Author Topic: Jailbreaking the GameGadget  (Read 5077 times)

Offline Semmu

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Jailbreaking the GameGadget
« on: January 29, 2013, 04:49:31 PM »
Hi!

As you may know, I have a GameGadget. I bought it to have an "open" handheld to develop for.
To be honest the device itself is fairly good, I like it. The buttons are good and enough, the screen is okay, the sound is correct, so the whole device is "okay". I don't want to throw it away, it's just perfect for developing and having fun.

But you may know as well, that it's commercial and marketing was an epic fail: they faked news and comments, deleted the honest forum posts, and so on... - so the device is buried and hated. Sadly.
But with my own GameGadget in my hand, I don't want to throw it, rather "jailbreak" it! It would be awesome if we could flash its official firmware to something other (like OpenDingux) and exploit all of its capabilities.

At first it could sound crazy, but it would make this crappy console a decent and usable one. And it's still on sale just for Ģ33.99! So it's fairly good price for a hardware like this.

Yesterday I made some progress. With the official 0.9.5 sandbox I could telnet to the console and find out some things, for example the cpu type and the hardware itself. See here: cat /proc/cpuinfo and dmesg
I even scanned /dev and /proc, but those are huge lists.

So actually we can scan the system and find out what is the hardware exactly. If I remember correctly, the processor itself is Ingenic JZ4750, and Ingenic does provide a linux kernel for it.
By the way the GameGadget itself has a working USB Boot mode, just have to press SELECT while booting and my PC recognizes it. This way I can flash it's NAND to replace the official firmware. (I haven't done it though, it's too early and risky)

So actually everything is given and it is possible to discover this handheld and replace its firmware.
But the problem is that I have no experience in things like this, and I got this console a week ago. So this thing is not for me (or not for now)
But it is possible. It just needs some work.

What do you think about this whole thing? I always appreciate honest and useful comments.
My dream would come true if it was real.



ps: thank to mth who helped me yesterday a lot!
[C+SDL programmer, want to develop own games for handhelds]

Offline d_smagin

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Re: Jailbreaking the GameGadget
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 07:41:49 PM »
Well,
the soc used is jz4755, the same as in dingoo a320e/a380 and ritmix rzx50. But there's a great difference between them and GG. These bastards handhelds use chinese crappy firmware based on old ingenic kernel, but GG uses a true OpenDingux kernel, written by Booboo on Blaze request. Afaik, he was deceived by Blaze and due to contract obligations, he couldn't publish the sources. (However, this could be a speculation :))

Despite the fact that ingenic provides a working kernel for jz4755 devices, it is based on 2.6.31.3 version and jz4755 specific code is rather badly written (I mean stylistically). So, it would be an enourmous amount of work to add jz4755 support and rewrite every driver for every aspect (clocks, dma, lcd, sound etc). Very few people are capable of kernel programming here. Besides, ingenic kernel is for reference board, but pcb of GG could differ considerably in using gpio pins and some other specific things.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 07:51:54 PM by d_smagin »
GCW-Zero prototype, Dingoo a320, Ritmix rzx-50, Dingoo a380

Offline nofx_sk8

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Re: Jailbreaking the GameGadget
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 06:30:01 AM »
Do you know what kind of lcd controller it has ?


Offline d_smagin

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Re: Jailbreaking the GameGadget
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 06:51:52 AM »
More probably, it doesn't use an external lcd controller like a320; LCD is directly wired to appropriate pins of jz4755 itself, so ingenic driver will work.
GCW-Zero prototype, Dingoo a320, Ritmix rzx-50, Dingoo a380

Offline Semmu

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Re: Jailbreaking the GameGadget
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2013, 07:52:33 PM »
Yes, if I'm right, there is no LCD controller, "it just works". (although I don't know how)

By the way does anybody have a GG here (besides me)? It would be better if I wasn't totally alone with this "mission" :D
[C+SDL programmer, want to develop own games for handhelds]

Offline d_smagin

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Re: Jailbreaking the GameGadget
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2013, 08:11:03 PM »
You'd better contact Blaze and find out if you could obtain sources of kernel or some other stuff you have right to as a legal user of GG.
GCW-Zero prototype, Dingoo a320, Ritmix rzx-50, Dingoo a380

Offline Semmu

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Re: Jailbreaking the GameGadget
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 09:14:25 PM »
I tried, sent an email to 4 addresses but no luck. (yet)
Getting the source would be the best to start with. But it's not likely... :/
[C+SDL programmer, want to develop own games for handhelds]

Offline Sonysandy

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Re: Jailbreaking the GameGadget
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2013, 11:38:54 PM »
Well I took the plunge and picked one of these up cheap as it seemed so easy to get into sandbox mode and play dingux emu's.

How wrong was I, all I get at best is the sandbox logo and then the red screen flashes a few times and it reboots and tells me its not registered.  Fantastic... not!

Anyway, as part of my frustrations I've been messing about with boot stage key combos, and I have found you can get into the gamegadget firmware updater interface by powering on, press reset and then soon after press and hold start for a few seconds then let go and press start again.  The screen then changes to black with white Gamegadget logo and boots into a firmware updater.

Hope this helps you guys.

Offline Semmu

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Re: Jailbreaking the GameGadget
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2013, 08:25:02 PM »
Is anyone (still) interested in it? I did not give up the hope and I want to hack it but right now I don't have time for it :/
By the way I sent a mail to Xploders and to the kernel developer (I found out who he is), still waiting for responses.
[C+SDL programmer, want to develop own games for handhelds]

Offline dinto

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Re: Jailbreaking the GameGadget
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2014, 08:36:52 PM »
Can you confirm how you activate the sandbox mode with zip 0.9.5 ?

for my brand new GG (dec13) it is not working, I just copy the sandbox on a 16GB SDHC card


    mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb1
    mount -t vfat /dev/sdb1 /media/flash_drive_sdb1
    unzip /home/thocar/Downloads/sandbox_0.9.5.zip -d /media/flash_drive_sdb1
    sync


Then I boot while pressing A, the sandbox word appears but after a few seconds it blinks, then it starts regular GG OS (without the sandbox).

Same issue with sandbox 0.9.4 too.


Offline cdoty

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Re: Jailbreaking the GameGadget
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2014, 07:51:36 PM »
It's probably your SD card. I've had problems with a 2GB class 2 Sandisk card and a Micro SD adapter and an 8 GB Samsung micro sd card. An 8 GB class 4 Lexar, works fine.

If it's a newer card, you may need to reformat it with this tool:
https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/

If I remember correctly, if it recognizes the SD card, but it isn't set up correctly the screen will continue to flash.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 07:55:55 PM by cdoty »

Offline Kamelotz

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Re: Jailbreaking the GameGadget
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2014, 01:04:39 AM »
Anyone here have a Firmware for the GameGadget??? The one I have stopped working the original boot. Always freeze and donīt finish. I managed do get in the update firmware screen but donīt have one to perform...

Offline Grey

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Re: Jailbreaking the GameGadget
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2014, 05:44:03 PM »
You download it officially from their site.

Link here: http://www.xploder.net/press-releases/98/gamegadget.htm
DingoDoody

Offline Kamelotz

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Re: Jailbreaking the GameGadget
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2014, 04:43:07 AM »
When you turn on the GameGadget pressing Start button it enters the firmware update mode and asks for a firmware image in the sd card to complete the process.

Using that one found in the site above donīt work. Iīve tried with the files in the sd card and with the zip achive... Thereīs any specifc format? Or a way to use this file to create a image?
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 04:45:16 AM by Kamelotz »

 

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