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<  New Ideas  ~  Booting on Option's icon 411 (aka Vodafone K3760)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:12 am Reply with quote
Posts: 9Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:55 pm
Hi,

Option's icon 411 (aka Vodafone K3670) not only provide the 3G modem when switching, but also access to a microSD card.

Before switching : a virtual CD player, with a virtual CD (an ISO image).
After switching : a 3G+ modem and a read/write storage, from a MicroSD card that is plugged into the icon 411, near the SIM card.

Because the MicroSD is not available at the time icon 411 is powered on, it is currently impossible to boot on the MicroSD.

I would like to use the base of usb-modeswitch, to try and setup a customized *bootable* ISO image, that provide the following service :

- switch icon 411 to Modem+MicroSD mode.
- then continue boot as usual, loading the master boot record from the MicroSD.

It it also possible to setup a more general bootable ISO image, that would have /boot inside and an initrd that include mode-switch. This would probably be easier to maintain, but harder to live with, because /boot will be read only. Not a major problem, but...

'don't know which one might be the best.

Any comment ?

Nicolas.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:33 pm Reply with quote
Site AdminPosts: 6361Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:30 am
Sounds like you want to merge grub and USB_ModeSwitch ...

Unfortunately, I'm not a grub specialist. But you probably need to implement quite a bit of system structure just to run libusb apps. I think it depends on the sysfs, but I'm not sure at the moment.

I figure it would be less trouble to boot a mini system from somewhere (hd?) which runs the switch and then reboots into the SD slot.

The best way would of course be to replace the pseudo CD device with a Live Linux CD image ...


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:39 am Reply with quote
Posts: 9Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:55 pm
Hi Josh,

I eventually tested "burning" an ISO image to the virtual CD on the key, using the Windows updating program provided by Vodafone. Good news : it works, with a customized ISO file.

I think you are right, it would be really hard to merge grub and usb_modeswitch.

So I decided to try a different way :

1/ I build a initrd image having usb_modeswitch and the required libraries inside. No particular problem, except I need to find which libraries are required.
2/ I build a virtual hard disk in a file, having a partition table and the /boot partition inside. A few black magic, but nothing really hard.
3/ I build an ISO image with this "virtual hard disk file" and ask genisoimage to request the BIOS to use this "virtual hard disk file" as the boot image. Should be easy.
4/ I virtually burn this ISO image to the virtual CD player of the 3G usb key.

'will try all this in the near future.

Nicolas.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:26 am Reply with quote
Site AdminPosts: 6361Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:30 am
Re 2/
You can build a static binary of USB_ModeSwitch (IIRC with the "--static" compiler option). I did it once and got a size of ~500kB which I thought was OK.

Re 4/
This might prove difficult unless you know how to write new firmware to the device ... Mind it's not a CD-R but a CD-ROM device which is write protected. You might still end up needing some other (small) initial boot device.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:49 pm Reply with quote
Posts: 9Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:55 pm
Hi Josh,

'sounds interesting to be able to build a static version of USB_ModeSwitch. I will try this and if it succeeds, I will ask the Debian maintener of the usb-modeswitch package to provide not only the dynamic version but also the static one.

Regarding the ability to "burn" an ISO image into the K3760, here are the results of my tests :

Two different parts of the device can be upgraded : the firmware and the ISO image. Vodafone provide two different softwares for that. I tested whether the software to upgrade the ISO image is able to "burn" a customized ISO image instead of the one provided by Vodafone, which contains the Vodafone Mobile Connect software. I succeeded burning my own ISO image, simply by naming the ISO image file with the same name as the one provided by Vodafone.

I will keep you informed and hope to finish all of this today.

Nicolas.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:25 pm Reply with quote
Posts: 9Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:55 pm
This is to report success about my previous post.

It is possible to store an ISO linux boot image on the virtual CD of the K3760 3G USB modem from Vodafone (aka Option's icon 411), and to boot on it, using the microSD card inside the same USB key as the /root filesystem.

This provide a very light global environment, with storage (~8Gb) and connectivity capabilities (3G+++).

I will try and write a step by step HOW-TO.

In the mean time, feel free to ask me directly, if you are interested by this.

Nicolas.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:05 pm Reply with quote
Site AdminPosts: 6361Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:30 am
That is a cool application for the - otherwise pretty useless - driver storage!

In theory, you can go online with any computer that boots from the device ... awesome!

I'm sure a HowTo would be welcome. If you have a web address for it I will link to it from the doc page.

Thanks for the enlightenment! :idea:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:04 pm Reply with quote
Posts: 4Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:17 pm
nicolas813 Welldone you must be a vodafone guru , I am very much looking forward to your how to and hope that you are able to find the time to produce something that us simple folk can follow !

I tried googling the Windows Updating Program to find something that vodafone offer but have had no success, maybe even just pointing us to that app might help out alot.

hope to read your howto soon


Terry


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:17 pm Reply with quote
Posts: 4Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:17 pm
http://forum.vodafone.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=25736

now to try and crack the boot process

also would like confirmation of how big the iso image can be anyone ?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:22 pm Reply with quote
Posts: 9Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:55 pm
Hi 3wsparky,

This software is the one I used to "burn" the ISO image into the K3760. It doesn't work on wine, but should work on a virtual machine running Windows.

I plan to try and do some sort of reverse engineering on the USB protocol to be able to provide a Linux version.

I don't know what is the maximum size of the ISO image. Anyway, a full linux boot iso image is around 10 Mb, compared to the normal "Windows drivers" iso image, which is around 40 Mb.

I successfully put both (Windows and Linux) in a single ISO, which is 66416640 long, and successfully "burned" it into the K3760.

Nicolas.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:22 pm Reply with quote
Posts: 4Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:17 pm
ozerocdoff_0.4-2_i386.deb

this is the only package that i needed to add to my ubuntu to prevent the k3760 from mounting as a cdrom, each time i place the stick into a usb slot it will auto connect to the 3g network and allow access to the memory stick, adding this to the initrd.gz with all the dependancies might be the tricky bit.

but i'm thinking that's the way forward , get the initrd.gz to switch the mode of the device then locate the memorystick content (in my case my squashfs.filesystem ) and boot from it.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:51 am Reply with quote
Posts: 9Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:55 pm
Josh wrote:
Sounds like you want to merge grub and USB_ModeSwitch ...

Unfortunately, I'm not a grub specialist. But you probably need to implement quite a bit of system structure just to run libusb apps. I think it depends on the sysfs, but I'm not sure at the moment.

Hi,

I'm back after a little bit more than one year...

Looking at GRUB2, it happens that it apparently provides a full featured libusb. So, porting usb_modeswitch to a GRUB2 module shouldn't be that hard. I plan and give a try to this.

In order to reduce the maintenance of two mostly equal codes, I will probably try to include some #ifdef into usb_modeswitch.c :

#ifdef GRUB2
GRUB2 usbmodeswitch module specific part.
#else
non-GRUB2 specific part.
#endif
common part.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:03 pm Reply with quote
Posts: 4Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:17 pm
I'm still monitoring this forum,

i never had any success trying to mount the stick


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:33 pm Reply with quote
Posts: 9Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:55 pm
I'm working with the GRUB guys on this.

We come to the following question :

Are there other devices than Option Icon 411 (0af0:7501) that provide storage (micro SD) after being switched ?

In other words : is this device the only one we can try to boot from, because it is the only one that provide storage after being switched ?

Nicolas.[/b]


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:43 am Reply with quote
Site AdminPosts: 6361Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:30 am
I think all modems with a SD slot will provide access to it after switching. I have four testing devices with such a slot and they all do.

Hardly any current model is coming without such a slot.



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