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If my work has helped you and you'd like to donate, please do so here. btn_donate_pp_142x27.png
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Graphics by huckleberrypie

This is the easiest way to install a zip based ROM (like CM10.2, CM11 and Omni)! This a "one stop" method with mods like a big data partition. No more running out of room for apps. And there's more!

If you don't see your tablet listed below, please post on this topic and I'll try to help you get started. I also build compatibility packs for CM and Omni but you must have a SDK 3.2 rom for your device!

Please, read all this page! It will answer a lot of your questions!

Purposes of these roms:

1. Installing CM 10.2, 11, Omni or my own ROM(Spark only) OS for the first time: (Where it says "CM" below, it means one of the OS' I just listed or any zip based OS.)
2. Or for increasing your data partition size:

User friendly:

I, specifically, designed these ROMs to be an easy, one step, All-In-One solution. Also, these have helpful modifications you can't get with your stock ROM, then installing TWRP.

Main features:

1. TWRP (2.6 dev. by Christian Troy, 2.7.1 by Curt54) - There's no need to flash the stock rom and then install TWRP. It's an all-in-one package! Note: If the image file has v3 at the end, then it has 2.7.1.
2. Boot into TWRP, directly, with buttons (very important) - You do this by holding both, one of the top 3 keys and the "Power" key for 3 to 5 seconds, then release both! (Make sure you unplug the charger and USB first!) (For tablets with a reset button - you need to press it first then do the normal procedure, above.)

3. Backlight mod (v3.1 roms) - Lowest setting is dimmer than stock and highest is much brighter than stock.

4. Large Data partitions - Data partitions are larger than stock roms (2, 2.5, 3gb for Spark and non-Spark 3gb only) See note below!
5. First boot goes to TWRP - No need to use the buttons to get into TWRP, on the first boot.
6. Auto-wipe - Wipe(format) is needed before you can install CM. These roms automatically wipe Data, System, EMMC(internal SD) on the first boot!
7. SDK 3.2 roms (unless otherwise stated) - CM should have SDK 3.2 as a basis but some devices don't have them available so I've used the closest I can find.

Note: 3 Gb Data partition is the biggest it can be made! This is probably caused by a restriction in the master boot record or u-boot.

Beginners (Please read):

Partitions: There are 10 different partitions that the A31 chip needs for Android to work. These ROMs contain the master boot record, partitions and install all the needed files. (To make it easy to explain, I didn't list all partitions or put them in order)

1. Bootloader - Controls the boot process
2. Recovery(TWRP) - A basic operating system(linux) that lets you install, backup, restore and repair Android(CM) problems
3. Boot - Starting point for Android(CM)
4. System(CM) - Basic system files and programs(apps) - This area is blank in my roms, it's left for you to install CM with TWRP
5. Data - Apps you install with Google Play Store, your settings, cache, etc...
6. Internal SD(EMMC) - Storage for your files, video, etc...

Phoenixsuit writes the MBR and partitions according to information in the rom image file or ROM.

Note: Thanks to Christian Troy! He developed TWRP 2.6 and CM for the A31 chip. Without his work you wouldn't be reading this! (Please consider supporting his work!)

Phoenixsuit:

To flash(install) these roms, you must use Phoenixsuit software for Windows. (Linux users please contact me!)
If you haven't used this software before, you need to follow the detailed instructions carefully. I can't stress this enough!

Every week I help people with flashing issues, but most could do it themselves if they used these detailed instructions.

Note: It's almost impossible to brick(ruin) one of these devices. So don't freak out :shok: if you think you bricked it. There's always a way to recover it but you'll need to use Phoenixsuit to do it. So learn how to use it!

How to install:

1. Download ROM:

Download the ROM for your device(below) in the downloads section! Open the rar file and copy the ROM image file where you can find it.

2. Install Phoenixsuit:

First, you'll need to install Phoenixsuit. (Download version 1.06 english here. Win8 users read this first!)

Make sure the USB cable is not plugged into your tablet. Install Phoenixsuit on your Windows machine. The first time you open Phoenixsuit, it checks if there is a newer version, say yes. It should upgrade to 1.08, now you should be ready to start.

3. Flashing with Phoenixsuit:

Detailed instructions: (Most should use this!)

If you're not very familiar with Phoenixsuit then download the detailed instructions here. Better to be safe that sorry!

General instructions: (This doesn't have all the steps involved! It's very general for experienced users only, most should use the detailed instructions(above)!)

New installs:

Backup any files you have on the device or you will loose them! (Phoenixsuit will format everything except external SD)

If CM:

Download CM from the CM 11 or 10.2 topic. You need CM, Gapps and compatibility pack(for non-Spark tablets) and place them on your external SD.

If my Spark ROM:

Download my Spark ROM(Spark only) and place it on your external SD

Charge device to at least 50% and unplug charger. Very Important!
Use Phoenixsuit to flash the Starter ROM for your device.
If it doesn't boot on it's own, press the "power" key. It will boot into TWRP on the first boot and automatically wipe! (This is first boot only)

In TWRP, install CM and Gapps plus CM compatibility pack(non-Spark tablets)!
Reboot and done!

Only increasing your data partition:

Backup with TWRP to external SD (internal will be formatted)! (If you have apps on internal SD then you need to backup the "Android" folder or they will be lost! Copying all the files would be a good idea!)

Charge device to at least 50% and unplug charger. Very Important!
Use Phoenixsuit to flash the Starter ROM for your device.

If it doesn't boot on it's own, press the "power" key. It will boot into TWRP on the first boot and automatically wipe! (This is first boot only)

Restore the backup you made in TWRP

Reboot in to CM

(If needed) - Restore the files you copied from internal SD.

Note: If you can't install CM on the first boot use the buttons(above: main features #2) to boot into TWRP and continue.

Downloads:

Note1: All roms with v3 at the end, have TWRP 2.7.1!

Note2: v3.1 roms have TWRP 2.7.1 and the backlight mod!

Note3: If you have download problems with Mega go to mega.co.nz and install their download add-on for your browser!

Spark/Firewire Roms: Updated - 20140916

2GB v3.1.1 - This is large enough for most users!
2.5GB v3.1.1 - I use this one!
3GB v3.1.1

Roms for other devices: If it doesn't have "confirmed" then someone needs to try them and let me know. Then I'll add "confirmed", once I've been notified.

Onda:

v711s v1 SDK 3.2.1 3g - Unconfirmed
v712 v1 SDK 3.2.1 3g v3 - Unconfirmed

v812 v1-4 SDK 3.2.1 3g v3 - Unconfirmed
v812 v5 SDK 3.2.1 3g - Unconfirmed
v813 v1 SDK 3.2.1 3g - Confirmed here

v818mini v1 SDK 3.2.1 3g - Unconfirmed

v972 v1 SDK 3.2.1 3g - Confirmed here

v972 v1 SDK 3.3.1 3g v3.0.1- Unconfirmed

v972 v2 SDK 3.2.1 3g - Unconfirmed

v972 v3 SDK 3.2.1 3g v3.0.1 - Unconfirmed (use v2 comp pack)

v972 v3 SDK 3.3.1 3g v3.0.1 - Unconfirmed (use v2 comp pack)

v973 v1 SDK 3.2.1 3g - Unconfirmed

v973 v2 SDK 3.2.1 3g - Unconfirmed

Misc:

Archos80Platinum SDK 3.2 3g v3 - Confirmed

Aqprox APPTB103v2 SDK 3.2 3g v3.1 - Confirmed

Chuwi V99 SDK 3.2 3g v3 - Confirmed here
CMX Clanga 097 SDK 3.2 3g - Unconfirmed

Colorfly E708Q1 SDK 3.2 3g v3.1.1 - Confirmed

Excelvan ET1001 SDK 3.2 3g v3 - Confirmed
Freelander PD80 Wise SDK 3.2 3g - Unconfirmed

Genesis GT-1440 SDK 3.2 3g v3 - Confirmed

Joypad Q71 SDK 3.3 2g v3.0.1 - Confirmed by huckleberrypie

Mediacom SmartPad S4 (980) SDK 3.2 3g - Confirmed here
Nextway F9x V1 SDK 3.2 3g - Confirmed here
Nextway F9x V2 SDK 3.2 3g - Confirmed here

Ployer Momo20 au SDK 3.2 3g v3 (Majestic TAB-110)- Confirmed Updated - 20140916

Sunstech TAB97QC SDK 3.2 3g v3 - Confirmed Updated - 20140916

Telcast A10HD N9A3 SDK 3.2 3g v3.1 - Confirmed here
Telcast A10HD N9A4 SDK 3.2 3g v3.1 - Confirmed here

Special:

Iview 788TPC SDK 3.2 3g (Nobis NB07, DA 741QHD) - Confirmed

Full Roms: (Not for installing CM)

Onda v711s v3 Kit Kat 3g - Confirmed

My own compiled Spark ROM(not a repack!):

my own ROM

Stock Spark ROM(install just like CM):

Spark

Enjoy! :clapping:

If my work has helped you and you'd like to donate, please do so here. btn_donate_pp_142x27.png
 

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Have you tried if the 2,5 or 3 GB versions are able to reboot to recovery? The builds I've made for myself with 3 & 4 GB data partitions worked but recovery was not bootable. I've used official boot loader though, the one that has the ability to boot straight to recovery seems too different to official, do we know where it comes from?

About changing other partition sizes, IMO its not worthy messing with them just to save a few megabytes, apart from system of course.
Allwinner recommends all partitions to be exact multiples of 16 MiB for some reason.
About cache partition I think nowadays is not used for anything but ota updates that we dont have, by default all CM AOKP PA store dalvik cache in data, there is a build.prop config to put some/all of it on cache but either I don't understand how they or they don't apply to 4.3. In Galaxy S2 system apps dalvik go to cache partition which makes sense...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
...do we know where it comes from?
It comes from CT. It's used by others and it's just a slightly modified stock SDK3.2 bootloader with the boot to TWRP mod and the brightness mod. Nothing else! Also, I'm using a 2.5 part and mine boots into TWRP with no problems! I'm not sure why you having this problem but it may have to do with the sparse size being wrong on the images you use.

About changing other partition sizes, IMO its not worthy messing with them just to save a few megabytes, apart from system of course.
Allwinner recommends all partitions to be exact multiples of 16 MiB for some reason.
I'm not sure where you got the 16Mib from but..if you look in the Allwinner package you downloaded, you'll see that Allwinner uses this config. Look in ./pack/chips/sun6i/configs/android check out the sys_partiton.fex files and you'll see this config in all of them. So I'm pretty sure it's from Ainol not Allwinner.

You're right about it only saving a little so changing it back to stock Ainol is no big deal. Last night I mounted the bootloader partition and checked the size. The partition is 16m and the files were 11.3m so there's room to put more in there. My guess is that Ainol had some reason for making them bigger, the bootloader I can understand because they may want to put some custom graphics in there. But the MBR doesn't make a lot of sense, its only 64k so 8m should be enough.

About cache partition I think nowadays is not used for anything but ota updates that we dont have, by default all CM AOKP PA store dalvik cache in data, there is a build.prop config to put some/all of it on cache but either I don't understand how they or they don't apply to 4.3. In Galaxy S2 system apps dalvik go to cache partition which makes sense...
As you said, it doesn't seam to be used much. I've run some different apps and they don't seam to use it, they usually have their own cache in data or internal SD. So what about dalvik? Truth is, it can be anywhere you want...but it won't fit in cache. Unless we make it 1g then you end up with a bunch of waisted space. It's actually the same with putting it in data, you have waisted space!

So the best solution is what CT told me, do it like Samsung does! Have your data mixed with all your files in internal SD. Really the best use of space!
 
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As you said, it doesn't seam to be used much. I've run some different apps and they don't seam to use it, they usually have their own cache in data or internal SD. So what about dalvik? Truth is, it can be anywhere you want...but it won't fit in cache. Unless we make it 1g then you end up with a bunch of waisted space. It's actually the same with putting it in data, you have waisted space!
I think only dalvik-cache may be to cache partition, each app's private cache its in their private data location.
About dalvik, in other devices' CM builds I've seen /cache being used to store system apps dalvik, while user apps dalvik go to /data partition. This is not the case with this device, all dalvik goes to data.
There is this entry in build.prop that supposedly controls dalvik cache location:
dalvik.vm.dexopt-data-only=0/1
And paired with this one
dalvik.vm.dexopt-cache-only=0/1
But I tried changing them in both CM and PA and didnt have any effect, cache always go to /data...

IMHO the right partition sizes would be:

MBR:-------------- 0032 M (keep original size)
Bootloader:------- 0016 M (bootloader.img fits enough)
Env:-------------- 0016 M
Boot:------------- 0016 M
System:----------- 0768 / 640 Mb (I think most ROMs + gapp fit there)
Data:------------- 1024 / 2048 / 3072 / 4096 M
Misc:------------- 0016 M
Recovery:--------- 0016 M (Stock recovery img is 12,5M, TWRP img is 13 so it should fit)
Cache:------------ 0016 M (if we cant confirm is not used for anything)
Databk:----------- 0128 M (is this used for anything? It seems empty and unused...)
Internal Sd:------ rest (ideally rounded to 16Mib but dont know if posible...)

If anyone tries the 3 GiB version I would be interested to know if you are able to boot to recovery? I made some test system images with 2, 3 and 4 GBytes data partition and even though they booted and worked fine it was imposible to boot to recovery, neither using TWRP or even stock recovery...
 

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@Thorazine74
Great job on the translation! I tried several times but couldn't get it work.

Just to note:
When I posted OP I didn't notice a typo in the MBR and bootloader partition sizes. I did correct them today so I'm wondering if that is causing a misunderstanding.

The stock Ainol MBR is 16M and the numbers in the config file are in 512 blocks, so if we do the math then 512*32768=16777216, which is 16M. So stock is 16M and mine is 8M. The bootloader part was 32M and in mine is 16M.

The 16M units you translated are actually 8M and it's just an example. Like the partition name "USERFS2"! Also, if you look to the far right on the size line you'll see that it says "512" which is the block size. Because we've been trying to find out how to make the MBR, I know you've been look at some of the old A10/A20 stuff and the config file they use are in 1024 blocks. Why? I have no idea! But A31 sys_partition.fex is in 512 bit blocks, I assure you. If it wasn't, every partition I made would be twice the size I wanted and, of course, they aren't.

As to the contents of the MBR partition:
I think you're right about boot0 and boot1, more specifically, boot0_nand.bin and boot1_nand.fex. I agree, there's probably more in there so if you'd, please, install the 3g img and use "dd" to copy what's there. Their is a way to limit what it copies to 8M but I can't remember how. Use "man dd" or search it on the web, I'm sure you'll find it.

Plus, you can check to see if the 3g data partition lets you boot into TWRP. Then we'll all know. I've flashed the 2g and 2.5g already with no problem. And I've flashed my poor machine so many times in the last 3 weeks it's starting to glow! LOL!

Bootloader:
As I said before, the bootloader is exactly the same except for the changes you and I mentioned. Before I would use it, I compared every detail in CT's and Ainol's. I know you said you looked at it but I'd, respectful, ask you to look again!

In the stock sys_config.fex, the contents of most of the file are comments to tell what stuff is for, which can be very helpful but makes it hard to do a good comparison. So you should copy both some place, like I did, and first delete all the comments from the Ainol version, then check them side by side, as I did again today! Not because of you, but there's someone having battery problems on his v972 and so I was looking into it before I saw your replay.

What I did is use "bin2fex" to generate the sys_config.fex from CT's script.bin. I found that if they don't match then Phoenixsuit 1.07 give you an error and won't let you flash it. But 1.06 will!

Anyway, please, check the MBR. I think you got the right approach.
 
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@Thorazine74
Great job on the translation! I tried several times but couldn't get it work.

Just to note:
When I posted OP I didn't notice a typo in the MBR and bootloader partition sizes. I did correct them today so I'm wondering if that is causing a misunderstanding.

The stock Ainol MBR is 16M and the numbers in the config file are in 512 blocks, so if we do the math then 512*32768=16777216, which is 16M. So stock is 16M and mine is 8M. The bootloader part was 32M and in mine is 16M.

The 16M units you translated are actually 8M and it's just an example. Like the partition name "USERFS2"! Also, if you look to the far right on the size line you'll see that it says "512" which is the block size. Because we've been trying to find out how to make the MBR, I know you've been look at some of the old A10/A20 stuff and the config file they use are in 1024 blocks. Why? I have no idea! But A31 sys_partition.fex is in 512 bit blocks, I assure you. If it wasn't, every partition I made would be twice the size I wanted and, of course, they aren't.

As to the contents of the MBR partition:
I think you're right about boot0 and boot1, more specifically, boot0_nand.bin and boot1_nand.fex. I agree, there's probably more in there so if you'd, please, install the 3g img and use "dd" to copy what's there. Their is a way to limit what it copies to 8M but I can't remember how. Use "man dd" or search it on the web, I'm sure you'll find it.

Plus, you can check to see if the 3g data partition lets you boot into TWRP. Then we'll all know. I've flashed the 2g and 2.5g already with no problem. And I've flashed my poor machine so many times in the last 3 weeks it's starting to glow! LOL!

Bootloader:
As I said before, the bootloader is exactly the same except for the changes you and I mentioned. Before I would use it, I compared every detail in CT's and Ainol's. I know you said you looked at it but I'd, respectful, ask you to look again!

In the stock sys_config.fex, the contents of most of the file are comments to tell what stuff is for, which can be very helpful but makes it hard to do a good comparison. So you should copy both some place, like I did, and first delete all the comments from the Ainol version, then check them side by side, as I did again today! Not because of you, but there's someone having battery problems on his v972 and so I was looking into it before I saw your replay.

What I did is use "bin2fex" to generate the sys_config.fex from CT's script.bin. I found that if they don't match then Phoenixsuit 1.07 give you an error and won't let you flash it. But 1.06 will!

Anyway, please, check the MBR. I think you got the right approach.
I'm pretty sure MBR reserved size is 32 MBytes, not only it says so in sys_partition.fex
Code:
; ************************************************* ***<br />
; Mbr size in Kbyte units<br />
; ************************************************* ***<br />
[mbr]<br />
size = 32768<br />
but also if you look at sunxi_mbr.fex or dlinfo.fex from stock a31_ainol_novo906fc_sg_3.2_1.5_v1.img in a hex editor you will see the start block for bootloader.fex which is 0x00010000 or 65536 512-byte-sectors or 32768 Mb. Rest of the partitions are addresed in 512-byte blocks as you said.
I think we can't check or copy MBR area from live nand with dd because there is no block device for the whole nand (something like /dev/block/nand), I only see /dev/block/nanda, b, c... which are already partitions.
In any case I think its not really that important for this kind of device, if you are going to flash a new stock img your custom MBR would be overwritten anyway, I was thinking it would be safe because I come from devices like Samsung, that stock img rely on your current MBR or partition table, but for this thing as long as it boots and works fine it would be even ok to reduce MBR size.
I can't test your img at the moment, wife is already fed up or not being able to use the tablet, so I'll have to stop the flashing tests for a week or 2...
Regarding the script.bin, you are probably right, I just looked at the .bin comparison and saw many differences, but its surely comments or something like that.
I didnt know about that bin2fex, is it inside the SDK tools too?
 

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@Thorazin74

Ok, I see the "Kbye" now! This is nuts! How could they use 2 different standards (block sizes) in one config file? How could they do that?

I just compared both MBR hex values and they must be reading in reverse! Weird!

Mine: 008000
Standard: 000001

Ok! I officially have a hexache!


If you want to open the script.bin use this, the older one doesn't work all the time. You should try converting a sys_config.fex to bin and then back and look at the difference! It strips all the comments and changes some of the hex to decimal.

Oh! And don't worry about flashing your tablet. It's better to have peace in the house than a 3gb partition!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Can anyone suggest why when using Phoenixsuit to flash the ROM, the Spark just reboots to TWRP. I cannot seem to flash anything with Phoenixsuit...
Most likely you're not following the steps properly. It sounds like you're holding the power button, that's wrong! You need to press it about 10 times while still holding the "vol+". Look in the detailed instructions I put on the OP.

The tablet must be off! Even if the screen is blank it may be on! So hold the "power" button for about 10 sec. Often you'll hear a pop when it turns off.

The first time is always a little difficult but really it's not very hard. Look at this video on how to do it. I think you'll get it after watching!

If you need any more help we're all here!
 

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May the force be with you!

Great stuff! I used iron mod because it have the 2gb system partion. Now I switched back to cm which is obviously the better rom. Thx for making this possible!

p.s. during install I noticed that Phoenixsuit only shut down where it should reboot and start flashing. Of course iron mod was responsible for that behaviour. Flashed cm (normal.version) first just for flashing the enhanced bootloader. Works. Everything is fine now.
 

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Hi, not to ask a stupid question but can this be used on the Firewire also (black version of spark) or is it spark only? If so how can I increase the data partition size on the firewire?
I think Firewire and Spark are just marketing names, black and white devices seem to be identical (minus probably the touch panel) and you should be able to use this on your black Spark.
 

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If you want to open the script.bin use this, the older one doesn't work all the time. You should try converting a sys_config.fex to bin and then back and look at the difference! It strips all the comments and changes some of the hex to decimal.
You are right, I managed to build and compare the sunxi-tools and the differences are only the recovery key and lcd backlight. Its and LX bootloader though, it seems to work with black devices too, but I'm still unsure if I should be using that...
About the LCD patch, if I got that right, its increasing backlight intensity right? Because in my device I think backlight its too high...
 

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I tried to install all the 3 versions of ROMs (2, 2.5 and 3 GB partitions) but without success. In all cases the tablet froze at the android logo screen. I used the latest version of the Phoenix Suit v1.08 and the flashing went smoothly. But after booting it froze at the android logo in all the cases.

Later I flashed the Ainol stock ROM using the ROM file a31_ainol_novo906fc_3.2_1.1_v1.img successfully and it booted up without problem.

I purchased the Ainol Spark around the time of its first release.

Wonder why these ROMs are freezing at boot when other people managed to install them successfully.
Has there been there some kind of recent change in hardware? I have been looking for ways to extend the Data partition for sometime and thought that this would solve my problem. Don't know what went wrong.
 

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I tried to install all the 3 versions of ROMs (2, 2.5 and 3 GB partitions) but without success. In all cases the tablet froze at the android logo screen. I used the latest version of the Phoenix Suit v1.08 and the flashing went smoothly. But after booting it froze at the android logo in all the cases.

Later I flashed the Ainol stock ROM using the ROM file a31_ainol_novo906fc_3.2_1.1_v1.img successfully and it booted up without problem.

I purchased the Ainol Spark around the time of its first release.

Wonder why these ROMs are freezing at boot when other people managed to install them successfully.
Has there been there some kind of recent change in hardware? I have been looking for ways to extend the Data partition for sometime and thought that this would solve my problem. Don't know what went wrong.
The reason is, these ROMs have no OS. All they do is prepare your Spark for installing CM. Take another look at the OP, it explains how to do the install.

If you need it, there are detailed instructions.

If you need any more help, I check in several times a day.
 
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