S905X 1GB (Android 6) and CoreELEC NG boot failure


So time ago there was announcement about NG builds for S905X devices.
I’m using something like:

but it’s not possible to boot CoreELEC NG.

From this thread:

it looks like there is multiple users who cannot boot theirs devices with 1 GB RAM and Android 6. Devs mentioned that there might be a solution.
Anyone managed to run NG on 1GB Android 6 S905X? Or knows a solution? Thanks!

I think some users are requested to help us and we got never a feedback. @cdu13a do have latest status about 1GB RAM devices.

In short, I don’t have such a device, so will need a user that is comfortable with and able to hook a uart adapter to the device to collect boot logs from early in the boot process, to be able to make another attempt to solve this issue.

Cannot attach file, so added everything in pastebin, let me know if anything is missing

Thanks, will take a closer look at that this evening.

Once I devise a solution I will upload a test build for you to try.

@aivaras Is there an Android 7 firmware for this MXQ device? Or any newer firmware then what came on the device for that matter?

edit: It looks like the solution maybe to update the firmware on the device.

I didn’t found anything official with Android 7 or newer firmware. Only some-kind-of Aidan’s Android7/9 ROM, but not sure if it would helps.

Do you have a copy of the current firmware image for your box that you have verified actually works?
I have an Android 7.1.2 firmware that seems to install without issue to a variety of S905x boxes, with both 1G and 2G RAM. I can’t speak to the quality of this version of Android as I have no use for it for0 anything other than the bootloader. That said, the bootloader from this image has allowed myself and others to install NG builds to S905x devices without all the random hiccups an Android 6 bootloader seemed to present.

As I’ve said, you’d be foolish to install this ROM if you don’t have an original firmware for your device that you know already works, just in case something goes sideways. You’ll need to use the AML USB Burning Tool to flash the firmware so you’ll need to be comfortable using that as well.

As updating versions of Android is well outside the scope of CE support, I wouldn’t expect anything in the way of support from the DEVs if the flashing process goes poorly. That said, if none of the above frightens you and you’re brave enough to give it a go, shoot me a PM and I can give you a link to the firmware I’ve used.

I installed Aidan Android 7. After this I can boot Android 7, but it doesn’t tries to boot CoreElec from USB. @kshi can you share your firmware? Thanks.

Pretty much the problem with the devices on android 6 is that the boot loader that was used for the really old android versions doesn’t support some features in the way that the newer kernel expects it to.

So it’s not so much that android needs to be newer but the boot loader that is packaged with android needs to be newer. Which is usually the case with vendor updates. However this may not be the case with third party updates since they may have used the boot loader from the older vendor android.

While I was able to work around some of the other problems caused by old firmware/boot loaders. This is unfortunately not always possible in some cases.

If somebody can find a working update for each of the effected devices, then we can make a forum post to guide others on how to update. However since some of the these devices might look the same and have the same model numbers, but different components/configuration, this could still be rather high risk for anybody that is not comfortable with unbricking their device.

I’ve got a family member that still has a 1G S905x box that has since been relegated to a desk drawer. When I have the time to go get it, I’d be happy to guinea pig this box for you. IIRC it still has the original abysmal Android 6 loaded and I know that the Android 7 ROM I have will install to it, it’s bootloader also allowed my S905x X96 to join the NG club. Hopefully the pins are easily identified on the PCB, though I’ve been meaning to order one of those snazzy SDIO Debug Boards.

I installed new firmware (had to use Amlogic USB Burn Tool and toothpick method). Aidan’s ROM Android 7:

After installation I was not able to boot CoreELEC from any USB port or MMC slot, toothpick method didn’t worked either. But Android worked fine. Thanks to @kshi I tried to use:

With a help of “Reboot to LibreELEC” I was able to boot to CoreELEC NG (which was not booting before). Then successfully ran “inject_bl301” and it worked.

I didn’t had time to test a lot. But only thing what is not working (but it was working not in NG builds) is:


Starting CoreELEC eMMC installation tool…
System is not supported: gxl_p212_1g!

It would be really nice to rewrite Android with CoreELEC, maybe there is a way?
Thanks everyone for help! :slight_smile:

Read the unsupported section
You need to use ceemmc -x

Thanks! It worked. Didn’t found this in ceemmc -h :smiley:

Very glad to hear that you found a solution that worked for you. :grinning:

Do you by chance know if you can flash with an sdcard or using Amlogic Flash Tool https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/08-03-2019-amlogic-tools-7-1-0-a-new-milestone-donate-version-available.3786991/ will work as well.
My male to male USB flash seems to not recognize the box. I have a T95X that has the button behind the AV port so I tried the toothpick but no luck. I have another box M8S mini which does not have the so call button but an on/off button that I tried pressing but does not start the flash.
Any suggestion? I am testing to see if flashing Aidan universal ROM will inject the updated bootloader to allow me loading Coreelec Amlogic-ng kernel.

Could we not use ADB Debug to go into recovery update to flash??

I’d be more inclined to use the standard AML USB burning tool. I’ve played around with that 3rd party set of Amlogic tools and found them to be less than reliable or straightforward. If the toothpick method doesn’t allow the box to be recognized in the above mentioned tool, there is the far more extreme option of shorting pins on emmc to force the box into recovery mode. Shorting is more of a last resort for otherwise bricked boxes though.

IIRC the reset button on the M8S Mini is on the underside of the box, not the AV port.

Unfortunately, this M8S is probably some offshoot of what is considered the standard M8S. There is no buttons other than the on/off. However, I thought all I need to do is go into recovery. I can do that using ADB debug and issue a “reboot recovery” it does go into recovery.
The issue is how to flash since my cable is not good even though I am in recovery. Can’t recovery update be able to flash the img file?

I’ve given you my suggestion. If you’re keen to go that route, I’d be more inclined to ask on a forum that caters specifically to Android like XDA or Freaktab. IIRC you’re still gonna need the USB drivers for your box, (which are included with the AML USB burning tool, btw), for your device to use ADB.
In the long run you’re probably still gonna want a working USB A Male/Male anyways, in case things go sideways.