[Gta04-owner] Antwort: Re: Antwort: Re: Amazing adventures with a brandnew GTA04...

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Thu Feb 9 19:44:03 CET 2012


Am 09.02.2012 um 17:49 schrieb Sven Dyroff:

> > Sven Did you formatt sd card with 2 partitions then place "MLO" and "U-Boot" on the correct parts of the SD(just confirm this is correct) 
> > MLO has to be the first file copied when I tried this it only showed up as "Lost and Found" file on the card,would be nice to see these files 
> > first. 
> 
> Yes, of course I did. Otherweise I would not get anything, right? 
> 
> > I understand the gta04 is "Unbrickable"--how true is this? 
> 
> Sorry, I cannot get any translation into German for the word "unbrickable". What is the question? 

Well, this is some insider term. When trying to port Linux to some PDA or Smartphone
it may happen that this makes the device unuseable, i.e. a big brick (or paperweight).

Even if the hardware is 100% ok. Defective hardware (e.g. ESD or other overvoltage)
is something different.

The reason is that on some devices it is possible to overwrite the bootloader in
a way that you can no longer install another one. This means it may be alsmost
or really impossible to bring the device back to life. I.e. it does no longer boot.

For example, I have a netbook where the bootloader is preinstalled in flash memory
through JTAG. And unless I manage to build a JTAG adapter and software it is
not possible to restore the firmware.

Now, the GTA04 is "un-briackable". This means you can't destroy the boot loader
logic in a way that you never can't restore it. Usually, the boot loader is in ROM and
on the SD card. I.e. you just reformat your SD and install the software.

For U-Boot in NAND, it is slightly different. It is possible to install a damaged
boot loader and since NAND is checked before the SD card boot, the device
may no longer boot and you can't modify the NAND flash again.

And here come the brilliant engineers of TI. They allow to boot through RS232.
By this mechanism you can always load a U-Boot and then erase whatever
you want in NAND.

A description can be found here:

	http://projects.goldelico.com/p/gta04-main/page/SerialBoot/

Nikolaus
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