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HELPPP dead MP900

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bsaunder
bsaunder Page Icon Posted 2006-06-13 2:35 PM
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(sorry for the duplicate post)

I killed my Mobilepro 900...my brand new MP900 that I recieved on Friday...I killed on Monday.

thought running cyace on it would be fun...

now all i get is the NEC bootloader splash, then black screen of death...

yes Ive tried an overnight hard reset...no luck

anyone know how to interact with the bootloader?

anyone know how to reflash?

anyone wanna sell me the 900 to 900c upgrade?

anyone wanna shoot me and just put me outta my misery?

Bill
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2006-06-13 3:55 PM
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what did you do exactly?

what is cyace?


edit: ah i see now. you tried to run linux on it? what does cyace do? does it touch the flash in any way?
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2006-06-13 4:00 PM
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Shouldn't a hard reset solve this?

EDIT: Should've read bsaunder's first post more thoroughly. (Duh!)

Edited by CE Geek 2006-06-13 4:25 PM
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bsaunder
bsaunder Page Icon Posted 2006-06-13 4:10 PM
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From the web:
A Windows CE bootloader derived from pbsdboot by Bradley D. LaRonde (bard@ltc.com)
http://www.linux-vr.org/booting.html
He says: "There are at least a couple of Windows CE boot loaders them out there. I recommend the newest one, affectionately named CyaCE. :-) Steven Hill and I made it based on pbsdboot (see below). It has a nice interface, and all the configuration is done in a plain-text config file, cyacecfg.txt. It will also open the serial port for you, so you don't have to use the serial console tip mentioned below. You can get it from my ftp site at ftp://ftp.ltc.com/."

http://handhelds.org/download/projects/cyace/cyace-arm.zip

It runs but unfortunately renders my MP900 dead. DO NOT RUN THIS PROGRAM.
(that same directory has source code for it available)

These programs are supposed to just erase the RAM not the flash. They erase the RAM, load linux into RAM, and start running it...

Bill
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BrianD
BrianD Page Icon Posted 2006-06-13 4:11 PM
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bsaunder - 2006-06-13 8:35 PM

I killed my Mobilepro 900...
thought running cyace on it would be fun...

now all i get is the NEC bootloader splash, then black screen of death...


Edited here: [What is cyace and how did you install it? If, as I understand, it is a Linux version, you probably installed a bootloader on the internal disk (with the Linux kernel on a flash card). What is strange is that a hard-reset doesn't solve your problem.] ...OK, this point is now clear because of a post sent just when I was completing mine...

As far as I know, the 900 has flash ROM. What I don't know is whether "flash ROM" refers to the whole ROM where Windows CE resides, or to a special onboard ROM for data backup (as on a 790). In the former case, you have probably erased/modified the flash ROM, destroying the OS. Nevertheless, surely there is some tool to reflash the ROM again to its original content.
Maybe with a file on a flash card, as on the Psion 5mx PRO.

What does the MP900 manual say?


Edited by BrianD 2006-06-13 4:17 PM
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bsaunder
bsaunder Page Icon Posted 2006-06-13 4:21 PM
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No manual...bought it used from Thaddeous Computing (nice peiople).

As far as I can find on the net...there is no ROM image available.

The NEC guy said "we've never release a ROM for this other than the CE.NET upgrade which is now unavailable" and "send it back to us and we'll repair it for $40/hour".

So unless someone knows a trick to backup the ROM then reflash it and is willing to send me a copy of their 900 ROM, it looks like I'll be paying NEC to fix it.

As you said "surely" there must be a ROM tool for the MobilePro 900 and 900c...

Anyone?
Bill
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2006-06-13 4:23 PM
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the 5mx pro has no rom other than the bootloader that looks for the image when you start the psion after a hard reset.. the OS gets loaded into ram.

flash ROM = flash ROM it has two parts on the 900: one is the user accessible part, like on the 790, but 32 mb. the other part is where the OS is stored.

but isn't cyace supposed to just erase the RAM? could it see the ROM as RAM?

the user manual won't help, and nec never released tools for reflashing initiated from another machine via cable, etc. even though the nec bootloader supports flashing through cable or even ethernet with a ne2000 card, nec only sold the 900c upgrade which has to be run by the user from a CF card.

i don't know if the nec 900 with a damaged OS (being unable to boot so that you can start the upgrade exe manually) can look for an OS in the CF slot, or not. previous experiences suggest not but who knows... we can try.
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2006-06-13 4:25 PM
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ah i see your reply bsaunder so nec is really willing to repair? for 40$ a hour? a flash doesnt take more than 5 mins.. or would they have to change the motherboard?
i didn't know nec was still willing to do this!! so if the upgrade won't start from the CF slot "automatically" you still have some hope with nec.. anyway send me a PM.
oh and of course we could try flashing in a hpc2000 rom that was backed up from another 900... i have no idea how reliably that would work. but we could use the ce.net upgrade.exe to flash it in, i guess.
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BrianD
BrianD Page Icon Posted 2006-06-13 4:39 PM
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cmonex - 2006-06-13 10:23 PM

the 5mx pro has no rom other than the bootloader that looks for the image when you start the psion after a hard reset.. the OS gets loaded into ram.


Yes yes, true.
But, precision for precision, I have never written "explicitely" that the 5mx PRO stores the OS image in ROM, only that it loads it from a CF.
You have just inferred it from the previous sentence (which is not very precise, I admit )

I am kidding, of course, but it always strucks me how you are able to put things in the proper context... sometimes much better than the original author.
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BrianD
BrianD Page Icon Posted 2006-06-13 4:46 PM
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cmonex - 2006-06-13 10:25 PM

oh and of course we could try flashing in a hpc2000 rom that was backed up from another 900... i have no idea how reliably that would work. but we could use the ce.net upgrade.exe to flash it in, i guess.


Just an idea: since the MP900 has an USB port, you could maybe access the flash ROM with Linux, image it with dd, and restore the image on the dead MP900 by inverting the previous steps.
At least it costs nothing to check whether the flash ROM can be read from Linux.

Well, it is just an idea... maybe a silly idea...
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2006-06-13 5:02 PM
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hum, i'm not very well experienced with linux (seems you are ), how do you mean this usb port thing? what is dd?
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BrianD
BrianD Page Icon Posted 2006-06-13 5:47 PM
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cmonex - 2006-06-13 11:02 PM

hum, i'm not very well experienced with linux (seems you are ), how do you mean this usb port thing? what is dd?



dd is a binary copy command. You can use to image a disk partition to a file (or the reverse), the backup/restore the mbr... and for many more things. Piped with gzip/bzip, makes for a disk imaging tool at no cost.

OK, let's try to do something simple even in this Windows-centric world

First step:

-- Get a Live Linux distribution (Knoppix is the best for this job).
-- Let it boot until you get into the GUI.
-- Press CTRL+ALT+F2 to go to a text console (visually more or less like the old DOS but -- I cannot avoid to say -- orders of magnitude more powerful).
-- Connect the MP900 to an USB port. After some seconds you should see some messages scrolling on the screen, saying more or less that there is a new unit connected to the USB port. There should also be messages about /dev/sda (or /dev/sdX, with X= a letter).
-- Post the /dev/sdX-related messages here (sorry, if you have a router Linux probably is able to auto-configure the network for you, so you can post from Linux itself, but I cannot tell you here how to copy the output from the console, so you should copy it by hand).

If you don't see anything on the console when you connect the MP900, you should first give the following commands:
$ su passwd
<enter any password>
$ su
to become root and THEN connect the MP900.

I hope to remember everything well: I am on a trip and I only have my beloved iBook with me, so I cannot test what I write.
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Rich Hawley Page Icon Posted 2006-06-13 6:20 PM
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The weird thing is that he is getting the bootloader screen. It just freezes from that point on like it is trying to load something that doesn't exist. All of those things are in the area where us users are not supposed to have access to. If it were in the user area, then a hard reset should have erased it all.

This linux thing, was it installed on a cf card or to the main user memory area? Was it an actual attempt to reprogram the rom memory area where we are not supposed to play?

How do other machines manually enter the bootloader software? Is that a device specfic thing or an HPC 2000 thing?

Rich
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790HPC
790HPC Page Icon Posted 2006-06-13 6:38 PM
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I had this problem once with my 790 when I was swapping ROM's and RAM's between a couple of devices. Mine would just hang indefinitly at the MobilePro splash screen. I tried soft then hard reset and nothing. Thought I was out of luck. Then I pulled the ROM out and let it sit for a while to discharge backup battery. I put the ROM back in and replaced the battery and it worked. Everything I've read about cyaCE makes it seem like it couldn't mount the ROM even if it wanted to.
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2006-06-13 6:40 PM
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no, the cyace isn't supposed to reprogram flash.

entering bootloader mode: it is a device specific thing.

i guess he has the bootloader intact as in for example SABOOT.NB0 that's a few hundred K sized.. that's the bootloader.. the OS image is different from this. and this bootloader is supposed to be able to upload an OS image even over ethernet with a ne2000 card. but how...? that's the question.
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