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Allwinner R16 (astar_d7) Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow - Partition Dump & Information

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By sbruda, Senior Member on 22nd December 2016, 12:58 PM
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Please note that I gave up on this unit (MTCD PX5 units are so much nicer...). I will try to update this post (however infrequently) with information that may appear in this thread or come my way by other means, but I will not seek information actively and updates will no longer be from my own experience or experiments.

At the time of writing this head unit is available here and (probably) here. These are both custom fit for Kia Sorento, but other versions do exist; in particular several EONON units feature the same hardware configuration (model numbers GA2160, GA7153 GA7163, and I am sure others).

Hardware-wise this seems to be the same unit as described in this thread so many tricks therein will work for this unit. In particular the USB debugging password continues to be "[email protected]" (without quotes); the extra settings password is most likely either 123456 or 668811; the factory reset and developer options passwords appear to be both 7890.

In all the unit is an Allwinner quad core R16, with the MCU version 5.3.19-16-10-650101-161115 and System version V7.3.1-2016-11-12.100233_TW2. Here is the Droid Info report:

Code:
DEVICE
Model: QuadCore-R16 (astar_d7)
Manufacturer: Allwinner
Baseband Version: Not Available
RIL Version: sw-dataonly-ril-for-6.0_v1.0
Build Number: astar_d7-eng 6.0.1 MOB30R 20161112 test-keys
Build Fingerprint: Allwinner/astar_d7/astar-d7:6.0.1/MOB30R/20161112:eng/test-keys
Bootloader: unknown
Java VM: ART 2.1.0
OS Version: Marshmallow (6.0.1)
SDK: 23

DISPLAY
Resolution: 1024x600 pixels
Software Density: 160 dpi (mdpi)
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz

PROCESSOR
CPU Architecture: ARMv7 Processor rev 5 (v7l)
Board: exdroid
Chipset: sun8i
Cores: 4
Clock Speed: 480 MHz - 1200 MHz
Instruction Sets: armeabi-v7a, armeabi
CPU Features: swp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp thumbee neon vfpv3 tls vfpv4 idiva idivt
CPU Governor: Not Available
Kernel Version: 3.4.39
Kernel Architecture: armv7l

GRAPHICS
Renderer: Mali-400 MP
Vendor: ARM
OpenGL Version: OpenGL ES 2.0

RAM
Total: 986 MB
Java Heap: 80 MB

STORAGE
Internal: 12 GB
EXTERNAL: Not Detected


Software-wise the unit comes with a fairly stock version of Marshmallow, though as usual the operating system is a bit locked down (but to my surprise not too locked down) compared to stock.

The purpose of this thread is to gather information about the software and possible customization for these units. I have added the information I gathered from my experience and I will update this post with any new information I manage to obtain.

1. Partition dump

For reference I dumped all the partitions of my device. The dump is available here. The dump was done by name (for those partitions that have a name) and symlinks point to the device name from /dev/block. Feel free to share (credit appreciated but not necessary) and please share any information that you gather from it (which will be included in this section as it becomes available).

2. Flashing firmware

There are multiple ways of flashing new firmware, depending on the actual unit and also its state (working, bootloop, etc.). All methods require that the all the files (three to six) that contain said firmware (see next section) be placed in the root of a SD card formatted FAT32 and inserted in the GPS slot of the unit. Some reports of the firmware being flashed from a USB stick rather than the SD card also exist; they also mention that choosing one USB port over another might make the difference between success and failure.

On a working system inserting the card and/or USB stick and choosing "update system" from preferences will likely do the trick.

On a system that is not working the following methods have been reported:
  • Hold Home, press Reset, and keep holding Home until the update starts (thanks).
  • A hardware solution is to short Key 1 (steering wheel controls) to ground, then press and hold Reset for 10 seconds; release Reset and disconnect Key 1 when "update" is displayed (thanks).
  • Yet another procedure might be needed for some units (thanks): Using a USB stick prepared as above and inserted in the unit, turn ignition to ACC, press Reset, turn ignition off, then after 5 seconds turn it again to ACC. A video is also available.

3. Flashable firmware

All the reports I have seen indicate that all the firmware versions are interchangeable. However, a factory reset will be needed most of the time for full functionality, especially so when installing firmware from a different vendor. It is VERY important however to note that the file bd07a5ee-fbb0-11e4-ae78-000c29ba27c0 contains the MCU firmware and so SHOULD NOT be flashed on incompatible devices as doing so will brick the unit (thanks).

Partition 11 of the above dump in particular stores a flashable image. It contains the following files:

81cb828c-9b57-11e6-ad2a-df6786178d62
827ba428-9b57-11e6-8dfb-37398ea70e52.0
827ba428-9b57-11e6-8dfb-37398ea70e52.1
bd07a5ee-fbb0-11e4-ae78-000c29ba27c0

The files 827ba428-9b57-11e6-8dfb-37398ea70e52.* in particular when cat-ed together form an ext4 file system that appear to be a copy of the system partition. This 4pda forum thread contain more information (thanks @Ahfish22); I do not speak Russian at all but Google Translate does a good job most of the time.

Since I started this thread many people have posted many firmware versions. Here is a hopefully complete list. There might be duplicates and misses and I apologize for both in advance.

The following set of firmware (in particular V7.3.1_20170610.110122_KED1 therein) come recommended by several users (thanks).

EONON firmware:
GA2162_KBT2_20170309 (thanks)
V7.3.1_20170114.111256_KBT2 (thanks)
EONON-R16-20170509 (thanks)
EONON-R16-KLD20170515
V7.3.1_20170427.104257_KBT2 (thanks)
EONON-R16-KLD20170515 (thanks)

KED1 (MEDEKE?) firmware (thanks):
V7.3.1_20170216.180104_KED1
V7.3.1_20170720.152039_KED1

TW2 (TopWinner?) firmware (thanks):
V7.3.1_20170111.114952_TW2-IVT+ROOT+RADIO
V7.3.1_20161229.175327_TW2
V7.3.1_20161201.154419_TW2

TH6 firmware (thanks): V7.3.1_20161129.194710_TH6

JYZC1 (Joying?) firmware (thanks):V7.3.1_20170317.114203_JYZC1

Kaier firmware (thanks)

Rooted KLD (Klyde) firmware (thanks):V7.3.1_20170512.203736_KLD1-0-1-mod

4. Recovery

Mot units do have a working recovery partition, though some are reported not to have such. The command "reboot recovery" at a root prompt (terminal emulator or ADB) will enter recovery (if available).

Alternatively recovery can be reached with an external USB keyboard as follows: While holding Alt and Print Screen keep tapping i; the system will eventually restart in recovery (thanks pir8man) .

It should be noted that despite the on-screen instructions the stock recovery does not react to any buttons on the head unit, but works well with an external USB keyboard.

5. Customization

There are useful tweaks that come with the stock operating system including speed-dependent volume and (apparently, I have not tested exhaustively) the elimination of the full-screen keyboard.

I found this alternative to the stock radio app (context, source code) which is pretty nice except that the app force closes upon attempting to enter settings. If you speak Russian it may be worth discussing this with the developer.

Root: Kingoroot works, though several attempts (reboot and try again) may be needed. Note that a reliable Internet connection is needed during the whole process. I do not like the extra apps and intrusive ads that come with Kingoroot. I therefore recommend once rooted to install Chainfire's SUperSU, let it update the su binary, and then uninstall Kingoroot. Note however that the current Play Store SuperSU (namely, version 2.82) may not be able to overwrite Kingoroot's su (saying instead that "the su binary is occupied"). If this is the case you may want to try version 2.79 (downloadable from here) which is known to work. Once the Kingoroot's su binary is overwritten you can upgrade to the latest (Play Store) SuperSU.

Busybox: Installed without incidents using the usual installer from the Play Store.

Xposed: Installed using the Xposed installer v. 3.1.1 and works well. I tried Gravity Box and Xprivacy.

6. Outstanding issues

It should be possible to redefine the default apps for music, video, and radio but I did not find any way to do it.

Mapping SWC and front button panel events works to some degree (for testing purposes I mapped the "Band" button to the app drawer), but this seems to be exclusively at the mercy of the MCU, which only allows mapping to predefined actions. I could find no way to map these events to custom actions on the OS side. It was reported that button events are communicated to the OS as long as no MCU app is running. However, I was unable to reproduce this; for me no event is ever seen by the OS no matter how many (or how few) apps are running. I stopped all the MCU apps but even so KeyTest does not register any event.

Needless to say, no custom recovery (such as TWRP) exist for these units.
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26th December 2016, 01:37 PM |#2  
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So if the hardware is the same as the other 4.4.2 units then can we update our old units to 6.0?
26th December 2016, 03:17 PM |#3  
Can you share me the content of /sbin directory?
26th December 2016, 03:25 PM |#4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sambacha

So if the hardware is the same as the other 4.4.2 units then can we update our old units to 6.0?

If the hardware matches then I do not see why not. In addition to dd-ing the system and boot partitions of my dump (which you are welcome to try) please see my last edits of the first post for possible flashable firmware being available.

Just make sure that you have a (tested) way to get back if things do not work...
26th December 2016, 03:46 PM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtnb

Can you share me the content of /sbin directory?

See attached.
Attached Files
File Type: gz navitop-sbin.tar.gz - [Click for QR Code] (1.07 MB, 780 views)
27th December 2016, 11:58 AM |#6  
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Found a thread in the russian site about updating the older units that came with 4.4.2 to 6.0. I will give that a try later today and report back. I'm mostly concerned about it's native support to USB DAC's so I can finally stop change audio sources in my DSP every time I want to use any app other than UAPP.

EDIT: spoke too soon before reading the updates to the original post!
7th January 2017, 01:28 PM |#7  
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Alternative to the stock radio -- help needed
I found this alternative radio app (reference, source code). It works well but I am unable to set preferences as the app force closes on selecting the setting menu item.

I would ask the developer, except that I do not speak Russian. I was wondering if any Russian speaker around here could inquire about the issue. I have also downloaded the sources and I am poking around but I am not holding my breath until I find a solution (I am a coder but not an Android developer). Many thanks in advance!
11th January 2017, 10:34 AM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sambacha

Found a thread in the russian site about updating the older units that came with 4.4.2 to 6.0. I will give that a try later today and report back. I'm mostly concerned about it's native support to USB DAC's so I can finally stop change audio sources in my DSP every time I want to use any app other than UAPP.

EDIT: spoke too soon before reading the updates to the original post!

Can you share your experience and the russian thread's link?
22nd February 2017, 07:40 AM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sambacha

Found a thread in the russian site about updating the older units that came with 4.4.2 to 6.0. I will give that a try later today and report back. I'm mostly concerned about it's native support to USB DAC's so I can finally stop change audio sources in my DSP every time I want to use any app other than UAPP.

EDIT: spoke too soon before reading the updates to the original post!

Can you give us a link?

---------- Post added at 07:40 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:21 AM ----------

can I flash this over Android 4.4?
This is my unit:
Android 4.4.2 Operation System
CPU Processor: Allwinner R16 Cortex A9 Quad-core 1.6GHz
RAM Memory: Samsung DDR3 1GB/16GB
23rd February 2017, 12:13 AM |#10  
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I just installed an EONON GA2162. Link

Which appears to be a clone of the same..

MCU version: 5.3.19-108-10-943101-170114
System version: V7.3.1_20170114.111256_KBT2

Code:
DEVICE
Model: QuadCore-R16 (astar_d7)
Manufacturer: Allwinner
Baseband Version: Not Available
RIL Version: sw-dataonly-ril-for-6.0_v1.0
Build Number: astar_d7-eng 6.0.1 MOB30R 20170112 test-keys
Build Fingerprint: Allwinner/astar_d7/astar-d7:6.0.1/MOB30R/20170112:eng/test-keys
Bootloader: unknown
Java VM: ART 2.1.0
OS Version: Marshmallow (6.0.1)
SDK: 23

DISPLAY
Resolution: 1024x600 pixels
Software Density: 160 dpi (mdpi)
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz

PROCESSOR
CPU Architecture: ARMv7 Processor rev 5 (v7l)
Board: exdroid
Chipset: sun8i
Cores: 4
Clock Speed: 480 MHz - 1200 MHz
Instruction Sets: armeabi-v7a, armeabi
CPU Features: swp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp thumbee neon vfpv3 tls vfpv4 idiva idivt
CPU Governor: Not Available
Kernel Version: 3.4.39
Kernel Architecture: armv7l

GRAPHICS
Renderer: Mali-400 MP
Vendor: ARM
OpenGL Version: OpenGL ES 2.0

RAM
Total: 836 MB
Java Heap: 80 MB

STORAGE
Internal: 12 GB
EXTERNAL: Not Detected
I can dump the rom if anyone desires.
5th March 2017, 08:06 PM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbruda

[*]It would be great if long press events (SWC and/or front panel buttons) can be used. Some hints in various threads suggest that this is possible with these units but I found no way to do it. Advice is once more much appreciated.

Hi, I recently bought one of these for a Ford Mondeo and I somehow have figured about using keypress events.
The problem doesn't lie in the unit itself, but the damn apps it has.
I have been two entire days staring at Extreme Logcat screen and button event but no go, but, suddently, key event started registering next, prev and play/pause.
GREAT, I thought, and I started configuring Xposed Additions to start some audio visualizers in some buttons but when I started the music app, it stopped registering the events. It closed that app and those events where working again. Tried powerAmp and everything works like a charm. Menu and back keystrokes can also be mapped while the on-screen button still do the default action, so:
- It seems like the built-in apps capture those events and prevent anyone (tasker, Xposed Additions) to use them.
- MP3 and video player can be replaced pretty easyly but radio and specially bluetooth manager (Which has a whooping 12 keys that can be customized (0-9, # and *)) cannot be replaced.
- Decompiling the app, and disabling those captures could be the solution to use all those keystrokes OR finding some way to block those apps from capturing those events.

If I get something new I'll post asap.
Hope this helps.
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