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USB port repair, N900

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avonw
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PostPosted: Friday, 18.Mar.2011 02:40    Post subject: USB port repair, N900   Reply with quote   

Hi, I have just joined this forum, hoping to get some help with a problem.

A malicious 3rd party has deleted some important contacts (stored on internal memory, not the sim card) from a Nokia N900, and damaged the power/data usb port. I took the phone to a repair store to fix the port; no luck.

I intend to use PhotoRec to undelete the data after making the Nokia an external drive.

I am in the NJ/NYC area. Is anyone interested in the job of fixing the port?

Please leave an email address if you are.

Thank you

AW
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ceroberts75
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PostPosted: Friday, 18.Mar.2011 03:36    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

if there was anyone that can do it, it would be a friend of mine we call the "master".

usb's are fixable with exception to the issue that there is a ribbon right next to the usb port. soooo, when you heat the solder up to 300+° the ribbon doesnt like it.

your best bet is to buy another unit or try sending it in to nokia so they replace it for you.


the usb port is a known problem, so as long as it doesnt easily look like a user mis-use, they may issue a replacement for you.


check the nokia website warranty erea, if it is still uinder warranty, send it in. you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
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avonw
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PostPosted: Friday, 18.Mar.2011 03:46    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

To clarify:

The phone is not under warranty

The REALLY important task is undeleting whatever can be retrieved from the internal memory. Fixing the port is just the means to that end.

I am interested in having this done sooner rather than later - mailing the phone anywhere is not preferred.

AW
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Friday, 18.Mar.2011 19:01    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I can't help with fixing the USB port, but if you don't succeed in doing it then maybe you can try a different approach:

While newer versions of BackupMenu application create a backup by gzipping files, the older versions were creating a byte-exact image.

So maybe you could try to install some old version (0.3x or 0.4x) of BackupMenu, make such a byte-exact backup image to the memory card and then copy it to from memory card to PC and either try to restore files from the file itself, or flash some other N900 with that file and use it to undelete files.

In any way, such a backup would be an additional protection of your data even if you manage to fix the port, just in case something goes wrong while you try to undelete files from the device...


Last edited by Michal Jerz on Friday, 18.Mar.2011 20:42; edited 1 time in total
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ceroberts75
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PostPosted: Friday, 18.Mar.2011 20:20    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

you can also sh into the device and copy the root files to your pc.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Friday, 18.Mar.2011 20:38    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

you can also sh into the device and copy the root files to your pc.

But this way he won't be able to copy DELETED files.

Another idea is to use Testdisk & PhotoRec recovery tools directly on the device. They include a function of undeleting files from FAT, NTFS and ext2 filesystem.

But I'd still suggest first making a backup image using BackupMenu, just in case.
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pvanbeek
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PostPosted: Saturday, 19.Mar.2011 10:23    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Michal Jerz wrote:
...
So maybe you could try to install some old version (0.3x or 0.4x) of BackupMenu, make such a byte-exact backup image to the memory card and then copy it to from memory card to PC and either try to restore files from the file itself, or flash some other N900 with that file and use it to undelete files...


Flashing a byte by byte image of rootfs to another device has a very low change of success - as NAND memory does not include error correction so the image includes bad blocks which are tracked elsewhere. Unless the NAND on the target device has exactly the same bad blocks the flash will fail. (This happened to me)

Should be okay for optfs though - I managed to recover most of my data by mounting the image as a disk - I presume I could have run recovery tools on it at that stage too.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Saturday, 19.Mar.2011 17:37    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

Flashing a byte by byte image of rootfs to another device has a very low change of success - as NAND memory does not include error correction so the image includes bad blocks which are tracked elsewhere. Unless the NAND on the target device has exactly the same bad blocks the flash will fail. (This happened to me)

Of course, you are right. I just thought that in case of such an emergency situation it might be worth trying, anyway. It won't do any permanent damage to that another device, it could always be reflashed.

Anyway, the question is what the topic author actually needs to recover. He wrote "some important contacts", so I assume he was talking about the contacts database. If so, then rootfs is actually completely irrelevant as the contacts database is stored on the optfs, so creating an image of optfs would be enough in this case. Or maybe it does not even take creating ANY image and just a file manager like Midnight commander will be enough to access the file and copy it to memory card or via Bluetooth to PC...

The location of the actual contacts database is as follows:

/home/user/.osso-abook/db/addressbook.db

Moreover, there is also a backup of the contacts database, automatically created by the system:

/home/user/.osso-abook-backup/db/addressbook.db

so in case that the main Contacts database was damaged/deleted, that backup file should still contain the deleted entries.

And if so, then it may turn out to be enough to just copy that file to PC, e.g. by Bluetooth or via memory card. Or maybe even easier, just copy it from /.osso-abook-backup/db/ to /.osso-abook/db/ and all contacts should simply appear in the Contacts application.

Another good news is that while the addressbook.db database is a binary file, in reality it is actually a NORMAL VCF file, with just some binary header and then all entries in VCF format, in plain text. Remove that header and you get a normal VCF file that can be used to easily restore contacts.

Thirdly, another place to look for the deleted contacts is a backup file created by the built-in Backup application (assuming that the topic author was creating backups). It stores the Contacts backup in [selected location]/Backup_full/comm_and_call.zip file, which is a normal ZIP archive. The archive contains the \Root\home\user\.osso-abook-backup\db\addressbook.db file, too.

In all the aforementioned locations there is also a "photos" folder containing all Contacts images.

To recap, I guess it may turn out to be very easy to recover the contacts. The first thing I'd try would be checking with some file manager the aforementioned /home/user/.osso-abook-backup/db/addressbook.db file, which is a backup of contacts automatically created after each change being made to the Contacts database.

Install some file manager with full system access, copy that file to PC and check it with any editor if it contains the missing contacts.
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ceroberts75
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PostPosted: Saturday, 19.Mar.2011 20:00    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

could he just use this:

Code:

sudo gainroot
cp /home/user/.osso-abook-backup/db/addressbook.db /hom/user/.osso-abook/db
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Sunday, 20.Mar.2011 01:28    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

could he just use this:

Sure, but only after first making sure that the backup file contains the missing contacts...

And, just to be on a safe side, I'd first copy it to some other partition/drive (to have another safe copy), e.g. to the memory card:

cp /home/user/.osso-abook-backup/db/addressbook.db /media/mmc1/
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avonw
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PostPosted: Sunday, 20.Mar.2011 02:12    Post subject: Thanks...   Reply with quote   

Thank you for your help... much appreciated.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Sunday, 20.Mar.2011 05:08    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

You're welcome. Please report if you managed to recover the contacts. If not, we'll try to find some other way...
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PostPosted: Sunday, 20.Mar.2011 12:45    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Maybe this is the solution.
http://sites.google.com/site/svcr0c0/n900
Replacing the usbport without glue. Question
Or use metal glue Question Idea
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kinggo
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PostPosted: Sunday, 20.Mar.2011 19:39    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

You can't fix broken port this way. Only prevent it from breaking. Probably. But I wouldn't do that.
IMHO, the best option is to remove those "pins" on the charger and cable connectors with sand paper or something similar. The connection will stay reliable for charging and data transfer but loose enough not to break the USB port. I did that the very first time I felt how hard it is to actually disconnect it. Even before I was aware that broken port is quite common issue.
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ankhator
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PostPosted: Saturday, 03.Sep.2011 15:36    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Hi guys,

My N900 usb port have gone... tried to resolder it but unsuccessfully - two of 5 copper connectors went out of the pcb after getting to hot under soldering process( I done it using pencil iron short touch 1-2 secs with flux).

After that there is no way to fix it even in nokia service.

2nd problem is that phone got serious water ingress some time ago(actually it fall down to glass with water and waiting about 6 hours for recovery Wink )
I disassembled and kept it for 2 hours under hot air stream from heather - haven't got more than 70Cdegrees - so no risk of overeating.
After assembling everything runs smothly despite problem with camera - operation failed... Soon after stops working WiFi, after another twoo weeks gprs connection, and this days even bluetoth and sat receiver.


Ok, so this is actual state of my n900. No possibility to re-flash - as there is no way to communicate with phone.
I'm expecting that wifi or gprs connections are possible to recovery and their lack is not connected with hardware fault.
The last hope is: getting working some comm devices by bit of work under X-terminal - and here is my little request - is there anyone who could advice how to start this recovery process? what commands?

Hope to hear from you.
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