HP Prime - usbtool.exe



#13

There are websites which describes the firmware-update of HP Prime by means of the "usbtool.exe". What is the advantage/disadvantage of this update method compared to the ConnKit?

The websites for example are:

Link1

Link2

Link3


#14

That tool can overwrite your bootloader as it has no limits and can fully write anywhere in flash. It was never meant to be publically avaiable and was given to early testers in the Prime development. I would highly recommend not playing around with it.

The code that writes to the flash is identical in both, but the connkit one has limits to prevent overwriting things like the bootloader. If the connkit doesn't update properly, that tool will not work either.

TW


Edited: 10 Dec 2013, 11:12 a.m.


#15

Thank you very much!

#16

If you mess the bootloader, how can you recover it?


#17

Good question ...


#18

There is a special software tool that is supposed to be able to do this, but I have no personal experience with it at all.

Edited: 10 Dec 2013, 1:56 p.m.


#19

In general situation like embeded electronic's :

the bootloader is a master piece of software whitch is able to write inside the ROM/FLASH where the firmware is.

The goal is to to replace the firmware if some condition are meeted

The bootloader can too rewrite itself.

Nowadays, microcontrolers own specific assembler instruction to write inside the entire flash memory during exe.

I said microcontroler, prime use microprocessor i guess, with external memory, in microcontroler the memory is inside the chip.

Bootloader is the fist executive part launched at start, generally his job is easy :

for example, if he see a communication line opened, he thought that a loader operation will probably be initiaded

The new firmware is received by an USB or serial port by the bootloader who rewrite the old and actual firmawre

In the other hand if during start operation, the bootloader did not see the load condition meeted he launch the real firmware, he call it and he stop to run.

so we can see generally see this in memory as two different field, the begining area is for the bootlaoder and the other is for the firmware.
.
if an error occur, during bootloader operation, there is no problem, you can retry the operation

BUT if this error is about the destruction of the bootloader, there is no easy recovery solutions, to be clear, a customer can't solve by himself, there is no issue

the user mus contact the developper to re-FLASH the bootlaoder, with a specific developpement probe, in the case of the prime the probe is an JTAG-PROBE.

Some microcontrolers can protect the bootloader area automaticly, so that this area can't be destroyed or rewrited, in this case the developper must indicate the address where the bootloader is to cover this entire area.

#20

USBToolkit right works for that.

#21

I did just that, and HP sent me a zip file with usbtool.exe in it and a PDF of instructions to use it, and it worked flawlessly!. It is marked HP Confidential at the bottom, so not sure whether it should be posted here or not? To err on the safe side, I won't, but email me if you have questions about it.


#22

i also interested in the instructions. i send you a pm.

#23

I've tried sending the files with both yahoo and gmail, but they won't allow me. Any other ideas?


#24

You can upload it to skydrive, google drive, etc?

#25

I highly recommend following Tim's advice. A few days ago, I experienced a problem updating the firmware on my Prime. The error rendered the Prime invisible to my PC (any one of them) as a USB device. The calculator would turn on, display the initial screens, and then be stuck there!!! Plugging the USB cable did nothing!! I thought I was dead in the water. Fortunately, the Prime did not lose its bootloader. Tim saved the day and helped with simple instructions that allowed the PC to once again detect the Prime as a USB device. I was able to update the firmware and the machine came back to life!! Losing the bootloader is akin to playing Russian roulette with your HP Prime!!

Namir

Edited: 10 Dec 2013, 4:37 p.m.


#26

What are these instructions? I am always a bit scared playing with devices I don't know how to restore (i.e. makes me feel safe to know I can reflash wrt into my router via the programming pins)


#27

Hold the Symb button while you use a pin to do a reset on the back side of the calculator.


#28

What are the differences between the following resets:

1. Use a pin to do a reset on the back side of the calculator

2. Hold the Symb button while you use a pin to do a reset on the back side of the calculator

3. If the calculator is off, then hold the Symb button and press "ON".


Last question: Using method 2 the display shows "HP Prime recovery mode V13". What can i do in this mode?


#29

Quote:
What are the differences between the following resets:

1. Use a pin to do a reset on the back side of the calculator

2. Hold the Symb button while you use a pin to do a reset on the back side of the calculator

3. If the calculator is off, then hold the Symb button and press "ON".

1. Simple warmstart. Restores most recent power-up state.

2. Enters recovery mode (firmware update mode).

3. Not a reset. Same as turning on (unlike turning on while holding down Symb, which is the same as #2 above).
Quote:
Last question: Using method 2 the display shows "HP Prime recovery mode V13". What can i do in this mode?
Reflash the firmware. The currently supported (safe) methods are:

(A) Run the Connectivity Kit, right-click the calculator (if it appears in the list), and select "Update firmware". If it does not appear in the list, use method B instead:

(B) Run the "Updater.exe" program directly from the installation folder of the Connectivity Kit.

A third method is floating around which involves running a very dangerous program called "usbtool.exe" which has the possibility of nuking your Prime's boot loader. Don't use "usbtool.exe" unless explicitly instructed to do so by HP, and even then be VERY careful to follow their instructions exactly or you'll brick your Prime.

-Joe-
Edit: fixed misspellings


Edited: 11 Dec 2013, 12:09 p.m.


#30

Just a minute! Do i have to enter the recovery mode before i can update the Prime firmware with ConnKit or Updater.exe???


#31

The updater.exe does not set the device into update mode. The connkit does that.

1. If you calculator is running normally, it will show up in the connkit tree. The firmware update command a)sends a command to the calculator putting it into update mode and then b) launches the updater.exe

2. If your calculator is already in the updater mode (such as you held the SYMB button down on boot), launching the updater.exe should detect it and begin the update.

TW

Edited: 11 Dec 2013, 2:40 p.m.


#32

Great. Now it is clear. Thank you very much!

#33

I have the same problem. The calculator would turn on, display the initial screens, and then be stuck there. (x^2+y^2=1). When i press "ON" the calculator go "Off". Can you give me detailed instructions how to fix this?

Edited: 11 Dec 2013, 7:23 a.m.


#34

See my comment above.


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