New modded P70R2 with Chinese IMS (BC18 or above only)
Akira has now ported the Chinese IMS directly into the official PBO P70R2-beta firmware. It is in S format as the official one, so it requires bootcode 18 or above. It is not clear yet if this one has solved the firmware stability issue.
It is posted in the hdpfans forum if you are interested in it. It is recommended to do a force flashing using telnet with the following command:
echo " " | dd of=/dev/mtdblock/0 bs=2048 seek=8192
Alternatively, USB-TTL erase -m before flashing should work too.
I have been testing it in the past couple hours. It has a little bit less direct links than the Chinese Universal Firmware but it also has some additional links (for instance Taiwan TV channels). It seems to work fine so far.
Win7 sharing connection still does not work (login failed). Even worse, whenever I tried to connect through UPNP, it crashed.
Update 3 (3/15):
Win7 sharing problem solved according to this forum in the Network session. New revision of this firmware released today (V1SP4 can be downloaded here, extract with pw:isakira.twnuu.com). Credit to Akira. See his blog here.
Update 4 (4/3):
There are several updates in Akira's blog. Web remote is now working. The latest one is V2SP2.
Last edited by tourist; 04-03-2012 at 04:52 PM.
Thanks for the update. I appreciate you letting the community know about this, especially for those of us who cannot read chinese. Please keep posting whenever you think there are worthwhile firmware upgrades.
I'm not sure if I will try upgrading to this firmware from V5SP4 Chinese Universal Firmware. How is performance in general? I don't do any network sharing on my PBO, but might be interested to see what extra Taiwan tv channels have been added. In case I decide to try, can you provide some more detailed instructions on "force flashing using telnet"? I have not done this before and have only done the flash with stock P02 firmware/flash with new firmware steps (outlined in the other thread where you've provided instructions for flashing with the Chinese Universal Firmware).
Also, for this new firmware (V1SP3fix), I only see that it has an install.img. There are no other files for remote control like with the Chinese Universal Firmware?
Functionally, I don't think there is much difference from the Universal Firmware (perhaps except the updated back-end interface 2.8). I checked out the Taiwan channel a little bit and found it is mostly rearrangement from the iMax channel of the universal firmware.
As this firmware is modded from PBO firmware, the remote code is already included. So there is no need to add the remote files for flashing. Perhaps this is the only advantage of this firmware. I am going to try the V5SP5 universal firmware from a few days ago.
The telnet force flashing method also work with the Universal Firmware. Just make sure you don't put the tag_install in the thumb drive, or it will trigger another round of flashing.
The Tag_install approach works too. You just need to wait for a minute for the PBO to start the flashing automatically. Nevertheless, I still think doing a clean install after USB-TTL erase -m to be the best way to go.
Last edited by tourist; 03-14-2012 at 03:53 PM.
tourist, i'm still not clear how the telnet force flashing works. Is it that we just copy the install.img to the USB drive, connect the USB drive to the PBO, telnet to the PBO and then run the following commands in the telnet session?
echo " " | dd of=/dev/mtdblock/0 bs=2048 seek=8192
What will happen after this? Do we need to wait for several cyles of the PBO rebooting and does the PBO need to be powered off manually at some point?
For this particular modded P70R2 firmware, do you think the stock P02 firmware should be installed first before trying to apply the modded P70R2?
Also, not clear what the tag_install file is for. Having it on the USB drive (along with install.img) will cause the PBO to automatically flash the firmware without having to use the System Upgrade menu option in the UI? Some firmwares include this file in their .zip, and others don't so I don't understand why some firmwares need it, but others don't.
Lastly, how is a USB-TTL cable used to install firmware? I have never used such a cable and don't know what it's for or how it's used. But it sounds like it's a good idea to get one. I saw pictures of these cables and the USB end connects to the PBO, but what does the other end (TTL?) connect to? Is there a certain kind needed to work with the PBO and any example like on ebay you can point to that should be compatible?
Sorry, I had lots of questions and these may be somewhat general ones about applying modded firmware, but I could not find a FAQ on such topics. But if there any other resources that you can point me to explain these, I'd also appreciate it.
The telnet approach for "force flashing" is just as you described. It will automatically start the flashing when it reboots. Then it works just like regular flashing. I don't remember seeing the 2 rounds of flashing in this firmware though. If you do this with the Chinese Universal Firmware, it will reboot in 30s after it finish flashing and boot into main menu. For the Universal Firmware with remote code file supplemented, you may need to power cycle the box at the end but not with this firmware.
I am not sure if this telnet approach may eliminate flashing through P02. It may if it does delete something by that command. So far I have not seen any problem using this telnet method without going through P02 though. However, the tag_install does not delete anything. It is just a blank file that would trigger the box to flash from thumb drive. In the case when the remote is not working, there is a blank screen, or it cannot be accessed over the network, the tag_install approach is a good option. You just need to put the tag_install file in the USB root with firmware image, start up the box and wait 1 minute or so to start the process. After flashing, it will remove the tag_install file automatically. Otherwise, it will trigger another round of flashing upon reboot (in a minute).
To me, the USB-TTL erase -m approach is still the cleanest way. I had problem with the remote code once using the telnet approach to flash the Universal Firmware (from P70R2). The remote code did not get replaced. I then did the tag-Install again to get the remote working again. With the USB-TTL cable connection issuing "erase -m" command, the memory is cleared before flashing. Then you just need to plug in a thumb drive with the firmware image (with remote file if needed) and it will load the firmware automatically at start up. There is no need to flash through P02 this way as it is a clean installation of firmware.
The USB-TTL cable has been thoroughly discussed in this forum under "bootcode update".
Last edited by tourist; 03-15-2012 at 09:35 PM.
SP4 released today. I updated OP with links.
Thanks for the flashing explanations. Have not seen these concepts explained well anywhere else so I appreciate you taking the time to do so here. I'm sure others will be helped by this too.
Regarding USB-TTL, looks like my understanding before was wrong and instead, USB end of the cable is supposed to connect to a PC and TTL end is supposed to connect to an internal serial port inside the PBO. So PBO needs to be opened up for this. Sounds kind of complicated and risky and only meant for real hacker types. I couldn't even find a picture to help show which wires on the TTL end are supposed to go into which pins in the serial port. (Someone should do a youtube video on this.) I guess I would only do this as a last resort in case my PBO got bricked.
Last edited by budster; 03-16-2012 at 08:39 AM.
I agree that the USB-TTL cable is not for everyone. There are now actually ready made cables available on eBay. You just need to match the pins at the connector. There are pictures on this forum to show you the pin assignments. It does require opening up the box, but it is actually less work that installing a hard drive inside. In my last 3 flashing, I only use the telnet and tag_install method. I think that should be fine if you are not switching between 2 very different firmwares. I have not tested if these method would work on large firmware image though. There was at least one that I could only flash after erasing the memory first. I may try that one again to see if the telnet method would work on that too.
I did not check Akira's blog for 3 weeks. I just found he has V2SP2 released on 3/22. The web remote function should be working since V2, although I have tried it yet. I have updated OP with links to V2SP2.