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03-08-2014, 10:37 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
Many phonemakers and video game companies says the same thing. Funny how home hackers most often can hook up to the memory components and re-flash the devices but repair facilities claims that it's impossible. It almost makes me think that they make a pile of money claiming to switch the motherboard while in reality they make a simple flash.
Yup. I haven't currently ROMed my One X, because I like the current android build that it has. But every other phone, including ones with supposedly locked bootloaders, I have rooted, ROMed & customized every which way.

03-08-2014, 10:58 PM   #32
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CRIS sent back my cam.and the housed old main board. So much for the conspiracy theory.
03-08-2014, 11:06 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
Funny how home hackers most often can hook up to the memory components and re-flash the devices but repair facilities claims that it's impossible.
In the profesional world, it's just cheaper to replace a board than to fault-find a defective board. For hackers labour costs don't count; so if one has time and some tools, one can go ahead. Nothing is lost if the excercise fails. If a service center would do it that way, you might end with a bill that's higher than the $300 or so. And if the board was really faulty, you end up paying that labour plus a new board. I'm sure you will be a happy camper when that happens to you
03-09-2014, 06:08 AM - 1 Like   #34
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@dansamy

To update the firmware means to replace the operating system including settings by a new one from a binary file on the SD card. This is usually done by a program which is copied from the existing firmware ROM to the processor RAM, and started.

From the moment on the flashing starts, everything on the chip is now unusable and just rubbish. The program in the RAM is now the only existing copy, till the flashing is successfully completed and a new version of the flashing program is now stored in the ROM.

If the flashing was not successful, the processor now will not find any executable program code any more at all. Even loading a flash program from a SD card is not possible, as the program code for getting access to the SD card is also gone. The only way to revive the ROM chip would be to put it into an external flash programmer device, which has all the needed routines built in. But to do this the chip would need to get disconnected from the mainboard. This would only be possible without destroying it in the factory of the mainboard manufacturer, and the complete procedure would probably be more expensive than a new mainboard.

For many years, the identical problem existed with mainboards of desktop computers. Since some time the manufacturers have (nearly) solved this problem. My mainboard ROM chip holds a complete copy of the original firmware, together with a flashing program, in a separate area of the chip which is not flashable. If a firmware update fails, there are special procedures to start a process which flashes the copy (usually firmware V 1.00). From then on, you can try again to update.

Obviously Pentax and most competitors were not willing or able to provide more than twice the ROM memory space for a complete firmware copy.

Rooting the Linux system of an Android phone or tablet has nothing to do with it. The OS providers have just scratched the admin ("root") rights for any user, and by this disabled (nearly) all possibilities to re-gain these rights or install new users. As in UNIX-like systems "everything is a file", hackers have found ways to circumnavigate these restrictions, and to modify the affected configuration files (which are plain text files anyway). This is not such a difficult task, as installation of many of the Apps need root rights anyway, so there still exist means to gain admin status; they are just hidden in the program code of installation routines.
This "rooting" just modifies some text files of the existing configuration, text files to which usually only the system itself has write access. Whereas completely replacing the operating system is equivalent to a ROM update, and only possible if the manufacturer has prepared possibilities to do it. Otherwise you would have to remove the chip and put it in an external flash programmer device. This device would have to "know" the chip exactly. If the hardware is a custom one, it may not be possible.

03-09-2014, 06:52 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by RKKS08 Quote
@dansamy

To update the firmware means to replace the operating system including settings by a new one from a binary file on the SD card. This is usually done by a program which is copied from the existing firmware ROM to the processor RAM, and started.

From the moment on the flashing starts, everything on the chip is now unusable and just rubbish. The program in the RAM is now the only existing copy, till the flashing is successfully completed and a new version of the flashing program is now stored in the ROM.

If the flashing was not successful, the processor now will not find any executable program code any more at all. Even loading a flash program from a SD card is not possible, as the program code for getting access to the SD card is also gone. The only way to revive the ROM chip would be to put it into an external flash programmer device, which has all the needed routines built in. But to do this the chip would need to get disconnected from the mainboard. This would only be possible without destroying it in the factory of the mainboard manufacturer, and the complete procedure would probably be more expensive than a new mainboard.

For many years, the identical problem existed with mainboards of desktop computers. Since some time the manufacturers have (nearly) solved this problem. My mainboard ROM chip holds a complete copy of the original firmware, together with a flashing program, in a separate area of the chip which is not flashable. If a firmware update fails, there are special procedures to start a process which flashes the copy (usually firmware V 1.00). From then on, you can try again to update.

Obviously Pentax and most competitors were not willing or able to provide more than twice the ROM memory space for a complete firmware copy.

Rooting the Linux system of an Android phone or tablet has nothing to do with it. The OS providers have just scratched the admin ("root") rights for any user, and by this disabled (nearly) all possibilities to re-gain these rights or install new users. As in UNIX-like systems "everything is a file", hackers have found ways to circumnavigate these restrictions, and to modify the affected configuration files (which are plain text files anyway). This is not such a difficult task, as installation of many of the Apps need root rights anyway, so there still exist means to gain admin status; they are just hidden in the program code of installation routines.
This "rooting" just modifies some text files of the existing configuration, text files to which usually only the system itself has write access. Whereas completely replacing the operating system is equivalent to a ROM update, and only possible if the manufacturer has prepared possibilities to do it. Otherwise you would have to remove the chip and put it in an external flash programmer device. This device would have to "know" the chip exactly. If the hardware is a custom one, it may not be possible.
Some of this I knew already.

I do think that for consumer protection making it as foolproof as possible makes sense, even if it does mean doubling your ROM capacity. Make it stupid simple to get it right back to stock.
03-11-2014, 05:28 PM   #36
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Anyone knows about if it is possible to transplant one good bord from a broken camera ?
Is there a way to get a good board and have an operation on a camera with a broken update ?
03-11-2014, 08:46 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
I'm interested how on earth does firmware upgrade cook a main board?

Kinda makes upgrading a possible scary option.
Nothing is cooked per se. During the upgrade the new firmware is written to a semipermanent memory chip. Every time the camera starts, even the instructions for the most basic of operations need to be read from this chip. During a firmware update the contents of the chip are cleared and new instruction sets written in from the update file on the SD card. If an update fails, there are no and/or corrupted instructions in the chip and the camera cannot boot up successfully. Camera are computers these days - quite possibly running a flavour of Linux

In a desktop computer, the equivalent problem would be a failed Bios update. No Bios = no ability to boot. Failed phone updates are commonly referred to as bricking the phone because the phone now has the all the functionality of a brick.

Replacing the circuit board is probably the quickest way of getting a chip loaded with fully functional firmware back into the camera, annoying as that is. To otherwise directly reprogram the chip would require direct and reliable access to all its connector pins which could potentially be physically impossible on a highly miniturised board.

---------- Post added 03-12-14 at 01:23 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by TomGarn Quote
Anyone knows about if it is possible to transplant one good bord from a broken camera ?
Is there a way to get a good board and have an operation on a camera with a broken update ?
I can't see why a board transplant wouldn't work provided the know how to do this was available. It would be a pretty major camera strip down I would imagine, and with care paid to avoidance of static electricity frying things.
If done in a paid workshop, the labour cost to strip down the donor camera might get close to the cost of a brand new board and there would of course be no warranty.
03-11-2014, 10:33 PM   #38
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I bricked my Q last year with a firmware update. The camera was returned to Japan by Pentax Australia. It was repaired and returned free of charge.

03-11-2014, 11:42 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by RKKS08 Quote
For many years, the identical problem existed with mainboards of desktop computers. Since some time the manufacturers have (nearly) solved this problem. My mainboard ROM chip holds a complete copy of the original firmware, together with a flashing program, in a separate area of the chip which is not flashable. If a firmware update fails, there are special procedures to start a process which flashes the copy (usually firmware V 1.00). From then on, you can try again to update.
You do not need a complete copy; just a loader that can read the card and flash the memory would be fine. It's an approach that's often used.
03-12-2014, 04:54 AM   #40
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Sorry no ...
Only chance ... someone collecting dead K-5s ... offering hardware board-transplantation
Please tell me if you read this thread now - and have heard of someone who does this.
03-18-2014, 02:00 PM   #41
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just curious has anyone thought of putting the modset for the debug in the sdcard and then look for a way inside the debug for a menu to allow for reflashing the rom . Alternatively use pktether for accessing debug
05-07-2014, 03:53 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Electric Eye Quote
...A k-30 would make a great paper weight also!!!
Not funny!

I just purchased a new K-30 (how long has it been out of production...

Sure 'nough; was running v1.0.0

First thing was to charge the battery, second was to update to 1.0.6

Without a hitch but I agree; Phones can be unbricked... Arm7 boards can be unbricked,

Why not a camera? Anything running upgradable firmware should be unbrickable by design!
05-08-2014, 02:17 AM - 1 Like   #43
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Ive said it before, don't update the firmware unless you have a good reason.


Lets say you have a 1 in 1000 chance of it failing, but you upgrade the firmware 5 times in its lifetime. This reduces your odds to 1 in 200 that it will kill your camera.


Compared to the Lottery whose odds are 1 in 20 million, that's almost a dead cert.


Your camera is a second hand item by the time your updating the firmware so it may only be worth around 300 dollars, and it costs 300 dollars to fix if it fails.


I don't see the sense in taking the risk.


If new firmware for your ford pickup was available for you to flash the ecu and it only gave you the ability to see your dashboard in Korean writing, but could render the pickup undriveable if it failed. What if when it failed it would cost you $6,000 to have it fixed.


Would you flash your ecu.


I wont be updating the firmware on my camera, ever. I bought it to take pictures. It works, it takes pictures. When the next firmware update comes out. will it let me take pictures? well it does that already.
07-01-2014, 04:14 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imageman Quote
Ive said it before, don't update the firmware unless you have a good reason.


Lets say you have a 1 in 1000 chance of it failing, but you upgrade the firmware 5 times in its lifetime. This reduces your odds to 1 in 200 that it will kill your camera.


Compared to the Lottery whose odds are 1 in 20 million, that's almost a dead cert.


Your camera is a second hand item by the time your updating the firmware so it may only be worth around 300 dollars, and it costs 300 dollars to fix if it fails.


I don't see the sense in taking the risk.


If new firmware for your ford pickup was available for you to flash the ecu and it only gave you the ability to see your dashboard in Korean writing, but could render the pickup undriveable if it failed. What if when it failed it would cost you $6,000 to have it fixed.


Would you flash your ecu.


I wont be updating the firmware on my camera, ever. I bought it to take pictures. It works, it takes pictures. When the next firmware update comes out. will it let me take pictures? well it does that already.
There's obviously a risk. Having said that, it's a much smaller risk than you propose. Many things require firmware updates or work better once a firmware update has been done. My K-5 is much more stable now than it was on the original firmware. At the end, it's your choice, but often firmware updates will give support to later accessories or will improve performance. You can elect to avail yourself of those improvements or you can elect to stick with that which works for you, unmolested!
07-01-2014, 05:02 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imageman Quote
Lets say you have a 1 in 1000 chance of it failing, but you upgrade the firmware 5 times in its lifetime. This reduces your odds to 1 in 200 that it will kill your camera.
No, they are independent events. The odds remain a 1 in a thousand of failure on any given trial.
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