Notes on booting Quirky on OLPC

Continuation from previous blog post, about the single-file Quirky:

My OLPC laptop doesn't work. It has been sitting in its original box, with original packing, since 2008, unused. This is my blog report back then when I tested it:

The battery would be discharged after such a long time. I have the power adaptor connected, I get the orange battery light. If I press the power button, the green power-on lights up, but the screen remains black. I thought maybe I needed to wait awhile for the battery to charge, but after one hour, still no-go.

Anyway, I have been reading-up on booting. A good reference:

...I don't know how much of that applies to my early-model XO.

Anyway, it seems pretty straightforward. If you have a normal bootable USB Flash drive, with one partition, say 1GB drive, fat16 filesystem. Perhaps play safe and use a small Flash drive of 1GB and fat16.

On the Flash drive, place my Quirky file, 'quir004.t00', rename it to 'vmlinuz' -- no particular reason, just playing safe, use a "normal" name for the kernel.

Create a file /boot/olpc.fth on the Flash drive, with this in it:

boot u:\vmlinuz root=sda1 pmedia=usbflash indicate the "root=sda1" is required, it would be interesting to see if it worked without that parameter.

If booting from a SD card:

boot sd:\vmlinuz root=mmcblk0p1

The above is theoretical, as I can't test it myself!

Clock battery
Read this about the clock battery in the OLPC. Maybe mine is dead.

Posted on 14 Jan 2010, 11:29


Posted on 15 Jan 2010, 14:30 by mavrothal
RTC problem
Just in case you missed it in the forum :-)

This is a common problem with XOs (left dormant for a long time) related to RTC. You in the right track with the internal battery.
The next 2 links may also help (and after)
Here is a more sophisticated solution.
But the first thing is to update the firmware to q2e41

Posted on 16 Jan 2010, 7:46 by culseg
Follow-up on fixing your XO
You will need a specific serial adapter to reset the bios and I have sent an email outlining a hopefully more local resource to help get this done.

Message me at the Forum if I can help further.


(Culseg at Forum)