMA-32bit

sata cable 600 with clip
sata cable 600 with clip

Info found here swnq libsata nvidia kernel (external Link)

Workaround on Gnome Terminal or Console:

  • $sudo echo ‚options sata_nv swncq=0‘ >> /etc/modprobe.d/sata_nv.conf
  • $sudo update-initramfs -u -k all
  • reboot and test with „dmesg“ command on Terminal! there should be NO Error now!
  • If the Problem still exists, then change SATA Cables to SATA-300/600 (II/III) „with Metal Clip on Connectors“ take „shortest length“
  • May be possible that this bug touches other OS like Windows too

 

Hardware Bugs: Seagate ST3000DM001 9YN166 3TB Drives Click Noise

Problem:

  • My brand new Seagate Drives running as Raid1 with two Seagate ST3000DM001-9YN166 on Debian clicks sometimes.

Background:

  • Noise is made by parking heads and spin control by the firmware, often seen on Home NAS
  • (Update 2017: The Firmware of this Generation is buggy, Fault rate 70% after 2 Years)

Solution:

  • go to Manufacter Site and download the firmware update iso
  • burn it to CD
  • reboot the PC on this CD, using Freedos and the Update tool
  • update the firmware and reboot to Linux again
  • edit with sudo vi /etc/rc.conf

/sbin/hdparm -W 0 /dev/sda #Systemdrive disable Cache against Powerloss!
/sbin/hdparm -W 0 /dev/sdb #Raiddrive 1 disable Cache against Powerloss!
/sbin/hdparm -W 0 /dev/sdc #Raiddrive 2 disable Cache against Powerloss!
/sbin/hdparm -S 0 /dev/sdb #Disable Spindown/Poweroff forced!
/sbin/hdparm -S 0 /dev/sdc #Disable Spindown/Poweroff forced!

  • This Parameters should be used on Servers, Performance need running drives not sleeping drives!
  • Every Spindown/Spinup breaks the life of the drives!