Author Topic: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images  (Read 35167 times)

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Offline Preceptor

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How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« on: February 20, 2012, 03:46:50 PM »
People, I was so annoyed by the infotmic image system fiasco (I decided to sell mine btw) that I decided to look further into the Allwinner packing and unpacking image process. At the link they also explain how to build the kernel so if anyone is interested, check it out, it's a nice read.
First and foremost, all Allwinner tablets use the same image format, called IMAGEWTY. It's this image format that we use to flash the tablets using the LiveSuit application. Looks like Allwinner will release the source code and specification for this format in the future but they didn't do it yet. But for our purposes we don't need it. Some guy called esxgx that seems to work for them released a tool to pack and unpack these images, it's called unimg.  :android-wink:
To use this tool, all you need to do is type unimg -d imagename.img. The thing is, another nice guy called sztupy at the XDA site released some scripts and some other tools that make it even easier to pack and unpack the packages. It is called a10 flash kitchen and since I'm unable to attach it here (40mb) I will post the link: http://android.sztupy.hu/dl/a10/a10_flash_kitchen_v2.zip. Now to unpack using his kit:
1 - Put the image file inside the packer_ics dir (assuming you are working with ICS witch is the case for Aurora, Elf and Advanced II tablets. Advanced I had Gingerbread images that you can use the other dir)
2 - Rename it to original.img
3 - Run the extract_image.bat batch
4 - All the files will be extracted inside the _extract folder. The filles there will be with HDR and FEX extension. One of these fex files is the system.img file that we want so we can mod. Just copy it somewhere else and rename it to system.img. For the Aurora 4.03 firmware it is called RFSFAT16_SYSTEM_000000000.fex. Just search for the biggest file and you will find it.
5 - This file is using ext4 sparse file img. You won't be able to mount it immediately. You need to grab the ext4_utils and compile it and use a program called simg2img to transform it to a proper ext4 img. For windows users, just grab the python script that I posted and it should work properly. (it did here)
6 - Just mount the image and modify it. (Or just use Ext2Explore like me if you're in windows to have some fun)

To repack (I didn't try it)
First you need to initialize the kitchen. To quote :
"Next you need to extract the bootfs inside the _bootfs directory. You have multiple options on how to do this:

1. Get the bootfs from your device on-line using adb:

Code: [Select]
> cd _bootfs
> adb shell
$ cd /
$ mount -o remount,rw -t ext4 /dev/root /
$ mkdir bootfs
$ mount -t vfat /dev/block/nanda /bootfs
(Control-C: exit adb shell)
> adb pull /bootfs

2. Get the bootfs from the extracted image file using Linux:

A. Copy the RFSFAT16_BOOTFS_000000000.fex file to linux
B.
Code: [Select]
$ mkdir bootfs
$ sudo mount -o loop RFSFAT16_BOOTFS_000000000.fex bootfs
$ cp -a bootfs b2
$ sudo umount bootfs


C. Copy the contents of the b2 directory to Windows, inside the _bootfs directory of the kitchen

B: Create image

If you have initialized the kitchen, you have to copy the four files from linux (system.img, root.img, recovery.img and bImage) inside the _input directory. You will also need to rename the .img files to .fex (so they should be system.fex, root.fex, recovery.fex).

If you are done with this, then run create_image.bat. It will create an output.img file, that can be flashed to the device using LiveSuite."

I hope that by using this HCH can easily uberize our tablets.

My source was from the XDA dev site at the link :
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1490886
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 08:50:57 PM by HardcoreHacker »

Offline HardcoreHacker

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2012, 03:52:53 PM »
Hi Preceptor,

Wise choice to get rid of the infortmics! I also have a Ainovo but mine has a broken TS from the moment it arrived so I can't do anything with it.

I did check the firmware! It seems to be EXT3 :-) which is not impossible to mod! I like your way, my way is using a handful of bash scripts to mount/unmount/repack/extract ext3 img files (made those initially for the infortmic tablets).

Anyway, I'm excited to read this post! Too bad I'm @ my lame job laming around until I can go home finally and do something interesting :)

Thanks very much for sharing, you made my day!

HcH

Offline Preceptor

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2012, 01:41:21 PM »
Ah, forgot to mention, that sztupy has a lot of scripts in github to automate the process of packing all imgs for the novo 7 advanced. It should be pretty much the same for the Elf, Aurora or Advanced II. It can be found at https://github.com/sztupy/android_device_softwinner

Offline addee

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2012, 10:43:31 AM »
is there any way to get write access for ext4 in windows ? i googled alot but only read access result found linux is new for me :)

Offline HardcoreHacker

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2012, 01:42:35 PM »
Hi addee,

Well I'm also using Windows, I use Microsoft VPC (free) to make a virtual Ubuntu system, I can use the Windows file shares to access and write files on the local disk. I can recommend you to also do that to mod the EXT4FS.

Cheers,

HcH

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2012, 09:57:04 PM »
is there any way to get write access for ext4 in windows ?
Indeed there is! I use it all the time to allow Windows access to my data on my dual-boot machine. But it may be hiding under a different name. Do a Google search for Ext2IFS. It was written a long time ago, so it supports ext2, but ext3 and ext4 are backwards compatible. Basically you lose journaling and lazy caching.

But beware, Ext2IFS works only for inodes of size 128. I got hit by this hard when I upgraded the hard disk. The newer and bigger one was formatted with size 256 inodes. I had to reformat it. There is a way to specify a non-default inode size.

Offline jlickliter83

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2012, 05:14:36 PM »
I have found a good deal on A10's with a 1.5ghz processor. I want to make custom firmware that I can mass flash. I guess I need to read this, right? Ubuntu, also?
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Offline releaser

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2012, 08:14:57 PM »
For windows users, just grab the python script that I posted and it should work properly. (it did here)

Sorry for the dumb question.

May i ask how do i use your python script in windows to convert .fex system file to .img?

Thanks in advance

Offline Preceptor

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2012, 02:51:05 AM »
Nah, the fex file is the img file. But it is a form of compressed ext4 image called sparse image. The script converts it to a conventional ext4 image so you can mount it using ext2explorer.
 :android-lol:

Offline releaser

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2012, 12:11:06 PM »
Nah, the fex file is the img file. But it is a form of compressed ext4 image called sparse image. The script converts it to a conventional ext4 image so you can mount it using ext2explorer.
 :android-lol:

Yes i understood what the script does, just don't know how to use it.

From where must i run it(cmd, python, ...)?

One more thing, i don't have a RATFS_BOOTFS file, only a RATFS_BOOT file and i tried using that file but with no luck, i get a file or folder not found error.

I used the a10 kitchen to extract from a custom ROM from djsebyss at pandawillforum.com, why the BOOTFS file is missing?

Guys at pandawillforum made good work about market compatibility issues and i want to include those improovements in a new custom ROM but i can't extract bootfs with either the provided methods. My Ubuntu VM doesn't see my device so i can't extract with adb.

Please help me!

Thanks in advance

Offline Preceptor

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2012, 05:32:44 PM »
Nah, the fex file is the img file. But it is a form of compressed ext4 image called sparse image. The script converts it to a conventional ext4 image so you can mount it using ext2explorer.
 :android-lol:


Yes i understood what the script does, just don't know how to use it.

From where must i run it(cmd, python, ...)?

One more thing, i don't have a RATFS_BOOTFS file, only a RATFS_BOOT file and i tried using that file but with no luck, i get a file or folder not found error.

I used the a10 kitchen to extract from a custom ROM from djsebyss at pandawillforum.com, why the BOOTFS file is missing?

Guys at pandawillforum made good work about market compatibility issues and i want to include those improovements in a new custom ROM but i can't extract bootfs with either the provided methods. My Ubuntu VM doesn't see my device so i can't extract with adb.

Please help me!

Thanks in advance


Hmmm
Yep, you need to run it from command prompt, cmd. If I'm not mistaken the syntax is "python scriptname sourcefile destinationfile".
About the lack of the bootfs file, If I remember correctly, I didn't have it here either. But then again, the tutorial was for the Novo 7 Advanced so It may or may not be the same for the Aurora or the Elf...
About the adb, you could try installing android sdk for windows. It should have adb.
Here is a guide : http://www.theandroidsoul.com/how-to-install-adb-on-windows-full-guide/
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 05:34:36 PM by Preceptor »

Offline releaser

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2012, 01:43:07 PM »
Maybe that's my problem. I don't own none of the ainol devices, i have an LY-F1. I tought i could use this guide since the cpu is allwinner.

Sorry if i made you waste your time.

Offline Preceptor

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2012, 04:37:32 PM »
Don't worry about it. And the procedure should be the same for your device nonetheless. I did the same thing on an Aurora firmware even though it was meant for the Novo 7 Advanced. Try the adb for windows and post your results. Should help other people with other Allwinner devices.
Cheers

Offline releaser

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2012, 05:15:13 PM »
Don't worry about it. And the procedure should be the same for your device nonetheless. I did the same thing on an Aurora firmware even though it was meant for the Novo 7 Advanced. Try the adb for windows and post your results. Should help other people with other Allwinner devices.
Cheers

I wish i could!

Since yesterday i can't reach my device with adb on windows.

Every thing was fine, installed VMWare to use as linux virtual machine and from that moment on i lost my adb connection.

Already uninstalled VMWare and restarted windows with no results.

It's not a driver issue cause i was able to flash a new firmware to the tablet using windows.

I'm completely crazy with this and the main reason is not understanding what happened and cant understand what to do.
 
Thanks in advance

Offline releaser

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2012, 07:36:00 PM »
Guys, i solve the adb connection problem.

I've made the extraction of BOOTFS with ADB directly from my device, now my problem is the next step, you say if i initialized the kitchen copy the files from linux (system.img, root.img, recovery.img and bImage) where are those files?

I only used linux to convert he system.fex to system.img.

I don't understand the initialize kitchen part!!

Please help me
« Last Edit: March 24, 2012, 08:54:11 PM by releaser »

Offline Preceptor

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2012, 09:07:39 PM »
The images you need are those extracted from the original img file, named .fex and also the modified system.img (supposing you are modifying the files).

Offline saint_tim

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2012, 09:57:01 AM »
For windows users, just grab the python script that I posted and it should work properly. (it did here)
hello. sorry for my question. Where I can find this python script?

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2012, 01:24:47 PM »
Does anyone know of M7010 - Allwinner A10? Its a clone of a Novo7 "something", right?
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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2012, 06:53:06 PM »
The images you need are those extracted from the original img file, named .fex and also the modified system.img (supposing you are modifying the files).

Ok. But i have so many .fex files in the _extract folder, how do i know which the ones i need?

And should i make the same process to convert those .fex files to .img files?

Folder listing

COMMON  _SYS_CONFIG000000.fex
COMMON  _SYS_CONFIG100000.fex
COMMON  _SPLIT_0000000000.fex
RFSFAT16_BOOTLOADER_00000.fex   
RFSFAT16_ENVIROMENT_00000.fex   
RFSFAT16_BOOT_00000000000.fex   
RFSFAT16_SYSTEM_000000000.fex   
RFSFAT16_RECOVERY_0000000.fex
RFSFAT16_OEM_000000000000.fex   
RFSFAT16_DISKFS_000000000.fex   
RFSFAT16_VBOOTLOADER_0000.fex   
RFSFAT16_VENVIROMENT_0000.fex   
RFSFAT16_VBOOT_0000000000.fex   
RFSFAT16_VSYSTEMFS_000000.fex   
RFSFAT16_VRECOVERYFS_0000.fex   
RFSFAT16_VOEM_00000000000.fex   
BOOT    _BOOT0_0000000000.fex   
BOOT    _BOOT1_0000000000.fex   
PXTOOLS _xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.fex   
FES     _FES_1-1000000000.fex   
FES     _FES_1-2000000000.fex   
FES     _FES_200000000000.fex   
FES     _FES_000000000000.fex   
FET     _HW_SCAN_00000000.fex   
FET     _UPDATE_BOOT0_000.fex   
FET     _UPDATE_BOOT1_000.fex   
FET     _FET_RESTORE_0000.fex   
FET     _MAGIC_CRC_START_.fex   
FET     _MAGIC_CRC_EN_000.fex   
FET     _MAGIC_DE_START_0.fex   
FET     _MAGIC_DE_END_000.fex   
FED     _FED_NAND_0000000.fex   
12345678_1234567890cardtl.fex   
12345678_1234567890script.fex
12345678_1234567890boot_0.fex
12345678_1234567890boot_1.fex
12345678_1234567890___mbr.fex
12345678_1234567890dlinfo.fex

Thanks in advance

Offline saint_tim

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2012, 02:22:07 PM »
The images you need are those extracted from the original img file, named .fex and also the modified system.img (supposing you are modifying the files).

Ok. But i have so many .fex files in the _extract folder, how do i know which the ones i need?

And should i make the same process to convert those .fex files to .img files?

Folder listing

RFSFAT16_SYSTEM_000000000.fex   
   
Thanks in advance
you need RFSFAT16_SYSTEM_000000000.fex   if it big size about 200-250 mb

Offline saint_tim

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2012, 04:33:50 PM »
listing of my files COMMON  _SYS_CONFIG000000.hdr   COMMON  _SYS_CONFIG000000
COMMON  _SYS_CONFIG100000.hdr   COMMON  _SYS_CONFIG100000
COMMON  _SPLIT_0000000000.hdr   COMMON  _SPLIT_0000000000
RFSFAT16_BOOTLOADER_00000.hdr   RFSFAT16_BOOTLOADER_00000
RFSFAT16_ENVIROMENT_00000.hdr   RFSFAT16_ENVIROMENT_00000
RFSFAT16_BOOT_00000000000.hdr   RFSFAT16_BOOT_00000000000
RFSFAT16_SYSTEM_000000000.hdr   RFSFAT16_SYSTEM_000000000
RFSFAT16_RECOVERY_0000000.hdr   RFSFAT16_RECOVERY_0000000
RFSFAT16_DISKFS_000000000.hdr   RFSFAT16_DISKFS_000000000
RFSFAT16_VBOOTLOADER_0000.hdr   RFSFAT16_VBOOTLOADER_0000
RFSFAT16_VENVIROMENT_0000.hdr   RFSFAT16_VENVIROMENT_0000
RFSFAT16_VBOOT_0000000000.hdr   RFSFAT16_VBOOT_0000000000
RFSFAT16_VSYSTEMFS_000000.hdr   RFSFAT16_VSYSTEMFS_000000
RFSFAT16_VRECOVERYFS_0000.hdr   RFSFAT16_VRECOVERYFS_0000
BOOT    _BOOT0_0000000000.hdr   BOOT    _BOOT0_0000000000
BOOT    _BOOT1_0000000000.hdr   BOOT    _BOOT1_0000000000
PXTOOLS _xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.hdr   PXTOOLS _xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
FES     _FES_1-1000000000.hdr   FES     _FES_1-1000000000
FES     _FES_1-2000000000.hdr   FES     _FES_1-2000000000
FES     _FES_200000000000.hdr   FES     _FES_200000000000
FES     _FES_000000000000.hdr   FES     _FES_000000000000
FET     _HW_SCAN_00000000.hdr   FET     _HW_SCAN_00000000
FET     _UPDATE_BOOT0_000.hdr   FET     _UPDATE_BOOT0_000
FET     _UPDATE_BOOT1_000.hdr   FET     _UPDATE_BOOT1_000
FET     _FET_RESTORE_0000.hdr   FET     _FET_RESTORE_0000
FET     _MAGIC_CRC_START_.hdr   FET     _MAGIC_CRC_START_
FET     _MAGIC_CRC_EN_000.hdr   FET     _MAGIC_CRC_EN_000
FET     _MAGIC_DE_START_0.hdr   FET     _MAGIC_DE_START_0
FET     _MAGIC_DE_END_000.hdr   FET     _MAGIC_DE_END_000
FED     _FED_NAND_0000000.hdr   FED     _FED_NAND_0000000
12345678_1234567890cardtl.hdr   12345678_1234567890cardtl
12345678_1234567890script.hdr   12345678_1234567890script
12345678_1234567890boot_0.hdr   12345678_1234567890boot_0
12345678_1234567890boot_1.hdr   12345678_1234567890boot_1
12345678_1234567890___mbr.hdr   12345678_1234567890___mbr
12345678_1234567890dlinfo.hdr   12345678_1234567890dlinfo
FET     _CARD_UPDATE_BOT0.hdr   FET     _CARD_UPDATE_BOT0
FET     _CARD_UPDATE_BOT1.hdr   FET     _CARD_UPDATE_BOT1
FED     _CARD_FED_0000000.hdr   FED     _CARD_FED_0000000
FET     _CARD_HW_SCAN_000.hdr   FET     _CARD_HW_SCAN_000

i do not hava bootfs file too. My tablet teclast a10t with ICS

Offline releaser

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2012, 03:57:15 PM »
The images you need are those extracted from the original img file, named .fex and also the modified system.img (supposing you are modifying the files).

Ok. But i have so many .fex files in the _extract folder, how do i know which the ones i need?

And should i make the same process to convert those .fex files to .img files?

Folder listing

RFSFAT16_SYSTEM_000000000.fex   
   
Thanks in advance
you need RFSFAT16_SYSTEM_000000000.fex   if it big size about 200-250 mb

Thanks for the answer

That system file i already made my chages to it.

I just don't know which of the other files i need.

Which are the .fex files for boot, recovery and kernel?

Can you point me to them based on my file list in previuos post?

Thanks in advance

Offline clong

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2012, 03:46:40 PM »
Thanks a lot for this useful thread. Is it possible to repack the files to img in windows OS?
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 08:19:53 AM by clong »

Offline tatubias

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2012, 01:47:29 PM »
Ah, forgot to mention, that sztupy has a lot of scripts in github to automate the process of packing all imgs for the novo 7 advanced. It should be pretty much the same for the Elf, Aurora or Advanced II. It can be found at https://github.com/sztupy/android_device_softwinner

@Preceptor

Is there any way to manage or control the HDMI out put?
im interested in when i connect the tablet to the tv only the image is shown in the TV and not in the tablet.

Offline Preceptor

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2012, 07:45:54 PM »

@Preceptor

Is there any way to manage or control the HDMI out put?
im interested in when i connect the tablet to the tv only the image is shown in the TV and not in the tablet.

hmmmm... I'm not sure mate. Still didn't get my tablet. It's stuck in the customs... I will get it within a month (I hope).
If you find any info about it, keep me updated.
Cheers

Offline tatubias

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Re: Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2012, 05:43:01 AM »

@Preceptor

Is there any way to manage or control the HDMI out put?
im interested in when i connect the tablet to the tv only the image is shown in the TV and not in the tablet.

hmmmm... I'm not sure mate. Still didn't get my tablet. It's stuck in the customs... I will get it within a month (I hope).
If you find any info about it, keep me updated.
Cheers

Today i instaled a rom from 3 of march, and whet it goes to sleep you can get rhe wifi working it supposed. So you can leave the tablet downloading spmething with the screen of , i will be testing tonight


Sent from my GT-I5500L using Tapatalk

Offline tatubias

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2012, 05:25:03 PM »
definlty a10 roms should be inproved. ther are tons of fixes arround the web. but it could be an excelent option to do a custom frimware.

Offline twjordo

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2012, 01:07:20 AM »
HcH is "getting his feet wet" so to speak concerning the a10 platform and it is possible we could see a custom rom for these devices and that possibility would definately increase if we could locate a sponsor for such tablets for he is currently trying to mod "blindly" meaning he does not have one of these devices to test his mods on.
                                 :android-question: any ideas for sponsors  :android-question:
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Offline Pihkal

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2012, 02:32:40 PM »
I think it's a very bad idea to use the a10 kitchen.
Why?
Because i think it's infected with a trojan,unimg.exe gave 15 positives on virustotal!
But since i need it,i tried to run it in a virtual machine,which doesn't work!
It says it can not run in a virtual machine!
I can't understand why?

Just to let you guys know.

Greetz
« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 02:40:28 PM by Pihkal »

Offline ivan m.

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Re: How to Unpack / Repack Ainol Allwinner images
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2013, 08:35:43 PM »
Thanks a lot for doing this tutorial, finally I could extract the Launcher2.apk :D

 

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