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[Workshop] Unbrick fully bricked I9070

26 posts
Thanks Meter: 22
By flentus, Junior Member on 31st March 2014, 06:57 PM
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7th July 2014, 08:14 AM |#11  
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Thanks Meter: 22
ok, UART debug up and partially running on my SIII mini: debug messages displayed on terminal but keystrokes do not reach the phone, this is secondary for me at the moment, I may have a bad contact somewhere.

Tested on my dead I9070: no display, so the Xloader on my eMMC is garbaged (or Xloader UART debug is disabled, but this is less likely).

As expected, I now have to figure out how to have flashloader boot files upload *and* debug working together to understand what's wrong with my compiled boot files. I think the "trigger UART" thing is a good track, but I'm really puzzled by how to have the USB *and* the UART setup at the same time.
I fear to fry something by having phone D+/D- connected to USB port of the PC and connected at the same time to my Prolific TxD/RxD + 5V VCC connected to PC USB... sounds like a bad thing.

Another track would be USB debug I see in some parts of the code, but I don't know how to read the debug from there, more code to inspect...
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19th July 2014, 07:03 AM |#12  
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got it~

---------- Post added at 02:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:22 PM ----------

I also have a fully bricked I9070( not I9070P).I`m waiting for your good news.Thanks first.
19th August 2014, 05:35 PM |#13  
Paul L.'s Avatar
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I received this PM, I believe it can be useful for others experimenting with it

Originally Posted by flentus

Ola Paul,

I contact you on an advise from Cocafe.
I launched a while ago the thread "[Workshop] Unbrick fully bricked I9070" (
I'm looking for help to acheive the task as I don't have very much time to spend on it due to huge work I have this year.

Would you be ok to participate if you have a little spare time and interest in it?
I think I'm very close to the solution, and this would help a lot of 9070 owners (and maybe SIII mini and Sony too).

As explained in my thread, I have difficulties getting the disclosed sources to build correctly up to the end when integrated with Google SDK. As a result the "finalizing" scripts (that gather the binaries and tidy the "out" directory) don't execute: I end up with a large mess and STE tools don't work out of the box. I have to gather the pieces one by one to have them run which is very time consuming and error prone.

I can say that the recovery process won't need any kind of soldering, wiring or whatever: just a regular USB cable and the right sofware.
The disclosed sources contain everything we need: PBL/SBL sources, signing tool+certificates, the software to talk to the iROM + various documentation.
The problem is just a question of assembling the pieces...

My idea is to assemble an Xloader (PBL) + Uboot (SBL) + recovery and boot from that to execute recovery.
The "flashkit" tool enables this process, I quote the docs: "If 'programming' boot indication is used as boot indication, the PC will send a completely new set of boot code to the ME. This is used when a loader is downloaded during service mode startup via the Flash Tool Backend.".

Tell me if you wish to help me, or if you know someone who has competencies and would wish to!
I speek average spanish if you prefer to exchange in this language.


I am sorry for pointing this out, STE tools wont work ever on i9070, the reason being that we do not have a STE bootloader, heck, most of the low level stuff do not resemble the ST-Ericsson Montblanc development board. You can't even change the bootloader arguments, you can only add to them (the way I first enabled SELinux), the Samsung Bootloader version that we have may be not as restrictive as others, but Sonys bootloader resembles more to STE's than ours.

The only way you may found how to restore it is accessing the JTAG mode (something that is determined only if JTAG is connected and recognized) and depends solely on the emergency bootloader (if that exists, because I am not sure how the device powers on without PBL), the "seconds" of power you get on the USB is the device looking for JTAG.

The "disclosed" sources are for ST-Ericsson devices

Something you should do, is analyze the structures of /dev/block/mmcblk0p10, which contains our partition table (GUID Partition Table - GPT).

Simple way of doing it, you have to do dd if=/dev/block/mmcblk0p10 of=/sdcard/janice.pit on terminal emulator, this is ROM agnostic, because the structures are the same on both stock and any custom ROM. Of course, that is from a working device, I'll do that and drop it here later since I am working on something else right now, and thanks diegoch for discovering this.

Anyway, as diego pointed to me, our partition table is like this.

PIT, CSPSA, EFS, MODEM fs, SBL, SBL2, PARAM, IPL modem, MODEM, Kernel, Kernel2, system, data, cache, preload, fota, sdcard

This is the correct order I believe, since basically, when you use ODIN and use a PIT file, the partition table gets rewritten according to whatever is on that .pit file. So PIT is basically the GPT partition table; obviously SBL is the Samsung bootloader, and SBL2 I believe it's either stage 2.5 or a backup of the first.

So, no clue by going the STE way, something familiar here.

So, I may say something good at the end, see if the i9100 guys ever did it, and go from there, since our device is largely based around i9100 (Galaxy S II)
22nd August 2014, 12:42 PM |#14  
OP Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 22
Hi Paul,

thanks for your contribution.
A few replies/questions :
* you state that Montblanc dev board and I9070 are completly different: isn't the aim of dev dev board to be close to ME while adding extra connectors to ease debug and interfacing for prototyping? Calao dev board looks very close to I9070: I have compared the schematics and component list: they look very very much alike. For me, NovaThor U8500 plateform consists of a DB8500 SoC, a Mali 400, a built-in modem + chips for USB, audio and SIM operations.
So, to me, I may be wrong, at least the processor (u8500), PLL, eMMC, SDRAM, UART + several low level controlers should be the same. As we are trying to work at such level (just trying to get the basic system to boot to just enable eMMC write), don't we have a chance to manage to have those work (maybe with adressing adaptation, those might be tough)?

* I can't agree with you that "the "seconds" of power you get on the USB is the device looking for JTAG.": on boot time, even without trashed PBL, the ME connects to USB properly with vendor/ID=04cc/8500, and sends its ASIC ID (displayed on PC screen). As stated earlier in the thread, I manage to send some commands and receive response from the ME in this state using STE tools (flashkit_cli, sending commands threw flashkit_backend).
It's definetly not any JTAG stuffs. JTAG on the I9070 is accessible on the mainboard via dedicated pads, you can locate using the light schematics provided in the "Service manual" package.

This early boot behaviour is documented in the "flash-tool-backend.html" document (available in s-4.1_vendor_st-ericsson.tar in ./s-4.1_vendor_st-ericsson/vendor/st-ericsson/tools/platform/flash_kit/flash_tool_backend/

Boot process description

When the peripheral boot sequence starts, the ME sends an asic id to the connected PC tool.
The PC tool then answers with a boot indication.
- If normal, ADL or production is sent as boot indication; this means that the x-loader will start the binary software stored at the corresponding location in the boot image (based on the location stated by the TOC).
- If programming is used as boot indication, the PC will send a completely new set of boot code to the ME. This is used when a loader is downloaded during service mode startup via the Flash Tool Backend.
- When the normal boot indication is sent, Flash Tool backend sends no more data and the ME is booted with the binary software stored in the place where the normal software is stored according to the TOC.

The ADL boot scenario works like this:
1. Flash Tool Backend receives asic id
2. Boot indication ADL is sent
3. Flash tool backend starts LCD and LCM and waits for a loader startup message.

The loader is stored at the ADL location of the boot image (this is supported by the assemble tool).

* If I understand well, as we don't have the sources for the bootloader, your proposal is to grab one from a working device.
That sounds a really good idea!

Here is the complete partition table/PIT of the I9070 (recovered by someone with a Riff box from a GB archive, if I remember well):
(copy/paste it in a traditional editor and add padding to recover the table).

Partition number Filename in archive Name in PIT starting offset HEX Size in bytes HEX
MBR, GPT 0 20000
STE_boot.bin TOC ISSW XLOADER 20000 60000
mmcblk0p10 GT-I9070P_EUR_XX_8G.pit PIT 80000 100000
mmcblk0p6 cspsa.img CSPSA FS 180000 180000
EMPTY 300000 100000
mmcblk0p7 EFS.img EFS 400000 A00000
mmcblk0p2 modemfs.img MODEM FS E00000 100000
mem_init.bin STE MEM INIT 1E00000 80000
power_management.bin PWR MGT 1E80000 80000
mmcblk0p14 normal.bin SBL 1F00000 200000
mmcblk0p16 normal2.bin SBL_2 2100000 200000
mmcblk0p1 param.lfs PARAM 2300000 1000000
mmcblk0p12 ipl.bin IPL MODEM 3300000 200000
mmcblk0p13 modem.bin MODEM 3500000 1000000
mmcblk0p15 kernel.bin KERNEL 4500000 1000000
mmcblk0p17 kernel2.bin KERNEL2 5500000 1000000
mmcblk0p3 system.img SYSTEM 6500000 26400000
mmcblk0p5 userdata.img DATAFS 2C900000 80000000
mmcblk0p4 cache.img CACHEFS AC900000 13200000
mmcblk0p9 hidden.img HIDDEN BFB00000 14000000
mmcblk0p11 ssgtest.img FOTA D3B00000 3200000
mmcblk0p8 ums.rfs UMS D6D00000 FAA00000

--> PBL corresponds to "TOC ISSW XLOADER" (STE_boot.bin in the flash archive) and SLB to normal.bin. So basically we have our boot files. We can extract them from the GB flash archive or from a ROM dump (I have dd'ed every partitions from 2 different I9070P + a full recovery dump from a 9070 provided by Riff box support files I found once I don't remember where).

So, if I have time one of theses days, I'll try to build a flash archive based on these files and try to boot from STE tools on it using "programming" as boot indication.

* Using the knowledge of the I9100 (Galaxy S II): I'm afraid this is a very different hardware, I9100 uses an Exynos 4210, so I hardly see what we could use from there... Could you give us some more advise on that idea?

19th September 2014, 12:16 PM |#15  
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I had no time working on this for a while: extremely busy at work.
Maybe this weekend...

@cocafe: I've read you know how to extract the initramfs from the kernel, modify, repack, and reflash it. I'll need to do that to modify the "on boot" section of the init.rc to launch the recovery from standard boot. Could you drop me here the command lines to do that? Thanks in advance!
5th February 2015, 03:31 PM |#16  
Junior Member
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This looks by far the most advanced research into bringing back a hard bricked i9070.

@flentus Did you manage to upload a new bootloader?
13th February 2015, 02:39 PM |#17  
OP Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 22

had to time at all to play with this for a loooong time.
I have grabed a few new phones so me 9070 is now burried deep into a drawer but I really wish to finish this one day because I feel I'm very close to something.
If anybody would like to take over this, feel free, I can provide support for the stuff I have understood (and remember of...)

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