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Hardware hacking this puppy, input?

266 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Hi all,

I have been taking a look at the tinhte.com disassembly video and it occurs to me that we might be able to upgrade that 2Gb internal MicroSD to a more respectable 32Gb giving this baby 64Gb of storage if we use 32's in both slots.

I was thinking the process might go something like this:

1) Pull the internal OEM SD

2) Use dd on a Linux box to copy the disk image over to a 32Gb SD

3) Resize the partition to fill the 32Gb SD using Linux partition resizing software (resize2fs comes to mind).

4 Reassemble and enjoy.

Of course this assumes that Android runs a linux filesystem, does anyone know what the internal filesystem type is on these puppies?

[EDIT] Got it, it's ext3 for the /dev/block/innersd0 partitions, and the bonus is the actual system boot is from the flash (yaffs2 filesystem) so no need to actually even dd it, just create partitions 5 (/cache) and 6 (/data) and copy over the data from the old card.

Also does anyone know what the RAM chip is? I would bet it could be hacked as well to give a full Gigabyte plus even if it is a BGA package.

Edited by popetodd
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Posted (edited)

Where is the video? I don't speak Vietnamese!

But when I head that the internal memory was microsd, I thought the same thing. Why not replace it?

Found it:

Edited by courtlandre
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Posted

Bit of a warning on disassembly though, I started looking for that screw under the cover and found that it is not there!

Looks like they changed the way the case fits together from the prototype that was broken down in the video.

Just a heads up.

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Posted (edited)

I grabbed these photo's of the guts, the chip markings are visible so I am going to start looking them up to see what RAM chip it has.

If anyone else can spot which chip is the RAM before I do post a reply and I'll start looking for a higher capacity compatible in my database.

post-620571-1276986128_thumb.jpg

post-620571-1276986148_thumb.jpg

Edited by popetodd
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Posted (edited)

your a brave man taking your new toy appart like that ;)

can i ask what the original internal sd card was? sandisk? and what class.

maybe a faster micro sdcard would improve performance?

Edited by craigdabbs
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Posted

Oh no, my toy is still in pristine condition! ;)

I got those shots from the site of the guys who dismantled theirs.

As for the SD cards, the 16Gb in the back is a SanDisk so I would think they used the same manufacturer for the internal as well.

Won't really know until I pick up another one to start hacking on, don't want to accidentally disable my main phone just yet.

Probably next month I'll start ripping a new one apart to see what I can do to correct Dells mistakes in memory and internal storage.

I have no idea why they used a small SD card on the inside when a full 32Gb is so cheap these days.

And in all likelihood for about 5 more ducats they could have put a full Gb of ram in it as well.

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Posted (edited)

Posted Today, 11:22

can i ask what the original internal sd card was? sandisk? and what class.

As for the SD cards, the 16Gb in the back is a SanDisk so I would think they used the same manufacturer for the internal as well.

Eh? The photos clearly show both internal cards are "SDC4/4GB" from Kingston, which a 1 minute Google reveals to be "4GB microSDHC (Class 4) High Capacity micro Secure Digital Card"

http://www.kingston.com/flash/sdhc_micro.asp

Edited by Metoo
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Posted (edited)

Eh? The photos clearly show both internal cards are "SDC4/4GB" from Kingston, which a 1 minute Google reveals to be "4GB microSDHC (Class 4) High Capacity micro Secure Digital Card"

http://www.kingston.com/flash/sdhc_micro.asp

Again, as I said in the first paragraph of my response the photo's are from the Vietnamese site that made the breakdown video of a prototype.

The card that resides in my Streak as bought from O2 is a SanDisk 16Gb class 2. Probably the same as yours if you have one.

Edited by popetodd
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Posted

mines a sandisk class 2, so im guessing the internal card would be the same, maybe a higher class if we are lucky ;)

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Posted (edited)

mines a sandisk class 2, so im guessing the internal card would be the same, maybe a higher class if we are lucky ;)

Luck has nothing to do with it. The internal cards will have been a crucial part of the prototype OS and hardware QA testing, as they have a major impact on device performance and reliablity, as well as after-sales warranty and support costs as part of the Streak's projected profitability projections. So I very much doubt the ODM would downgrade the spec from class 4 to class 2, or change supplier, at the last minute before release. Plus formal failure ratios would have been agreed as part of the supplier contract with Kingston like any other component supplier at a much earlier stage of the development process before our Taiwanese friend got to break it apart.

The external card on the other hand is for general media data storage only, doesn't require fast response times or affect the OS, and is easily replaceable by the end user should it fail. So the card to bundled in the retail package will have been chosen by Dell and O2 purely on best price/MB ratio, lowest aftermarket support cost, and not performance or reliability. Hence QA tested Class 4 for non-user serviceable internal cards (itself the best cost vs. performance ratio) and generic, lowest price, low performance class 2 for the user card.

In addition, of all memory card manufacturers, Sandisk have the widest and most established worldwide distribution, support and warranty replacement process, which means should they fail, it's zero repair cost for Dell, the Streak's ODM, and O2. Unlike the internal card repair costs which would be a major hit against Dell's (and retailer) bottom lines.

Good job really, as in my experience, whilst Sandisk cards are cheap and widely distributed, they often suffer permanent corruption failures - and the "lifetime"/5/3-year warranty replacement process is so long-winded and tedious most customers don't bother claiming recompense anyway and will just buy a new card. Which of course is just how Dell and O2 want it!

Edited by Metoo
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Posted

I'll be watching this with interest, I've been wondering about this since I saw the prototype disassembled months ago. I'm happy with 512meg of ram though, should be plenty for android, do you really want to risk bricking your phone to put in a gig?

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Posted

If I was to open mine, dd (or fdisk and rsync) the 2gb to a 16gb or 32gb, anyone have an idea if it would it then be possible to create another partition on the internal card and repoint the fstab to mount this as the SDCARD location, thus gaining the extra space and only running the device with one card thus saving the battery?

Tim

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Posted

For an experienced android hacker that would definitely be possible, not necessarily as easy as that particular method though!

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Posted (edited)

OK have bitten and opened mine

Side panels are held down with double sided tape.

There are two screws on one side and three on the other, no screws on the back

Came apart fairly easily with a spudger and has gone back together nicely, however do not know how many times that tape will like disassembly.

Micro SD appears to be a samsung card.

http://www.samsung.com/global/business/sem...rage_200901.pdf

Pictures attached.

on a side note would be fairly trivial to route a wire through the contacts on the inside of the back to get around the turn off when back removed issue

post-2055-1277203914_thumb.jpg

post-2055-1277203921_thumb.jpg

post-2055-1277203929_thumb.jpg

Edited by plink212
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Posted

Nice! Perhaps I won't be waiting for a new one to pull apart after all!

Time to order a 32Gb class 10 and see how much quicker this will run.

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Posted

Watching this topic with great interest. Thanks for the report plink.

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Posted

hmm I cannot edit or copy vold.conf, is this because I have not rooted?

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Posted

hmm I cannot edit or copy vold.conf, is this because I have not rooted?

Yup.

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Posted

okay some progress.

Have opened it up again and took the card out

on linux did

dd if=/dev/sdg of=/android.img

then swapped to my new 32gb microsd after which i did

dd if=/android.img of=/dev/sdg

the partition layout of the stock sd card is as follows

partition 1 primary

partition 5 logical 240mb

partition 6 logical 1.7gb

I added a new primary partition of 30GB as /dev/sdg2

The card went back in the streak and I reassembled and booted and .........

It worked.

Next steps are rooting the streak and working out modify the mount points.

My thoughts on this are that I will mount /dev/sdg2 on /sdcard and create a folder called extension

I will then modify the vold.conf file to automount the sdcard under the extension folder. The rational behind doing this is that when i connect the usb I am hoping that this will mean that I get 62GB in mass storage mode.

Tim

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Posted

Very cool!

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Posted

Big props if we can get a step by step tutorial!

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Posted

Hi plink212

Sounds really good waiting to see how the next steps go but so far it sounds amazing especially if it means we can end up with 64GB of storage and it's faster. Just one question though what will happen when the 2.2 update is released would you need to replace the original card and then do it all again?

Marc

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Posted (edited)

Bravo plink212!

If you have a Linux box it would be easier to create the partitions to suite your storage device as partitions 5 and 6 and then format them ext3.

Use tar to copy the files over to their respective partitions to get the perms right.

Should work right away and give you the full card to use without having to modify mount tables. You would have had to dd only if there were boot partitions on that card, but there's not so it's unnecessary.

Edited by popetodd
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Posted

Time to order a 32Gb class 10 and see how much quicker this will run.

Where are you going to get a 32Gb Class 10 MicroSD card? eBay? ;)

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Posted

Where are you going to get a 32Gb Class 10 MicroSD card? eBay? :(

Apparently no where just yet! :)

So I'll do the next best and grab a 16Gb Class 10. ;)

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