Bricked Amlogic S905X 1G/8G, please help

  • Hi, I can't recover my device after trying to update with another room. I will appreciate help to identify it and recover it. Decided to ask in this forum because of another thread about an S905XQ4 that was recovered. Here are all the details in order.


    What I know about this Android TV Box:

    • Sold as Radioshack 4K Android 6.0. This is the picture [link]. I opened/removed disipator and thermal paste to identify.
    • Specs SOLD as having 8G of space and 1G of RAM
    • Chip/ processor says Amlogic S905X Quad Core // J-TPS111 00 // B0DCOCN03210
    • 2 Additional chips identified as Kingston C703U2338.05 & D2516JC4BXGJD each ONE, meaning each chip has those printed letters. Found here on Kingston website and the PDF says it's 4G of DDR3/3L/RAM, I guess those chips are actually the internal space (4g+4g=8G?).
    • One additional chip (memory? with #1503251 G/01/A/987 and small letters KLM8G/GEME HSFL54AGP (appears to be eMMC samsung chip)
    • Can't see any other relevant chip except from network, realtek wifi, etc.
    • Important: seems I can't trust the specs. I found on some forums cases where developers found the custom rom of the device to be lying about the Ram Memory, I'm not sure if this is the case with mine.
    • Checking the details inside the booted device reported p212/p213

    Details obtained on a backup log:

    ro.fota.oem=905X_6.0_T5KP

    ro.fota.device=T95KPRO

    ro.fota.version=T5KP0006

    ro.fota.platform=AmlogicS905X_6.0

    ro.nrdp.modelgroup=S905

    ro.build.description=q200-user 6.0.1 MHC19J 20161105 test-keys

    ro.build.fingerprint=Amlogic/q200/q200:6.0.1/MHC19J/20161105:user/test-keys

    ro.build.characteristics=mbx,nosdcard

    ro.product.cpu.abi=armeabi-v7a

    ro.product.cpu.abi2=armeabi

    ro.product.cpu.abilist=armeabi-v7a,armeabi

    ro.product.model=T95KPRO

    ro.product.device=q200

    ro.bootimage.build.fingerprint=Amlogic/q200/q200:6.0.1/MHC19J/20161105:user/test-keys


    I searched the web for firmwares for 905X / T5KP / T95KPRO and roms marked as MHC19J, no luck so far. I'm using Amlogic USB burning tool, 4% is as far as I've been able to reach, I get switch identify error. I haven't found any web reference about a device that looks exactly like mine, not on the outside or the inside. I have searched for Android TV Boxes to see if I can get a picture match, also searched for boards, still no luck. I have no idea were this device was built, it's not popular so it seems. I have tried so far at least 25 roms marked with any or all of the key data posted here.



    How did this got bricked?

    Found the website atvexperience [.] com and found there were firmwares for the S905X so I wanted to try updating the box. I didn't use the USB Burning tool to upgrade, installed it? yes, did it detect my device? yes, but as explained I didn't use this for the firmware update, instead I used the SD card method. Used the reset button found inside of the TV Box and booted from SD, first rom didn't work and what I got was an Android logo with an X. So I tried another rom from the same website. That didn't go well, the device turned on, blinked and that's it, done and bricked. Since then I have no video, no lights on, etc etc. The power brick works, and even bricked I can connect it to my PC and use the Amlogic USB Burning tool, the device is detected, but I can't find the right rom.


    Tried the Amlogic Burning Tool? yes. I have tried over 25+ diff firmwares that have identifications of working with the S905X but no luck. I'm using the mal e to mal e cable, the Amlogic Burning Tool does identifies the device but get stuck. In some cases I get stuck at 1% and get the "low power error", in other cases I get to 4% and get diff errors like switch identify error. Anyway I can't pass 4%.


    Did I make a backup before creating this mess? YES!. I took my time trying diff TRWP, prepared the SD card and tried to boot. I didn't stop until I found the right one and yes I could boot from SD card using the reset button and use the graphical interface. I created a backup. Also tried modding the settings on my tv box AND THEN restoring the backup and booting the device again just to check if the backup worked perfectly, it did. So yes I have a TRWP working backup. The problem? after briking the device I can't boot from SD or use the TRWP tool to restore the backup.

    I have tried at least 15 firmwares. Searched all over the web and found some broken links and some working links. At this point no luck yet. I've been reading about the "errors" from the USB Burning tool and to my understanding those happen because I don't have the right firmware.


    It's frustrating having a TRWP backup that I can't flash because I can't boot into recovery. I can only identify the device via Amlogic USB Burning tool. Read about converting the TRWP backups to flasheable images but it only works on .zip files and I need to get an .img file to work with the Amlogic USB burning tool. If I could just recover the boot to get into TRWP. As explained the device is identified on Amlogic USB burning tool but I get no leds on (both leds are off).


    JTAG? serial? yes. The device has the four pins, but the 2 extreme pins show 3V. I have no TTL device to access this, I do have an arduino but it's 5V so I would have to build something else to use the arduino as TTL converter :(


    I'm about to trow this brick to the trashcan. Due to failing after trying the ATV Experience Rom (and got bricked) I did asked the guys over there. They are unable to identify my device and also guess it's bogus, not real specs. After my attempts I guess I've been confirming the device is not what it's been promised to be.

  • Here are some pics of the device.


    Tried my best to get and post the most detailed information about it to avoid being one of those "just help" threads. This is all I could get. I decided to post here because of this thread where it seems the device was rescued. Yes I tried that from, no luck so far.


    All points out at serial attempts but I don't have the hardware so it doesn't sound as an option right now. This is at this point my last attempt.


    Why did I decided to try another firmware in first place? the device worked fine except for one thing: it has a dark image on screen. Videos were difficult to watch because they were too dark. No brightness control was available. Any modification on the TV wasn't enough (did'n't solve the problem) and even the Android Apps that have brightness control didn't show it, it was disabled. Only Kodi could fix the image but I had to disable the hardware acceleration so, I could have clear image at the cost of speed and performance. Tried rooting the device but nothing worked. I finally got to modify the build.prop file accessing the files via TRWP but still the image was too dark, so that's why I decided to risk my device trying another room. I did research before trying it but despite that website having two roms for S905X quad (Amlogic), one didn't work and the other bricked my device (both attempts via SD card) and now I have a brick.


    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

  • BTW, I can't really convert my TRWP backup to a flasheable Amlogic image via USB Burning tool, not just because the process creates a zip and I need an .img file, but also because the process needs the meta-inf from the original rom, or any working one. I and have none.


    Thanks in advance.

  • chewitt

    Approved the thread.
  • If you want to install LibreELEC on the devvice we can help. If you want to restore Android on it .. that's someone else's problem and you're asking for help in the wrong forum. I'm not trying to be awkward, but our expertise is all about erasing Android not installing and recovering it.

  • If you want to install LibreELEC on the devvice we can help. If you want to restore Android on it .. that's someone else's problem and you're asking for help in the wrong forum. I'm not trying to be awkward, but our expertise is all about erasing Android not installing and recovering it.

    It's ok, I just want to un-brick it and make it usable. My goal was to improve the device but I didn't know about Libre Elec, wasn't aware this was an option. I found this site after searching key words on un-bricking the S905X.


    Don't worry on being awkward, I don't want to sound awkward too: and if this wasn't clear, I want to un-brick it. The original firmware was terrible and I searched the web for whatever was (supposedly) compatible with the S905X, at that time this website or forum never appeared on the results. Just really want to make that clear or else the thread could grow into something it's not.


    Goal = un-brick it. If installing Libre Elec is an option then I'm all ears. Apart from trying that room that promised to work on S905X devices, I also tried Armbian but I didn't get far, didn't work. I just want to make the device usable, if this is possible to play media on the TV then great!. So far as explained in full detail: the device won't boot into the original firmware, the device doesn't boot into the original recovery (via reset button), the device also doesn't boot via reset button into external micro SD or USB so nothing installed on SD works. All points out to using USB burning tools (flashing via USB) or serial?


    Serial: I had a similar device about 7 years ago that failed during a flash (power fail) and became a brick. At that time I did managed to remove the 8 legs chip and upload a new memory via programmer, I know reprogramming chips or devices via serial can be easy or a pain. I would like to explore USB flashing options. So far as explained the device is recognizable by the Amlogic USB Burning tool but can't flash it far than 4%. I don't like the "serial" option because I know it can be really tricky, but I'm willing to try. I was able to un-brick a few devices in the past (for me or friends), but this one... is giving me a headache. I'm around the 30 roms tested with no luck (I have searched S905X solutions with no luck).

  • if you really want to play i would start by getting the serial port up and working and procede from there as you should be able to see what it is and is not doing and hanging from the terminal window.

  • if you really want to play i would start by getting the serial port up and working and procede from there as you should be able to see what it is and is not doing and hanging from the terminal window.

    Well the device is dead. Just bought a USB to Serial with 5v and 3V, etc etc, connected, detected, etc but didn't get anything on the terminal. I invested too much time on this, I sure enjoy repairing stuff and giving devices a try but I discovered along the way this machine has bogus information, the specs are not real.


    Thanks for passing by, I removed the useful stuff and bye bye little brick.

  • Specs being off is pretty common as theres always a bunch of board houses that will make(clone) boards, but they're usually based on someone else's software which can be good or bad depending on whether the cloner has made the box cheaper by swapping out certain chips or chipsets.


    I would seriously be surprised tho if the box is totally dead. its possible but i have always found in most cases its just a bugger'd boot loader which is usually pretty easy to fix if you can get a terminal working. Depending on whats gotten wiped out or stepped on you may have to to create a sdcard with a bootable u-boot on it tho to get uboot working and go forward from there.


    You only need Gnd Rx and Tx connected in most cases from the Usb-Serial adapter to the device. 115200,8. with no parity and no hardware control in putty or hyperterminal should be suffice. Usually that will show terminal activity and if not you can try plugging in the device power plug.

  • My advice would be head over to CoreElec Forums


    Install an image to a MicroSD or usb


    At least you should get Kodi/Libreelec/CoreElec working

    Samsung RU7400 Onkyo HTX22HDX Nvidia Shield HD Homerun Duo (Living Room)

    Samsung UE40ES5500 H96 Pro (Coreelec), Fire TV 4K Stick (Bedroom)

    Synology DS414 Plex Pass

    :)

  • If you have a properly signed ROM, designed for the box, and a USBA to USBA cable then USBBurn tool is a reliable way of recovering such a brick. Its like a sophisticated dd tool which burns a new disk image regardless of how corrupted the partition table is.


    Shoog

  • My first post here, apologies if I do something wrong. But let me try to help.

    I own a similar box and got it working just yesterday. My box is a Bqueel mbox pro, which also comes with the S905x.

    First I tried the s905 image, but the latest version is 8.2... and that was not what I wanted. Then I tried the official „Le Potato“ image with Libreelec 9.02 / Kodi 18.2 and this worked instantly.


    As I see it, your box currently tries to run a software, that does not really fit, so it stops working while booting up. Can you maybe try the „reset button method“ again with the Le Potato image? I think it should show something at least.


    Tim

    Edited once, last by frogleap ().

  • Thanks everyone, as explained above I tried everything and couldn't make it work. Getting the specifics of the machine (any android box) is not just the first thing to recovery, it's also the key to success. In my case it was impossible despite having the hardware with me, being able to read the chip ids, the processor, memory, etc. It was impossible, and I couldn't get a single picture on the web of an identical device.


    Trying to make this thread useful to anyone facing the same situation with any Android TV Box, this is my contribution:

    1. Always try to get detailed reports on your device before flashing any rom or upgrading anything.
    2. Try to get as much information possible about your device on the web, put attention on getting the same, identical pictures and read other user experiences, remember there are many devices claiming to be X or Z model and that's not something you can trust, in many cases that's false.
    3. Always try to make a backup, one that would be useful if things fail (so copying your files to some USB doesn't mean you have a backup).
    4. Try to search and find the worst case scenarios and how people solved the issues, or if they couldn't solve it.


    I did all that, I have flashed several different devices in the past, both by upgrade or flashing roms, also managed to reprogram small chips. Even so everything failed this time, how? why? Easy:


    • I couldn't get detailed specs from the device. Sure I downloaded apps and checked the android specs on screen, well it turns out manufacturers can fake that, many devices out there that are SLOW and people try to upgrade them to light versions are actually SLOW because they don't have the claimed RAM memory, they can also fake other things like RAM type or processor. Sure some software can be more clever detecting hardware than other but just deal with the fact some cases are already a lost cause.
    • Do not trust the printed specs and I'm not talking about the box, I'm talking about the info on the chips. Many manufacturers use their own codes, (I've worked electronics before) so you can't identify the parts, well they can also print fake specs on PCB and on the chips.
    • Sometimes your backups might fail to be useful if you can't boot your machine in any way.


    My device can't be identified, or the chips despite the printed letters. The original tools for backup didn't work (designed for that processor) claiming to be S905X, in fact the only TRWP that worked (out of many diff ones) was the S912, not the S905X despite whatever is printed on the chip. I tried a gazillion roms, both S905X and S912, none worked. Regardless of this many issues, some boxes do have only 512 of ram, if that's the case you are fried, most roms out there are for 1G RAM or more, 512 being a very rare case, mostly of fake specs.


    Yes I tried the terminal, didn't work, I couldn't get anything there. Just wasted my time. I really tried everything.


    The box was sent to the garbage after desoldering some useful parts like connectors.The end, it's garbage, it's gone. I now have an official X96 with 2G of ram, more space, really fast, awesome, everything works as expected. It's not my first Android Box but it's the one I love the most out of past experiences.




    You can find detailed tutorials on how to flash devices, detailed tutorials on how to recover and unbrick, just remember: some devices are fake and you can't solve something unless you know what it really is, some OS can run on diff devices, some OS/Roms can only work on specific devices.


    You have been warned, I didn't know about this "fake specs" being so common, now I know. Good luck and thanks for passing by.

  • Clones generally are troubled and you can usually spot them because they are coming from Non Mainstream Dealers. Truly theres only a finite amount of actual manufacturers out but then the cloners come along and take what they see as the most popular devices and take that design and start swapping out parts to drive their cost down. While doing so most of them have little to no access to coders so theres nothing but crappy firmware floating around to make their stripped version of the box work.


    The altered box that came with barely working firmware may originally be working but then as people start playing around they loose that original firmware and now are faced with the blur of firmware packages floating around the net and end up usually making things worse for themselves.


    As a tech i have been at this for along time and can honestly say that its very very rare that i come across a box that can't be fixed or resurrected but it takes a bit of a different approach as the first thing that needs to be done is get the box booting off a bootable sd or usb stick with a working version of U-boot and then move forward from there. Most end users get stuck spending endless amounts of trying out as much firmware as they can find when really its not the greatest way to approach the problem. Theres only so many actual different SoC's and all one really needs to do is find a virgin uboot for that basic SoC and get the serial port and that boot stick up and running and from their the serial port screen will show you the way.