Oh no! Your Motorola Xoom is Bricked (or is it)

You’ve tried everything you can think of. Hard reset, soft reset, factory reset, factory restore, factory wipe and erase. Nothing works! I thought that too!

Please read this entire article before trying anything!

So long as you can still reach the ‘Starting Fastboot Protocol Support’, by powering the device on (or resetting with Power + Volume Up) while holding the power and volume down button, you are probably not in as much trouble as you may think.

Visit this link and download the zip file:

http://www.android.net/forum/downloading/67/guest/SDK_tools.zip
(leave me a comment if the file is unavailable, I’ll upload a copy to this website)

Extract it to your C: drive, so the contents exist in:

C:SDK_tools

Visit this link:

http://developer.motorola.com/products/software/

Read this article for more information about the bundles.

Download the corrosponding bundle version for your location or region. I’m in Australia, so I downloaded the ‘Build H.6.1-38-9 for Telstra Australia’ bundle. Take a few moments to peruse the list, it’s a little confusing and I almost downloaded the wrong one. Make sure you download the right one. I’ve no idea what happens if you restore with the wrong files.

You’ll have to register to download the files. It’s free, which is not bad for something that is about to bring your Motorola Xoom back to life 🙂

Extract the archive and dump all the files directly into the C:SDK_tools directory.

Your directory listing should look something like this:

adb.exe
AdbWinApi.dll
AdbWinUsbApi.dll
boot.img
ddms.bat
fastboot.exe
recovery.img
system.img
userdata.img

Depending on the amount of damage you’ve done to your Motorola Xoom, you may or may not need to do all of the following commands:

fastboot flash boot boot.img
fastboot flash system system.img
fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
fastboot flash userdata userdata.img
fastboot erase cache
fastboot oem lock

Note 1. If you intend to root or otherwise modify the OS in the near or far future, skip the last command (fastboot oem lock).

Note 2. If no userdata.img file is present in your download, please issue the command:

fastboot erase userdata

I only managed to screw up my boot partition (I think) as I only needed to excute the first command. Try them one at a time and reboot the Motorola Xoom. Give it time to come back to life before re-entering ‘Starting Fastboot Protocol Support’ again. When I say give it some time, I mean wait at least 5 minutes.

Note: you can unlock your Motorola Xoom with the following command:

fastboot oem unlock.

As for rooting the device… well I’m sure that’s the reason some of you are here! Do some more research before attempting it again, I know I did!

My last few days looked like this:

10 Days to Go5 Days to Go4 Days to Go3 Days to Go2 Days to Go

 

Unfortunately, I was away on “1 Day to Go”, so I wasn’t able to get a screen grab, but I think you get the idea. My days of using Windows Live One Care, were over! Trust me, I celebrated!

The inclusion of Windows Live OneCare in my 90 day stint, was most certainly a disaster, and also the cause of most of my stress during my use of Windows Vista. Just like other Virus/Spyware detection combo software suites, it too was always scanning in the background. Scanning so much infact, that it would often make reading my email near impossible. I would sometimes wait up to 5 minutes for an email to load into view. The Windows Live OneCare firewall was a pain in the butt, not to mention that Windows Vista itself, did not even acknowledge that it had a firewall installed. For the entire 90 days, Windows Vista was bugging me to enable Windows Vista Firewall, because apparently I didn’t have one installed! For some unknown reason, Windows Live OneCare continued to disable Windows Defender. I found this to be a pain, because every few days Windows Defender would make it to the top of the pile saying “Hey! I am disabled! Enable me Again!”. Of course after enabling Windows Defender, I would then have to do a spyware scan, even if I didn’t want to! “Later” I would click, only to see my CPU usage go way up as it started scanning in the background instead.

One very irritating caveat of Windows Vista, is physical memory usage. During my 90 days, I was unable to get Windows Vista to really function the way I wanted it too. For example, I have 2GB of DDR Memory. So I figure “what do I need a swap file for”. So I disable the swap file, and immediately Windows Vista complains that it does not have enough memory! It even performed sluggishly! Now, if I were to do this in Windows XP, the system would be forced to push as much as possible into physical memory. Which in the case of my laptop with 2GB of DDR Memory, was perfectly fine! I never exceeded 2GB and my laptop never skipped a beat. Come Windows Vista, and I am able to perform the same feat! The best I could get was a compromise, which was still horrid. I was able to push the swap file down to a minimum size of 200MB (instead of the “Windows Managed” 3.5GB). However, if a program on my laptop should use more then 200MB of Memory (Firefox for example, as I am sure many of you have experienced), I would still get the memory warning errors. Sure, I can ignore them, but eventually, Windows Vista would crash Firefox altogether, or whatever offending programs were “taking up too much memory”. As I said above, this was never a problem in Windows XP. Hopefully there is a work around for this out there somewhere. I share my HDD with a Linux Partition, so 3.5GB wasted on a swap file is a lot for me, especially since Fedora 7 is quite capable of running smoothly with no swap partition at all!

Overall, my 90 days of Vista has been fun, and for the most part, I have had next to no troubles. I have swamp of applications installed, and they all work fine, including the ones I had to install in “Windows XP SP2 Compatibility Mode”. Heck, I was even able to install Command and Conquer Windows 95 Edition. With an extra piece of software, I was able to battle against my younger brother.

The slick new interface is funky, and easy to disable when it gets in the way (like when it is sucking up too much of my 200MB swap file for example!). Windows Aero is handy, but it’s not the be all of Windows Vista, it’s just the icing on the cake.

I also opted to include Microsoft Office 2007 in my 90 day stint. The latest version of the Microsoft Office Suite, and boy is it something! Most of the applications have been completely re-written, others updated. If you haven’t tried Microsoft Office 2007 yet, you should give it a shot!

I am sure that Windows Vista has far more to offer then what I have experienced so far, and for the moment, I am going to stick to using Windows Vista and Office 2007, to get the most out of both of them, and broaden my knowledge. I am somewhat established here now, and it would be a shame to just leave it all. I miss using linux, however I think I will continue my use of Windows Vista, at least until Fedora 8 is released.

I will even continue to post my findings and discoveries of Windows Vista, and hopefully at some point, I write a “Windows Vista – The Perfect Setup” guide. Actually, I have one in the works already… so stay tuned!

Your Graphics Card Sucks

I know that there are plenty of people out there that will vouch against what I am about to say, so if you are one of those, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

While running Windows XP Professional, my graphics card performed as a Radeon 9800 Pro (I actually have an ATI Radeon 9800se – the card that ATI knows nothing about). Thanks to a software modification, I was able to have my Radeon 9800se function as a Radeon 9800 Pro, and boy what a difference did it make! Staggering frame rates in all my games, including Half Life 2 and associated games! Needless to say, I was happy I had been a cheap skate, and bought the 9800se from eBay. Up until installing Windows Vista Ultimate, and a couple of games, my 9800se reborn, was “the ownage” in my little world. Come now the days of my Windows Vista adventure, and my 9800se reborn, plays games the same games like a 16MB Voodoo 2.

In other words, my graphics card now totally SUCKS the big one!!!1111. Even though I downloaded the Vista software modification, the resulting increase in performance was only that of a slight percentage, and for the first time (in regards to my graphics card), it caused my system to become unstable, and even blue screen! Yes! Vista has blue screens!

It seems that Windows Vista, really claims a lot of your video memory, just to run Windows, especially with Windows Aero enabled. Which is interesting, considering the same effects, in fact, even cooler and better effects, can be run on a 16MB voodoo 2, on a machine running Fedora 7, with Beryl/Compiz installed.

Read More →

Installing & Playing C&C and C&C- Red Alert in Windows XP & Windows 2000

Windows 2000 note

To get the executables (EXE) files to work under Windows 2000 and Windows XP, we’re going to use a feature of Windows 2000 SP2 and Windows XP called “compatibility mode”. Windows XP users have this feature enabled by default, but users of Windows 2000 (and only users of Windows 2000) must first install at least Service Pack 2 (SP4 is the latest). Once you’ve installed SP2,SP3 or SP4, you must then perform the following, as detailed in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 279792.

  1. Make sure you are logged on to Windows 2000 as a user with Administrative privileges (or as the Administrator account itself). If yours is the only account on the system then it’s probably an administrator account. Administrators accounts can make any changes in the control panel, so if you can do that, then you’re an administrator.
  2. Open the start menu and click on “Run…”

  3. Type: regsvr32 %systemroot%apppatchslayerui.dll

  4. Hit Run (or press enter)

That’s it. Now you have compatibility modes available to you, so move on to the next section.

NOTE: This guide is for the Windows Version of Both C&C and Red Alert – I am providing no support for the DOS versions whatsoever. NB: The Gold Version of C&C is just simply the Windows Version (aka C&C95) of C&C. There are no special features in the game other then the Internet play.

Installation and Playing – C&C

Installation

  1. Insert either C&C95 disk into the CD-ROM drive.
  • Close the Command & Conquer Windows 95 Edition CD-ROM Autoplay window that appears (if Autoplay is turned on)

  • Click on the Start button at the bottom Left Of Your screen, and then click on My Computer

  • In the My Computer window, right-click on the C&C95 CD-ROM icon (labeled GDI95 or NOD95) and select Open.

  • In the CD-ROM window, right-click on the Autorun icon, and select Properties.

  • On the Autorun Properties window, click on the Compatibility tab.

  • On the Compatibility tab, make sure the “Run this program in compatibility mode” check box is selected, and that Windows 95 is selected in the drop down box.

  • Click OK.

  • Double-click the Autorun.exe icon to start the setup process. This will start the Command & Conquer Windows 95 Edition CD-ROM Autoplay Program.

  • Select the Install C&C:Win95 button, this will start the installation process.

  • On the Select Components screen, unselect the DirectX audio and video drivers (recommended) option. You do not need to install DirectX on Windows XP.

  • Follow the remainder of the steps until you reach the Install Westwood Online Program. It is important to install this component now if you plan to play C&C95 on the Internet.

  • When installation of all components is complete, select “I will restart my computer later”, then click Finish.

  • Installation is now complete.

  • Playing

    1. Click on the Start button at the bottom Left of your screen, then click All Programs.
  • Click on the Westwood entry in the list that appears, then click on Command & Conquer 95.

  • Right-click on Command & Conquer Windows 95 Edition and select Properties.

  • Click on the Compatibility tab, and make sure the “Run this program in compatibility mode” check box is selected, and that Windows 95 appears in the drop down box.

  • Click OK.

  • Click on the Start button at the bottom Left Of Your screen, then click All Programs.

  • Click on the Westwood entry in the list that appears, then click on Westwood Chat.

  • Right-click on Westwood Chat and select Properties.

  • Click on the Compatibility tab, and make sure the “Run this program in compatibility mode” check box is selected, and that Windows 95 appears in the drop down down box.

  • Click OK.

  • In order to run C&C95 you will need the Latest product update. This will happen automatically if you connect to the Westwood Online service by running the Westwood Chat application, and then following the instructions contained in the manual to play a game. However it is possible (I haven’t checked though) that Westwood online is not longer running, so alternatively, you can update your game without the use of Westwood chat by downloading the XP patch.

  • The Windows XP Patch can be found here:

    ftp://ftp.westwood.com/pub/ccgold/CCGOLDXPPATCH.ZIP

    Unfortunately, LAN play is disabled. There is no way to enable LAN play at all. The number one reason is due to the fact that the IPX protocol was re-written in Windows XP/2000, and is now incompatible with C&C. C&C uses a different layer of the IPX protocol to play multiplayer over a network. This layer is no longer used and was phased out of the IPX protocol. Your best bet would be to find a program that can emulate the Westwood online server locally, and play across that. I have no idea if such a thing exists though. There may also be other ways to play across IPX, but that would mean you don’t apply the patch, and therefore can’t run the game in Windows XP or 2000.

    To install the Covert Operations, you will need to have installed C&C95 into its default location, or one that is similar to its default location, or the DOS based setup program will not be able to locate your installation due to its limited ability to read long directory names.

    Installing and Playing C&C – Red Alert

    Installation

    1. Insert either C&C – Red Alert disk into the CD-ROM drive.
  • Close the Command & Conquer – Red Alert Windows 95 Edition CD-ROM Autoplay window that appears (if Autoplay is turned on)

  • Click on the Start button at the bottom Left Of Your screen, and then click on My Computer

  • In the My Computer window, right-click on the Red Alert CD-ROM icon (labeled RA1 or RA2) and select Open.

  • In the CD-ROM window, right-click on the Autorun icon, and select Properties.

  • On the Autorun Properties window, click on the Compatibility tab.

  • On the Compatibility tab, make sure the “Run this program in compatibility mode” check box is selected, and that Windows 95 is selected in the drop down box.

  • Click OK.

  • Double-click the Autorun.exe icon to start the setup process. This will start the Command & Conquer Windows 95 Edition CD-ROM Autoplay Program.

  • Select the Install Red Alert button, this will start the installation process.

  • On the Select Components screen, unselect the DirectX audio and video drivers (recommended) option. You do not need to install DirectX on Windows XP.

  • Follow the remainder of the steps until you reach the Install Westwood Online Program. It is important to install this component now if you plan to play Red Alert on the Internet. Yes, this will update the version of Westwood Online you may currently have if you installed it from C&C earlier.

  • When installation of all components is complete, select “I will restart my computer later”, then click Finish.

  • Installation is now complete.

  • Playing

    1. Click on the Start button at the bottom Left of your screen, then click All Programs.
  • Click on the Westwood entry in the list that appears, then click on Red Alert 95.

  • Right-click on Red Alert Windows 95 Edition and select Properties.

  • Click on the Compatibility tab, and make sure the “Run this program in compatibility mode” check box is selected, and that Windows 95 appears in the drop down box.

  • Click OK.

  • Click on the Start button at the bottom Left Of Your screen, then click All Programs.

  • Click on the Westwood entry in the list that appears, then click on Westwood Chat.

  • Right-click on Westwood Chat and select Properties.

  • Click on the Compatibility tab, and make sure the “Run this program in compatibility mode” check box is selected, and that Windows 95 appears in the drop down down box

  • Click OK.

  • In order to run Red Alert 95 you will need the Latest product update. This will happen automatically if you connect to the Westwood Online service by running the Westwood Chat application, and then following the instructions contained in the manual to play a game. However it is possible (I havent’ checked though) that Westwood online is not longer running, so alternatively, you can update your game without the use of Westwood chat by downloading the XP patch. The Windows XP Patch can be found here:

  • ftp://ftp.westwood.com/pub/redalert/updates/RA108USP.EXE

    Download the RA108USP.EXE patch to your Red Alert directory (this is usually C:REDALERT or C:WESTWOODREDALERT directory). After the files are copied, simply Double click on RA108USP.EXE to begin the update process, and select Y to replace the three existing files.

    Now you should be able to run Red Alert using the “Red Alert Windows 95 Edition” icon in your Red Alert folder in the Start Menu.

    LAN and Internet Play should function Normally in Red Alert, although there are many people who have found and encounter quirks with it. You may want to search the Internet for solutions to these.

    To install the expansions Counterstrike, and Aftermath, follow the same instructions as above to install Red Alert. If you have both expansions, you should install Counterstrike first, and then install Aftermath.

    If you are unable to play multiplayer, please refer to the tutorial entitled Command and Conquer Windows Edition Over TCP / IP.