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Amlogic USB Burning Tool Still Sucks in 2016

[Update November 2016: If you don’t like USB Burning Tool or don’t have the necessary USB cable, you can flash Amlogic IMG firmware to a micro SD card instead]

In the first few years when Android TV Boxes/mini PCs started to hit the markets, in the 2012-2014 period, online firmware update was inexistent for the vast majority of the boxes, and if you wanted to update your firmware you had to use some windows tools like USB Burning Tool for Amlogic, AndroidTool for Rockchip, or PhoenixUSBPro / PhonixSuite for Allwinner platforms. All those tools have poor design, for example the window is not resizable, so it’s impossible to your an old netbook (1024×600 resolution), and then you have to install drivers which is easy, for after detection of the box may be hit and miss, and you have to follow a procedure with the right power sequence with a USB cable connected to a USB OTG port (not always properly marked) and the recovery pin hole or button. It’s taken me close to 4 hours in the past to update firmware through that method switching between USB ports and computers to find out what may be wrong… Luckily in recent years, many devices are now supporting OTA firmware updates, or an easy offline update procedure using a micro SD card or USB flash drive. That means most people should not need to torture themselves using such terrible tools and procedure, unless your TV box is somehow bricked, in which case Windows tools, or their Linux equivalent, are required.

I’ve writing about this because Rikomagic must have been nostalgic and decided not to provide OTA firmware update, and only distribute MK22 TV box firmware as an IMG file for Amlogic USB Burning Tool, both of which can be downloaded on Rikomagic download page. Even though I must have had to use such tools for nearly two years, I was naively expecting it update the firmware in a few minutes, since I used such tools extensively in the past. I was wrong, and I did managed to flash the firmware after two hours, most of it due my own mistakes, as I forgot some of the caveat, and did not read the complete instructions. So I’ll report my experience in case it can help somebody.

The first challenge was to find which one of the USB ports is the OTG one, as there are three, and no specific markings. At first, none of the ports would be detected due the wrong recovery sequence as explained, but I eventually found out it was the lonely USB port on the side, on the left of the micro SD slot and recovery pinhole.

mk22-otg-port-recovery-button

I know that normally you need to insert a toothpick in the recovery button and apply power, before releasing the recovery button, and I did just that and could not get into recovery mode at anytime. My mistake was that I had also inserted the USB cable, and it took me a while to realize it would also power the power through USB, not enough to show anything on the TV, but enough to boot the processor, and prevent me from accessing recovery mode. So the correct procedure, is to enter recovery mode by pressing the recovery button, applying power, and a few second later release the recovery button, and only then you can insert the USB cable.

After that I fired up a Windows 7 virtual image through VirtualBox, and installed USB Burning Tool and drivers by clicking on setup_v2.0.5.15_build7.exe downloaded from Rikomagic website. The installation went smoothly, but after enabling “Amlogic” device in Virtual Box, it would report the device is not supported, so I removed the drivers and reinstalled them, and I could get “Worldcup Device” in the Device Manager.

Good, now I can start USB Burning Tool, change the language to English in the program, and the TV box is detected, so I loaded the firmware file (File->Import Image… RKM MK22_161031.img), hoping to get ready to flash the firmware, but I got another error message “Get key failed” with the mac = 0 on the right window when click on Start button… Very odd.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

But I’m not the only one with the issue, and for some reasons, Amlogic decided to add a license to their factory software… Hard to understand why, but I should definitely have read the provided “MK22.MK06 Software installation intructions-161013.doc” manual, as it explicitly states to

copy the folderlicense to the path when you set by this step. For example: I set C:\Program Files (x86)\Amlogic\USB_Burning_Tool

And there’s indeed a license folder in the downloaded file from Rikomagic, so I copied the directory to C:\Program Files (x86)\Amlogic\USB_Burning_Tool, overwriting the current license directory, and started USB burning tool again. Hmm… same “get key failed” error… Should I reboot? Let’s do it, but same error again after reboot.

So I decided to uninstall everything, and start from start with the drivers and USB Burning Tool, and made sure I copied the license directory before starting USB burning tool. After which I started the program, loaded the firmware file, click on Start button, and after just under 7 minutes I had managed to flash the firmware! Woohoo!

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

That was a painful experience. So while there’s a case (firmware recovery) for such tools and images, end users should not be asked to install the firmware through that method. It’s complicated, and the default settings wipe out your data and apps.

  1. November 6th, 2016 at 15:05 | #1

    No Need for power cable just it gets powered via usb cable

  2. Theguyuk
    November 6th, 2016 at 21:08 | #2
  3. November 6th, 2016 at 21:40 | #3

    Amlogic IMG files can be burn using only USB flash drive or SD card as bootloader supports usb/sdcard burning (on M8 – newer sdk-s and on all S9xx). Things you need is aml_autoscript, aml_sdc_burn.ini and IMG file to be in root of sdcard/usb. I’ll write article on how to do it on my site and will provide aml_autoscript for both usb and sdcard burning because they use different command and not all people can create these files. Will post another msg here when article is up. Flashing is slower than recovery or USB burning tool but it works 🙂

  4. November 7th, 2016 at 09:03 | #4

    @Theguyuk
    I think that tool is for “OTA” firmware, but “USB burning tool” firmware.

  5. November 7th, 2016 at 09:08 | #5

    @JustMe ROMS
    Now that you tell me, I can remember it’s possible that way. I also remember not all USB ports are made equal, and when I used that method on some TV sticks I had to try multiple computers to find a port that would deliver enough power for the thing in order to upgrade the firmware.

  6. Mr Maso
    November 7th, 2016 at 22:01 | #6

    Stane1983 :
    Amlogic IMG files can be burn using only USB flash drive or SD card as bootloader supports usb/sdcard burning (on M8 – newer sdk-s and on all S9xx). Things you need is aml_autoscript, aml_sdc_burn.ini and IMG file to be in root of sdcard/usb. I’ll write article on how to do it on my site and will provide aml_autoscript for both usb and sdcard burning because they use different command and not all people can create these files. Will post another msg here when article is up. Flashing is slower than recovery or USB burning tool but it works

    That would be great as i have a godforsaken MXQ Pro Plus here that doesn’t get detected by the PC (Yes the drivers are correct anther box with the same SOC gets detected fine) and I tried everything else with no luck 🙁

  7. Chris
    November 8th, 2016 at 03:50 | #7

    @Stane1983

    You don’t even need the aml_autoscript, just the aml_sdc_burn.ini (which you can extract from the img file) and the aml_upgrade_package.img file itself on a sd card. I put some simple c code on freaktab to extract all the files from the img file.

  8. Chris
    November 8th, 2016 at 03:57 | #8

    Example output from serial console:

    GXM:BL1:dc8b51:76f1a5;FEAT:ADFC318C:0;POC:3;RCY:0;EMMC:0;READ:0;0.0;CHK:0;
    TE: 147717

    BL2 Built : 19:58:22, Aug 31 2016.
    gxl g54c8aee – [email protected]

    set vdd cpu_a to 1120 mv
    set vdd cpu_b to 1050 mv
    set vddee to 1000 mv
    Board ID = 2
    CPU clk: 1200MHz
    DQS-corr enabled
    DDR scramble enabled
    DDR3 chl: Rank0+1 @ 912MHz – PASS
    Rank0: 1024MB(auto)-2T-13
    Rank1: 1024MB(auto)-2T-13
    DataBus test pass!
    AddrBus test pass!
    -s
    Load fip header from eMMC, src: 0x0000c200, des: 0x01400000, size: 0x00004000
    New fip structure!
    Load bl30 from eMMC, src: 0x00010200, des: 0x01100000, size: 0x0000d600
    Load bl31 from eMMC, src: 0x00020200, des: 0x10100000, size: 0x00015400
    Load bl33 from eMMC, src: 0x00038200, des: 0x01000000, size: 0x000a9200
    NOTICE: BL3-1: v1.0(debug):2e39a99
    NOTICE: BL3-1: Built : 16:36:21, Sep 20 2016
    aml log : bl31 normal boot !
    [Image: gxl_v1.1.3153-831ee11 2016-09-23 19:09:41 [email protected]]
    OPS=0x82
    2b c1 3a 4d 9c 87 d8 6b 3e fe 40 85 [0.395813 Inits done]
    secure task start!
    high task start!
    low task start!
    INFO: BL3-1: Initializing runtime services
    WARNING: No OPTEE provided by BL2 boot loader
    ERROR: Error initializing runtime service opteed_fast
    INFO: BL3-1: Preparing for EL3 exit to normal world
    INFO: BL3-1: Next image address = 0x1000000
    INFO: BL3-1: Next image spsr = 0x3c9

    U-Boot 2015.01 (Oct 01 2016 – 13:36:46)

    DRAM: 2 GiB
    Relocation Offset is: 76ec9000
    register usb cfg[0][1] = 0000000077f5ece0
    vpu: error: vpu: check dts: FDT_ERR_BADMAGIC, load default parameters
    vpu: clk_level = 7
    vpu: set clk: 666667000Hz, readback: 666660000Hz(0x300)
    vpp: vpp_init
    boot_device_flag : 1
    Nand PHY Ver:1.01.001.0006 (c) 2013 Amlogic Inc.
    init bus_cycle=6, bus_timing=7, system=5.0ns
    reset failed
    get_chip_type and ret:fffffffe
    get_chip_type and ret:fffffffe
    chip detect failed and ret:fffffffe
    nandphy_init failed and ret=0xfffffff1
    MMC: aml_priv->desc_buf = 0x0000000073ec96b0
    aml_priv->desc_buf = 0x0000000073ecb9d0
    SDIO Port B: 0, SDIO Port C: 1
    emmc/sd response timeout, cmd8, status=0x3ff2800
    emmc/sd response timeout, cmd55, status=0x3ff2800
    [mmc_startup] mmc refix success
    [mmc_init] mmc init success
    mmc read lba=0x14000, blocks=0x400
    start dts,buffer=0000000073ece270,dt_addr=0000000073ece270
    parts: 11
    00: logo 0000000002000000 1
    01: recovery 0000000002000000 1
    02: rsv 0000000000800000 1
    03: tee 0000000000800000 1
    04: crypt 0000000002000000 1
    05: misc 0000000002000000 1
    06: instaboot 0000000020000000 1
    07: boot 0000000002000000 1
    08: system 0000000040000000 1
    09: cache 0000000020000000 2
    10: data ffffffffffffffff 4
    get_dtb_struct: Get emmc dtb OK!
    overide_emmc_partition_table: overide cache
    [mmc_get_partition_table] skip partition cache.
    Partition table get from SPL is :
    name offset size flag
    ===================================================================================
    0: bootloader 0 400000 0
    1: reserved 2400000 4000000 0
    2: cache 6c00000 20000000 2
    3: env 27400000 800000 0
    4: logo 28400000 2000000 1
    5: recovery 2ac00000 2000000 1
    6: rsv 2d400000 800000 1
    7: tee 2e400000 800000 1
    8: crypt 2f400000 2000000 1
    9: misc 31c00000 2000000 1
    10: instaboot 34400000 20000000 1
    11: boot 54c00000 2000000 1
    12: system 57400000 40000000 1
    13: data 97c00000 30c200000 4
    mmc read lba=0x12000, blocks=0x2
    mmc read lba=0x12002, blocks=0x2
    mmc_read_partition_tbl: mmc read partition OK!
    eMMC/TSD partition table have been checked OK!
    mmc env offset: 0x27400000
    In: serial
    Out: serial
    Err: serial
    reboot_mode=cold_boot
    hpd_state=0
    cvbs performance type = 6, table = 0
    [store]To run cmd[emmc dtb_read 0x1000000 0x40000]
    read emmc dtb
    Net: dwmac.c9410000
    wipe_data=successful
    wipe_cache=successful
    upgrade_step=2
    [OSD]load fb addr from dts
    [OSD]fb_addr for logo: 0x3d851000
    [OSD]load fb addr from dts
    [OSD]fb_addr for logo: 0x3d851000
    [CANVAS]canvas init
    [CANVAS]addr=0x3d851000 width=3840, height=2160
    amlkey_init() enter!
    [EFUSE_MSG]keynum is 4
    [BL31]: tee size: 0
    [KM]Error:f[key_manage_query_size]L507:key[usid] not programed yet
    [KM]Error:f[key_manage_query_size]L507:key[deviceid] not programed yet
    gpio: pin GPIOAO_2 (gpio 102) value is 0
    detect upgrade key
    gpio: pin GPIOAO_2 (gpio 102) value is 1
    get_cpu_id flag_12bit=1
    InUsbBurn
    noSof
    card in
    [mmc_init] mmc init success
    Device: SDIO Port B
    Manufacturer ID: 1b
    OEM: 534d
    Name: 00000
    Tran Speed: 50000000
    Rd Block Len: 512
    SD version 3.0
    High Capacity: Yes
    Capacity: 29.8 GiB
    mmc clock: 40000000
    Bus Width: 4-bit
    [MSG]Reload bmps env.
    Err imgread(L472):Logo header err.
    [MSG]ini sz 0x25aB
    [fat]Filesize is 0x25aB[0M]
    [fat]0x:leftSz 25a >>
    [common]
    erase_bootloader = 1
    erase_flash = 0
    reboot = 0x0
    key_overwrite = 0x0

    [burn_ex]
    package = aml_upgrade_package.img
    media =

    [burn_parts]
    burn_num = 0

    <<<<=====sdc_burn_paras======

    [MSG]To erase OLD bootloader !
    emmckey_is_protected : protect
    start = 0,end = 8191
    mmc switch to boot0 success
    emmckey_is_protected : protect
    Emmckey: Access range is illegal!
    mmc switch to boot1 success
    emmckey_is_protected : protect
    Emmckey: Access range is illegal!
    mmc switch to user success
    [MSG]Reset to load NEW uboot from ext-mmc!
    reboot mode:
    Can not find match reboot mode, use normal by default
    INFO: PSCI Affinity Map:
    INFO: AffInst: Level 1, MPID 0x0, State ON
    INFO: AffInst: Level 1, MPID 0x100, State OFF
    INFO: AffInst: Level 0, MPID 0x0, State ON
    INFO: AffInst: Level 0, MPID 0x1, State OFF
    INFO: AffInst: Level 0, MPID 0x2, State OFF
    INFO: AffInst: Level 0, MPID 0x3, State OFF
    INFO: AffInst: Level 0, MPID 0x100, State OFF
    INFO: AffInst: Level 0, MPID 0x101, State OFF
    INFO: AffInst: Level 0, MPID 0x102, State OFF
    INFO: AffInst: Level 0, MPID 0x103, State OFF
    bl31 reboot reason: 0xd
    bl31 reboot reason: 0x1
    system cmd 1.
    GXM:BL1:dc8b51:76f1a5;FEAT:ADFC318C:0;POC:3;RCY:0;EMMC:0;READ:0;CHK:AA;SD:0;READ:0;0.0;CHK:0;
    no sdio debug board detected
    TE: 142065

    BL2 Built : 13:48:56, Sep 23 2016.
    gxl g7459bd4 – [email protected]

    set vdd cpu_a to 1120 mv
    set vdd cpu_b to 1050 mv
    set vddee to 1000 mv
    Board ID = 2
    CPU clk: 1200MHz
    DQS-corr enabled
    DDR scramble enabled
    DDR3 chl: Rank0 @ 636MHz – PASS
    Rank0: 1024MB(auto)-2T-9
    DataBus test pass!
    AddrBus test pass!
    Load fip header from SD, src: 0x0000c200, des: 0x01400000, size: 0x00004000
    New fip structure!
    Load bl30 from SD, src: 0x00010200, des: 0x01100000, size: 0x0000d600
    Load bl31 from SD, src: 0x00020200, des: 0x10100000, size: 0x00015400
    Load bl33 from SD, src: 0x00038200, des: 0x01000000, size: 0x000aaa00
    NOTICE: BL3-1: v1.0(debug):3fb6b3e
    NOTICE: BL3-1: Built : 16:45:24, Sep 21 2016
    aml log : bl31 normal boot !
    wdt: reset registers!
    [Image: gxl_v1.1.3153-831ee11 2016-09-23 19:09:41 [email protected]]
    OPS=0x82
    2b c1 3a 4d 9c 87 d8 6b 3e fe 40 85 [0.538491 Inits done]
    secure task start!
    high task start!
    low task start!
    INFO: BL3-1: Initializing runtime services
    WARNING: No OPTEE provided by BL2 boot loader
    ERROR: Error initializing runtime service opteed_fast
    INFO: BL3-1: Preparing for EL3 exit to normal world
    INFO: BL3-1: Next image address = 0x1000000
    INFO: BL3-1: Next image spsr = 0x3c9

    U-Boot 2015.01-gb41fa5d-dirty (Sep 27 2016 – 15:57:15)

    DRAM: 1 GiB
    Relocation Offset is: 36ec8000
    register usb cfg[0][1] = 0000000037f5f6a0
    vpu: error: vpu: check dts: FDT_ERR_BADMAGIC, load default parameters
    vpu: clk_level = 7
    vpu: set clk: 666667000Hz, readback: 666660000Hz(0x300)
    vpp: vpp_init
    boot_device_flag : 1
    Nand PHY Ver:1.01.001.0006 (c) 2013 Amlogic Inc.
    init bus_cycle=6, bus_timing=7, system=5.0ns
    reset failed
    get_chip_type and ret:fffffffe
    get_chip_type and ret:fffffffe
    chip detect failed and ret:fffffffe
    nandphy_init failed and ret=0xfffffff1
    MMC: aml_priv->desc_buf = 0x0000000033ec86b0
    aml_priv->desc_buf = 0x0000000033eca9d0
    SDIO Port B: 0, SDIO Port C: 1
    emmc/sd response timeout, cmd8, status=0x3ff2800
    emmc/sd response timeout, cmd55, status=0x3ff2800
    [mmc_startup] mmc refix success
    [mmc_init] mmc init success
    mmc read lba=0x14000, blocks=0x400
    start dts,buffer=0000000033ecd270,dt_addr=0000000033ecd270
    parts: 11
    00: logo 0000000002000000 1
    01: recovery 0000000002000000 1
    02: rsv 0000000000800000 1
    03: tee 0000000000800000 1
    04: crypt 0000000002000000 1
    05: misc 0000000002000000 1
    06: instaboot 0000000020000000 1
    07: boot 0000000002000000 1
    08: system 0000000040000000 1
    09: cache 0000000020000000 2
    10: data ffffffffffffffff 4
    get_dtb_struct: Get emmc dtb OK!
    overide_emmc_partition_table: overide cache
    [mmc_get_partition_table] skip partition cache.
    Partition table get from SPL is :
    name offset size flag
    ===================================================================================
    0: bootloader 0 400000 0
    1: reserved 2400000 4000000 0
    2: cache 6c00000 20000000 2
    3: env 27400000 800000 0
    4: logo 28400000 2000000 1
    5: recovery 2ac00000 2000000 1
    6: rsv 2d400000 800000 1
    7: tee 2e400000 800000 1
    8: crypt 2f400000 2000000 1
    9: misc 31c00000 2000000 1
    10: instaboot 34400000 20000000 1
    11: boot 54c00000 2000000 1
    12: system 57400000 40000000 1
    13: data 97c00000 30c200000 4
    mmc read lba=0x12000, blocks=0x2
    mmc read lba=0x12002, blocks=0x2
    mmc_read_partition_tbl: mmc read partition OK!
    eMMC/TSD partition table have been checked OK!
    mmc env offset: 0x27400000
    In: serial
    Out: serial
    Err: serial
    reboot_mode=normal
    hpd_state=0
    cvbs performance type = 6, table = 0
    [store]To run cmd[emmc dtb_read 0x1000000 0x40000]
    read emmc dtb
    card in
    [mmc_init] mmc init success
    Device: SDIO Port B
    Manufacturer ID: 1b
    OEM: 534d
    Name: 00000
    Tran Speed: 50000000
    Rd Block Len: 512
    SD version 3.0
    High Capacity: Yes
    Capacity: 29.8 GiB
    mmc clock: 40000000
    Bus Width: 4-bit
    [MSG]ini sz 0x25aB
    [fat]Filesize is 0x25aB[0M]
    [fat]0x:leftSz 25a >>
    [common]
    erase_bootloader = 1
    erase_flash = 0
    reboot = 0x0
    key_overwrite = 0x0

    [burn_ex]
    package = aml_upgrade_package.img
    media =

    [burn_parts]
    burn_num = 0

    <<<<=====sdc_burn_paras======

    [fat]Filesize is 0x3279923cB[807M]
    [fat]0x:leftSz 2c40 < BPS 4000, gotSz 6c40
    [MSG]image version [0x00000002]
    [fat]Seek 0xb87338 from 0x6c40
    [MSG]itemSizeNotAligned 0xcc8
    [MSG]align 4 mmc read… [fat]0x:leftSz 175d To burn part [boot]
    [MSG]itemSizeNotAligned 0x1524
    [MSG]flash LOGIC partCap 0x2000000B
    [MSG]Down(store) part(boot) sz(0x7f41d1) fmt(normal)
    [MSG]totalSlotNum = 0, nextWriteBackSlot 128
    [MSG]itemSizeNotAligned 0x1524
    [fat]0x:leftSz 2cad To burn part [logo]
    [fat]Seek 0xaa2d18 from 0x9becdd
    [MSG]itemSizeNotAligned 0x12e8
    [MSG]flash LOGIC partCap 0x2000000B
    [MSG]Down(store) part(logo) sz(0xe45f0) fmt(normal)
    [MSG]totalSlotNum = 0, nextWriteBackSlot 15
    [MSG]itemSizeNotAligned 0x12e8
    [fat]0x:leftSz 3308 To burn part [recovery]
    [fat]Seek 0xb9182c from 0xb87338
    [MSG]itemSizeNotAligned 0x27d4
    [MSG]flash LOGIC partCap 0x2000000B
    [MSG]Down(store) part(recovery) sz(0xabefa6) fmt(normal)
    [MSG]totalSlotNum = 0, nextWriteBackSlot 172
    [MSG]itemSizeNotAligned 0x27d4
    [fat]0x:leftSz 7d2 To burn part [system]
    [MSG]itemSizeNotAligned 0x37fc
    [MSG]flash LOGIC partCap 0x40000000B
    [MSG]Down(store) part(system) sz(0x31148a08) fmt(sparse)
    [MSG]totalSlotNum = 0, nextWriteBackSlot 1024
    [MSG]itemSizeNotAligned 0x37fc
    [MSG]Burn Start…
    [fat]0x:leftSz 120c To burn part [bootloader]
    [MSG]itemSizeNotAligned 0x1320
    [MSG]Down(store) part(bootloader) sz(0xe4000) fmt(normal)
    [MSG]totalSlotNum = 0, nextWriteBackSlot 15
    [MSG]itemSizeNotAligned 0x1320
    [fat]0x:leftSz 2ce0 < BPS 4000, gotSz 2ce0
    [MSG]Burn Start…
    mmc switch to boot0 success
    mmc switch to boot1 success
    mmc switch to user success
    [MSG]align bootloader sz from 0xe4000 to 0x100000
    [MSG]Burn complete
    mmc switch to boot0 success
    mmc switch to boot1 success
    mmc switch to user success
    [MSG]VERIFY OK
    ## save_setting ##
    [MSG]Set upgrade_step to 2
    Saving Environment to aml-storage…
    mmc env offset: 0x27400000
    Writing to MMC(1)… done
    [MSG]to close image
    [MSG]Reload bmps env.
    [MSG]======sdc burn SUCCESS.
    [MSG]stop here as poweroff and powerkey not supported in platform!
    [MSG]You can to reboot

  9. Chris
    November 8th, 2016 at 04:04 | #9

    @Chris
    Sorry I think there was some sort of error during copy and paste of the serial output above. Parts of the log are missing, maybe due to parsing by the message board.

  10. Chris
    November 8th, 2016 at 04:25 | #10

    @Chris

    Chris :
    @Stane1983
    You don’t even need the aml_autoscript, just the aml_sdc_burn.ini (which you can extract from the img file) and the aml_upgrade_package.img file itself on a sd card. I put some simple c code on freaktab to extract all the files from the img file.

    Disregard the above it appears you need either aml_autoscript or u-boot on the sdcard. I am working on porting amlogic u-boot to current version and apparently had remnants of it on my sdcard without realizing it.

  11. BumsBums
    November 8th, 2016 at 04:29 | #11

    Where is the link to freaktab or the tool. Flashed a qbox firmware on a eny box nowbthe device isn’t recognized on the pc anymore. Do i need to extract the files of a qbox image or a eny image later for the bootable sd?

  12. Chris
  13. TOM
    November 9th, 2016 at 16:03 | #13

    As flashing wiht USB burning tool failed, i got TF card flash from RIkomagic.
    Share here:
    https://www.sendspace.com/file/nj2rll

  14. PhilS
    November 11th, 2016 at 19:49 | #14

    The greatest problem that I find is not with regards to the tool (although the licencing thing is rather silly) but the physical procedures that you often have to go through, which can vary from box to box, even when some have the same type of SOC onboard.

    The pinholes in the base or reset buttons in the AV ports are just plain stupid.

    At least with something like the TX5 Pro, all you had to do was fire up the tool and then just plug the USB cable in off it went. No need for any overbearing procedures, some of which require you to be a contortionist.

    There is also the need (especially with AMLogic boxes, where none of the USB ports are OTG either) to purchase a Male A to Male A USB cable.

    Rockchip boxes used to come with a micro usb OTG port that was easier to use because everybody tended to have a micro usb cable handy but the newer boxes, whilst still supporting OTG functionality, tend to only have the full sized ports.

    Even when some vendors provide OTA updates, they tend to be of such a kind that still wipes the data and settings, rather than just update the functionality with the modifications.

  15. November 19th, 2016 at 11:27 | #15

    @Stane1983
    Have you already written about it? Or is it just the same as Chris method?

  16. November 19th, 2016 at 16:45 | #16

    @Chris
    Somehow that method is not working for me. I’m using a USB thumb drive.
    The toothpick method will just show me the recovery menu.
    If I don’t use the toothpick it will just boot normally.
    [Update: Using a micro SD card fixed the issue… The update does not complete, but it must be another issue]

  17. November 19th, 2016 at 20:04 | #17

    I’ve written a guide to create bootablke SD card in Linux or Windows based on @Chris instructions. See http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/11/19/how-to-create-a-bootable-recovery-sd-card-for-amlogic-tv-boxes/

  18. balbes150
    November 29th, 2016 at 01:47 | #18

    “But I’m not the only one with the issue, and for some reasons, Amlogic decided to add a license to their factory software… Hard to understand why, but I should definitely have read the provided “MK22.MK06 Software installation intructions-161013.doc” manual, as it explicitly states to”

    IMHO
    This is a license for MAC ‘ (allowed list). Each manufacturer is allocated a specific range and the license describes this range.

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