How To Unbrick Your Amlogic AML8726-MX Series Tablet - v2.0 If I've helped you unbrick your device please consider a donation, even if it is small it will help! I will use the donations to pay the monthly file hosting fees and other development costs. These methods, including the 'deep brick' method, will work with every Amlogic AML8726-M Series tablet. However, not all tablets have official stock firmware releases, so if your tablet does not have a firmware release it becomes really difficult to unbrick it and you will have to experiment. I can confirm that you can unbrick the Ainol Crystal, Fire, Hero, Aurora 2 and Elf 2. I've had reports of unbricking the Venus, Mars and some other non-Ainol tablets with the same AML8726-M hardware. ---------------------------------------------------------- All unbricking files can be found here. Valkoz has been posting the newest version of the AML USB Burning Tool in this thread. Version 1.6.2.01.28 is also available in my unbricking MediaFire folder. Extra special thanks to tigger-gg for help with the new rescue images, help re-writing these instructions to be clearer and testing multiple unbricking methods on several devices. Also thanks Santjaga to for a shorter Russian Translation of the unbricking instructions found here. ---------------------------------------------------------- Definitions of different bricking types A "soft" brick - is when back light turns on but either nothing happens and it stays black or it shuts back down. It's also when you get a boot loop, it can't get past the splash screen or boot animation and you are unable to enter into the recovery. A "hard" brick - is when the back light does not turn on and it appears that your tablet is completely dead, but when you plug it into the computer and hold down the Power and Vol - buttons, the tablet shows up in your device manager as "M3-CHIP or M6-CHIP." A "deep" brick is when your tablet appears completely dead and is not recognized by the computer at all. NEW METHOD! - Creating a SD rescue card in Linux Christian Troy has posted a easy to follow tutorial on creating a rescue SD card in Linux and unbricking your tablet. It should work for all Amlogic based tablets and will work even if you are deep or hard bricked. See his thread here. Method One - SD Card Method for a "soft" brick. Using an SD card of 2GB or less is preferable. There are Batch 1 & 2 rescue images for use with the USB Image Tool that I've confirmed to be working on multiple SD cards and Crystals. If you are having trouble with those images, you can use the ELF2 image as a fallback since it works on both batches of Crystals. Step 1 Put a flash card in your computer. Right click the "USB Image Tool" and "Run as Administrator." If you are attempting to use a SD card larger than 2GB you can click on "Options" and check the "Ignore size checks..." and "Truncate oversize images..." boxes. If you are using an SD card of 2GB or less you do not need to check these options. Click on "Favorites --> Add," select your recovery image that you downloaded and then click on your SD card and click the "Restore" button. You might want to click on the name next to the image you just loaded and name it something you can remember in case you ever need to use it again. Check to make sure your SD card was re-sized to around 500MB instead of it's full capacity. Sometimes after using the software, the card will not show up in the computer and you need to take it out and put it back in. If you do not do this, the card will usually not work on the Crystal. The software seems to have a failure rate around 1 in 25 attempts, so start from the beginning if it doesn't work the first time. The "aml_autoscript" is a NAND scrubbing tool to format your internal memory. The "factory_update_param.aml" file contains the following commands: --wipe_data--wipe_cache--wipe_media--update_package=/sdcard/g06refe2-ota-eng.grady.wang.zipIf you are using a different firmware package and attempting to make your own recovery SD card, you need to open the "factory_update_param.aml" file and change the name of the .zip on the last line to match the firmware package you are flashing. In my mediafire account I've provided recovery images and zip packages with the same files in the recovery images for the Batch 1 and Batch 2 Crystals. Step 2 If your tablet is not off, hold down the Power button for 10-15 seconds. Remove the SD card from your computer and put it in your tablet. Hold down the Power and Vol - buttons until the screen turns on. Release the buttons as soon as the screen lights up. You'll see a different Android logo with a progress bar and a spinning object in its chest. If you see the normal green Android logo that says Ainol underneath it, hold down the Power button to power off the tablet and hold down the Power and Vol - buttons again. If that still does not work, when you see the normal green Android logo, continue to hold down the buttons. The screen will go black and then boot up again after a little while, then the normal green Android logo will be displayed again. Continue to hold the buttons and you will see alternative auto-flashing green Android logo. When the tablet is done auto-flashing it will turn off. Leave it off and remove the SD card quickly. If you don't remove the card in time, the tablet will boot back up and the auto-flashing will start again. Boot up your tablet and see if everything worked. If it didn't work try again, try the alternative methods below or move on to Step 3. If you are having trouble getting the firmware to auto-flash, darecky has reported that you can try holding down the Vol- button and then "pulsing" the Power button by pressing it every 0.5 seconds until the logo appears. Alternative Method 1 Use the elf2_0527.img to create your SD card using the same steps. Delete all the files on the SD card and replace them with the files in the zip package for your Crystal batch that I have provided. Complete the rest of the steps. Alternative Method 2 Use the elf2_0527.img to create your SD card using the same steps. Do not replace any files, use the card as it is. Complete the rest of the steps. This will install the ELF2 firmware on your Crystal and has worked for both Batch 1 and "deep" bricked Batch 3 Crystal's for me. It should also work on Batch 2 Crystals. Move on to Step 3 to replace the ELF2 firmware with official stock Crystal firmware. Step 3 This only works if the first method completed far enough to allow you into the Stock Recovery or if the Alternative Methods worked and you now need to install the correct firmware. Restore your SD card back to normal capacity with the SD Formatter software. This can take a long time, be patient. Choose the following options: - FORMAT TYPE -> FULL (Overwrite) - FORMAT SIZE ADJUSTMENT -> ON Download the Ainol Stock Recovery and your Stock Firmware package from here. Extract the Ainol Stock Recovery package and place the "u-boot.bin" and "uImage_recovery.recovery" in the root of your SD card. Extract the Stock Firmware zip file and place all the files in the root of your SD card. If the firmware package already contains "u-boot.bin" and/or "uImage_recovery" then you can replace the ones from the Ainol Stock Recovery package. You can also use these files from any firmware package if the ones in the Ainol Stock Recovery package do not work for you. Hold down the Power and Vol - buttons to enter the Stock Recovery. Flash your firmware package and reboot the tablet. If it worked, either plug your tablet into the computer and use USB mode or shut down your tablet and remove the SD card, then remove the "u-boot.bin" and "uImage_recovery" files from your SD card. Boot back into recovery and make sure that the firmware package correctly installed the Stock Recovery on your device. Your tablet is now back to it's original Factory Settings. Method Two - AML Flash and SD card for a "hard" brick. Do not try and use the "hard" brick method unless you are absolutely sure you have "hard" bricked your tablet. I have not tested the method myself yet but CXZ recommended mentioning that it might be easier to use the Deep Brick to SD Card Alternative before trying the AML Software. Scroll down to that section and attempt that method using a SD Rescue Card before trying to use the AML Flash package. AML released a low-level flash tool for flashing firmware to Ainol devices through a USB connection. However, the only AML flash package that Ainol has released is for the Ainol Fire, so we have to use some tricks to unbrick an Ainol Crystal using this method. Before we begin there are some system requirements and adjustments that need to be made. You must be using a real English version of Windows. If you have an English version with a different language setting it is sometimes possible to edit the "configure.ini" file in the AML USB Burn tool folder but it's better to use an English version. Always edit files like this with Notepad++ or an equivalent advanced text editing tool. Open up the file and change your language code. I do not know your language code so you will have to look it up if you don't know it. Valkoz has also posted a new version that claims to work on non-English version of windows, so you can try that here. [General]lanuage=de[Erase]enable=trueerasecmd="nand rom_protect off;nand scrub 0;poweroff" You may have trouble with your USB ports. Go to "Start Menu --> Right Click on Computer --> Manage" and then click on "Device Manager" and expand "Universal Serial Bus Controller." Check all your USB hubs by "Right Clicking" them and going to "Properties -> Power Management" and then un-checking the box that says "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power." If you know which hub you are using you can choose to only un-check the box for that hub. The AML software does not like some USB hubs, so if the software doesn't work at first, try different USB ports. I get better success on ports 3 and 4 on my computer. You should shut down as many background applications and close as many folders as you can before trying this method. Some programs will interfere with the software if you leave them open. You must have Administrator Privileges on your computer and run the software as an Administrator. The software will not work if you try and run it as a regular user or a guest user. Make sure you don't have an external SD card in your tablet. If you hang on any loading section, try going back, checking the "erase nand" button, running it to 100% and then starting over. Step 1 Plug your tablet into your computer using a USB cable and go to your Device Manager. You should see your device listed as "M3 Chip" or "M6 Chip." If you do not see your device listed it may be off. Hold down the Power and Home buttons to turn it on in a special mode for the AML Software. If that does not work and the device does not appear in the Device Manager then try to hold down the Power and Vol - buttons instead. If your tablet is still not recognized by the computer it is a "deep" brick and you will need to follow those instructions first before continuing on to the next step. Right click on your device, go to "Properties --> Driver --> Update Driver" then "Browse computer for driver software" and locate the folder with the "Windows 7 - World Cup Drivers" in it. This will install the drivers necessary to use the AML software. Although I've provided the Win7 64bit drivers in a zip file called "Crystal Drivers.zip," it looks like they are now included in the most recent version of the AML software in a folder called "AmlogicusbBurningdriver" along with drivers for WinXP. Your device should now show the World Cup Drivers instead of showing up as an M3/M6 chip. If in the device manager there is a yellow triangle and you get a "device can not start (Code 10)" error, just ignore it for now. Step 2 Right click on "ImageBurnTool.exe" in the AML Image Burn Tool folder and "Run as Administrator." Click on "Configure --> Import upgrade file" in the menu. You have a couple of choices for how to proceed next: You can use the "1212_AML_burn_recovery.zip" with any batch Crystal. I developed it to unbrick Batch 3 Crystal's but it will also unbrick Batch 1 and 2 Crystals. It will completely install an older version of my Crystal Clear ROM but you will not be able to boot into recovery. You can use the SD card method to auto-flash stock firmware though and also have the option of using ADB if you'd like. You can use the "AMLFLASH.zip" file. This is a slightly modified Ainol Fire zip and was the first way that I managed to unbrick a Batch 1 Crystal. This file was meant to fail before flashing the update.zip firmware packge. So this file will not complete to 100% but will configure your Crystal enough to use the SD Method to complete the unbricking process. You can use the "fire_official_0921_AMLF.zip" on any batch Crystal. When it is completed to 100% you will see the screen flash and some white lines will show up and then the screen will go dark. This is okay, you just need to proceed the SD card method to install the stock Crystal firmware over the Ainol Fire firmware. If you want to know more about the files in these zips, see the second post in my thread here. Step 3 Select the "Erase NAND" check box and click "Start." This will scrub all the internal memory and seems to be necessary, since I've tried running the tool without scrubbing the NAND and it failed too early. After the tool reaches 100% make sure to uncheck the "Erase NAND" button. Then hold down the Power and Home buttons to turn the device on again. The AML Image Burn Tool will run the config file and you'll see a read out of every command that is happening in the command prompt looking window. If you have an early failure between 0% and 8% then "Config -> Reset Port Match Info" and try again. Most of the time you do not have to stop and unplug the tablet in my experience but in case that doesn't work, unplug the tablet, press stop, reset the port, connect the tablet again and then hit the start button. If that doesn't work it is likely you do not have an English version of Windows and tigger-gg's trick of editing the location congig file didn't work for you. The newest version of the AML software is supposed to work on non-English version of Windows so make sure you have version 1.6.2.0128 or newer. If you get past 8% then ignore all error messages and let the process continue even if it appears to be stalled. It will often give an error message at around 8 0 % for example which can be ignored. The device will be recognized as a mass storage device with the name "Novo7Fire" and if you have Windows Auto-Play on, a window will pop up, close that Window. If you have never installed ADB drivers then the device may appear as a generic "Android Interface" in the Device Manager. If it does then install the ADB driver from the Crystal Drivers zip package. There are now two new ADB driver options in the unbricking folder. The Universal Naked Driver has been very successful. If you used choice 1 or 3 above, the tablet should flash to 100%. If you used choice 2 it should flash to 86%. If you get any warning, ignore them and just wait through the process. Even if you fail at as early as 8% you should be able to proceed with the SD card method on a lot of occasions, just unplug the tablet and follow the steps for the SD card method. Sometimes though you need to at least get to the point where it is recognized as mass storage. If the table is recognize as "Novo7Fire" then make sure to eject it and not just unplug the USB cable. DO NOT TRY TO BOOT UP THE TABLET YET! Hold down the power button for 10 seconds to turn it off. Proceed with the steps from the SD card method. Do not turn the tablet back on until you've reached Step 2 of the SD card method and place the external SD card with the auto-flash files into your tablet. If you used choices 1 or 3 above and they worked to 100%, you can turn the tablet on and off, experimenting with SD cards if you have a problem, as many times as you'd like. If you used choice 2 or you could not get the software to 100% with the other methods then you will most likely have one chance with the SD card to work. So if it doesn't work, you need to try another SD card image like the fallback ELF2 image and start the entire "hard" brick process over again from the beginning. ---------------------------------------------------------- Method Three - Hardware hack for the "deep" brick. I have not tested the method myself yet but CXZ recommended mentioning that it might be easier to use the Deep Brick to SD Card Alternative before trying the AML Software. Scroll down to that section and attempt that method using a SD Rescue Card before trying to use the AML Flash package. A "deep" brick can occur on the newer Batch 3 Crystal's with the 3.0.8-gcda87f3-dirty chengnan.tan@droid07-sz kernel when you try to flash the wrong compatibility patch. I have sucessfully unbricked a "deep" bricked Batch 3 Crystal using this method, followed by the "1212_AML_Burn_Test.zip" "hard" brick method and then the SD card method. After completion the Batch 3 Crystal will be converted to a Batch 2 Crystal and all Batch 2 Compatibility zips will work. Extra special thanks to NiKoLa_N, Schlosss, solsan, neDtheDeeJay, shurikk1977, cem4ik, Zguj, FerZ_174 who wrote up this guide for the Ainol Hero. Step 1 You can use credit card, guitar pick or other similar material object. Run it alongside the edge of the tablet where the screen meets the body, starting on the long side without buttons and ending at the short side with the inputs. Below you will find a video of me using a credit card to open the "deep" bricked Batch 3. [media] [/media] You should have the inside of your Crystal orientated like this and look for the Flash Memory chip. Here is a closer look at the area to the right of the battery where the Flash Memory chip is located. Step 2 At this point you should have the device plugged in and the AML software open. Have the Windows Device Manager open in another visible window and you should also be able to see if there is a Device change in the AML command prompt looking screen. On the right side of the chip there are a series of pins. Counting down from the top right hand corner you want to located the number 5 and 6 pins. Using a thumbtack or other similar metal object, bridge those two pins by creating a connection between them. While holding the thumbtack in place, press and hold the Power and Vol- buttons. The device may show up in the Device Manager as an M3/M6 chip at this point and as connected to a port in the AML software. You can remove the thumbtack and you should follow the "hard" brick instructions. If you've already installed the World Cup drivers then the computer should automatically recognize the device and use those drivers and the device will appear in the AML software. If you have an Ainol Fire or other tablet with two chips, you still bridge the 5/6 pins but first try it on the chip that is closer to the battery. If that does not work then try the chip that is closer to the edge of the tablet. When locating the pins, always make sure the text on the chip is facing the right direction and count down from the upper right hand side of the chip. It will not harm the device to try the 5/6 pins on both chips. If for any reason something goes wrong, you will have to bridge the number 5 and 6 pins again and start over from the beginning. If you get the device to at the very least be recognized as a mass storage device then you won't have to bridge the pins anymore and everything will work fine. Step 3 If you've successfully gotten the computer to recognize the device then you should proceed with the "hard" brick instructions. After completing the "hard" brick instructions you will need to follow the "soft" brick instructions for the SD card method. Deep Brick to SD Card Alternative Thanks to powman for this info, I will reformat it to be clearer when I get a chance: QuoteShare my steps to make my ELF2 come back At beginning, I use feiyu 4.22 rom runs good, but I want to try another rom, so I flash to Light ELF2.6.0 and ELF2 bricks, symptom as below 1. Never see backlight, 2. Never get into recover mode when hold down "-volume" button and press "power". 3. PC cannot see M6-chip when hold down “home” button and press “power”. I follow fuser’s [HOW TO] Unbrick your Ainol Crystal, short NAND flash pin 44-43 and push “power” button, I can see M6-chip, but always stops at stape2 when flash by AML USB tool, it looks like I need a USB flash rom for ELF2 but Ainol never release this kind of rom for ELF2. I almost give up and start to find another used ELF2 from ###########… there is a used ELF2 bid to 42 (crazy….) and I stop at 30, I don’t want to spend 4x USD to buy a used ELF2.. So I keep trying to unbrick my ELF2. I realize every time I short pin 44-43 and power up. SD socket pin1 =3.0V, when I push power button only, SD socket pin1 = 1.2V. It looks like AML8726 will try to read SD if NAND flash has problem. And I google some cpu will erase NAND flash if pin7-8 or pin8-9 short. And every time I short pin44-43+”power” button, measure SD socket pin1=3.0V then plug in USB cable. PC cannot see device…. That’s mean AML8726 already jump to another mode, not USB mode. Ok let’s try this. 1. Remove USB cable. 2. Prepare rescue SD and plug in 3. Short NAND pin7-8 + “power” button Waooo…. I can see green android!! But after 30 sec, screen becomes black again. Turn off and on, still no screen. It looks like AML8726 is trying to recover from SD but still fail, maybe something wrong on SD card. I try to copy feiyu 4.22 rom into SD and do it again. 1. Remove USB cable. 2. Prepare feiyu 4.22 rom SD and plug in 3. Short NAND pin7-8 + “power” button I can see green android, but also become black after writing something into system. But I realize every time power up, DDR power goes up to 1.5V for 1 sec then shut down and backlight turn on/off. It’s different than before and improves a lot. Then I try to get into recover mode by hold down "-volume" button and press "power"…. It works!!!!!!!!!! I can flash now! 2 wipes and update from SD, my ELF2 come back! Here is a pic of how powman is counting the pins: ---------------------------------------------------------- Common Problems. I can't get the ADB drivers to install correctly I can't teach you how to use your computer, so if you don't know how to uninstall or install windows drivers you'll have to spend some quality time with Google and then come back here. If you do know what you are doing and are still having problems with the ADB drivers, then try these "Universal Naked Drivers" on XDA might work. You may have to manually edit the android_winusb.inf file in the universal naked package and add some entries for you device. Copy the address from the device properties page under Details -> Hardware Ids (in the big drop down list) and make the entries for them by copying the generic Nexus format. File: android_winusb.inf Lines starting with Google were there already and the other lines are added. Quote[Google.NTx86] ; Ainol Hero (Dual Core) %GoogleNexusADBInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_18D1&PID_D001&MI_01 %GoogleNexusADBInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_18D1&PID_D001&REV_0231&MI_01 Quote[Google.NTamd64] ; Ainol Hero (Dual Core) %GoogleNexusADBInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_18D1&PID_D001&MI_01 %GoogleNexusADBInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_18D1&PID_D001&REV_0231&MI_01 I'm running Windows 8 or 8.1 and can't install drivers See this blog for instructions on how to temporarily disable your computers security and allow you to install the ADB drivers. ---------------------------------------------------------- This took me an insanely long time to put together, including taking the pictures and making the videos. I really hope that it helps you unbrick your device. Please take a minute to click the poll on the top of the thread. If you are in the U.S. and have tried everything but can't unbrick your device then send me a PM. For a limited time I will be excepting a limited number of bricked devices for repair as long as you pay for shipping. If you no longer want your Crystal or other Ainol device and would like to donate your device for development purposes, please let me know. If I've helped you unbrick your device please consider a donation, even if it is small it will help! I will use the donations to pay the monthly file hosting fees and other development costs.