[GUIDE][FIRMWARE] QLink Scepter 8 Stock Firmware Restoration & Upgrading Guide

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mdtryme

Member
Apr 1, 2021
7
4
Portland, OR
since i use linux mint cinnamon should i assume i dont need etcher or the live usb ? cant i do the same job without doubling up on the obvious if not let me know ok. thank you
 
Has anybody tried the fastboot method yet? Seemed to work great on my device but I'd like to get input from other members, good or bad. Is there anything I could improve upon or change? My goal with this method was to alleviate the device recognition issues often experienced by members with Windows.
Let me know.
 

SunSlide

Member
Mar 18, 2022
30
3
Has anybody tried the fastboot method yet? Seemed to work great on my device but I'd like to get input from other members, good or bad. Is there anything I could improve upon or change? My goal with this method was to alleviate the device recognition issues often experienced by members with Windows.
Let me know.
Tried it today. Copied the script to a file in the unzip location and put a she bang at the top. Worked great in fastbootd to restore the original firmware and unbrick a boot loop into recovery. What did not work was the last two commands. I had to reboot into the bootloader where fast boot also works and run those command by them selfs. Now I can't flash a GSI to my system partition anymore. I shoulda just left it alone when it was working how I wanted lol.
 
Tried it today. Copied the script to a file in the unzip location and put a she bang at the top. Worked great in fastbootd to restore the original firmware and unbrick a boot loop into recovery. What did not work was the last two commands. I had to reboot into the bootloader where fast boot also works and run those command by them selfs. Now I can't flash a GSI to my system partition anymore. I shoulda just left it alone when it was working how I wanted lol.
If you're getting an error when flashing a GSI, try this while in FASTBOOTD mode.
Code:
fastboot delete-logical-partition product_a
fastboot delete-logical-partition product_b
The /product partitions are not needed when running a GSI. Deleting both /product slots frees up available space in the dynamic /super partition, and should make room for a GSI.image. But remember, this cannot be performed in legacy fastboot mode. You'll need to boot into FASTBOOTD mode by executing:
Code:
adb reboot fastboot
Or, just select the option for entering fastboot mode from stock recovery.
 
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Tried it today. Copied the script to a file in the unzip location and put a she bang at the top. Worked great in fastbootd to restore the original firmware and unbrick a boot loop into recovery. What did not work was the last two commands. I had to reboot into the bootloader where fast boot also works and run those command by them selfs. Now I can't flash a GSI to my system partition anymore. I shoulda just left it alone when it was working how I wanted lol.
If you're getting an error when flashing a GSI, try this while in FASTBOOTD mode.
Code:
fastboot delete-logical-partition product_a
fastboot delete-logical-partition product_b
 

SunSlide

Member
Mar 18, 2022
30
3
If you're getting an error when flashing a GSI, try this while in FASTBOOTD mode.
Code:
fastboot delete-logical-partition product_a
fastboot delete-logical-partition product_b
Yeah, deleting partition product a is what originally started my issues. Didnt try both but dont see that helping at the momment. So long story short, i had linageos18 installed and working because it was the only one that installed no problem and booted. I then wanted to see if v17 or 19 would run better so i ended up deleting product_a(instructed by the tutorial i was goin through from asop) and flashed system_a but that ended in a boot loop to recovery. After trying to reflash v18 with no progress i used your the script to recover the stock firmware. Now from fastbootd (fastboot reboot fastboot) when i try to flash the system partition it's saying it cant write to the partition table when it does the resize on it. When i try from the bootloader,(fastboot reboot bootloader, fastboot flash system rom.img) it says it cant find the system partition but i can wipe the system partition. Something wierd is that i cant seem to flash roms from boot loader mode but cant erase partitions(fastboot erase part-name) from fastbootd mode. In other words, i have to flash in fastbootd and then reboot to boot loader to wipe partitions. Ive tried flashing the modified boot a time or two but that didnt help. I havnt had the time, but i was going todo the full restore again and root it from the top to get back to where i was the first time i installed lineage18.... Unless you or anyone else may have better ideas? I'd like to just know what im doing here.

Also, I was thinking about trying to port twrp to this as a learning exsperiance, would reflashing the stock rom fix anything i mess up? I noticed it reflashes the boot partitions and was thinking i could use it as a fail safe.
Edit: i do fully understand i can brick the device but this particular unit is 'desposible' enough im willing to take the chance to learn.
 
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Yeah, deleting partition product a is what originally started my issues. Didnt try both but dont see that helping at the momment. So long story short, i had linageos18 installed and working because it was the only one that installed no problem and booted. I then wanted to see if v17 or 19 would run better so i ended up deleting product_a(instructed by the tutorial i was goin through from asop) and flashed system_a but that ended in a boot loop to recovery. After trying to reflash v18 with no progress i used your the script to recover the stock firmware. Now from fastbootd (fastboot reboot fastboot) when i try to flash the system partition it's saying it cant write to the partition table when it does the resize on it. When i try from the bootloader,(fastboot reboot bootloader, fastboot flash system rom.img) it says it cant find the system partition but i can wipe the system partition. Something wierd is that i cant seem to flash roms from boot loader mode but cant erase partitions(fastboot erase part-name) from fastbootd mode. In other words, i have to flash in fastbootd and then reboot to boot loader to wipe partitions. Ive tried flashing the modified boot a time or two but that didnt help. I havnt had the time, but i was going todo the full restore again and root it from the top to get back to where i was the first time i installed lineage18.... Unless you or anyone else may have better ideas? I'd like to just know what im doing here.

Also, I was thinking about trying to port twrp to this as a learning exsperiance, would reflashing the stock rom fix anything i mess up? I noticed it reflashes the boot partitions and was thinking i could use it as a fail safe.
Edit: i do fully understand i can brick the device but this particular unit is 'desposible' enough im willing to take the chance to learn.
Ok thanks for expounding on the specifics. I'm fairly certain you've corrupted the /super partition or perhaps inadvertently resized it while in fastboot mode. The good news is,.repairing the partition index is not complicated. You'll need to perform the v9 firmware installation using one of three tools:
• PhoenixUSB Pro; or
•PhoenixSuit; or
• LiveSuit
Installing the firmware using the fastboot script , unfortunately, does not reconfigure the partition index to its factory default. I outlined instructions for restoring firmware using PhoenixUSB Pro; however, the setup is for Windows. If you are running Linux, LiveSuit will do nicely. Once you restore the firmware using LiveSuit, your issue will be resolved. All three tools I listed were developed by Allwinner. I'll get you a link and instructions for using it now.

• LiveSuit Downloads - All Versions
• How to Flash Firmware Using LiveSuit

If you have a Windows PC or laptop, simply follow my instructions in the PhoenixUSB Pro section.
 
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SunSlide

Member
Mar 18, 2022
30
3
Ok thanks for expounding on the specifics. I'm fairly certain you've corrupted the /super partition or perhaps inadvertently resized it while in fastboot mode. The good news is,.repairing the partition index is not complicated. You'll need to perform the v9 firmware installation using one of three tools:
• PhoenixUSB Pro; or
•PhoenixSuit; or
• LiveSuit
Installing the firmware using the fastboot script , unfortunately, does not reconfigure the partition index to its factory default. I outlined instructions for restoring firmware using PhoenixUSB Pro; however, the setup is for Windows. If you are running Linux, LiveSuit will do nicely. Once you restore the firmware using LiveSuit, your issue will be resolved. All three tools I listed were developed by Allwinner. I'll get you a link and instructions for using it now.

• LiveSuit Downloads - All Versions
• How to Flash Firmware Using LiveSuit

If you have a Windows PC or laptop, simply follow my instructions in the PhoenixUSB Pro section.
Yeah, i dunno Viva. I have a dual boot system so that wasnt an issue but i couldnt get phoenix or livesuite to reconize it. I could get it to the point where it poped up with the message box that said connecting and would hang until i un plugged the device from my laptop. Livesuite was a simular exsperiance on windows. I tried to install live suite on several different linux boxes and a vmmachine and just couldnt get it to install. I got it where it boots and is rooted so that suites my purposes. I think im gonna give up on the gsi for now though. After hours of reading,rebooting, and tapping the power button, i still cant modify the partitions. Is there a particular linux that livesuite works on? I tried manjaro, arco, ubuntu server and debian. It just said no to the arch based distos and complained about the dkms modules in the otger two.

Anyway, thanks for your help!
 
Yeah, device recognition has been an issue for many users. The Allwinner based tools like PhoenixUSB Pro flash the device while in BROM mode, which is the hardware embedded bootloader. Since you have Windows and Linux, use my PhoenixUSB Pro instructions in this thread. I have included a step-by-step section titled "Installing USB Device Drivers" in the guide, which you should give close attention. Start from scratch and follow all steps to the letter.
 
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SunSlide

Member
Mar 18, 2022
30
3
Yeah, device recognition has been an issue for many users. The Allwinner based tools like PhoenixUSB Pro flash the device while in BROM mode, which is the hardware embedded bootloader. Since you have Windows and Linux, use my PhoenixUSB Pro instructions in this thread. I have included a step-by-step section titled "Installing USB Device Drivers" in the guide, which you should give close attention. Start from scratch and follow all steps to the letter.
I might go ahead and give it another go tonight when i get home. Is there a difference in clickin the power button 3 times like you say and 10 times like the live suite says? Also, do you know how to modify the permissions or modify the partitions them selfs? Other then with the fastboot commands create/delete/resize_logical_partition? Ive scoured the net lookin for a way.
 
I might go ahead and give it another go tonight when i get home. Is there a difference in clickin the power button 3 times like you say and 10 times like the live suite says? Also, do you know how to modify the permissions or modify the partitions them selfs? Other then with the fastboot commands create/delete/resize_logical_partition? Ive scoured the net lookin for a way.
No real difference. It can be recognized in as few as 3 to 4 clicks, or it can take as many as 8 to 10.
There are Linux based tools like parted that can be used to repartition flash memory. But you shouldn't need anything like that here. The Scepter 8 uses the Dynamic partition scheme, as you know. In addition, it uses the A/B seamless update partition scheme. Your issue comes down to needing to revert the partition index to the factory default. The only practical way of doing that is to flash a stock firmware using one of the three Allwinner based tools. I.corrupted my tablet too when first tinkering around with modding, rooting it and such. such. Once you flash the firmware with an official tool, it will go back to normal. Fortunately, Allwinner tablets are almost impossible to hard brick because they have hardware embedded bootloader code. The Allwinner based flashing tools communicate directly with that component when restoring firmware.

I do have a tip for you: whenever the flashing tool prompts you to begin with the hardware key combo and connecting the USB, your device has been booted into BROM mode. This is where you are having trouble with recognition. If, after following the instructions, your tablet still isn't recognized, keep it connected and right click on the Windows Start button. Open Device Manager and locate your tablet in the list. Let me know how Device Manager is listing your tablet. I can troubleshoot it and maybe resolve this issue if I have that info.
 
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SunSlide

Member
Mar 18, 2022
30
3
No real difference. It can be recognized in as few as 3 to 4 clicks, or it can take as many as 8 to 10.
There are Linux based tools like parted that can be used to repartition flash memory. But you shouldn't need anything like that here. The Scepter 8 uses the Dynamic partition scheme, as you know. In addition, it uses the A/B seamless update partition scheme. Your issue comes down to needing to revert the partition index to the factory default. The only practical way of doing that is to flash a stock firmware using one of the three Allwinner based tools. I.corrupted my tablet too when first tinkering around with modding, rooting it and such. such. Once you flash the firmware with an official tool, it will go back to normal. Fortunately, Allwinner tablets are almost impossible to hard brick because they have hardware embedded bootloader code. The Allwinner based flashing tools communicate directly with that component when restoring firmware.

I do have a tip for you: whenever the flashing tool prompts you to begin with the hardware key combo and connecting the USB, your device has been booted into BROM mode. This is where you are having trouble with recognition. If, after following the instructions, your tablet still isn't recognized, keep it connected and right click on the Windows Start button. Open Device Manager and locate your tablet in the list. Let me know how Device Manager is listing your tablet. I can troubleshoot it and maybe resolve this issue if I have that info.
Ill try when i get home but that wont be for awhile so ill update ya overnight. Thank you for that explination. Ill have to read up on this brom mode a little bit. What should i exspect from the tablet when im in this mode? Ill double check the drivers and what not. I feel like im getting there because windows makes the little doot-da-doo after i click the power 5 times or so. That dont mean my drivers are right though. What driver should appear when im in that mode?
 
Ill try when i get home but that wont be for awhile so ill update ya overnight. Thank you for that explination. Ill have to read up on this brom mode a little bit. What should i exspect from the tablet when im in this mode? Ill double check the drivers and what not. I feel like im getting there because windows makes the little doot-da-doo after i click the power 5 times or so. That dont mean my drivers are right though. What driver should appear when im in that mode?
The tablet should closely resemble a hard bricked device while in BROM mode: blank screen, unresponsive, hardware key actions
seemingly ineffective. This is why it's sometimes difficult to get a device out of BROM mode.
The driver should be a composite bootloader interface type. I have no doubt that the tool is properly booting your tablet into BROM mode; I think the sole issue is the driver. I can walk you through manually updating the driver while in BROM mode.
 
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  • 1
    QLink Scepter 8 Tablet
    Stock Firmware Restoration
    And Upgrading Guide


    allwinner-logo-2017-d01-650x364-4.jpg

    OVERVIEW:
    Now that the manufacturer has released some stock firmware images for this tablet, I wanted to follow up with a comprehensive guide for performing a full firmware restoration and/or upgrading the firmware to a newer build version. This guide can be used to restore a device stuck in a boot loop, a bricked device, or a device which has become unstable due to issues with the Android OS or corresponding firmware. This guide can also be used for members who wish to upgrade the firmware from an earlier build version.
    This guide will be outlined to provide two firmware installation methods: (A) PhoenixUSB Pro Flash Tool for Windows; and (B) Fastboot Flashing Firmware With Linux. The first method uses the official Allwinner developed firmware flashing utility PheonixUSB Pro v4.0.0. While this method is the most efficient way to restore your tablet with official stock firmware, many users have experienced device recognition issues with this Windows setup. I have included a troubleshooting section for this method, outlining the steps to properly install the applicable USB device drivers. However, in the event you cannot establish proper device recognition using this method, Section B, the second method, outlines instructions for flashing firmware images using fastboot commands on a Linux setup. The Linux distro for Windows used for this method natively recognizes the Scepter 8 in both ADB & fastboot mode by virtue of the integrated ADB/Fastboot drivers & tools.

    A. METHOD 1
    PhoenixUSB Pro For Windows


    PREREQUISITES:
    There are a number of flash tools that can be used for installing firmware on the Scepter 8. As most of you already know, this tablet is powered by the Allwinner-A100 SoC platform. In this guide, we will be using PhoenixUSBPro v4.0.0 for Windows. This particular tool is ideal for firmware restoration on devices which are either bricked or otherwise unable to boot into the Android OS. Enabling USB Debugging beforehand is not required, as this tool recognizes the device and initiates firmware installation from a powered-off state.
    For prerequisites, you will need a PC or laptop running on Windows 7/8.1/10/11, the latest PhoenixUSBPro v4.0.0 flash tool (I have provided a link below), the OEM-supplied or a quality equivalent micro USB to USB-A data sync cable, and a factory firmware image (link provided below). Also, this guide assumes that you have already installed the correct USB device drivers on your Windows computer. If you have not, or if you are experiencing issues with device recognition, I have included a section below on installing and updating the USB device drivers.

    DISCLAIMER:
    This guide involves flashing the partitions of your device with stock firmware. As such, there are always risks involved. By proceeding further, you are assuming sole responsibility and liability for the integrity and operability of your tablet. I am not responsible or liable in the event you damage your device or render it otherwise inoperable on the basis of this guide. Follow the instructions carefully and I'm confident things will go smoothly. If there is something you are unclear about, this thread is noob-friendly, so feel free to ask questions in comments.


    INSTALLING USB DEVICE DRIVERS
    If you have previously installed ADB & USB device drivers on your Windows computer, skip down to the next section. Otherwise, download the 15-Second ADB Installer v1.5.6 from the link below. Extract the contents of the archive to a folder on your desktop, or to another convenient directory on your PC or laptop. Open the utility and press the "Y" key when prompted to install the ADB & Fastboot drivers. Select "Y" again when prompted to install ADB as system-wide. Next, you will be given an option to install USB device drivers. Once again, press the "Y" key. A Device Drivers Installation Wizard window will be launched. Click the Next box in the lower right-hand section. If you receive a red warning notification that the drivers are unsigned, choose the option to install anyway. The Google universal USB device drivers will be installed on your computer. It' is recommended to reboot your PC or laptop once you see the notification that the drivers were successfully installed. That's it. Your Windows computer should now be configured with the proper drivers.

    FIRMWARE RESTORATION/UPGRADE

    This will restore your device to its stock factory configuration, removing any system-level mods, root binaries, custom software, etc. These steps can also be followed to upgrade your firmware to V9 in the event you are running an older build version. Warning: this procedure will erase all userdata from your tablet. Before proceeding further, create a backup of all important files and media that you wish to keep.

    1. Download PhoenixUSBPro v4.0.0 from the link below and extract the contents of the archived file to your computer desktop or to another directory which is easily accessible;
    2. Download the V9 stock firmware package from the link below and extract the firmware image (.img file) to a convenient directory on your computer;
    3. Power off your Scepter 8 tablet;
    4. In the directory where you extracted the flash tool, open PhoenixUSBPro.exe. Once it launches, click on the Image box in the upper left of the interface. A file explorer will be launched. Navigate to the directory where you saved the firmware image (.img file). Select the image and then click Open in the lower right section of the window;
    5. Now, click the Start button located in the upper section of the interface. A large green checkmark will appear in the upper right-hand corner, indicating that the firmware is now ready for installation;
    6. Connect the USB data sync cable to your computer, but not yet your tablet. Ensuring it is powered off, hold the Volume Down key on your tablet and connect the data sync cable to the micro USB port. While continuing to hold Volume Down, tap the Power key three times and then release Volume Down;
    7. PhoenixUSBPro should recognize your device, initiating the firmware installation automatically. The flashing process typically takes about four minutes. When complete, you will see a green checkmark and a notification that the installation has finished;
    8. Now, close the PhoenixUSBPro flash tool and disconnect your tablet from your computer. That's it. Upon reboot, your tablet will be reverted to its stock factory state and running on the V9 firmware build version.

    DOWNLOADS:
    15-Second ADB Installer v1.5.6
    PhoenixUSBPro v4.0.0
    Stock Firmware Image V6 **
    Stock Firmware Image V9

    ** The V6 firmware is provided as a resource only. Unless your tablet is presently running on V6 or an earlier firmware build, it is not recommended for installation. Allwinner-based devices are not known to play nice when it comes to downgrading. I have not personally tested downgrading the Scepter 8; therefore I cannot vouch for the stability or feasibility of downgrading the firmware.


    image002.jpg

    The Version 1 illustration reflects a tablet that shipped with the V6 firmware build.
    The Version 2 illustration reflects a tablet that shipped with the most recent V9 build.

    B. METHOD 2
    Fastboot Flashing Via Linux Distro

    This method is for Windows users who are experiencing insurmountable issues with device recognition, or users who simply prefer using a Linux-based method versus Windows.
    **IMPORTANT NOTE: This particular method is effective for restoring the stock firmware and getting a tablet up and running again. However, and unlike the PhoenixUSB Pro procedure outlined in the previous section, this method does not fully restore all firmware components to a full factory state. For a comprehensive and full restoration of the firmware, you will need to use an Allwinner-based tool such as PhoenixSuit, PhoenixUSB Pro, or LiveSuit.

    PREREQUISITES:
    First and foremost, your device must be able to boot into bootloader mode (legacy fastboot mode) .
    For this method, we will be using a Linux live-boot distro called FWUL ("Forget Windows Use Linux"). However, you may use your preferred Linux distro instead. This particular Linux project is integrated with ADB & fastboot drivers as well as a ton of other useful utilities for various chipsets and manufacturers. For this method you will need a Windows 7/8.1/10/11 (64-bit) PC or laptop, a USB flash drive with a minimum capacity of 16GB, the latest Etcher ISO burning software (link included below), a micro USB to USB-A data syncing cable, the latest stable FWUL Linux live-boot distro (included below), and the V9 firmware images for the QLink Scepter 8 (link provided below).

    BURNING THE LIVE-BOOT ISO:
    Download Etcher and FWUL from the links below and save both files on your Windows desktop or another easily accessible directory. Install the Etcher image burning software by double clicking the balenaEtcher.exe file. Once launched, select the Flash From File option, navigate to the saved location of the FWUL image file, then click on Open. Next, select the target device, which is the USB flash drive to which FWUL will be installed. Now click on Flash. A progress bar will reflect the status of the installation. Once finished, ensure that you have configured BIOS to boot from a USB drive, and reboot your computer to initiate the live boot distro.

    FIRMWARE RESTORATION/UPGRADE:
    This procedure will restore your tablet to its stock factory configuration. It will also wipe all userdata saved on your device so, if possible, make a backup of any important data before proceeding further. This guide assumes that you are using the included FWUL Linux distro for this procedure. If you are using a preferred Linux build, simply substitute the following steps with actions equivalent to your distro.
    1. From your FWUL home screen, establish an internet connection, open the Firefox browser, and download the v9 Firmware Image archive from the link below. Extract the contents of the archive to a new folder on the desktop or another convenient directory. The integrated Thunar File Manager is recommended for extracting and accessing the firmware images;​
    2. Open the folder containing the firmware images, select the File menu in the upper-left corner, then select Open Terminal Here;
    3. With your tablet powered off, hold the Power & Volume Down keys together for several seconds, until a green Android appears in the center of your display. You are now in fastboot mode. Connect your tablet to your PC or laptop using a suitable micro USB to USB-A data syncing cable;​
    4. In the terminal you opened in Step 2, execute this command:​
    Code:
    fastboot devices
    The terminal should return with an alphanumeric string (the ESN of your tablet) followed by the word fastboot. This indicates that your tablet and PC are communicating properly;​
    5. Copy the fastboot flashing script in the code box below, by right clicking on the beginning of the first command and highlighting the entire script scrolling down, and paste the script in the command terminal by right clicking in the command prompt. A warning dialog box may appear. If so, click the Paste box in the lower right-hand corner of the dialog box.​
    6. Fastboot will now systematically flash your tablet with the applicable firmware images. The entire process can take approximately 3 to 4 minutes to complete. When completed, press RETURN one last time and then enter this command:​
    Code:
    fastboot reboot
    Your tablet should now be restored to its stock configuration and running on the v9 Firmware build.​


    NOTE: The super.img is a large dynamic partition image that encompasses system.img (slots _a & _b), product.img (slots _a & _b), and vendor.img (slots _a & _b). Due to its large size, fastboot will divide the image into 57 smaller sparse images and systematically flash them to your device. This will occur automatically, so no user-initiated action is required. However, the process will take about 4 minutes, so just be patient and allow fastboot to complete the flash.




    FASTBOOT FLASHING SCRIPT:
    Code:
    fastboot flash bootloader_a bootloader_a.img
    fastboot flash bootloader_b bootloader_b.img
    fastboot flash env_a env_a.img
    fastboot flash env_b env_b.img
    fastboot flash boot_a boot_a.img
    fastboot flash boot_b boot_b.img
    fastboot flash vendor_boot_a vendor_boot_a.img
    fastboot flash vendor_boot_b vendor_boot_b.img
    fastboot flash super super.img
    fastboot flash misc misc.img
    fastboot flash vbmeta_a vbmeta_a.img
    fastboot flash vbmeta_b vbmeta_b.img
    fastboot flash vbmeta_system_a vbmeta_system_a.img
    fastboot flash vbmeta_system_b vbmeta_system_b.img
    fastboot flash vbmeta_vendor_a vbmeta_vendor_a.img
    fastboot flash vbmeta_vendor_b vbmeta_vendor_b.img
    fastboot flash dtbo_a dtbo_a.img
    fastboot flash dtbo_b dtbo_b.img
    fastboot erase userdata
    fastboot erase UDISK


    DOWNLOADS:
    Etcher v1.7.9 Image Burning Tool
    FWUL v3.1 x86_64 (15GB)
    v9 Firmware Images / Scepter 8
    FWUL Discussion & Release Thread

    THANKS & MENTIONS
    The PhoenixUSBPro tool was created and distributed by AllWinner Technology Co., LTD. Full credit for this tool goes to AllWinner. Thanks to Hot Pepper Mobile CEO Shawn Sun and Support Specialist Joshua G for providing factory firmware images for the QLink Scepter 8. A huge thanks to @steadfasterX for his miraculous work and continued development on FWUL and mAid. May his genius live forever.
    Last, but not least, thanks to @13lack13ox for providing input and recommending the benefits of using PhoenixUSBPro in lieu of PhoenixSuit.




    1
    QLink Scepter 8 Tablet
    Stock Firmware Restoration
    And Upgrading Guide

    View attachment 5554999
    OVERVIEW:
    Now that the manufacturer has released some stock firmware images for this tablet, I wanted to follow up with a comprehensive guide for installation using the Phoenix Suite flash tool. This guide can be used to restore a device stuck in a boot loop, a bricked device, or a device which has become unstable due to issues with the Android OS or corresponding firmware. This guide also outlines the procedure for upgrading your QLink Scepter 8 to a newer firmware build.

    PREREQUISITES:
    There are a number of flash tools that can be used for installing firmware on the Scepter 8. As most of you already know, this tablet is powered by the Allwinner-A100 SoC platform. In this guide, we will be using Phoenix Suite v1.10 for Windows. Accordingly, you will need a PC or laptop running on Windows 7/8.1/10/11, the Phoenix Suite flash tool (I have provided a link below), the OEM-supplied or a quality equivalent micro USB to USB-A data sync cable, and a factory firmware image (link provided below). Also, this guide assumes that you have already installed the correct USB device drivers on your Windows computer. Should you have difficulties in this regard, I have outlined the steps for manually updating your drivers below.


    DISCLAIMER:
    This guide involves flashing the partitions of your device with stock firmware. As such, there are always risks involved. By proceeding further, you are assuming sole responsibility and liability for the integrity and operability of your tablet. I am not responsible or liable in the event you damage your device or render it otherwise inoperable on the basis of this guide. Follow the instructions carefully and I'm confident things will go smoothly. If there is something you are unclear about, this thread is noob-friendly, so feel free to ask questions in comments.



    I. FIRMWARE RESTORATION/UPGRADE
    This will restore your device to its stock factory configuration, removing any system-level mods, root binaries, custom software, etc. These steps can also be followed to upgrade your firmware to V9 if you are running an older build version. Warning: this procedure will erase all userdata from your tablet. Before proceeding further, create a backup of all important files and media that you wish to keep.

    1. Download Phoenix Suite 1.10 from the link below and install it on your Windows computer. Once installed, open the tool and grant any prompted permissions;
    2. Download the V9 stock firmware image from the link below and save it on a convenient directory on your PC or laptop. The firmware will be in an archived .rar file format. Use WinZip, WinRAR or other utility to extract the firmware image from the archive. Safe the image to a convenient directory on your computer;
    3. Ensure that USB Debugging is enabled in the Developer Options menu on your tablet;
    4. Connect your tablet to your Windows computer using a proper data sync cable. Watch your device display for the USB Debugging authorization prompt, then grant the request;
    5. If your tablet is being properly recognized by Phoenix Suite, an indicator in the bottom-left of the interface will indicate Device Connected.
    6. Click on the Firmware option in the upper panel of Phoenix Suite. Click on Image and then select the saved location of the firmware image you downloaded. Highlight the firmware image by clicking it, then select Open in the bottom-right of the interface.
    7. When ready to begin the restoration process, click the green Upgrade button in Phoenix Suite. Your device will automatically boot into a low-level flashing mode. When prompted, choose the option for full format. The firmware will begin installation. Phoenix Suite will indicate the progress of the installation and your tablet will automatically reboot to the OS once the process is complete. The flashing process will take between 3 and 4 minutes in duration. You are finished. Your device should now be fully restored to its factory stock state and running on the V9 firmware build.
    8. If the firmware did not commence installation due to a no-device-connected error, see the next section below on drivers.

    UPDATING USB DEVICE DRIVERS:
    Perform these steps only if the firmware did not install and you are receiving an error that no device is connected. As mentioned previously, once you select a firmware image, Phoenix Suite will boot your device into a low-level flashing mode (Download Mode) to begin the flashing process. Leave the device in this mode and keep it connected to your Windows computer. Right click the Windows Start button and select Device Manager. Your tablet should be listed under the Portable Devices heading as Unknown Device. Right click Unknown Device and choose Update Driver. On the next screen select the option to Browse My Computer. Next, click on the Browse icon box in the upoer-right of the menu. Navigate to the saved location of the folder from which you open the Phoenix Suite flash tool. It should have a folder name of PhoenixSuite_V1.10. Left click on the folder and look below it for a folder named Drivers. Select Drivers and then choose OK. Now click Next at the bottom-right of the menu. You may get a warning notification that the drivers are unsigned. Select the option to install anyway. Once installed, Phoenix Suite will immediately recognize your device on flash mode and the firmware installation will start automatically. Return to the Phoenix Suite flash tool interface to see the installation progress.

    DOWNLOADS:
    PhoenixSuite v1.10
    Stock Firmware Image V6
    Stock Firmware Image V9

    ** The V6 firmware is provided as a resource only. Unless your tablet is presently running on V6 or an earlier firmware build, it is not recommended for installation. PhoenixSuite is not known to play nice when it comes to downgrading. I have not personally tested downgrading the Scepter 8; therefore I cannot vouch for the stability or feasibility of downgrading the firmware.


    View attachment 5555371
    The Version 1 illustration reflects a tablet that shipped with the V6 firmware build.
    The Version 2 illustration reflects a tablet that shipped with the most recent V9 build.




    Thank you very much for all the work you've done on this. It has been a big help. I've been following along since the beginning of this topic and I've been using XDA for years but this is my first post, I think, maybe second, idk.


    I have been able to do pretty much everything but get this firmware to flash, it consistently gets to the part where it says on the bottom left of the phoenix suite window "beginning flash operation" or something similar, the selection form is replaced with an empty progress bar and i can't recall exactly whats written under the progress bar but it something to the effect of "firmware flash starting". But that's it it does nothing after that, I've left it 20 and 30 mins and nothing, no error message or any message but If I unplug the USB cable from the tablet, I get a message about the device being disconnected.

    I rooted the tablet without issue close to the day after the stock firmware was posted. I used a program called "ImgRepacker" to extract the contents of the firmware image which were mostly ".fex" files. I read somewhere that you can simply rename the boot.fex file to boot.img and that worked. I patched it with Magisk and flashed it using fastboot and just like that, rooted.

    And its been working fine until yesterday when i was messing with the build.prop file. I think its you who posted some performance tweaks in a different thread. I think I may have entered something incorrectly and rebooted and now it gets stuck right where the boot animation would normally start.

    Its not an emergency but I just can't get this stock image to flash.. I have deleted the pheonix tools i was using and I downloaded the one posted here.

    Bootloader is unlocked
    USB ADB Debugging is enabled (well last I was booted up)

    I can boot to recovery.
    I can boot to bootloader (fastboot).
    i can boot to fastbootd.

    drivers have been a bit tricky:

    when i was connected via usb to my pc (i'm using windows 11 btw)

    with adb debugging enabled, as and also i had to enable file transfer mode to get "ADB Device" to appear. I would then have an "ADB Device" under the NEW heading "USB Devices" as well as "Scepter 8" under the heading "Portable devices" ADB commands seemed to work perfectly and I could copy files to "internal storage " so I didn't bother too much but I tried to update the drivers for "ADB Device" with the Google Android drivers and also with the ADB drivers included with Pheonix Tool but on both counts I was not able to and the message from windows was the driver files I selected were not the correct files for the selected device (period). Like i said that was working so...

    Booting into recovery I was then able to install the ADB Drivers in the pheonix tool directory
    Under "Android" heading was " Composite ADB Interface"

    Booting Bootloader or fastbootd I was able to install "Bootloader Interface"

    The Pheonix tool would recognize my device with ADB debugging, then i click upgrade with the v9 firmware selected and my tablet will reboot to download mode presumeably and the driver i was able to install for it shows up under the heading
    "Universal Service Bus Controllers" as "USB Device(VID_1f3a_PID_efe8)"




    Any Idea why I can't get the stock image to flash?

    Why it looks like its about to start the flash but never does?


    (sorry if that's too much info... :) and thank you for any help you are able to offer)
    1
    Your issue sounds exactly like a driver issue -- and that is very common with Allwinner devices. In the above instructions I've included a guide for updating the USB drivers. Just because PhoenixSuite initially recognized your device does not mean it will also be recognized when it boots to download mode and begins the flash. It sounds like yours is first recognized fine and then when the flash begins, sync between the tablet and the flashing tool is lost. Follow my update USB drivers section above and see if that fixes your issue. Remember, your tablet needs to remain in download mode and connected to your PC when you follow the update USB drivers steps.
    1
    yup. Thank you. That did get it working again. I had actually figured that out previously. I had a super.img that i was able to dump previously and had already flashed it but i did not erase UDISK. I wonder if i should go back and do that.

    Also because I never saved my original boot.img, I only have a the patched boot.img so i can't update but I'm really not worried too much about that. I doubt there will be many updates. (when I tried to restore stock using the boot.img i extracted from the firmware image v9, which is the one i patched with magisk to gain root, I end up in a boot loop. weird. --is that because i need to erase UDISK after flashing boot_a.img? P.S. just an observation, when i flash boot.img in fastboot, it gets written to the device as boot_a.img automatically for some reason.)

    Thank you very much for taking the time to upload those files for me, that was really very nice of you. much appreciated!
    1
    It sounds as though you correctly extracted the v9 firmware image. The result is a plethora of .fex files and a config (.cfg) file. Ok once you extract the firmware image using imgRepacler for Windows, simply rename the .fex files to an .img extension, just as you done with the boot.fex file. The .fex files are nothing more than a particular type of sparse image. These can readily be coinverted to sparse .img files merely by renaming the extension. In the extracted firmware, you will see a file called sys_partition.fex. Read this file using Windows Notepad and it will give you every partition name along with the corresponding .fex image; e.g. /bootloader_a = boot-resources.fex, /super = super.fex, etc. This gives you the correct partition label when flashing with fastboot.
    For clarify, here is an example index from the sys_partition.fex file:
    Code:
    ...........................>boot
    [partition]
    name              = boot_a
    size              = 131072
    downloadfile      = boot.fex
    user_type         = 0x8000

    Note that "name" is the exact label name of the device partition, and "downloadfile" refers to the corresponding .fex image to be flashed to said partition.

    Regarding UDISK, as you've probably learned, this is simply your /userdata partition. Erasing UDISK when flashing with fastboot is not necessarily required, but it will help ensure a good clean flash and prevent potential issues from corrupt or mismatched data. If your tablet booted okay after using fastboot, and you're not experiencing apps crashing or force closing, you're fine.
    thank you for taking the time to write this explanation! If I understand correctly, a "flash-all.bat" script could be written similar to the way Google factory images used to be flashed to "factory reset" the tablet using the extracted files, right?