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[WIP][HOW TO][UNBRICK][HARD-BRICK][KF2]Bringing your KF2 back from the dead

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By kurohyou, Member on 22nd August 2013, 03:31 PM
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This guide is a work in progress.
Please be patient as I work on completing this guide, as I work full time and am a full time student.
You can find the original discussion thread for this topic here!

DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for any damage to yourself, your Kindle, or other property incurred by following any or all parts of this guide. Proceed at your own risk.

WARNING: Do not attempt to follow this guide unless you are fairly familiar with soldering and Linux commands. Serious harm to yourself, your Kindle, and/or your computer can result if you are not careful.


Q. What devices will this work on?
A. This how-to works for the Kindle Fire 2 only. (There are other methods of restoring a bricked original Kindle Fire; refer to the FAQ for that device)

Q. Why won't this work for KFHD7"/8.9"?
A. The motherboard designs for the KFHDs are different. That means that the entire process of finding all the solder points for those motherboards (including desoldering the e-MMC) has to be repeated before the same method for fixing hard-bricks on them can be used. (Note: If you have a hard-bricked or otherwise broken KFHD7"/8.9" that you'd be willing to donate for this endeavor, please PM me)

Q. Under what circumstance does will this guide help?
A. This guide is intended to restore the KF2 that was previously thought to be beyond restoring, or hard-bricked, as a result of flashing the incorrect image to your ROM. This means a KF2 that does not display anything on the screen and does not light up the power LED when the power button is pressed (i.e. it appears dead even after charging). If your KF2 still shows signs of life but is not working, please try one of the other methods of repairing it. Might I suggest Q16-23 of the FAQ?

Q. Is there any way to do this without all the soldering?
A. At this time, no; however, I am in the process of developing a device to do this that does not require soldering.

Q. I don't feel comfortable doing this myself. Can I have you fix it for me?
A. Send me a PM and we'll work out the details.

Required materials:
Hard-bricked Kindle Fire 2
USB SD card reader (one with only one slot, NOT the multi-card readers)*
30 AWG wire (I found mine at Radioshack)
solder (the smaller the diameter, the better)
soldering iron (pencil iron will work, but soldering station is better)
plastic opening tools
a small Phillips screwdriver (mine came with my plastic opening tool kit)
a computer with Linux (a live CD of a distro should theoretically work, but I used an installed copy of Ubuntu 13.04)

*For cheap card readers near me (literally three blocks up the road), I found this one from Microcenter and this one from Tigerdirect. Go with whatever is cheapest for you.
Suggested materials:
Helping hands tool
A good light source
Magnifying glass/magnifying visor (I used a x7 magnifying glass with built-in light)
Desoldering pump/wick (in case you mess something up, need to desolder the SD card reader, or want to clean up your board after you're done)
Lots of patience
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22nd August 2013, 03:57 PM |#2  
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Preparing the motherboard

Warning: Take care to protect sensitive electrical components (like the ones found on your KF2) from ESD.

1. Remove the motherboard from the Kindle. If you need directions on how to do that, please refer to ifixit (stop at step 8). Note: You do not need to remove the battery from the case.
2. Take a moment and familiarize yourself with the layout of the motherboard.(Solder points are marked. Keep these images handy for reference)
Front:

(Click for larger image)


This is just an FYI (not required to do this): When you first take out the motherboard, the e-MMC will be covered by a piece of grey foam. Underneath that is a sticker that covers the chip information.
Back:

(Click for larger image)


Note: For CMD and DAT1, you will be soldering to the marked leads of the SMD components. All other soldering will be to the marked copper pads.
3. Place it to the side in a safe location
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22nd August 2013, 04:50 PM |#3  
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Preparing the SD card reader
There are a few different variations when it comes to SD card readers. In addition to through-hole vs. SMD, there may be variation in the location of the card-detect switch pins. All other pins (DAT0-3, Vcc, GND, CMD, and CLK) will always have the same location relative to each other.

Examples:

SMD with card detect switch at the top



Through-hole with card detect switch in the middle (Front) (card connector removed)


Through-hole with card detect switch in the middle (Back)
1. Remove your reader from the package.
It should look something like this:
2. Remove the plastic housing and any metal shielding from the SD card connector.
You're left with this:
3.There are two ways to proceed from here: (a) For through-hole, use the pads (b)For through-hole or SMD, solder directly to the connector pins.
4. (a) Carefully desolder all the pins from the card connector. (b) Skip this step.
5. Cut your wire. You will need 10 pieces. 9 of them need to be long enough to get from the MB to the card reader (I went with about 6-8 inches) with 6 of them the same length (for DAT0-1, CMD, and CLK to minimize chance of signals arriving at different times). The last wire should be long enough to jump the card detect switch (CD_SW) to ground (GND).
6. Carefully strip about 0.5-1 cm of the insulation each end of all the wires.
7. (Refer to example images at beginning of post) Take your small wire and jump CD_SW to GND by (a) placing the wire through CD_SW and GND and soldering or (b) soldering one end of the wire to the CD_SW connector pin and the other to a GND connector pin.
8. (Refer to example images at beginning of post) Take your 6 wires of equal length and solder one each to DAT0-3, CMD, and CLK (a) through the hole or (b) to the card connector pins.
9. (Refer to example images at beginning of post) Take one of the remaining wires and solder it to GND by (a) or (b) as above.
10. (Refer to example images at beginning of post) Take your last two remaining wires and twist one end of the exposed wire together. Solder this end to Vcc by (a) or (b) as above. These will be used to connect to Vcc and VccQ on the motherboard.
11. Your finished product should look something like this (for a):
Front:


Back:
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22nd August 2013, 05:50 PM |#4  
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22nd August 2013, 06:24 PM |#5  
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Connecting it all together

Soldering to the copper pads is tricky. The solder doesn't like to stick, and when it does, you have to be very careful not to move the wire until it cools. Also, if you have to attempt to solder the same pad more than once, lacquer tends to build up. Keep something handy (like tweezers) to scrape it off if it gets in the way
Reference photos:

Front:

(Click for larger image)


Back:

(Click for larger image)


Card reader:
1. Solder the wire from the card reader to the corresponding pads as marked in the images above. Using the helping hands tool to hold the board and the reader makes things much easier. It's probably easiest if you solder DAT0 on the front first, then turn the board over and with audio jack, etc. on the left, solder each spot from top to bottom, left to right. Note: Solder one Vcc wire from the card reader to one Vcc pad on the board and the other to VccQ.
Once finished, it should look like this:
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26th September 2013, 08:01 AM |#6  
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Smile Next Step?
Wanna try this with my bricked kf 2nd gen. But I need to research more on it first...

On what state will the tablet be when you plug in the finished product to the computer?

can you please put the next steps ?

Thanks!
8th December 2013, 03:33 AM |#7  
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Unhappy What's next??
Hello there... I was reading your steps to repair my dead KF2 on your post... and I noticed you said on the requirements that we need a Linux PC, preferably with Ubuntu, to proceed... but There are no more steps after you show how to solder.

Can you tell me, please, What's next? What happens when I connect the logic board with the soldered wires to the SD adapter, to the linux PC? how do I revive it?

Please, help me... I want to give that Kindle as a gift to someone on my church who needs it, And I want to try to fix it!!

Thanks for your time and sharing your knowledge. God bless you.

-----

Quote:
Originally Posted by kurohyou

This guide is a work in progress.
Please be patient as I work on completing this guide, as I work full time and am a full time student.
You can find the original discussion thread for this topic here!

DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for any damage to yourself, your Kindle, or other property incurred by following any or all parts of this guide. Proceed at your own risk.

WARNING: Do not attempt to follow this guide unless you are fairly familiar with soldering and Linux commands. Serious harm to yourself, your Kindle, and/or your computer can result if you are not careful.


Q. What devices will this work on?
A. This how-to works for the Kindle Fire 2 only. (There are other methods of restoring a bricked original Kindle Fire; refer to the FAQ for that device)

Q. Why won't this work for KFHD7"/8.9"?
A. The motherboard designs for the KFHDs are different. That means that the entire process of finding all the solder points for those motherboards (including desoldering the e-MMC) has to be repeated before the same method for fixing hard-bricks on them can be used. (Note: If you have a hard-bricked or otherwise broken KFHD7"/8.9" that you'd be willing to donate for this endeavor, please PM me)

Q. Under what circumstance does will this guide help?
A. This guide is intended to restore the KF2 that was previously thought to be beyond restoring, or hard-bricked, as a result of flashing the incorrect image to your ROM. This means a KF2 that does not display anything on the screen and does not light up the power LED when the power button is pressed (i.e. it appears dead even after charging). If your KF2 still shows signs of life but is not working, please try one of the other methods of repairing it. Might I suggest Q16-23 of the FAQ?

Q. Is there any way to do this without all the soldering?
A. At this time, no; however, I am in the process of developing a device to do this that does not require soldering.

Q. I don't feel comfortable doing this myself. Can I have you fix it for me?
A. Send me a PM and we'll work out the details.

Required materials:

Hard-bricked Kindle Fire 2
USB SD card reader (one with only one slot, NOT the multi-card readers)*
30 AWG wire (I found mine at Radioshack)
solder (the smaller the diameter, the better)
soldering iron (pencil iron will work, but soldering station is better)
plastic opening tools
a small Phillips screwdriver (mine came with my plastic opening tool kit)
a computer with Linux (a live CD of a distro should theoretically work, but I used an installed copy of Ubuntu 13.04)

*For cheap card readers near me (literally three blocks up the road), I found this one from Microcenter and this one from Tigerdirect. Go with whatever is cheapest for you.
Suggested materials:
Helping hands tool
A good light source
Magnifying glass/magnifying visor (I used a x7 magnifying glass with built-in light)
Desoldering pump/wick (in case you mess something up, need to desolder the SD card reader, or want to clean up your board after you're done)
Lots of patience

8th December 2013, 09:50 AM |#8  
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Once you have a Linux PC up and running or even just a Ubuntu live is will do, download the boot loader for your kindle, I don't have links at the moment, but one place you can get it is download the latest official update for your device from Amazon's support section, I am pretty sure Linux should automatically recognize it as a zip file even though it ends in .bin, if not just changes the end to .zip. Extract the file called u-boot.bin to wherever you find convenient, for my convenience I will say extract to the home folder( the terminals default to that directory so it makes things simpler). Now plug in the USB adapter you have soldered to the kindle. If it mounts anything I suggest unmounting it just to be on the over protective side. You will now need to determine the device path that is given to the kindles emmc, easiest way is to check in gparted or disks, or by running the mount command from a terminal if you haven't yet unmounted the other partitions and know what you are looking for. Once it has been determined you should run a command similar to this in a terminal:
Code:
 sudo dd bs=1 if=u-boot.bin of=/dev/sdb2
take note to replace sdb2 with the device name your PC assigned to the device, but remember to leave the 2 so it only flashes that to the second partition instead of over the entire emmc. Once you run this and it succeeds, you should eject the device or just shut the PC down, disconnect your wires and try powering on the kindle. @kurohyou did I leave anything important out? I will probably make this formatted better later on when I am actually on a PC.

Sent from my Amazon Kindle Fire HD running CM10.1 Tablet UI using xda-developers app
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8th December 2013, 03:27 PM |#9  
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Looks good to me. The semester is almost over and someone is sending me a KF2 to fix, so once it arrives, I'll go through and take screenshots of the process and finish up the guide. At that time, I'll ask the mods to clean up this topic (delete posts) so it flows well.
10th December 2013, 05:10 PM |#10  
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super!
but if you know how the AMAZON lab126 guys fix it you will know it‘s very easy
y.
11th December 2013, 02:10 AM |#11  
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Yes but they have signed files we don't have access to that are necessary for reflashing it with usbboot/aboot or w/e that utility is called.

Sent from my Amazon Kindle Fire HD running CM10.1 Tablet UI using xda-developers app
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