Friday, January 27, 2012

Flashing the N900.

I have been using the N900 for almost 2 years. I've upgraded from PR1.1 to PR1.2 and PR1.3 and more recently CSSU. I have installed countless things from extras-testing and extras-devel and have never had any serious problems.

Until one fateful day 2 weeks ago when I started to realise the battery life was getting worse by the day. The battery was draining at about 2-3% an hour on standby. A few days before, I had installed speedpatch and batterypatch. I thought that was the cause, so I promptly removed them. But the issue remained. (I suspect that speedpatch permanently broke the kernel setup somehow, from reading the forums I found others who concur.)

I tried running top and powertop and found the CPU was running at C0 constantly, with 12-20% constant CPU load%. I tried everything I could to find the source of the issue. I un-installed things for testing until I practically un-installed everything I used and it was still the same.

So I was left with no choice but to re-flash the firmware. I had never done it before. I read through the wiki. It was quite confusing at first. I didn't have an Ubuntu box around so I had to use my Windows 7 laptop at work. Unfortunately I had the 64bit version and had to jump through additional hoops to make the flasher recognise the N900. I decided to start from scratch. Backed up all my files and save games and flashed both eMMC and FIASCO images.

Afterwards I restored my contact data from backup but not my settings or anything else. I was advised against it, to ensure the problem does not return from a restored backup. I started to put back all my data & re-install everything I needed. Since I use the N900 as my everyday phone, I decided to install Stable CSSU this time instead of testing.

The fresh image really made the phone much faster and much more responsive than ever before. I've now quite glad I did it and I'm enjoying the phone like it was new. The battery now lasts even longer than the first day I got it. It goes down only 2% in 5 hours on standby.

Increasingly more people are finding they have issues after installing speedpatch and batterypatch. I'd advise against installing these patches.


p0ts said...

Hi, do you know of any open source meetups in Penang that still meet regularly?

Ter said...

None that I know of. The last plug died in 2005 I believe. Real passionate Linux users are very rare in this country, most of the ones I've met in the last few years are only interested in the commercial/career advantages of learning Linux or have just a passing interest rather then real fans.

I'd suggest visiting to find like-minded people.

For me, I'm spending most of my free time in helping out new users.

If you do find a good linux user group, let me know. :)

Matt Freeman said...

Sorry I couldnt find a way to contact you, if you fancy a beer discussing linux on Tuesday evening in Penang let me know.

Ter said...

Sorry man, I saw this post too late. Drop a comment if you're still up for it.