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Fixing a Tolino Shine 3 ebook reader

An update of my Tolino Shine 3 reader failed. The system recovery did not work aborting with the following error:

Batterie fast leer! Ein-/Ausschalter druecken, Geraet mind. 2 h aufladen und neu starten.
Low battery! Press the power button, charge the device for a minimum of 2 hours and restart.

Weird. Charging did not help either. In fact, I am not not the only one experiencing this problem. Be sure to read the linked blog post, it contains important information. In particular, the battery check is flawed and the Tolino Shine 3 system recovery is broken!

Luckily, opening the device is easy, and the Tolino Shine 3 uses a MicroSD card. So a working SD card image is all I need to fix the reader. I contacted the customer service; nope, they do not provide an image because there is a serial number stored on the card, and everybody needs a different one. Send it in, 48 EUR. (That’s actually quite cheap, but hey, they messed it up, not me. By the way, supposedly, if you delete the SD card, there is no way they can repair your Tolino).

Anyways. I managed to fix the device. Here is what I did:

  1. Open the Tolino. (It is quite easy using a thin plastic device; fun fact: I used a nose flute).
  2. Remove the SD card.
  3. Put the card into a computer; backup the complete SD card (e.g., using dd).
  4. If you like, create extra backups of partition 1 (boot), and partition 2 (recovery).
  5. Download TWRP for the Tolino Shine 3.
  6. Place the twrp.img onto recovery partition 2 (e.g., using dd).
  7. Get the from official Tolino website.
  8. Extract
  9. Edit the script printing the “Low Battery” error (see above; rg for it).
  10. Remove the infamous battery check.
  11. Re-zip (use zip -r ../ * to avoid the leading directory).
  12. Restart device and boot into recovery (this was automatic for me, since the system was broken).
  13. Use ADB to copy the patched zip file to the device (the internal memory was in /sdcard1 in my case).
  14. Install the zip file using TWRP. Like so, the signature is not checked and the “update” script succeeds.
  15. Boot into the Tolino and check if everything works.
  16. Create a backup of the working SD card; and store it somewhere extremely safe.
  17. Be happy and open a beer.