PRS-950: can you unbrick it after an unsuccessful mod?
#1  gardenstate 11-28-2010, 10:28 AM
When I owed a PRS-505, it was quite easy to mod and use one of several methods to restore it from the dead if the screen became frozen or bricked.

Now with my new 950, I'm nervous in modding it with the neat firmware prepared by boroda (porkupan) and others.. url

If I were mod the unit and "brick" it, does anyone have a method to restore it with the original 950 firmware noted in this website?

Would I put the original firmware from this website on an SD card and try to restore the reader from it?


#2  kartu 11-28-2010, 02:35 PM
boroda (aka porkupan) has mentioned on his blog that 900s, unlike 600-s have "memory stick recovery" feature. The same probably goes for x50-s (except, obviously, 350)

But you better ask him (he has an acc here) about that.

#3  caribbean_spur 11-30-2010, 09:08 PM
I would love to have an answer to this question too. Thanks!

#4  650user 12-02-2010, 11:23 AM
I have 650 and I assume it's almost same as 950 OS.
I had had 600, and I often used to modify the firmware.
Whenever 600 was bricked, I could recovered it by connecting usb before restarting 600.

Now, I have 650, and my 650 was bricked after some failure of updating firmware. I did same way as 600 to recover it.
It does not work. 650 infinitely restart again and again.
Since it restart infinitely, you cannot use USB, and this means you cannot connect your 650 to computer to recover it.

I tried 'soft reset', 'hard reset', some other ways which used to be used in 505, 600. Nothing works.

After all, I send my 650 to Sony Repair Center.
They sent me a new 650 and some description paper.
On the description paper, they guy wrote they cannot repair it because Sony did not give them how they can repair in this problem yet.
So, this means 'Even' Sony does not have a way to repair it yet.

So, be careful.
I searched who experienced same thing as mine, and nobody could repair it yet.

#5  kartu 12-02-2010, 02:33 PM
Did you try boroda's (porkupan) recovery card?
600's are actually quite "brickable" unlike 650's

#6  porkupan 12-02-2010, 04:13 PM
So, this means 'Even' Sony does not have a way to repair it yet.
Sony is a big organization. Their repairmen are not going to be trying to figure out what's wrong with every reader that comes their way - it's not worth their time and effort. They have a "repair map" - a simple algorithm they follow to analyze the problems. When they see something they haven't encountered yet, the default action is to replace the whole unit.

Of course, every hardware or firmware engineer knows that your reader is not totally dead. Its flash can be re-burned from scratch with the proper equipment, and it can be up and running in no time. It's just Sony doesn't know how it happened that your reader got into this state, and you probably didn't tell them that you f-ed it up all on your own. So they assume there is something wrong with your hardware, and they opted for the default option.

If the rootfs is not absent on the reader, but is totally dead/broken, there isn't much one can do other than reflash the reader. There may be a way to force the reader into the recovery mode (the bootloader sources seem to indicate that certain register values are examined for that purpose):
// check GPIO3_0 or GPIO3_30 is High
// return 1 if condition is true, 0 if condition is false
static int is_recovery_boot(void)
{	unsigned long ulPadStatus;	int iRet = 0;	ulPadStatus = readl( 0x53FA4008 );	if ( (ulPadStatus & 0x00000001) == 0 )	{	//mxc_uart_putstring("Jig port is Low.\n");	iRet = 1;	}	else if ( ulPadStatus & 0x40000000 )	{	//mxc_uart_putstring("LogOut port is High.\n");	iRet = 1;	}	return iRet;
To read the recovery update from a diagnostic card the reader must be able to boot into some valid state (requires a working rootfs with init scripts).

So, to answer your question on how brickable are the x50 readers. They can be totally killed, if you absolutely don't know what you are doing. If you follow the instructions and use verified working images the bricking is highly unlikely.

#7  650user 12-02-2010, 07:10 PM
Quote porkupan
There may be a way to force the reader into the recovery mode
Sorry for any confusion.
What I meant was Sony repair center seems not to have a manual for repairing it in this situation. I did not mean Sony cannot repair it.(but actually I mis-typed 'Sony' instead of 'Sony Repair Center' by mistake:-)

I hope someone finds out the recovery mode so that we can update firmware without worry.

#8  650user 12-02-2010, 07:22 PM
Quote kartu
Did you try boroda's (porkupan) recovery card?
600's are actually quite "brickable" unlike 650's
I read someone had a same problem as mine, and some guy replied to him that he can make a recovery card, but not giving how he can make a recovery card.
I tried to find where the recovery card is, but I could not. So I could not try it.

Now, I received a new 650 from Sony, so not a problem anymore.
I hope someone finds out 'recovery mode'.

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