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[edit] HowTo unbrick nanonote

[edit] Situation

After some flashing action gone wrong, your nanonote could look 'bricked'. That is, when nothing happens when you press the Power button. Nothing happens at all. There are a number of different reasons that could lead to this behaviour.

[edit] Simple Recovery

Here is the outline for recovery, from simple to difficult:

  • Bend up a paper-clip, or use another thin instrument, to press the contact inside a small hole in the bottom of nanonote, labelled 'RESET'. This is meant to (re-)start the system with a forced boot.
  • Remove the battery lid, remove the battery. Wait several seconds, put the battery back, try again.
  • Unplug the USB-cable, remove the battery. Wait several seconds, put the battery back, try again.
  • Unplug the USB-cable, remove the battery. Wait several seconds, reconnect only the USB-cable, try again.
  • Unplug the USB-cable, remove the battery. Wait several seconds, reconnect the USB-cable, use the paper-clip for 'RESET', try the Power button, for at least 5 seconds.

If everything mentioned in this section does not help, and nanonote still doesn't do anything, and the screen remains totally dark, do not despair. Proceed to the next section.

[edit] Complete Recovery and USB-Boot

Your NanoNote may appear to be bricked, but it can usually be recovered. This situation occurs, for example, when the u-boot, that is the basic boot software, can not be found or is corrupted. You need to start by writing a healthy u-boot back to the drive. The not-too-complicated method is outlined here:

  1. Make sure, that you have the xburst-tools installed on your host Linux system. You can test this by issuing the command usbboot in a terminal. If it says usbboot: command not found, install xburst-tools before proceeding.
  2. When usbboot says something like usbboot - Ingenic XBurst USB Boot Utility ... you're fine.
  3. Download the file openwrt-xburst-qi_lb60-u-boot.bin from the latest images. You might want to check its size: it should be around 500 kByte.

Now you need to make your NanoNote boot over a USB connection. This process is described on the USB BOOT mode page, with the hardware method most likely to be useful in this situation.

[edit] Reflash the u-boot
  1. Open a second terminal, cd to the directory to where you downloaded the openwrt-xburst-qi_lb60-u-boot.bin file earlier
  2. Boot your nanonote to USB using the command sudo usbboot -c "boot" in this second terminal
  3. You should see some lines flushing by, containing "Booted successfully! ... Configuring XBurst CPU succeeded."
  4. Now reflash the basic boot software, using sudo usbboot -c "boot;nprog 0 openwrt-xburst-qi_lb60-u-boot.bin 0 0 -n", where openwrt-xburst-qi_lb60-u-boot.bin is the file that you downloaded earlier.
  5. If you see something like "Checking 454656 bytes... no check! End at Page: 111", you've done it. The u-boot is back in place

Now you may unplug the nanonote, plug back the USB or battery, and the screen should show some lines of messages. From here on, you can reflash the nanonote as described in [this link].

[edit] For stubborn cases

If the USB-boot does really not work, chances are that the rubber button did fail to shorten properly. You might want to clean the 2 pins with some spirit, carefully, or some other mild detergent. If it still fails, the rough-tough method is to solder the pins together with a small soldering iron (8 watt). Once everything has been programmed, don't forget to remove the bridge.

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