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[HACK] Enable USB host mode (ie thumb drives) on the Xoom


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#21 aludal

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 02:42 AM

This was requested over at XDA as well, so I have my changes clearly listed here. If any of the kernel developers want to take what I've done and add them to their kernels, they are more than welcome to do so. That's probably the best solution.



I tried a USB webcam and a external USB sound card, and neither worked. Likely it's a problem with kernel drivers. Luckily thumb drive support seems to be built in and we just needed to "activate" it.

I actually considered a Nook Color several times, as its got a nice screen. But a 7 inch device is not what I want in a tablet - it's just too small a screen.

No USB host mode on the NC, I assume? If the kernel supports, I suppose the the ramdisk and vold config could be altered for thumb drive support.

Thank you, roebeet. Kernel support of USB Host is in the hands of CM7 devs for NC, but hopefully there are some applicable generic stanzas to utilize in our case. Naturally, plus your altered ramdisk and vold configs. USB cam could be splendid addition here, too.

As for 7" form factor, it's perfectly fine with its 169 dpi and portability/pocketability. My next tablet will be RIM BB Playbook with similar display, and I'm inclined to see ~10" screens more in netbooks. But it's just me who still likes his WPDN.
fineoils.blogspot.com or Fine Oils, I'm maroger there

#22 atomjack

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 12:16 AM

I tried this and my (wifi only) Xoom got stuck on the "Dual Core Technology" screen. Let it sit for several minutes, rebooted it several times, but it always got stuck. Almost thought I had bricked it, but I recovered it by rebooting and immediately hitting volume down, then using adb to reflash the boot.img that I used when i first rooted the device. Just in case anyone runs into this problem. Has anyone else had this?

#23 rds0811

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 08:10 AM

I tried this and my (wifi only) Xoom got stuck on the "Dual Core Technology" screen. Let it sit for several minutes, rebooted it several times, but it always got stuck. Almost thought I had bricked it, but I recovered it by rebooting and immediately hitting volume down, then using adb to reflash the boot.img that I used when i first rooted the device. Just in case anyone runs into this problem. Has anyone else had this?


I ran into the same issue when rooting my new Wifi-only Xoom, then I found out that the old root method doesn't work on the Wifi-only Xoom.

Here is the fix:

http://forum.xda-dev...d.php?t=1010568

Now how this will integrate with the USB host mode method show here, I don't know.

#24 atomjack

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 12:46 PM

I ran into the same issue when rooting my new Wifi-only Xoom, then I found out that the old root method doesn't work on the Wifi-only Xoom.

Here is the fix:

http://forum.xda-dev...d.php?t=1010568

Now how this will integrate with the USB host mode method show here, I don't know.

Yeah, those are the instructions I followed. Then I just used the OP's boot img but it got stuck. OP, got any ideas? You might want to update the OP and say it might not work for the WiFi Only version, and how to go about recovering if it gets stuck in the "Dual Core Technology" screen.

#25 JoosyJoose

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 01:56 AM

I am also having trouble with the wifi version.

i try to load the image and receive "error: cannot load rootboot.usbdisk.img"

I'm rooted and have the bootloader unlocked (obviously).

Any help?

#26 atomjack

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 03:13 PM

I am also having trouble with the wifi version.

i try to load the image and receive "error: cannot load rootboot.usbdisk.img"

I'm rooted and have the bootloader unlocked (obviously).

Any help?

I wouldn't try to flash the boot img on a WiFi only xoom, if I were you. Like I said, after I successfully flashed it, it was stuck on the "Dual Core Technology" screen. I seriously thought I might have bricked it. Luckily holding volume down when it first starts booting up loads up the bootloader, and from there you can use adb to reflash the proper boot img. I'd wait until roebeet sheds some light on how we might do it, or someone incorporates this hack into the kernel itself.

roebeet, any chance you might give us some details in how you constructed the boot.img that might help someone (me?) hack up a wifi only version?

#27 roebeet

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 04:15 PM

I wouldn't try to flash the boot img on a WiFi only xoom, if I were you. Like I said, after I successfully flashed it, it was stuck on the "Dual Core Technology" screen. I seriously thought I might have bricked it. Luckily holding volume down when it first starts booting up loads up the bootloader, and from there you can use adb to reflash the proper boot img. I'd wait until roebeet sheds some light on how we might do it, or someone incorporates this hack into the kernel itself.

roebeet, any chance you might give us some details in how you constructed the boot.img that might help someone (me?) hack up a wifi only version?


I actually have the details in my first post, at the bottom. The /etc/vold.fstab info we already know about. For the boot.img, I just added a few lines to the init.xxxx.rc in ramdisk (olympus and stingray as they seem to be the same), to create the mount point.

I haven't looked at the Wifi Xoom, but assuming there's a rooted boot,img out there (or will be in the future) I don't see any reason why these changes wouldn't work there. Is there a boot.img for the Wifi Xoom, yet?

EDIT: Someone would probably need to alter this, and test it out: http://forum.xda-dev...d.php?t=1017398

I assume the Wifi Xoom bootloader can be unlocked?

Edited by roebeet, 01 April 2011 - 04:21 PM.

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#28 atomjack

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 08:30 PM

I actually have the details in my first post, at the bottom. The /etc/vold.fstab info we already know about. For the boot.img, I just added a few lines to the init.xxxx.rc in ramdisk (olympus and stingray as they seem to be the same), to create the mount point.

I haven't looked at the Wifi Xoom, but assuming there's a rooted boot,img out there (or will be in the future) I don't see any reason why these changes wouldn't work there. Is there a boot.img for the Wifi Xoom, yet?

EDIT: Someone would probably need to alter this, and test it out: http://forum.xda-dev...d.php?t=1017398

I assume the Wifi Xoom bootloader can be unlocked?

Actually, I finally figured out how to extract the boot.img, and after looking at the one used for the WiFi xoom, it turns out they already included your changes to support this! I verified that the lines are in the vold.fstab and that /mnt/usbdisk exists, on my xoom.

I have one of those female to female usb converters that mogrith mentioned (http://www.cablewhol.../30u1-02400.htm), and it wouldn't work, either with my 16gb thumb drive nor my older 4gb one. Guess one of those cables is going to be required.

#29 merc0812

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 11:10 PM

stuck at error: cannot load rootboot.usbdisk.img. Has anyone ran into this issue? If so how do I fix it?

#30 roebeet

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 10:30 AM

Actually, I finally figured out how to extract the boot.img, and after looking at the one used for the WiFi xoom, it turns out they already included your changes to support this! I verified that the lines are in the vold.fstab and that /mnt/usbdisk exists, on my xoom.

I have one of those female to female usb converters that mogrith mentioned (http://www.cablewhol.../30u1-02400.htm), and it wouldn't work, either with my 16gb thumb drive nor my older 4gb one. Guess one of those cables is going to be required.


Thanks for the confirm on that! Good news - maybe that means the next 3G revision will get this automatically too!


stuck at error: cannot load rootboot.usbdisk.img. Has anyone ran into this issue? If so how do I fix it?


You'd need an OEM unlocked 3G Xoom, to use this. That's a pre-req.

Edited by roebeet, 02 April 2011 - 10:30 AM.

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#31 itkingdom

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 08:06 AM

Hi roebeet,

Thank you for the nice post.
Could you show us the instruction about creating rootboot.usbdisk.img
Assume that we have the original file, how to unpack, edit the kernel, and compile it?
Thank you so much~

#32 roebeet

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 11:48 PM

Hi roebeet,

Thank you for the nice post.
Could you show us the instruction about creating rootboot.usbdisk.img
Assume that we have the original file, how to unpack, edit the kernel, and compile it?
Thank you so much~


I unpack / repack using some standard tools. I actually made a post over in the NIH forums that explains the process, here: http://notioninkhack...php?f=66&t=2046 (fourth post down, and go to the boot.img section, specifically). Keep in mind that I wrote it with a Linux user in mind.

The references are also very helpful, to get you started.

Edited by roebeet, 07 April 2011 - 11:49 PM.

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#33 itkingdom

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 01:05 AM

I unpack / repack using some standard tools. I actually made a post over in the NIH forums that explains the process, here: http://notioninkhack...php?f=66&t=2046 (fourth post down, and go to the boot.img section, specifically). Keep in mind that I wrote it with a Linux user in mind.

The references are also very helpful, to get you started.


Thank you, very helpful post there, I'm Linux/mac user too :)

#34 pyromedic

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 11:01 AM

Actually, I finally figured out how to extract the boot.img, and after looking at the one used for the WiFi xoom, it turns out they already included your changes to support this! I verified that the lines are in the vold.fstab and that /mnt/usbdisk exists, on my xoom.

I have one of those female to female usb converters that mogrith mentioned (http://www.cablewhol.../30u1-02400.htm), and it wouldn't work, either with my 16gb thumb drive nor my older 4gb one. Guess one of those cables is going to be required.


@atomjack are you saying that the wifi only has usb hosting enabled as is out of the box with no unlock or root?

#35 atomjack

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 07:25 PM

@atomjack are you saying that the wifi only has usb hosting enabled as is out of the box with no unlock or root?

No, you need to root it. But the person who put together the boot disk image that you have to use in order to root the WiFi only version included roebeet's mod to support usb host mode. If you look at the original thread for rooting the WiFi only version, the original post shows two updates, the second of which enables usb host mode. All it says there is "USB mounting" so it's not very obvious that's what's meant.

So, basically, if you have the WiFi only version, and root it following the directions in the xda thread I linked, usb host mode will be enabled when you're done.

#36 lunknowl

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 08:21 PM

i had the tablet mid-7ad(dfp7002) with have the same function and otg cable, the only error is i cant boot the boot.img because they have different devices, can u upload the folder "usbdisk" or what inside the usbdisk.img, or can you show me how to hack usb host on my tablet, thanks

#37 AspenMan

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 03:37 PM

I use this USB host cable and it works great. Have tested it with my 750gb Oyen and 320gb WD Passport external HDD's, several usb flash drives (8-16gb), San disk USB memory card reader, and a USB keyboard.

For those having issues getting their Xoom to recognize USB storage devices here's what I've got and did to get it to work: I rooted and then flashed my XOOM (3.1) to the 2.6.36.4 Tiamat_Xoom-v1.4.4-Full_Throttle Kernel and was unable to get the USBMount to recognize drives or storage at first. I installed USB Mass Storage Watcher from the market (it's free) and it works awesome! Can mount any storage I want (NTFS, FAT16/32, HFS, HFS+, EXT2, ETX3, EXT4) with any capacity. I think this app will work with any rooted Xoom (or other devices). Under my Kernel my USB host is located under/usbOTG.

Hope this helps.

#38 dilip ramachandran

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 11:33 PM

Roebeet,

Excellent post -- thanks very much for sharing the work you've done on the xoom.

I want to tinker my xoom. From a hardware perspective. I want to build some custom hardware for the xoom. All my work has been on a PC, using a microcontroller, so a bit unsure as to how I would start with the Xoom as I have very little experience with Android and with the Xoom hardware. Can you give me a lead as to any information you have about use the microUSB port as an I/O interface?

If anyone else can help, that would be super too....

#39 Armers

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:44 PM

Cheers thanks! :good:

#40 sumitsharma

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 02:50 AM

Thanks for the information now my Motorola plays all types of music. Good post keep it up.