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03-03-2018, 02:57 AM   #1
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Bricked K-30

I have flashed the firmware on the K-30 few times. It worked well every time. I have been flashing computer boards, mobile phones and a few other electronic devices since long, so I am familiar with the basics: full loaded oem battery or corded power, let it time to write fully into the chipset.

This time, I left the K30 flash run as usual until the display blanks, waited a bit, and switched off/on the camera.
Noise and a bit different display than the usual, with some digits blinking:






that's all. No button, no dial is working. Not even the power on/off switch. Camera must be shut down by removing the battery.


Web search about undocumented features, debug process, rescue shortcuts did bring nothing, besides trying to hold down "Menu" and/or "info" and/or "+/-" when powering up.
Most electronic boards have some kind of way to access then, with a combination of keys and/or from a serial connection. But i can't find any documentation for this one.

So, I tried one of the tethering software. I run on BSD or Linux, so I went with pktriggercord (camera connected to PC with USD cable, SD card in the camera).
This sequence brings some result:
1) start pktriggercord (it starts trying to speak to the camera on the USB port).
2) power the camera while holding the "Menu" down

it brings an answer from the camera to pktriggercord, in a GUI it looks like this:





and the LCD shows the same semi-botched display than after booting without pktriggercord running. But this time some buttons work partially: LV, Info, and Menu
I can move into the menu until the configuration tab, but then it freezes just there! :




The idea is to get to the third entry where is the firmware update trigger but it stays frozen there, whatever combination of keys I try.

03-03-2018, 04:00 AM   #2
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What was the last firmware version you were using? Were you updating to V 1.06? Were you using a completely blank memory card that didnʻt have an earlier version still on it? Hereʻs the link for how to update firmware. Although youʻve done this before, you may have not done one of the steps, such as using a blank memory card.

Latest K-30 Firmware Update : Software Downloads | RICOH IMAGING

Sorry, Iʻm not familiar with pkTriggerCord. You may have to send your K-30 to be ʻfixedʻ. In Norway, Iʻd inquire with:
Focus Nordic Norway AS 47-67-173700 Rudssletta 97, N-1351 Rud
Camera & Videoteknikk AS 47-47-458884 Møllergata 4, 0179 Oslo
03-03-2018, 08:58 AM - 1 Like   #3
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You've seemed to downgraded from my "K-50 on K-30" firmware", right?
In this case, it's most likely all you need is to reset the camera settings to the factory defaults.
Please try to extract this archive: Yandex.Disk to the top level folder of your camera's SD card, insert the card in the camera, and don't close the card door, leave it open.
Turn the camera on, it should display the debug menu. On the first page of the menu, there should be "USR DAT CLEAR", use it to restore the camera settings to the factory defaults.

Last edited by ABel; 03-03-2018 at 09:08 AM.
03-03-2018, 09:29 AM - 1 Like   #4
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If the firmware on the camera is corrupted so that the flash/boot loader can't be initialized you won't be able to load any version of the firmware.

You might be able to get into the debug mode but you'll have to find instructions and the text files to do it. Ricehigh's blog has a link to a page (in simplified Chinese) that has the downloads for the text files but I can't figure out what the file sharing site wants (password is given on the link).

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: Debug Mode Access to All Pentax Bodies (including K-1)

03-03-2018, 11:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
What was the last firmware version you were using? Were you updating to V 1.06?
I was on 1.06, did flash the ABel tweaked 1.10 of the K50 from here Running K-50 firmware on K-30 - PentaxForums.com . I already flashed the K50 v1.10 couple days ago, then reverted to 1.06, so I could compare the two. Finally yesterday I decided to reflash the K50 v1.10 (wanted the ability to give custom names to the files on the SD). That's where it failed. Maybe I didn't wait long enough after the display turned off upon completion of the flash (when display tells "now loading").
Before that, when I bought the camera, it was on 1.01, and I flashed by steps until 1.06, All times went fine.

QuoteQuote:
Were you using a completely blank memory card that didnʻt have an earlier version still on it? Hereʻs the link for how to update firmware. Although youʻve done this before, you may have not done one of the steps, such as using a blank memory card.
the SD was empty, only the firmware bin file in it.


QuoteQuote:
You may have to send your K-30 to be ʻfixedʻ. In Norway, Iʻd inquire with:
Focus Nordic Norway AS 47-67-173700 Rudssletta 97, N-1351 Rud
Camera & Videoteknikk AS 47-47-458884 Møllergata 4, 0179 Oslo
thanks for the addresses. The one in Møllergt. I know of course, as they are also now the main specialized shop in Oslo also. Focus Nordic AS I think is a wholesaler but I can ring them. There's also a repairshop in Skøyen, and the guys with the small shop selling Pentax only in Hauketo/Nordstrand.





---------- Post added 03-03-18 at 11:59 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ABel Quote
You've seemed to downgraded from my "K-50 on K-30" firmware", right?
In this case, it's most likely all you need is to reset the camera settings to the factory defaults.
Please try to extract this archive: Yandex.Disk to the top level folder of your camera's SD card, insert the card in the camera, and don't close the card door, leave it open.
Turn the camera on, it should display the debug menu. On the first page of the menu, there should be "USR DAT CLEAR", use it to restore the camera settings to the factory defaults.
well, not exactly . A couple days ago I flashed your K50 1.10 bin. All good. Then I flash back to 1.06, as I wanted to check/compare some details, Yesterday I wanted to load again from 1.06 to your k50-1.10 and stay there (I like the customization of file names on the SD).

I have just tried your suggestion: blank SD and your modset files on it. Open card door, the camera doesn't power up. It does only after the card door is closed, but then nothing, just the botched info display as described above.

anyway thanks, help appreciated. And good to know the modset file name, I was looking exactly for that

If I have time I will try some forums or chat rooms of guys back pktether, pktriggercord and such, in order to have some clue about the USB communication with the board..

Last edited by landstrykere; 03-03-2018 at 11:49 AM.
03-03-2018, 08:21 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by landstrykere Quote
well, not exactly . A couple days ago I flashed your K50 1.10 bin. All good. Then I flash back to 1.06, as I wanted to check/compare some details, Yesterday I wanted to load again from 1.06 to your k50-1.10 and stay there (I like the customization of file names on the SD).

I have just tried your suggestion: blank SD and your modset files on it. Open card door, the camera doesn't power up. It does only after the card door is closed, but then nothing, just the botched info display as described above.
In the very first message of "Running K-50 firmware on K-30" thread, I've made this warning:
"A repeated "upgrading" to K-50 firmware would no longer be safe and most likely will lead to camera hangups - this can be fixed by cleaning the settings via debug menu. I'm ready to give the instructions in case anyone needs them."

This is a well-known, and expected behavior, and several users have experienced this hangup. On my camera, this resulted in strange settings displayed when the camera started, and pressing most of the buttons completely hanged it.

USR DAT CLEAR command is really the way to fix you problem, but since you've re-installed K-50 firmware, you'll need another modset file. I've put it in this archive.
03-03-2018, 09:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ABel Quote
In the very first message of "Running K-50 firmware on K-30" thread, I've made this warning:
"A repeated "upgrading" to K-50 firmware would no longer be safe and most likely will lead to camera hangups - this can be fixed by cleaning the settings via debug menu. I'm ready to give the instructions in case anyone needs them."

This is a well-known, and expected behavior, and several users have experienced this hangup. On my camera, this resulted in strange settings displayed when the camera started, and pressing most of the buttons completely hanged it.

USR DAT CLEAR command is really the way to fix you problem, but since you've re-installed K-50 firmware, you'll need another modset file. I've put it in this archive.

of course! i should have thought of the correct name for the modset file ... So yes it did work Now the K30 is back, with K50 features.
Just to illustrate for readers who may wonder about it, shots of:

the debug menu showing upon power on while holding "Menu" down with the SD door open:




and the output of USR DAT CLEAR :





then restart the camera, and configure initial settings as usual (language, date, time).


Thanks ABel, I owe you a beer !
03-04-2018, 03:49 PM   #8
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so, i was lucky, did in fact do nothing wrong, the k-30 wasn't actually bricked, but I keep reading about what to do in case of failed flashing. K-30 mainboards are sold on Ebay a hundred USD.
It's this:


the firmware is probably in only one EEPROM, without rescue secondary EEPROM, so in case of failed firmware update from the SD, only option would be to remove the EEPROM, burn the firmware on it with with an EEPROM programmer and re-solder it on the board, which is not trivial at all, or just replace the board.

03-04-2018, 04:19 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by landstrykere Quote
I was on 1.06, did flash the ABel tweaked 1.10 of the K50 from here Running K-50 firmware on K-30 - PentaxForums.com . I already flashed the K50 v1.10 couple days ago, then reverted to 1.06, so I could compare the two. Finally yesterday I decided to reflash the K50 v1.10 (wanted the ability to give custom names to the files on the SD). That's where it failed. Maybe I didn't wait long enough after the display turned off upon completion of the flash (when display tells "now loading").
Before that, when I bought the camera, it was on 1.01, and I flashed by steps until 1.06, All times went fine.
.
Just for the future, Landstrykere, you should have said all of this in your original post.

People aren't mind readers, it would have made clear to them that your situation was not theirs, and made diagnosis by others easier.

I can say that as an IT professional, this kind of thing personally irks me, but glad to see you're up and running!
03-04-2018, 04:30 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
your situation was not theirs, and made diagnosis by others easier.
btw. it seems there are not many modded Pentax firmwares around...

QuoteQuote:
glad to see you're up and running!
and it made me switch in an unexpected way from K-30 to K-5
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