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APX mode

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APX mode is a special low-level diagnostic and device-programming mode for NVIDIA Tegra–based devices. The firmware implementing APX mode is stored in the boot ROM and hence can never be changed.[1]

NVIDIA's nvflash program is used for controlling/manipulating a device in APX mode. Thus APX mode is sometimes called nvflash mode, and the device is said to be providing nvflash access. APX mode is sometimes also confusingly called recovery mode — APX mode is different and more primitive than a tablet booted to [Android] recovery.

APX mode is triggered by holding some device-specific button combination for a few seconds. APX mode can be triggered at any time: while the device is booting up, while it's running Android, or while it's running Android Recovery.

When a device is in APX mode, and connected via USB to a host PC, the device will identify itself with vendor "NVidia Corp." For the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, the screen will initially be blank, then show status information as the tablet processes nvflash commands. When the device is running in its normal mode, it should report instead with the device vendor's name, e.g. "ASUSTek Computer, Inc."

To exit APX mode, press and hold the power button for about six seconds. The device should immediately boot into its normal mode.

Lenovo's Thinkpad Tablet

The Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 1 has a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 250 T20. There are some instructions on how to access the bootloader (APX mode) on its page.

On this tablet there is an specific problem that the APX mode is locked and the keys are not public because of DRM software included on it (Contractual limitation). So it is not possible to access APX mode in some models, because of this, some software corruption can not be fixed and the mainboard of the tablet needs to be replaced.

See also