Thanks for your response AA123.
You have been so kind and helpful, also Zac68. As of now, you are the only 2 that I know of that have done this. I cannot accept defeat... I have spent so much time on this and knowing that others have accomplished this is only propelling me to continue trying.
Zac68, I think you did this on a A5... and AA123 is A7.
So, I posted my steps above. Could you think of any areas that I may have been doing something wrong?
AA123, regarding your offer to send my a drive. I fear it would do nothing in my A5. It really seems that the security check is still there. It only wants the Hitachi 250gb OEM in it. Format just hangs on "please wait..."... how long? a year? For Archos to make a 500gb A5??? lol
I have a list of qustions and I will number them to try and make it easy for answering. Anyone can chime in, any help goes a LONG way.
1. Have I been patching (with pre-patches) correctly?
---Note: I have been going to recovery menu pre-boot and selecting repair disk. It works... so I think.
2. When I did the downgrade, I did not have a AOS unpacker in Ubuntu (so I think) so I just took the cramfs files from the file "cramfs.secure-1.6.54.zip". Isn't that all I needed?
3. Does the penguin mean I have patched??? Or perhaps it took some parts, but not all. Maybe the securities in the boot are not changed. At what step, and please excuse my n00bness here, are these security checks removed? They are obviously flashed on the on-board memory which I would imagine patching the firmware would do
(from this page: http://archos.g3nius.org/index.php?title=Install_a_patched_firmware_with_DTI_Games
4. This question may be for higher ups... but let's give it a shot. Is it possible that our penguin friend could show up with an indication on startup screen saying patched bootloader 1.6.54 without being "fully patched"? Meaning it is "patched", but maybe some bits and pieces didn't go through fully. *** I would like to mention that my A5 with old HDD still works... however, it will often boot to recover on its own after I attempt formating one of the other drives. In cases like this, I simple go to repair disk and copy a firmware from Archos 5 Pre-Patched Firmware Updates (http://archos.g3nius.org/index.php?titl ... re_Updates) and I download one from the left column (Full Firmware *green*). ***
5. I do not recall ever seeing v1.6.53 at the penguin boot screen. In fact, I recall having to load a firmware from the pre-patched list because it booted to recovery when I tried to fire it up. I loaded 1.6.54. Anything weird here?
6. Why would it be significant to load a "pre-patched firmware"? What is in that that could mess things, if possible, up? I have been doing this on the A5 with the old 250gb.
7. When I first tried to patch, I didn't get the penguin on startup, later, of course, I did. Could early attempted faults have caused issue?
8. Is there ANY way that I could go back to a state before the patch (+patched bootloader)??? I feel a clean start could maybe remedy this.
9. Let's go back in time, your time (for those of you who have done this ), and remember what we did with the new HDD. Did you open it out of the box and just put it in? OR did you format it? If so, to what? NTFS? FAT32?
10. (continuation of 9) With the new drive in, what did you see when you went into recovery mode and hit format? AA123, you indicated that it said "creating partitions". I have only seen 3 messages (ever):
" - This is most common when I hit format in the recovery menu (hangs longest)
->"setting up media
" (I'm pretty sure of this wording) - This would come up occasionally
after "please wait..."
->"setting up operating system
" - This comes up if I hit repair disk
*** In all cases: It would eventually turn off (10 minutes-many many hours or so). Sometimes it would return to recovery, others it would restart to and hang at penguin. I would hit format again which often would only say "please wait..." (repair disk twice yielded similar results). I never saw a progress bar or a prompt to connect. It is almost as if the security check is still there. Also, when these messages are on screen, I will often hear the HDD spinning... up to speed and slowing not so often... BUT it doesn't sound like it's doing anything. When I put the HDD into linux, it appears unchanged. It's really like the A5 is saying "
keep trying, I can keep this up all day
There are more questions... but I thought I would start with 10 to make it less confusing.
Ok, a couple more
**Anywhere my process could have gone wrong? Downgrading? Patching? Pre-patching (necessary?)?**
Anywhere it told me (in the tutorial) to type in the terminal (same as console?) I did it exactly as it said. Could my math have been wrong mounting the system partition? Perhaps not including a crucial range of data? I did the math using the calculations I saw on the tutorial. My number was offset=249851105280 (for the old 250gb) I can't remember the 2 numbers that got me there (one of them should be the same for everyone I think). Would it have mounted the disk with any value and just shown less information? I saw that the disk in the A5 is FAT32, but the hidden partition is in ext3... couldn't I just find a command to mount ALL ext3 on disk to "/media/disk"? Sorry for being a total n00b on this one... if it makes you laugh, you deserve to get a laugh for making it this far!!! My fingers hurt!
I will try to fill in more details once I brain flush (sleep) for the day. I have spent over 80 hours on this... it's absurd
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and reply. I hate seeing my A5 in pieces