Boot-Up/Factory Reset Problem

Discussion in 'Allwinner A10 Based' started by Bosco, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. Bosco

    Bosco Member

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    Hi.

    I desperately need some expert help to get my Son's Chinese A10 tablet (specs below) working normally again.

    I've spent several weeks trying to figure it out for myself but keep hitting brick walls.

    So the problem in short is this;

    a) Boot-up is taking over 5 mins (used to take less than a minute)

    b) Tablet is `factory resetting' every time it boots

    c) Cannot install (most) apps because tablet thinks its `out of space' even though there's barely anything on it.


    Also I've tried booting in Recovery Mode without success, even using the ADB Shell command.

    The tablet was rooted when I bought it and I have managed to install Root Explorer, although it gets wiped when I reboot.

    I'm thinking the firmware needs flashing using LiveSuite or something but I don't know where to obtain a compatible firmware IMG, or even if flashing is possible with the problems listed above.

    I'm reluctant to scrap it when it's just over a year old and appears to be running normally in all other respects but I'm out of my depth with Android and stumped what to do next.

    Can anyone please help me out?

    Many thanks.

    SPECS

    NATPC Knight 9.7"
    CPU: Allwinner A10,1.2 GHz - Model MID970
    GPU: Mali 400
    OS: Android 4.0.3
    RAM: 1GB DDR3
    Storage: 16GB
    Screen: 1024×768 Capacitive IPS
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  2. tpaine

    tpaine Senior Member

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    Have you tried a factory data reset thru settings/backup and reset ?

    Booting to recovery mode is pretty basic to tablet operation. Usually it involves some combination of vol (+ or -) and power. Sometimes the back button (if there is one). if it is vol+ and power, with the power off, press and hold the vol+ button. while holding this, press and hold the power button till the screeen turns on.

    Another way way you might get to recovery is by loading quickboot from the playstore, then select boot to recovery.

    Did you have ADB working prior to the problem?
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  3. Bosco

    Bosco Member

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    Hi tpaine.

    Yeah, I tried factory data reset through settings but it didn't fix it.

    I have an identical tablet to my Son's and to boot in recovery mode I hold down Vol+ and power. When I do this on my Son's tablet it simply does a normal boot albeit with the problems I mentioned above.

    I hadn't tried using ADB before the problems started but it seems to work fine at the moment. I managed to install ClockworkMod from the ADB shell window but of course when I rebooted to recovery it did a normal boot and reset/wiped everything.

    Other Android users who have experienced the exact same problem as me say it is caused by BusyBox. To fix it they've had to move BusyBox from `system\xbin' to system\bin' but on my Son's tablet BusyBox is in the correct place so back to square one.

    Here's a link to the thread I was reading;

    Factory reset after every restart, or shutdown.
     
  4. leeb

    leeb Member

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    So, YOU installed a busybox or it just came with one?

    If BOTH of the units are in fact the same, you might want to attempt copying the DATA partition to a file and then load it up on the broken one with ADB...
    you may need to 'df' to find out which device the data is on, then 'cat /dev/block/??? > filename-on-removable-sd'
    you would then 'cat filename > /dev/block/???' on the broken one. This will hopefully fix your problem.

    For that matter, you could do this procedure with the recovery partition too, and then possibly have a working recovery on the sick one...

    I had a similar issue with mine cuz I installed my preferred busybox not knowing it already had one (and not knowing the calamity it would cause)... and it hosed the startup too... plus anytime the charger was plugged in it would not show the charge progress but would attempt to boot.
    The original recovery (v3e) was far less than useful... and apparently wasn't even setup for this tablet! (this I have corrected myself) :rolleyes:
    Fortunately there was a LiveSuit(e) install package for my brand/board that was able to fix things.

    Will hope for the best! :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  5. tpaine

    tpaine Senior Member

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    As leeb mentioned, having 2 tabs can be a big help for you. Thru ADB you should be able to backup the good one and transfer to the other.

    Just curious what happens if you try an external micro-sd card?

    Also, from the adb shell, type df. What does the data partition show ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  6. Bosco

    Bosco Member

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    Hi leeb.

    No, I didn't install BusyBox myself, it was on there already. It wasn't listed under Apps though so I'm guessing it's part of the firmware?

    I typed `df' into Terminal Emulator and it returned a list of file systems;

    /dev
    /mnt/asec
    /mnt/obb
    /system
    /data
    /cache
    /mnt/extsd
    /mnt/sdcard
    /mnt/secure/asec

    When you say 'cat /dev/block/??? > filename-on-removable-sd' what replaces the question marks? (Sorry, I know this is a dumb question)

    Hi tpaine.

    Both tablets have external 32GB micro-sd cards which are working perfectly.
     
  7. tpaine

    tpaine Senior Member

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    From adb shell, type mount. this should give a clue as to what partition to use to fill in the ???. It differs with different tablets.
     
  8. Ricky405jr

    Ricky405jr Member

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    Isn't it better if he opened Terminal Emulator and type 'su' then do a 'busybox df -h'
    This will give you all the info you need.
     
  9. tpaine

    tpaine Senior Member

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    Yes, you can do that from terminal, but since he has to load the app each time, its easier to use ADB shell.

    So from ADB shell, type busybox df -h
    This may give you more info on your partitions.

    Since you have 2 tabs, compare the 2
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  10. leeb

    leeb Member

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    Yes... I keep forgetting about 'mount'. :rolleyes:

    That is the best place to find what devices are connected to system and data (and recovery)!
    (I say that because Ive not used the busybox version of df...)

    I suspect that YOUR recovery is as hobbled as mine originally was... but you might be lucky! :D

    The ??? are replaced by the device mounted as the filesystem... in this case, /data
    ... might be mmcblk0p-something, or mtdblk or mtdblock or somesuch... it depends upon the type of storage the tablet has and how the Linux subsystem accesses it...
    :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  11. Bosco

    Bosco Member

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    Hi guys.

    Things feel like they're coming together now. :)

    I typed `busybox df -h' and the /data partition is called `/dev/block/nande' which I'm guessing is partition 5, (of 9 on my particular device)?

    I've copied the data partition over to an ext-sd card but before I perform the data transfusion (LOL) I wanted to check one small detail. Does it matter that there are apps installed on the healthy tablet that won't be on the sick tablet? Or does overwriting the sick tablet's data partition mean it'll have an exact copy of the apps I'm running?
     
  12. Bosco

    Bosco Member

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    I spoke too soon. :(

    Just checked the partition names on the faulty tablet and the data partition doesn't show up, which I guess is the root of the problem, (hence it thinks there's zero storage space available).

    Is this a `mounting' problem? Can partitions be mounted manually using ADB?

    I read somewhere that sometimes `Nand chips get corrupted similar to a hard drive with bad sectors'. Does this sound likely and is it terminal?
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  13. vampirefo.

    vampirefo. Senior Member Developer

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    Mostly your data and cache partitions are corrupt, a factory reset in CWM usually fixes this.
     
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  14. Bosco

    Bosco Member

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    Hi vampirefo.

    That's good to know. :)

    I've just installed CWM (again ) on the faulty tablet using ADB. Installation was successful but when I tried to reboot to recovery mode, (vol+ and power), it just does a normal boot, (if you call 5 mins normal).

    I know the installation of CWM I'm using is ok because I put it on my identical tablet and it boots into recovery without problems.


    I've just tried typing `recovery' from the ADB Shell and got `Segmentation fault'. I looked up what this means and it said `..is when a program attempts to access a part of memory that cannot be accessed, or which the program is prohibited from accessing'.

    Feels like I'm in a catch-22 situation. Is there any way out?
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  15. Ricky405jr

    Ricky405jr Member

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    This is the proper way to boot into recovery from adb:

    adb shell

    su

    echo -n boot-recovery | busybox dd of=/dev/block/nandf count=1 conv=sync; sync; reboot
     

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