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[FIX][EMMC] Nexus 7 2013 ⊕ bricked, dead, frozen or stuck ⊕

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By k23m, Senior Member on 8th February 2016, 04:14 AM
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In this thread I would like to consolidate information about eMMC flash memory failures and remedies.

When flash memory fails it becomes inaccessible or unwriteable with errors like the following:

Code:
sending 'bootloader' <3911 KB>...
OKAY [ 0.202s ]
writing 'bootloader'...
FAILED <remote: flash write failure>
   or
E:can't mount /cache/recovery/last_install
E:can't open /cache/recovery/last_install
E:failed closing /dev/block/platform/msm_sdcc. 1/by-name/misc (I/O error)
E:failed to mount /cache (Invalid argument)
   or
E:Unable to find partition size for '/boot'
E:Unable to find partition size for '/recovery'
E:Unable to find partition size for '/misc'
E:Primary block device '/dev/block/platform/msm_sdcc.1/by-name/userdata' for mount point '/data' is not present!
E:Unable to mount '/data'
E:Unable to recreate /data/media folder.

   dmesg...
mmc0: error -110 whilst initialising MMC card

We observe these hardware failure symptoms:
  1. device is totally dead
  2. dead but flashes a few times the white LED next to USB port
  3. dead but with active USB on PC device list
  4. works up to fastboot stage or Google logo
  5. may slowly boot Android sometimes
  6. intermittently Android does not boot or work at all

#1 - eMMC unrelated

#2 - battery fault is most likely

#3 - catastrophic eMMC failure or GPT/bootloader damage, PC registers a new USB\VID_05C6&PID_9008 device, refer to QPST diagnostics below

#4 - partial eMMC failure or OS error, refer to fastboot diagnostics below

#5 - probably eMMC failure, unlocking and TWRP tests are required - post your logs

#6 - unlikely eMMC fault

Fastboot Diagnostics

If your bricked unit still works in fastboot mode then please do the following tests:
  1. boot the Nexus in fastboot mode (when off press power+vol.dn)
  2. connect it to your PC
  3. on PC run:
    fastboot oem gpt-info
    fastboot format cache
You can run the fastboot app from Windows or Linux...
If you get "partition[30].size 27852783 KB" then your eMMC chip is from Kingston (very high failure rate).
If the format command freezes at any stage, then the eMMC chip is faulty and needs to be replaced.
The normal format output takes only 1 second and is:
Code:
Creating filesystem with parameters:
    Size: 587202560
    Block size: 4096
    Blocks per group: 32768
    Inodes per group: 7168
    Inode size: 256
    Journal blocks: 2240
    Label:
    Blocks: 143360
    Block groups: 5
    Reserved block group size: 39
Created filesystem with 11/35840 inodes and 4616/143360 blocks
erasing 'cache'...
OKAY [  0.359s]
sending 'cache' (10984 KB)...
OKAY [  0.359s]
writing 'cache'...
OKAY [  0.484s]
finished. total time: 1.203s


QPST Diagnostics

Please upload your bricked device's memory dump for investigation. Just try the unbricking guide.
  • download "New Qualcomm 2012.rar"
  • extract the "fre" folder
  • connect your N7 to PC and when asked for a driver point it to the above folder
  • download "New_Qualcomm_QPST-2.7.422.zip"
  • extract it and run "setup.exe"
  • run Start/QPST/MemoryDebugApp.exe
  • in Memory Debug keep clicking "Browse" until you see a new COM port
  • in Memory Debug click "Get Regions"
  • in Memory Debug select and save "CODERAM.BIN"
  • upload "CODERAM.BIN" here

Repair Options
  • ASUS service - apparently they can now do it for free with paid shipping!
  • motherboard replacement - for example this one "pulled from a working unit" for $25
  • RIFF JTAG Box - while the box is not cheap it can be used for other devices too (v1 was $109). Optional tool.
  • off-circuit eMMC programming and chip replacement - it is difficult and expensive but feasible
  • in-circuit Service ROM flashing - after chip replacement or if eMMC is OK but with damaged partition table or bootloader
eMMC chip replacement
  • do not replace it with another Kingston
  • search for eMMC in FBGA 153 or 169 package
  • you can upgrade it to a higher capacity memory
  • new high-performance eMMC v5.1 requires updated software, available here


Nexus 7 2013 uses 3 brands of eMMC chips: Kingston, Hynix and Toshiba.

Kingston was initially identified as unreliable in this post a few years ago:

Quote:

Google Nexus 7 2013 (Asus Razor)
This is bootloader repair package for Google Nexus 7 based on QUALCOMM APQ8064 MCU. Tegra based is not supported !
- GPT is for 32GB chip, hence it's not ticked by default. DO NOT tick it if You have 16GB version
- EFS/CEFS partitions You can tick in case that nothing else works, it's not recommended to try it if You haven't made backup first. In this model, partitions layout is different from all other known Qualcomm devices, hence reading first 512MB for backup wont do any help. Do do proper backup, You have to read 2GB + size (from 0x0000 0000 0000 to 0x0000 9000 0000)
Important ! ! !
- If You have device which hangs on Google logo, and resurrection process hangs at 1%, You'll have to replace the eMMC chip first. Kingston eMMC chips used in these devices oftenly fail and become unwriteable !
Attached Files Asus_Nexus_7.rar (103.60 MB)


The above file is for RIFF JTAG flasher.



My Nexus 7 JTAG collection:
  • Asus_Nexus_7.rar
  • Asus_Nexus_7.txt
  • nexus7 jtag.jpg
  • RIFF Box JTAG GettingStarted.pdf
  • RIFF Box JTAG Manager Setup v1.56.exe



Please post your Nexus 7 2013 eMMC maker in this thread.

So far I have collected the following reports:

Code:
BRICKED         Kingston  Hynix     Toshiba
-------------------------------------------
graphdarnell    1                
fuser-invent    1                
aungmyoswe      1                
marc1706        1                
micl9           1                
consumer61                          1*
bl4cKz4cK       1
patmann03       1
CWempe          1
purian23        1
NX3             1
ali1234         1
lowridincrew    1
DaWeIII         1
HTC Tytn...     1
jaybea          1
vfrvulcan       1
TechnicsKuzya   2
barbuda         1
Snoob25         1
Dazmatic        1
459below        1
amix            1
hypochondrej    1
                                 
WORKING         Kingston  Hynix     Toshiba
-------------------------------------------
fuser-invent    1                
k23m                      2      
yosmokinman               2      
Tmzdroid        1                
graphdarnell    1         2      
OrBy                                1
mydian                              1
quickdraw86               1
micl9                     1
tegodwin                  1*
noahvt                    1
Carrick Glen              1*
Axel85                    1
NTRNSTR                   1

*2015 production

To check the chip in working units use this app or dmesg:

Code:
Kingston (MMC32G)
-----------------
mmc0: new HS200 MMC card at address 0001
mmcblk0: mmc0:0001 MMC32G 28.8 GiB

Hynix (HBG4e)
-------------
mmc0: new HS200 MMC card at address 0001
mmcblk0: mmc0:0001 HBG4e 29.1 GiB

Toshiba (016G92)
----------------
mmcblk0: mmc0:0001 016G92 14.6 GiB

It is not so simple with bricked units but this device is exceptionally easy to disassemble. The chip is on the bottom of the motherboard but unlike the top, it is not covered with any shield (the purple chip).





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8th February 2016, 05:20 PM |#2  
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SD insight says mine is using a Toshiba chip:

Model 016g92, size 16gb, manufacture Apr 2013.
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8th February 2016, 09:25 PM |#3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrBy

SD insight says mine is using a Toshiba chip:
Model 016g92, size 16gb, manufacture Apr 2013.

The third brand - I updated our stats. Thanks a lot for your post!
9th February 2016, 04:24 AM |#4  
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Mine also says Toshiba chip that was manufactured June 2013. I purchased it in November of 2014.
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9th February 2016, 07:12 AM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mydian

Mine also says Toshiba chip that was manufactured June 2013. I purchased it in November of 2014.

Would you be able to check if dmesg log of Toshiba's chip matches model number in the app? My N7 has HBG4e in dmesg and the app.

9th February 2016, 11:14 AM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k23m

Would you be able to check if dmesg log of Toshiba's chip matches model number in the app? My N7 has HBG4e in dmesg and the app.

Mine also has HBG4e in dsmesg and the app... Also may 2013.
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9th February 2016, 11:32 AM |#7  
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I don't think this flash memory problem is mainly on Kingston equipped Nexus 7's. I previously had a device with hynix flash and it would bootloop/restart/hang at Google logo endlessly so I exchanged it for my current device (with Kingston memory ) which runs superb. Is there any way of measuring degrading flash memory over time if there is I'll do it or anything else to solve this issue.

I still have nearly 2 years warranty so am willing to be a Guinea pig.


So after nearly 2 years of daily usage my device is still running like a champ I haven't noticed any performance slowdown over time 😆. The touchscreen response improved after I replaced the battery a while back I'm guessing it had something to do with the ribbon cable or the small circuit board attached to the battery 🤔.
9th February 2016, 12:59 PM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmzdroid

I don't think this flash memory problem is mainly on Kingston equipped Nexus 7's. I previously had a device with hynix flash and it would bootloop/restart/hang at Google logo endlessly so I exchanged it for my current device (with Kingston memory ) which runs superb. Is there any way of measuring degrading flash memory over time if there is I'll do it or anything else to solve this issue. I still have nearly 2 years warranty so am willing to be a Guinea pig

I have Hynix N7 which had a bootloop but this was my fault, I think, because I disabled a service. Now it runs CM12.1 and no more OTAs.

Yes there is a way of measuring flash memory just like SMART in HDD - it was introduced in eMMC v5.0 as "Device Health Report" but our Nexus 7 is probably too old for it. I received a very detailed description of fuser-invent's bricked Nexus 7 with Kingston KE4CN5B6A chip which is eMMC v4.5, without the health report function.

Can you please check the production date of your Kingston? It is possible that only early units were affected and you have nothing to worry about. Kingston does not actually manufacture NAND flash and can use any component available for a product or just change it later.
9th February 2016, 01:10 PM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k23m

I have Hynix N7 which had a bootloop but this was my fault, I think, because I disabled a service. Now it runs CM12.1 and no more OTAs.

Yes there is a way of measuring flash memory just like SMART in HDD - it was introduced in eMMC v5.0 as "Device Health Report" but our Nexus 7 is probably too old for it. I received a very detailed description of fuser-invent's bricked Nexus 7 with Kingston KE4CN5B6A chip which is eMMC v4.5, without the health report function.

Can you please check the production date of your Kingston? It is possible that only early units were affected and you have nothing to worry about. Kingston does not actually manufacture NAND flash and can use any component available for a product or just change it later.


It's July 2013 my previous device was pure stock 6.0.1 factory reset etc it wouldn't even turn on 50% of the time I messed about inside with the ribbon connectors and insulating tape and it improved a little. I had to wait 3 weeks for a replacement which I'm very happy with. Have a look at my previous xda posts you'll get the gist of what I'm saying.
9th February 2016, 03:49 PM |#10  
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i flashed on my nexus 7 2013 one 2012 rom, now he changed to grouper and i cannot use any rom from my 2013, how i go back to the 2013 rom ? since i have signature missmatch
9th February 2016, 06:22 PM |#11  
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Try the Nexus Root Toolkit (NRT) by wugfresh
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