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 ..

Raspberry Pi: Resize Shrink SDCard Image Clone Backup Noobs

If you own a raspberry pi, in some cases it is useful to shrink the sdcard, cause you need often not more than 8/16GB.

What do you need and how to solve shinking or extending the OS:

Hardware you need:

  • 2 empty SDCards (Source + Dest.)
  • 2 SDCard Adaptors Micro-SD to SD Fullsize
  • 2 SD-USB Card Readers, i use them for stable work, cause USB SDCard Readers on Laptops often fails (Shared Sources)
  • 1 Laptop with Ubuntu CD inside the CD-Rom or installed ubuntu with gparted
gparted raspian shrink sdcard
gparted raspian shrink sdcard
gparted shrink progress pi
gparted shrink progress pi

Howto:

  • Plug the Cards into the Adaptors and into the Readers, connect to the Laptop
  • Boot ubuntu and rund $sudo gparted
  • On the destination SDCard (/dev/sdd) create a new msdos Partition Table, (Top Menu gparted)
  • Switch on gparted to Source SDCard (/dev/sdc) where noobs / raspian is
  • Copy first the primary and the last partition to the sdd-disk on same area! (start Bootloader + end Config)
  • Create on sdd at the middle area a new „extended“ partition
  • Go to Source Card sdc and Shrink the patition at the middle near to the „yellow“ area!
  • Enter at Menu the green arrow to start gparted work! Take a coffee now..
  • If gparted is ready the LED Controls of the Adaptors stop blinking! Copy the shrinked partition to sdd paste it into the extended partition
  • Here you can expand the middle partition to all free grey space
  • Enter the green arrow on menu to start gparted work again..
  • If ready (LEDS not blinking), close gparted plug out the cards, and use them to boot the PI

Remark:

  •   Do ALWAYS have a 2nd working Card for the PI as FULL BACKUP!! If a Update fails you are online by restore the SDCard in 10Minutes!!!

Feedback:

  • Mail me Errors if iam wrong..

Openmips: Upgrade Gigablue Firmware Failure Boot Freeze Enigma

If you own a Gigablue TV Box ( Gigablue UE 800 2 Tuner DVB-S + DVB-C for example) a reboot on Firmware 4.2 can lookup the box to factory reset. This did my box too.

I decided to upgrade the Firmware from openmips 4.2 to current 5.4. But you ran into some bugs, like freezes on Firmware flashes! Hang on Reboot, or boot after Flash into old Firmware.

I found some Workarounds to fix (I have a gigabue with 2 Tuners inside and a HDD)

  • To upgrade you need 3 USB Sticks 4GB FAT32 formated
  • Go to the official Downloadpage and download the Firmware for your Model current Version 5.4 openmips!
  • Extract this Zip File to one Stick (Folder gigablue)
  • If you have never updated the box, last 12 month, search on openmips-page for the last „Bootloader Zip file“
  • Extract it to the other usb stick with Folder „gigablue“ too. (check subfolders and files do not change folder tree, cause the root path is gigablue where the bios looks!
  • FOR SUCCESSFUL FLASH REMOVE HDD and 2nd. ADDON Tuner Card ! CAUSE THIS CAN FREEZE the FLASHING (I/O Conflicts) !!

Firmware Opemmips go: http://image.openmips.com/5.4/index.php

Bootloader Openmips go: http://image.openmips.com/5.4/index.php?open=loader

Now let’s upgrade..

  • Plugin the USB Stick with the last Boot Loader, Power off and on the Box by switching the PSU Switch, PRESS + HOLD OK BUTTON if the old Loader Shows Revision Number on Display „15XX“ then the Bios starts flashing the new Loader and Reboots after 1-2 Minutes without any work by YOU!! On newer models Press + Hold OK, then the Screen Shows PRESS POWER Button to Flash! (Bootloader 16XX Handling)
  • After this Reboot, Power off, and change the USB Sticks and do the same work again, but to Flash NOW the „Openmips OS“ with enigma2.
  • If this is successful the Box reboot again, but now into Opemmips 5.4 (Blue/White Logo instead Red/White)
  • Change on a TV the Settings, HDMI Output, Language, Network Wifi, Satellite LNB and start Channel Auto Search
  • Go to System -> Software and add your wanted Plugins like „Openwebif“ Web Interface and „EPG-Refresh“ (AUTO Update Channel Lists)
  • Test the box and do A „Full Image Backup“ to a empty USB STICK!!
  • Power down the Box and Plugin HDD and 2nd. Tuner Cards, Power on and Test again
  • Do a FULL IMAGE BACKUP by the Interface to HDD (/media/hdd) too.

be happy and start recording your TV Sessions ..

 

 

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…