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Forum index Forum: ListenLive Firmware development Topic: The big Firmware Recovery thread Last replied to: August 13, 2013, 7:19 am Back to post view
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Posted by penbex Message # 1     Posted at January 26, 2013, 10:52 am,     subject: The big Firmware Recovery thread  
Messages: 2216 posts
Registration date: May 21, 2009
Status: Offline

Imagine: just when you are updating your device with new firmware the lights go out.. power outage.. When the lights go on again, your pc powers up again and you try to start your device..
It wont.. it is dead.. the firmware flashing failed and you are out of luck.
That sounds pretty bad.. your only solution is probably to mail me the device for repair.

Now if you had an alternative that would let you fix this with just software that would be great!
Well, we now have the possibility to recover your device with just software!
This is done through an alternative boot mode (dual boot option)
You power on the device (insert power cable) while holding two buttons (back and power) pressed down.
The device then starts in a special mode that lets you fix the damaged software.

However, this mode is not on your device from factory. You have to install this mode while the device still works.
So after installing the latest 1.47 firmware, take a moment to install the recovery mode to the device.
Test if it can indeed start the recovery mode and then forget about it and never use it again. Just let it sit there.
Until.. the day something goes wrong.. then you will be happy you took the two minutes to install it!

So, we now have a first aid kit available for all 'older' device models.
This kit is not available for the latest models yet, but it is for the older ones.

How do you know what model you have:
Check on the about screen if you have a MTD or MMC memory controller.
Devices with MTD are older and are fully supported.
Devices with MMC are newer and not yet supported (should be soon though)

If you have a device with an MTD controller, install the listenlive 1.47 firmware, download the first aid kit from mega (megaupload's successor - sorry but it seems they only work with Chrome not with IE or firefox), put it on an SD card, insert the SD card and restart your device.
This should boot you into the Loader version 3.0 and give you the ability to install the recovery mode. Which is option 2 in the loader.

Option two takes the files from the first aid kit that you put on the SD card to get the recovery on your device.
It writes some files to space that was already reserved for this and activates the dual boot option.
The manufacturer should have included this mode from factory but they choose not to give you this option because they rather see you buy a new device.

Note: do NOT write protect the SD card!

Check below for more details on this topic..


(Last Edited by penbex on January 28, 2013, 8:57 am)
 
Posted by penbex Message # 2     Posted at January 26, 2013, 10:52 am,     subject: The big Firmware Recovery thread - FAQ  
Messages: 2216 posts
Registration date: May 21, 2009
Status: Offline

Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) about the ListenLive Firmware Recovery mode / Recovery procedure

What is the "recovery" mode?
A small separate operating mode you can boot your device into, used for device administration.
If the normal operating mode does not work properly anymore, booting into the recovery mode can be used to repair the normal operating mode.

My device is having a problem, can I use the recovery mode?
The manufacturer of our devices decided that they did not implement the recovery mode on most of the models. There are some Envivo, Roxcore, Xoro and Disgo models that have it.
Most others do not have it though.

Can I use the original manufacturers recovery mode to repair my device?
In most cases the manufacturer did not supply any images that are required to use this mode. So even when it is installed it is not always useful.
Contact me directly when you are in this position.
The manufacturer also issued an update through this mode once which removed the recovery mode. They really did not want you to use this feature which is a very normal thing on Linux and Android embedded devices. (Shame on the manufacturer!)

What is the "ListenLive recovery" mode?

I have created everything needed to a) install the ListenLive Recovery mode on your device and b) everything needed to use the ListenLive recovery to repair the normal operating mode.

Do I really need the ListenLive "recovery" mode?
Because the manufacturer included some pretty nasty code inside the original firmware it is for sure not a luxury to have the ListenLive recovery installed on your device.
Many devices have bad blocks inside the flash memory that were created by the original firmware. Sooner or later this can become a problem.
When it does, you can fix your device with the first aid kit.

My device has a problem, can I use the ListenLive Recovery mode?
Obviously, you can only use the ListenLive Recovery mode to repair your device if you previously have installed the ListenLive Recovery mode.
Note that the recovery mode is used for fixing a bricked/crashed device. In that case it is your only option.
However, if you have some issue and the device is still starting up normally then you should not use the recovery mode.

My Device is broken and I did not have the ListenLive Recovery mode installed on it, what now?
Contact me directly for a solution.

How can I install the ListenLive Recovery mode?
Installation only works if you have the ListenLive Loader version 3.0 which comes with ListenLive Firmware 1.47.
- Download the ListenLive Firstaid kit from Mega.  To Download click here
- Copy the contents from the downloaded archive to an SD card (use FAT32 formatted card with max. 2GB - others might work-)
- Insert the SD card and power on your device.
- The Listenlive Loader v3 menu will display, choose option 2. This will install the recovery mode.
The listenlive first aid kit includes both the recovery mode that is installed on the device and the images needed to recovery from a crash (which only works if your device contains LL Recovery mode!).

How can I check if I have the ListenLive Recovery mode installed?
- unplug the powercable from the device
- press and hold the two outer buttons on top of the device (left one is the back button, right one is the power button)
- while keeping these two buttons pressed, insert the power cable
- If you get a screen with ListenLive Loader 3.0 and a question about recovery, then you have the ListenLive Recovery mode on your device.
- Note: to exit recovery mode, you need to unplug the power cable. After that the device will start as usual.

Ok, but I thought I already had this installed. So why install it again?
No, you have together with the ListenLive firmware also a failsafe mode. This is a simple program that comes with the firmware and it lets you activate the loader to do updates.
However, since the failsafe program is within the ListenLive firmware it can not fix any errors to the kernel/filesystem of the device.
The ListenLive Recovery mode can fix such errors. The recovery mode has its own kernel and own (minimalistic) filesystem with just a tool that lets you fix the normal kernel and file system.
This is similar as the clockworkmod (and other) recovery that is often used with Android devices. The recovery mode gives your device a true dual boot feature which is the perfect weapon against damaged kernels/filesystems and fail firmware updates.


(Last Edited by penbex on December 13, 2013, 7:58 am)
 
Posted by pauluspaulus Message # 3     Posted at January 29, 2013, 10:53 am,     subject: The big Firmware Recovery thread  
Messages: 22 posts
Registration date: August 31, 2012
Status: Offline

Installed, verified and seems to work correctly. Hope I never use it. It may be helpful for some people to add note in 'How can I check if I have the ListenLive Recovery mode installed?' section that to exit recovery mode one need to unplug power cable. It is not enough to turn device off by power button. After start by power button it goes into recovery mode again and again.

Thanks William

pauluspaulus
Wiwa ertv-208
 
Posted by heinz57g Message # 4     Posted at January 29, 2013, 6:14 pm,     subject: The big Firmware Recovery thread  
Messages: 141 posts
Registration date: November 6, 2011
Status: Offline

  >> to exit recovery mode one need to unplug power cable ... not enough
  >> to turn device off ... goes into recovery mode again and again.

paulus, you beat me by a few minutes. had noticed same thing, and think it should
be prominently displayed - here in the forum, and may on the bottom of the menu
screen on the unit - before people turn in circles, and shout for willams's help.

greetings       - heinz -
 
Posted by Hansjpk Message # 5     Posted at March 27, 2013, 4:34 pm,     subject: The big Firmware Recovery thread  
Messages: 32 posts
Registration date: April 25, 2011
Status: Offline

William,

PO-1171 doesn't seem to have any recovery partition ex-factory. Any recovery-mode files for MMC devices available yet ?

Yes, I know I shouldn't, but if I try to install using MTD recovery-mode files, either on loader v3.0 (fw1.47) or v3.1 (fw1.48) it says recmode.img not found. I remember some time ago I did a recovery install on PO-1019 succesfully, without that file missing.

Pls advise...
Hans
 
Posted by a904lea Message # 6     Posted at June 12, 2013, 11:55 am,     subject: The big Firmware Recovery thread  
Messages: 5 posts
Registration date: February 22, 2012
Status: Offline

Quote:


Installation only works if you have the ListenLive Loader version 3.0 which comes with ListenLive Firmware 1.47.
- Download the ListenLive Firstaid kit from Mega.  To Download click here
- Copy the contents from the downloaded archive to an SD card (use FAT32 formatted card with max. 2GB - others might work-)
- Insert the SD card and power on your device.
- The Listenlive Loader v3 menu will display, choose option 2. This will install the recovery mode.
The listenlive first aid kit includes both the recovery mode that is installed on the device and the images needed to recovery from a crash (which only works if your device contains LL Recovery mode!).


The download link for Mega is broken.

Is there an archive of ListenLive Firmware? I am experiencing issues (already reported by other users) with 1.49 on my Disgo and would like to install 1.48 or 1.47.

 
Posted by a904lea Message # 7     Posted at June 14, 2013, 4:43 pm,     subject: The big Firmware Recovery thread  
Messages: 5 posts
Registration date: February 22, 2012
Status: Offline

Quote:
Quote:


Installation only works if you have the ListenLive Loader version 3.0 which comes with ListenLive Firmware 1.47.
- Download the ListenLive Firstaid kit from Mega.  To Download click here
- Copy the contents from the downloaded archive to an SD card (use FAT32 formatted card with max. 2GB - others might work-)
- Insert the SD card and power on your device.
- The Listenlive Loader v3 menu will display, choose option 2. This will install the recovery mode.
The listenlive first aid kit includes both the recovery mode that is installed on the device and the images needed to recovery from a crash (which only works if your device contains LL Recovery mode!).


The download link for Mega is broken. Working again as of today.

Is there an archive of ListenLive Firmware? I am experiencing issues (already reported by other users) with 1.49 on my Disgo and would like to install 1.48 or 1.47.

 
Posted by betateilchen Message # 8     Posted at July 18, 2013, 9:20 pm,     subject: The big Firmware Recovery thread  
Messages: 23 posts
Registration date: July 12, 2013
Status: Offline

Is it possible to install this recovery tool on HMT350 (MTD)? If so, where can I find a bootloader V3 for this device? In "Files" list I can find V2 only.

Regards,
Udo

 
Posted by 6J6A Message # 9     Posted at August 13, 2013, 6:20 am,     subject: The big Firmware Recovery thread  
Messages: 32 posts
Registration date: June 24, 2012
Status: Offline

Hi William,

Question on using recovery mode. 

I have installed the recovery mode to my OTEK 350 and it went on fine. But when I initiate recovery, it asks for an image on the SD card to restore.

Is this image the LL firmware 1.49 or is it the one in the recovery toolkit? Just not sure which one to use and don't want to brick it.

I'm hoping that recovering the kernel will fix my misbehaving OTEK as per our email chat a while ago.

Cheers,
Matthew.
 
Posted by penbex Message # 10     Posted at August 13, 2013, 7:19 am,     subject: The big Firmware Recovery thread  
Messages: 2216 posts
Registration date: May 21, 2009
Status: Offline

Thats the recovery image it needs.