JQ6500 module recovery

luca 11/04/2018 2

In a previous post I presented the JQ6500 audio module. When you connect it to your computer, it’s detected as a CDROM drive.

I brought some modules from different webstores. A couple of them gave me the following error when I tried to browse the content of the CD:

Unable to access the disk. The disk may be damaged.

jq6500-rec-000

It seems that some manufacturers do not program the flash memory of the chip and therefore it doesn’t contain the MusicDownload.exe application.

Luckily, thanks to the work by Reinhard Max and Nikolai Radke, it’s now possible to recover those modules. From Nikolai’s Github repository it’s possible to download an ISO image with a minimal Linux distribution and the recovery toolkit:

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After having downloaded the image, you can burn it to a CD (or use software like UNetbootin to transfer it to a bootable USB drive) and restart your PC with that image.

However, there is an alternative way: the use of VMware Workstation Player, a free virtualization software (for non-commercial use) by VMware. Using this application it’s possible to start a virtual machine on your PC that can run the recovery ISO image.

At the end of this post you can find a video that shows all the following steps…

Let’s see how to do it. After having installed the application, create a new virtual machine:

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Choose I will install the OS later:

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Select Linux as operating system:

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Give the VM a name and select the folder where it will be saved:

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You don’t really need an hard disk, so you can specify a small size for it (for example 1Gb):

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Now you have to configure VMware Player to start the VM using the ISO image. Click on Customize Hardware:

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Select the CD/DVD drive and connect it to the ISO image downloaded from Github:

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Before starting the VM, verify that your module is not connected to the computer:

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Wait for the boot process to complete. The toolkit (started automatically) will warn you that it wasn’t able to identify any modules:

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Open the Removable Devices menu and note down all the listed devices:

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Now connect the module to the USB port. If you open the menu again, you should be able to identify which device corresponds to your module:

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Connect it to the virtual machine:

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Perform a new scan typing the command. If everything is ok, now the toolkit should be able to identify the module:

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Depending on the size of the flash memory of your module, choose the correct menu item. Most modules are sold with a 16Mbit or 2Mbyte memory chip:

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At the end of the recovery process, you can shut down the VM and verify that your computer is now able to display the disk content:

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Video

Here’s a video that shows the recovery process:

2 Comments »

  1. Reinhard Max 16/04/2018 at 13:04 - Reply

    Hi Luca,

    thanks for your nice tutorial and video.

    Meanwhile my jq6500 flash tool for Linux auto-detects the size of the flash on the module and can automatically patch that size into the virtual CD image while flashing it.

    So, once Nikolai has adopted this new version of the tool in his rescue image the debricking process should be mostly automatic.

    cu
    Reinhard

    • luca 17/04/2018 at 15:38 - Reply

      Hi Reinhard, thanks a lot for your comment (and for your work!)

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