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A10 totally bricked, please help!


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#1 Squirrel61

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 11:17 AM

Hi guys, I have an A10 tablet here which seems totally bricked. It's a LY-F1 tablet, but because I think the underlying problem is a common A10 related thing, I'm posting here and not in the LY-F1 thread.

With totally bricked, I mean that it even doesn't correctly firmware update mode anymore. This is a description of how I got the tablet this far:

When trying to reflash the firmware, something went wrong. The factory firmware came with the PhoenixUSBPro flash program, so I used this instead of the trusty old LiveSuit I normally use for A10 tablets. After installing and starting the PhoenixUSBPro program, I selected the keyfile and the image file and clicked the start button and waited for the green checkmark. Then I put the tablet in firmware update mode and connected it to the computer. However, nothing happened on the screen. I've used PhoenixUSBPro before on other tablets and normally there's a confirmation that a tablet is connected and a progress bar which indicates the update process, but nothing changed on the screen.

After waiting for some time, I disconnected the tablet, again with no reaction on the screen. I closed the PhoenixUSBPro and started LiveSuit, which I normally use to reflash A10 based tablets. LiveSuit recognized the firmware update mode, but also didn't do anything. After waiting for some time again, I disconnected the tablet. From that moment, it was dead. I used the reset button to exit firmware update mode. This is also something I've done many times before with other tablets and I always could restart firmware update mode again. On many occasions, when nothing had been written to the tablet, I also could push the reset button and normally restart the tablet in the old firmware on other tablets. But nothing worked on this LY-F1.

Now, when I try to start it, there's no reaction from the tablet and also not from the computer. I can still enter firmware update mode, but in this case the computer mentions an unrecognized USB device. When I look at the properties of the USB device, there is NO VID and PID for the device (where the firmware update mode should connect as VID_1f3a&PID_efe8). So to me it looks like the A10 processor boot code has been damaged somehow. As far as I know, this is impossible to do through the USB connection, so it looks like a hardware problem.

Does anybody know if it is possible to JTAG the processor bootcode, or is there another solution to this problem?
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#2 knet2020

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 01:22 PM

Hi guys, I have an A10 tablet here which seems totally bricked. It's a LY-F1 tablet, but because I think the underlying problem is a common A10 related thing, I'm posting here and not in the LY-F1 thread.

With totally bricked, I mean that it even doesn't correctly firmware update mode anymore. This is a description of how I got the tablet this far:

When trying to reflash the firmware, something went wrong. The factory firmware came with the PhoenixUSBPro flash program, so I used this instead of the trusty old LiveSuit I normally use for A10 tablets. After installing and starting the PhoenixUSBPro program, I selected the keyfile and the image file and clicked the start button and waited for the green checkmark. Then I put the tablet in firmware update mode and connected it to the computer. However, nothing happened on the screen. I've used PhoenixUSBPro before on other tablets and normally there's a confirmation that a tablet is connected and a progress bar which indicates the update process, but nothing changed on the screen.

After waiting for some time, I disconnected the tablet, again with no reaction on the screen. I closed the PhoenixUSBPro and started LiveSuit, which I normally use to reflash A10 based tablets. LiveSuit recognized the firmware update mode, but also didn't do anything. After waiting for some time again, I disconnected the tablet. From that moment, it was dead. I used the reset button to exit firmware update mode. This is also something I've done many times before with other tablets and I always could restart firmware update mode again. On many occasions, when nothing had been written to the tablet, I also could push the reset button and normally restart the tablet in the old firmware on other tablets. But nothing worked on this LY-F1.

Now, when I try to start it, there's no reaction from the tablet and also not from the computer. I can still enter firmware update mode, but in this case the computer mentions an unrecognized USB device. When I look at the properties of the USB device, there is NO VID and PID for the device (where the firmware update mode should connect as VID_1f3a&PID_efe8). So to me it looks like the A10 processor boot code has been damaged somehow. As far as I know, this is impossible to do through the USB connection, so it looks like a hardware problem.

Does anybody know if it is possible to JTAG the processor bootcode, or is there another solution to this problem?


Try using usbdeview clean out drivers and then hold power button for at least 10 seconds. This should also reset the power.
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#3 Squirrel61

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 03:05 PM

Thanks for your reply. I already removed the USB drivers and reinstalled, but that made no difference. I can use Livesuit or Phoenix on any other A10 tablet and it works, just this one has no reaction.

In the mean time, I discovered this page with detailed information about the A10 boot process. As the page explains, the first bootcode that is executed after power-on is the brom in the processor. And according to that page, it's impossible to change the brom. Also in the story, it says that if anything goes wrong in the boot process, the bootloader jumps to the FEL, which is the firmware update mode and is also part of the brom.

Looks like my processor is broken???
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#4 Squirrel61

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 11:34 AM

Update: somehow I got it working again! I deliberately let the battery totally drain by putting it in "unrecognized USB device mode", which should have been "USB firmware update mode" and letting it rest until I was pretty sure the battery should be flat. Then I charged it for some time and tried to re-enter the firmware update mode. And magically, all of a sudden it worked!

The best guess I can make is that somehow, the A10 had been messed up and needed to be out of power to reset (Yes, I tried both reset buttons, the one hidden behind the small peephole and the secret one that has no peephole at all but becomes available after opening the case. And that didn't restore the USB firmware update mode).

Case closed

Edited by Squirrel61, 24 July 2012 - 11:39 AM.

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#5 fabio24

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 08:14 AM

Update: somehow I got it working again! I deliberately let the battery totally drain by putting it in "unrecognized USB device mode", which should have been "USB firmware update mode" and letting it rest until I was pretty sure the battery should be flat. Then I charged it for some time and tried to re-enter the firmware update mode. And magically, all of a sudden it worked!

The best guess I can make is that somehow, the A10 had been messed up and needed to be out of power to reset (Yes, I tried both reset buttons, the one hidden behind the small peephole and the secret one that has no peephole at all but becomes available after opening the case. And that didn't restore the USB firmware update mode).

Case closed


Hello! I see you worked a lot with your tablet!!! Sorry could you suggest me something about this:
I have a all winner a8 cortex tablet, and one day it dind't start any more, I can only see the little android and stop. I tryed all, but I could not be able to see the tablet by usb, it install the tablet usb driver regulary but I never see the tablet!!! Please How I can boot automatically from SD and star the firmware upgrade!!! THank you very much!
FB

#6 Squirrel61

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 08:36 AM

Hi Fabio, I guess you mean you also have an A10 tablet, since afaik Allwinnner only produces the A10 and A13 processors. The A10 is a fork of the A8 cortex family.

I think you indeed need to reinstall the firmware. Android 4.0.x somehow seems to be selfdestroying sometimes, I've seen many tablets that all of a sudden don't start anymore, after normal use.

First, you have to find the correct firmware file for your tablet. Normally, you can find it on the site of the manufacturer, but many Chinese tablets don't have a manufacturer site.

A10 tablets can't be updated by sd card. That is, theoretically it should be possible, but I have never found an sd update. To update an A10, you need PhoenixUSBPro or Livesuit. I prefer Livesuit, since it's easier to use and more stable. Older versions of Livesuit only run reliable on XP 32-bits, but I've found a version which runs on all Windows versions, including 64-bits. Other OSses, like Linux or OSX are not supported.

Download Livesuit from here, unpack and run the Livesuitpack file. This extracts all files and drivers and tries to install the drivers. Then start the Livesuit.exe program that now has appeared. Click "No" in the window that appears. Then click on the top-left icon, browse to the firmware file you downloaded and open it. That is all you have to do on the PC for now.

Connect a USB cable to your PC but not yet to your tablet. Make sure your tablet is OFF! Now, press either the menu button, or if your tablet hasn't one, the Vol+ button and keep it pressed. Connect the USB cable to the tablet and quickly give a series of short presses on the power button. You can stop pressing when your computer plays the "USB device connected" sound, you can also release the menu/vol+ button now.

If it is the first time you connect the tablet to your PC in firmware update mode, you will now get the "new hardware wizard". Don't search on internet, let the computer search for drivers and accept everything, including "unsigned driver" messages. When the drivers have been isntalled correctly, you will get two new windows from Livesuit, which has automatically recognized your tablet by then. Answer "yes" to both questions and quietly wait until the progress bar has reached 100% and the "ok" window appears. Now you can unplug your tablet and restart it.

If you can't find a firmware for your device, take an arbitrary one. A10 devices can't be bricked by using the wrong firmware but it may result in touchscreen, camera, accelerometer and/or wifi not working. But at least, your tablet will boot again. After that, it should be possible to install Cyanogenmod 9 (found elsewhere in this forum), which makes it easier to get the hardware all working again.
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#7 dryster

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:40 AM

A10 tablets can't be updated by sd card. That is, theoretically it should be possible, but I have never found an sd update. To update an A10, you need PhoenixUSBPro or Livesuit. I prefer Livesuit, since it's easier to use and more stable. Older versions of Livesuit only run reliable on XP 32-bits, but I've found a version which runs on all Windows versions, including 64-bits. Other OSses, like Linux or OSX are not supported.


A10 tablets can be updated via ADB scripts and also can be updated from sd card by installing CWM.

If you take a look at Christian Troy's work on AOKP and CM9 you will see that the entire process for A10 updates is through CWM recovery.
Tablets past : Nationite Midnite. Witstech A81E : White Pandigital Novel : Zenithink ZT280 C71 M3-C71-1M : Blackberry Playbook : EV2 NEC Renesas Dual A9 Cortex : Zenithink ZT-180 v2 512mb 4gb : Telechips TCC8902 : Elocity A7+ Tegra : Ainol Novo 7 Tornados : Eken T01A A10 : Ampe A76 A13 : Aishuo A816 S5PV210 : HT SurBox 701 AML8726-M : iPad v1 : Kindle 4th GEN - currently still have the Eken T01A A10 the Kindle and the iPad. Have become a cord cutter over last 12 months, Roku, Apple TV, HTPC with ATSC/QAM and soon to test out the OUYA.

#8 lordscott

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 08:56 AM

Hello i try to install CWM Recovery following the instructions of Troy for installa CM9 but After entering the recovery and restart, without installing any rom only for test, the tablet is stuck on boot logo and does not want to go ahead. I tried to install the original firmware using the program livesuit but now gives me error 513 failed initialization,while up to yesterday update via livesuit went smoothly with no problems. Any suggestions?

ah I forgot to say that I unsoldered the battery but nothing that is always the same

Edited by lordscott, 04 August 2012 - 08:58 AM.


#9 Squirrel61

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 03:04 PM

Keep trying. A10 tablets are practically unbrickable, since the firmware flasher is part of the processors ROM memory (and thus impossible to change or corrupt). In my case, I found out however that it can be temporarily confused, causing Livesuit to fail. But if you try often enough, you should succeed.
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#10 lordscott

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 03:39 AM

Keep trying. A10 tablets are practically unbrickable, since the firmware flasher is part of the processors ROM memory (and thus impossible to change or corrupt). In my case, I found out however that it can be temporarily confused, causing Livesuit to fail. But if you try often enough, you should succeed.


thank you finally with livesuit I managed to reload the firmware and restart it

#11 veekae

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 11:34 AM

[quote name='Squirrel61' timestamp='1344110658' post='402627']
Keep trying. A10 tablets are practically unbrickable, since the firmware flasher is part of the processors ROM memory (and thus impossible to change or corrupt). In my case, I found out however that it can be temporarily confused, causing Livesuit to fail. But if you try often enough, you should succeed.
[/q
I have a variant of the allwinner a10 tb by the name xtouch x704 (http://xtouch.ae/plus/view.php?aid=16)
O tried to update the rom to 4.1, which i managed to do although without touch. I was supposed to run a compatibility pack which o couldnt reach in cwm recovery mode. Once in 4.1 i was using usb device to operate the tablet, but because of this i wasnt able to access the sdcard and without the usb mouse i couldnt operate the tab. This was before i thought about airdroid.
So i tried to reflash the old 4.0 rom through usbpro, which unfortunately failed and since then the tab is as good as dead.
I can connect it topc, whichrecognizes it as a usb device but neither usbpro nor livesuit recognize it. I cannot enter in recovery mode through volume and power key combo also.
Any help will be highly appreciated

#12 Squirrel61

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 03:39 PM

First thing you should do is drain the batterij. Reset it and turn it on (even if it doesn't boot and doesn't show anything on the screen), let it rest for at least one day. That should fully drain the battery. Then connect the charger without turning it on and charge it for at least 30 mins, longer is better. Disconnect and push the reset hole to make sure the tablet is off.

Now retry the flashing procedure with a correct firmware using LiveSuit. UsbPro does work, but is a disaster to use. LiveSuit is far more stable and user-friendly.
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#13 veekae

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 02:43 AM

First thing you should do is drain the batterij. Reset it and turn it on (even if it doesn't boot and doesn't show anything on the screen), let it rest for at least one day. That should fully drain the battery. Then connect the charger without turning it on and charge it for at least 30 mins, longer is better. Disconnect and push the reset hole to make sure the tablet is off.

Now retry the flashing procedure with a correct firmware using LiveSuit. UsbPro does work, but is a disaster to use. LiveSuit is far more stable and user-friendly.

Thanks.
The problem is i dont know whether the tablet is on, it doesnt show anything on the screen. whenever I connect it, the PC recognizes it as a USB device. so I dont know if the batteries are draining. If i long press the power button in the PC connection mode, after about three seconds it disappears from the devices list. So I am guessing it is turned off then. I will leave it aside for a week in the supposed on mode.
Thanks again

#14 Squirrel61

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 02:54 AM

Indeed, when a USB device appears when you connect the tablet to your computer, the tablet is on, even if the screen is still black.
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#15 veekae

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 09:36 AM

Indeed, when a USB device appears when you connect the tablet to your computer, the tablet is on, even if the screen is still black.

IT WORKED!!!!! IT WORKED!!!!!

THANKS A LOT!!!!!

My tablet is alive again...
:yahoo:

#16 uknown1001

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 04:56 AM

Hi, I'm new to this forum, Have been trying to find information for a few weeks. Wondering if anyone can help? I have a Flytouch 7 Allwinner A10. And the camera has stopped working :-(. I have been back to the guys I brought it from and they keep telling me o use Live suite. Which I've downloaded. I have followed the intruction by keeping my tablet off and then pressing the volume down key, then connecting tablet to pc by usb. once i've done that I press the power button. The only thing that happens for me is that i get a pop up windown from windows telling me i'm missing a driver. Can anyone please help?

#17 suffix

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 07:42 AM

Hi, I'm new to this forum, Have been trying to find information for a few weeks. Wondering if anyone can help? I have a Flytouch 7 Allwinner A10. And the camera has stopped working :-(. I have been back to the guys I brought it from and they keep telling me o use Live suite. Which I've downloaded. I have followed the intruction by keeping my tablet off and then pressing the volume down key, then connecting tablet to pc by usb. once i've done that I press the power button. The only thing that happens for me is that i get a pop up windown from windows telling me i'm missing a driver. Can anyone please help?

herpity derp the answer was 3 topics down http://www.slatedroi...nd-rooting-n10/

Edited by suffix, 31 August 2012 - 07:43 AM.


#18 bluecarbon

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 10:24 AM

Hi Fabio, I guess you mean you also have an A10 tablet, since afaik Allwinnner only produces the A10 and A13 processors. The A10 is a fork of the A8 cortex family.

I think you indeed need to reinstall the firmware. Android 4.0.x somehow seems to be selfdestroying sometimes, I've seen many tablets that all of a sudden don't start anymore, after normal use.

First, you have to find the correct firmware file for your tablet. Normally, you can find it on the site of the manufacturer, but many Chinese tablets don't have a manufacturer site.

A10 tablets can't be updated by sd card. That is, theoretically it should be possible, but I have never found an sd update. To update an A10, you need PhoenixUSBPro or Livesuit. I prefer Livesuit, since it's easier to use and more stable. Older versions of Livesuit only run reliable on XP 32-bits, but I've found a version which runs on all Windows versions, including 64-bits. Other OSses, like Linux or OSX are not supported.

Download Livesuit from here, unpack and run the Livesuitpack file. This extracts all files and drivers and tries to install the drivers. Then start the Livesuit.exe program that now has appeared. Click "No" in the window that appears. Then click on the top-left icon, browse to the firmware file you downloaded and open it. That is all you have to do on the PC for now.

Connect a USB cable to your PC but not yet to your tablet. Make sure your tablet is OFF! Now, press either the menu button, or if your tablet hasn't one, the Vol+ button and keep it pressed. Connect the USB cable to the tablet and quickly give a series of short presses on the power button. You can stop pressing when your computer plays the "USB device connected" sound, you can also release the menu/vol+ button now.

If it is the first time you connect the tablet to your PC in firmware update mode, you will now get the "new hardware wizard". Don't search on internet, let the computer search for drivers and accept everything, including "unsigned driver" messages. When the drivers have been isntalled correctly, you will get two new windows from Livesuit, which has automatically recognized your tablet by then. Answer "yes" to both questions and quietly wait until the progress bar has reached 100% and the "ok" window appears. Now you can unplug your tablet and restart it.

If you can't find a firmware for your device, take an arbitrary one. A10 devices can't be bricked by using the wrong firmware but it may result in touchscreen, camera, accelerometer and/or wifi not working. But at least, your tablet will boot again. After that, it should be possible to install Cyanogenmod 9 (found elsewhere in this forum), which makes it easier to get the hardware all working again.


I just wanted to add my thanks. I learned a lot from this post, and I was able to bring my tablet back from the dead, after formatting my system partition.

#19 sebasgl1

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:35 AM

squirrel can you explain all the steps and modes of the ly-f1, i have one bricked right now, i let the battery discharge for 3 days... but i dunno how to chargeit without power ot on,

#20 Squirrel61

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 12:57 PM

Just look at the post above yours, there the whole process is explained. If your tablet powers on as soon as you connect the USB cable, it's not bricked so it should accept a LiveSuit flash. Just make sure it's turned off and disconnected, start LiveSuit on your computer, keep one of the volume buttons pressed (or press both), connect the USB cable and immediately give quick presses on the power button (while still holding the volume button) until your computer beeps.
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