PSA: Notion Ink Adam can be unbricked, and here's the 80MB fix

Sean Hollister
S. Hollister|01.25.11

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PSA: Notion Ink Adam can be unbricked, and here's the 80MB fix
There were tears of joy at the Notion Ink Adam launch, but also tears of shame, as owners of the long-awaited Pixel Qi tablet who downloaded the very first OTA update had their slate brutally bricked. Thankfully, the Notion Ink team appears to have issued a speedy fix, as you can download the ROM directly from the company's website and flash it the comfort of your own home. Assuming you've got a Windows or Linux PC handy, it's only an 80MB download away, and you'll find file links and a detailed set of instructions right after the break. We'll also note that this gives the hacker community an intriguing opportunity to peek through the Adam's code -- if you find anything interesting, be sure to let us know!

How to flash your Adam and get it working again

This fix is recommended only if your Adam has stopped booting up after installing the over-theair
system update on 24 January. Please don't use the method indicated to flash your Adam
with any ROM not from Notion Ink, as it would probably damage your Adam irreparably.

Please read this whole document before proceeding.

You need to have the following items
1. A Windows or Linux PC
2. The Notion Ink Adam you wish to flash
3. A mini-USB to USB cable for connecting the two (It's not included in the Adam package, but you might have one lying around. If not, it's readily available in any electronics shop)
4. The appropriate Adam Recovery Kit which you can download from the URLs below. (About 80MB)

1. Windows PC, LCD Adam
2. Windows PC, Pixel Qi Adam
3. Linux PC, LCD Adam
4. Linux PC, Pixel Qi Adam

Here's a summary of what you'll be doing:
1. On your PC, extract the Adam Recovery Kit.
2. Restart your Adam in "Force Recovery" mode and connect it to the PC.
3. If you're on Windows, install the USB drivers from the Recovery Kit.
4. Run the ROM flash utility from your PC, and wait for it to complete.

Using your favourite ZIP extraction tool, uncompress all the files in the Adam Recovery Kit to any folder on the hard drive of your computer.

Before proceeding, ensure that your Adam has at least 50% battery charge or is connected to power and charging. Also make sure that your computer will not turn off during the flashing process.

Turn off your Adam and enter force recovery mode by pressing and holding both the VolumeDown (-) and Power buttons for two seconds. The orange (charge) and red (CPU) indicators on the right side of your device will light up, indicating that your Adam is in force recovery mode. Release both buttons, and connect the mini-USB port on your Adam to any free USB port on the PC using your cable.

3. INSTALL DRIVERS (Windows only)
Your Windows PC will show a notification that a device "APX" has been detected. If you get a "Found new hardware" dialog box asking where to install drivers from - choose "list or specific location". If you don't get this dialog, open the Device Manager via System in the Control Panel, find and double-click the "APX" device, and click the update driver button. Select the "usbpcdriver" folder inside the extracted Adam Recovery Kit as the driver location. You may receive a warning that the driver is not certified or signed by Windows – choose to install it anyway.

You're now ready to flash your Adam. Make sure that the USB cable is connected securely. To begin the process under Windows, run the "download.bat" batch file from the folder where you extracted the Recovery Kit. If you're using Linux, open a console window at the folder containing the extracted Recovery Kit, and run ./ Your device screen will show that
it is being updated, and the console window will show the progress.

IMPORTANT: Do not close the console window or stop the update before it is complete. If the update is interrupted mid-way, your Adam will be damaged irreparably.

Hopefully all goes well, and in a couple of minutes your Adam will boot up with the new software. Congratulations! If at any point you find that things aren't going according to plan, please send an email to rightaway.

Thanks for your continued support

Team Notion Ink
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