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N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

Advisor
Geordie_Bill
Posts: 10

N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

Hi,

 

I am an embedded engineer so fairly ok with the tech.

 

I have had my phone three days. It has lost the 32GB of memory and is relying upon a few MB to operate the OS but not enough for effective use.

 

Following posts on the 'net and Maemo forums, I have attempted to reflash the the phone using both:

 

RX-51_2009SE_3.2010.02-8.203.1_PR_COMBINED_203_ARM.bin

 

followed by:

 

RX-51_2009SE_1.2009.41-1.VANILLA_PR_EMMC_MR0_ARM.bin

 

I can get the FIASCO to flash but not the EMMC; I am using flasher-3.5 on a vista PC.

 

I get "error code 1" from the attempt to flash  the EMMC.

 

Help and advice please...I am still not certain that the is not something electrically faulty here too.

 

Is there some way of wiping the lot and starting again?

 

Advice please...

 

Thanks,

 

Bill

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Mobile Guru
Posts: 3,500

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

Are you rebooting between flashing the combined image and attempting to flash the vanilla image?

what other output do you see when you try to flash the emmc?

Remove the -R option from the flasher command line to prevent it from rebooting after flashing
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Mobile Guru
Posts: 3,500

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

Open an x term and run:

dmesg |grep -i emmc

You can find the | character by pressing the blue shift button then ctrl and finding it on the on screen symbol picker..

If you emmc has vanished, this could indicate a hardware failure
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Advisor
Geordie_Bill
Posts: 10

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

Hi,

 

The EMMC flash failed with the attached report.

 

nothing is reported from dmesg.

 

Bill

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Advisor
Geordie_Bill
Posts: 10

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

Just to update....the phone is fundamentally bricked, the RAM has dislodged from the board so can't be accessed.

 

Bill

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Mobile Guru
Posts: 3,500

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

Ahh.. cross posting whoops..

I've seen a few users (cooldoctor most recently) with devices with failed EMMC storage.. Cooldoctor's had partially failed, so when he returned it to Nokia then flashed the firmware and sent it back.. GREAT JOB THERE!!!

However, yours is really wrecked, so I'd send it back to them and get it repaired.. It's covered by the 1 year warranty and I'd be damned to let it go to waste!!
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Advisor
Geordie_Bill
Posts: 10

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

The phone was dropped after 3 days of ownership.


Nothing major but enough.


Nokia have looked at it and just returned it "Beyond Economic Repair".


So I need to find my own answer.


B.
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Counsellor
ichiemie
Posts: 132

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

does "phone-dropping" invalidates the warranty?..

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Professor
Mick_H1
Posts: 548

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

AFAIK (after reading the Nokia Limited Warranty) Accidental damage is not covered by Nokia. However, if you have it insured you could claim from that. Also (depending on where you live) check your household contents policy. If you've got extended cover, i.e office equipment etc. you may be able to submit a claim through them instead.

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Advisor
Geordie_Bill
Posts: 10

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

Thanks for the advice,

 

The device is covered on the household insurance which is good except that after the insurance excess is deducted I have £200 and a bricked phone. Better than nothing, so thanks to the insurance company but not enough to buy a new N900.

 

So...still up to me to get something running...see other post.

 

Bill

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Mobile Guru
Posts: 3,500

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

wellll.. I noticed someone had cloned their Maemo installation onto an SD card..

That might be useful.. I think you're going to be very hard pushed to use this normally in future, especially since I don't think you'll be able to install PR1.2.. but you might be able to get PR1.1.1 going..

I'll do some more digging..

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Professor
Mick_H1
Posts: 548

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

Depending on what your insurance company do, whether they want the handset after they pay out or not, I should think £200 is plenty enough for a repair job, surely.

 

Worth looking into IMO.

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Advisor
Geordie_Bill
Posts: 10

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

Agreed, can anybody PM me details of a decent repairer?

 

B.

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New Member
artash
Posts: 1

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

Hi there,

I had eMMC memory failure and was able to make it work with a 2GB micro sd card. My story was the following: after I've dropped the phone it started to reload after you switch it on..an infinite loop until you remove the battery. So I've taken the phone to Nokia service center and they promised to take a look, and gave an estimate of SGD80-150 to repair. After one week when I've called them they said that the problem is with motherboard and they cannot fix it, hence i took the phone back. However I've noticed that now the phone is loading, the only thing is that most of the applications fail to run due to "not enough memory" and also the eMMC 32Gb storage was not accessible. I believe nokia guys have tried to flash the latest version of firmware but failed to flash the eMMC image thus concluded that eMMC has failed and decided not to spend time anymore. However they've not provided any explanation and said that there's nothing that can be done, phone is simply unusable.

 

I've tried to flash the new firmware several times but the eMMC was failing all the time..just a side note here: on win xp it would not find the correct USB device, at least on my box. On windows7 it worked, and I've seen the real error message (don't remember the message text though). After googling the error message, I've realized the eMMC is physically broken and did not attempt to recover it anymore. My next steps were to move the swap files to a microSD card to overcome the "not enough" memory and make the phone usable..and here is how I did it:

I assume here that your system is running but you get the "not enough memory" error when running memory consuming applications, e.g. camera. I also assume that you have flashed the rootkit in r&d mode, so you have root access.

 

I've created two 1Gb partitions on my microsd card, one for the swap file and another one for phone storage:

put the micro sd card into the phone and execute the following as root:

 

sfdisk /dev/mmcblk1 << EOF

1,30000,c

30001,,82

 

 

EOF

 

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/mmcblk1p1 bs=512 count=1

 

this will create a 1Gb fat partition and the rest will be ext2 swap, if your microsd card is bigger then 2G, adjust accordingly. Normally I think 1Gb swap file shall be more then enough (the original swap file was 768m if I'm not mistaken)

 

Plug in the usb cable, enter mass storage mode and format the new drive with fat32. Make sure it's not formatting the whole micro sd card, shall be only the first partition (check the volume size, shall be around 1Gb and not 2Gb)

 

then type the following as root

 

mke2fs /dev/mmcblk1p2

mkswap /dev/mmcblk1p2

swapon /dev/mmcblk1p2

 

this will create a filesystem, create a swap file on it and change the system settings to use the swap file on that drive. You can check the status of your memory (including swap file usage) by typing "free". The swap file size shall not be zero at this point.

 

Now check your camera application, shall be working now. However you'll need to run the "swapon" command every time you restart your phone. Also you may notice that the phone is very slow when loading applications. You can tune this by setting the "swappiness". The following steps will make the "swapon" and swapiness be executed automatically on every startup:

 

create a new file in /etc/event.d folder:

vi /etc/event.d/startup-script

 

and put the following

---file starts here---------------------

start on started hildon-desktop

stop on starting shutdown

console none

service

 

script

 

swapon /dev/mmcblk1p2

echo 30 >/proc/sys/vm/swappiness

end script

 

---file ends here---------------------

 

This script will be executed automatically on each startup. It simply calls the swapon command and sets the swapiness to "30" (which is 100 by default). Now the applications shall run fast,at least not slower then on your original phone setup. You'll also have 1Gb of storage for your files accessible via file manager.

Please note you'll need to play with camera settings to make it save images and videos to microsd card (and not eMMC which is not available anymore)

 

Hope this helps,

Artash

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Sage
Posts: 263

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

If the RAM chip has physically dislodged itself from the board, a hot air station is all you need to get it back on. Its a fairly simple process, but would probably be very intimidating to someone who doesn't work with these tools everyday. 

 

I reckon just ask around in the industry, someone is bound to know someone else who will be able to do it for you.

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New Member
niyitaiw02
Posts: 2

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

[ Edited ]

Artash,

 

First to thank you on your post.

My N900 has no warranty and it started its troubles with the famous boo-loop which I was able to fix via flashing after the Nokia care Centre here returned it un-repaired.

 

The emmc has since disappeared, nothing I do seems able to bring it back. However there was an instant when I connected the device to my windos pc and the emmc contents propped up. I do not know excatly how that came about; I have since not been able to repeat that.

 

I tried out your instructions and that gave me a lot of hope because I can now use the N900. (Although I could not make it swap automatically at power up with the script).

 

I now crave to do the same thing with either an 8GB or 16Gb SD card that will give me a reasonable amount of memory on the N900.

 

Would appreciate if you would be able to advise by return.  

Regards,

 

Niyi, Nigeria

 

 

 

 

Moderator's Note: E-mail address was removed. It is unwise to publish personal contact information on a public forum.

 

 

 

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New Member
niyitaiw02
Posts: 2

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

Thanks for what you are doing.

 

My N900 is without warranty being grey importation to my country. I had the famous boot-loop and via threads I was able to flash the os and the phone is now ok but the emmc has vanished.

 

I now believe it is a hardware failure. Artash (see attached) suggests a method to use a miro SD in place of the emmc. I have tried this out with a 2 Gb and have a reasonably working N900. I toy with the idea of installing either an 8Gb or even the maximum 16Gb on this device and forget the 32Gb emmc altogether. I don't really care about the possible loss of performance (speedwise) that may result. Afterall this is a mobile device.

 

Could you be kind to give me the steps to installing a 16Gb micro SD to replace the emmc.

 

Regards,

 

Niyi. Nigeria

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Registered Member
rajitha
Posts: 1

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

hey i also have this memory problem with my n900and i cant make it work with a micro sd with this procedure.so plz some one give me a good explanation about doing it
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Mobile Overlord
aspergerguy
Posts: 10,000

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

@rajitha

 

What size microSD and which Windows OS are you using here?

Happy to have helped forum with a Support Ratio = 42.5

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New Member
goodness4411
Posts: 3

Re: N900 EMMC loss and difficulty re-flashing

please guys here
Update tutorial from artash to be converted with option:

8gb microsd, 4gb partition
16gb microsd, 4gb /8gb partition

I need it badly as i'm really newbie in maemo
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