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[Q] Odd problem: Fire 7" (1st Gen) will not boot if any USB cable is inserted...

OP gfhopper

8th July 2014, 01:31 AM   |  #1  
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Trying to give new life to a friend's Kindle fire, but it seems to have a weird problem and she has no idea why. I've looked through the forums and I have found several posts that are close, but not the same (and the solutions won't work either) because the KF will just shut down the minute a cable is plugged in.

Here's the array of responses for the various attempts:

The device will charge if it is plugged in (USB cable and AC charger) but no light comes on at all under any circumstance. And it will shut down when plugged in to charge, and will not power up if on the charger. If it is just powering up and you plug it into the charger, the light stays on for a few seconds and the first screen that just says "Kindle Fire" shows up, then it shuts down.

The device will boot if no USB cable is inserted. The device will shut down when you insert a USB cable. The device will not boot with the cable plugged in (AC adapter or computer) and the power button never goes green. With a usb cable plugged into a computer, the computer will not recognize the device (and it shuts down immediately upon the cable being plugged in to the Kindle.) Also, if you just power it up, then plug it into the computer (just like with the power supply above) the light stays on for a few seconds and the first screen that just says "Kindle Fire" shows up, then it shuts down.

When I received it, I noticed that the case had been opened (or at least pried on.) Also, the USB connector was loose. I removed the board, re-soldered the connector (it appears to be intact now, but the connections are TINY so there is a limit to what I'm sure of) and reinstalled the board. Behaves the same way. I performed a 'power button' reset to the device and there was no change. I performed a factory reset and there was no change to the behavior.

Next I purchased the N2A fastboot cable thinking that would allow me to boot the thing and force a real reset (and install a non-kindle version of android), but I went through everything again and there is no change in how it reacts. The moment that USB cable gets plugged into the kindle, it shuts down. I think I followed the instructions properly (they aren't that complicated) but I'm having no success.

I've reset it a couple of different ways and several times with no change.

Any suggestions?

My goal is to get this thing working, install a 'non-kindle' version of android and get it back to her to use as an inexpensive tablet and e-reader, just not tied to Amazon (or BN).

Grant
8th July 2014, 06:12 PM   |  #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfhopper

Trying to give new life to a friend's Kindle fire, but it seems to have a weird problem and she has no idea why. I've looked through the forums and I have found several posts that are close, but not the same (and the solutions won't work either) because the KF will just shut down the minute a cable is plugged in.

Here's the array of responses for the various attempts:

The device will charge if it is plugged in (USB cable and AC charger) but no light comes on at all under any circumstance. And it will shut down when plugged in to charge, and will not power up if on the charger. If it is just powering up and you plug it into the charger, the light stays on for a few seconds and the first screen that just says "Kindle Fire" shows up, then it shuts down.

The device will boot if no USB cable is inserted. The device will shut down when you insert a USB cable. The device will not boot with the cable plugged in (AC adapter or computer) and the power button never goes green. With a usb cable plugged into a computer, the computer will not recognize the device (and it shuts down immediately upon the cable being plugged in to the Kindle.) Also, if you just power it up, then plug it into the computer (just like with the power supply above) the light stays on for a few seconds and the first screen that just says "Kindle Fire" shows up, then it shuts down.

When I received it, I noticed that the case had been opened (or at least pried on.) Also, the USB connector was loose. I removed the board, re-soldered the connector (it appears to be intact now, but the connections are TINY so there is a limit to what I'm sure of) and reinstalled the board. Behaves the same way. I performed a 'power button' reset to the device and there was no change. I performed a factory reset and there was no change to the behavior.

Next I purchased the N2A fastboot cable thinking that would allow me to boot the thing and force a real reset (and install a non-kindle version of android), but I went through everything again and there is no change in how it reacts. The moment that USB cable gets plugged into the kindle, it shuts down. I think I followed the instructions properly (they aren't that complicated) but I'm having no success.

I've reset it a couple of different ways and several times with no change.

Any suggestions?

My goal is to get this thing working, install a 'non-kindle' version of android and get it back to her to use as an inexpensive tablet and e-reader, just not tied to Amazon (or BN).

Grant

That sounds like a hardware related issue some kind of permanent or near permanent damage.
8th July 2014, 10:54 PM   |  #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thepooch

That sounds like a hardware related issue some kind of permanent or near permanent damage.

Thank you for the reply!

I'd agree that it could have a hardware component. I don't think it's fatal though since 1) it charges, 2) it powers up and works, 3) the wifi works.

I'd guess that it has something to do with the USB (to serial?) hardware but I don't know where to look on the board (other than tracing the traces but it's a multi layer board....)

I'm comfortable working (or rather 're-working') surface mount components. I have not see any interior/board layout info so I'd have no idea which chips to be looking at or testing.

Any suggestions about what area might be affected or pointers to schematic designs?

Thanks again,
Grant
9th July 2014, 12:03 AM   |  #4  
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Originally Posted by gfhopper

Thank you for the reply!

I'd agree that it could have a hardware component. I don't think it's fatal though since 1) it charges, 2) it powers up and works, 3) the wifi works.

I'd guess that it has something to do with the USB (to serial?) hardware but I don't know where to look on the board (other than tracing the traces but it's a multi layer board....)

I'm comfortable working (or rather 're-working') surface mount components. I have not see any interior/board layout info so I'd have no idea which chips to be looking at or testing.

Any suggestions about what area might be affected or pointers to schematic designs?

Thanks again,
Grant

Grant you could attempt usb boot it acts different than any other form of booting the device and may actually fix what is broken do a Soupkit setup, and run usb fix parts install fff and twrp.
There is at least the potential that it could travel the course less traveled and rebuild partitions that may or may not be broken.
Soupkit is here http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1850038 and you will use one of it`s components firekit.
Rather than attempting to do a physical repair to the board because the components are very small and packed so tightly together.
It`s a medium to high risk approach but if you desire it could lead to benefit.
Truthfully IMO some things are better left alone.
Last edited by Thepooch; 9th July 2014 at 12:31 AM.
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9th July 2014, 08:27 AM   |  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thepooch

Grant you could attempt usb boot it acts different than any other form of booting the device and may actually fix what is broken do a Soupkit setup, and run usb fix parts install fff and twrp.
There is at least the potential that it could travel the course less traveled and rebuild partitions that may or may not be broken.
Soupkit is here http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1850038 and you will use one of it`s components firekit.
Rather than attempting to do a physical repair to the board because the components are very small and packed so tightly together.
It`s a medium to high risk approach but if you desire it could lead to benefit.
Truthfully IMO some things are better left alone.

I think that is a good plan and I very much appreciate the advice.

The fire is nearly useless to her in the present state and she was going to 'toss it' when I suggested the alternative. So, at the very least it's an education for me, and at the very best I'm able to resolve the issue, learn something and get her a working tablet in the end.

If I can get it acting 'normally' that would tell me a lot.

I have a spare 8G thumb drive so I suspect I'm in good shape for tackling this and it will be an interesting change to run linux on something other than a raspberry pi or a server....

Thank you again!
Grant
9th July 2014, 08:51 AM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfhopper

I think that is a good plan and I very much appreciate the advice.

The fire is nearly useless to her in the present state and she was going to 'toss it' when I suggested the alternative. So, at the very least it's an education for me, and at the very best I'm able to resolve the issue, learn something and get her a working tablet in the end.

If I can get it acting 'normally' that would tell me a lot.

I have a spare 8G thumb drive so I suspect I'm in good shape for tackling this and it will be an interesting change to run linux on something other than a raspberry pi or a server....

Thank you again!
Grant

If you wish for help with the setup if we can get connected I will give you a hand I made hundreds of these live usb during the test phase of Soupkit there's a little to it but when it's setup it works well.
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10th July 2014, 05:21 AM   |  #7  
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Originally Posted by Thepooch

If you wish for help with the setup if we can get connected I will give you a hand I made hundreds of these live usb during the test phase of Soupkit there's a little to it but when it's setup it works well.

That would be great! How do we connect?

Grant
10th July 2014, 06:01 AM   |  #8  
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Originally Posted by gfhopper

That would be great! How do we connect?

Grant

Teamviewer is the best way.

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