It's Risen: My Zombie Android Touchpad is alive!

A little wire jiggling and some new Linux do the trick.

Sorry, but this is the story that just won't die and neither will my HP Touchpad running Android Jellybean. Everytime I think I am done, it pulls me back in. As I wrote previously, my Touchpad has been dead as a door nail for about a week now. No matter what I did or tried it just stayed comatose. But that didn't stop me from trying.

Finally, last night/early this morning using some voodoo I was able to get my Touchpad to rise from the dead like a zombie.

OK, so I blew out my Windows partition, lost untold files and data, spent the better part of six days getting my laptop back up and working and it probably cost me a few thousand dollars. But God darn it, my Android Touchpad is back! It was worth it.

So how did I accomplish this task? Did I have to sacrifice any chickens or cast any spells? Did I hire a Mambo? No, there wasn't any magic (well actually there was). As I wrote earlier, the Android on Touchpad developer king JC Sullins had written a series of scripts that would debrick many a dead Touchpad (even if they weren't running Android). This was turned into a separate thread on the Rootzwiki Touchpad forum. It is now 57 pages strong and still growing.

The fact that the thread is so long should give you an idea that it is not so easy to do. You need to run the debrick off of a Linux box (Ubuntu preferred). In fact, that is how I got into this whole mess. Though you can run Ubuntu off a USB drive or a Live CD, sometimes if debricking doesn't work they recommend you run it from a physical Linux install.

Up until yesterday, every time I ran the debrick process it would abort early on when it reached the point where I would get what they call the multi-failure. No matter what I did, it would end right there. Then two days ago I was trying yet again at about 1 am (I don't have time during the day) and it made it past that point and installed a bunch of files. I thought I was golden, but the process aborted again when I got a fastboot failed to load error. Drat!

After that, I tried to rerun a hundred times and never got past the multi error again. Finally, last night I was playing around (again at like 1 am) and noticed that if I jiggled the miniUSB plug while the process was running I would get different responses. I actually made it past the multi-error, but once again hung at the fastboot not loading.

So I did a little research on that and found that though fastboot was loaded when I unzipped the tpdebrick file, there was another version of fastboot you could download along with some Android tools that someone mentioned. I opened another terminal window and installed those packages. I went back to the terminal window that I had the Touchpad plugged into and reran the script. I jiggled the USB wire and held my breath.

I made it past the dreaded multi-error point and lines were flying through my terminal window. I came up to the fastboot point and it hesitated a moment but BAM, it flew past that too. The message on the screen said it was sending magic, and magic it was. The terminal screen showed it was not resetting the A6 processor. All of a sudden my Ubuntu screen showed that I had a cable connection to another device. It was my touchpad.

Next, I received a few messages showing battery was down to 0%. Then an All Done message in the terminal window. It said to plug my Touchpad into a charger and let it sit. Most exciting of all, the blinking light at the home button on my Touchpad was blinking! I knew it was back!

What kind of condition would it awake too? I had no idea. I read stories that said sometimes you had to run WebOS Doctor and basically start from scratch with them. I plugged in my Touchpad and went to bed. About an hour later (2:30 am) I heard the familiar mail alert chime that my Touchpad makes when it updates mail.  Though it woke me out of a sleep (I had the volume turned all the way up), it was the sweetest chime I ever heard. My Touchpad was booted and running as if nothing had ever happened.

I turned the volume down and let it charge overnight. This morning it was back to normal. My Touchpad was its old self again. It is fully charged and doesn't seem any worse for the wear.

Many thanks to JC Sullins for all of the great work he does for those thousands of us running Android on our Touchpads. Also, thanks to all of the people who frequent the Rootzwiki Touchpad forums. They all contribute their experiences and help to anyone who asks.

Finally, I am glad I don't have to look at Android tablets for a while longer. It seems the new Nexus 10 will be out this summer and I would have hated having to buy one now only to see it obsolete in a little while.

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