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Pandora Recovery Card 1.0

Pandora Recovery and Testing Card

The included image file can help you to recover and / or test your Pandora.
It can even be used if the Pandora bootloader is completely broken and the unit doesn't show any signs of life anymore.

Here's how to use it.

1. Create the SD Card using the included image

You need an SD card which is at least 512MB of size.
Use your favourite tool to flash the included pnd_recovery.img on your SD Card.

Some examples of tools that can do that:

Balena Etcher:
Win32 Disk Imager:

Of course, if you're a more experienced user, you can also simply use dd command to do so:

dd if=pnd_recovery.img of=/dev/<yourdevice> bs=4M

Once the image is flashed on the SD Card, you can force-boot it on your Pandora.

2. Prepare the Pandora to run the SD Card

Basically, there are two reasons that your Pandora can behave like it's dead:

a) The bootloader is broken (can be fixed with this SD Card)
b) The battery is totally flat.

In both cases, the Pandora will not show any signs of life. Not a single LED will light up.
So before trying to recover the bootloader with your SD Card, make sure the battery is fine.

It's a good idea to put in the battery into the Pandora first and then connect the charger for at least 2 hours.
If it doesn't come back to life, then the battery should at leave have received enough charge to boot the recovery card.

Note: Do NOT use the Mini USB port to charge it. If the battery is flat, only the AC Power connector does charge it.
You can also check the battery using a multimeter to make sure it has a voltage of at least 3.2V or higher.

Once you are sure the battery is fine and the Pandora still is dead, continue with the next step.

3. Booting the recovery SD Card

a) Put the recovery card into the left SD Card slot.
b) Press and hold both the Pandora-Button (the button with the Pandora logo on it) and the START-Button on your Pandora at the same time and keep them pressed.
c) Flick the power switch to the right (switching the unit off)
d) After about 2 - 3 seconds, it should come back to life and start booting. You can let go of the Pandora- and START button now. It will boot into a testing / recovery menu.

4. The testing and recovery menu

The SD Card offers various options and tests.
If you just want to reflash the OS, simply choose "0" and press ENTER. It will then reflash the bootloader and OS and your Pandora should boot properly again after it's done.

Here is a brief explanation of the tests:
  1. LED-Test: This test switches on all LEDs on the Pandora. Please note that the LED for the second SD Card slot will only light up if there's a card in that slot.
  2. SD 1 / 2 Write-Protection-Test: This tests the write-protection detection of the SD Cards. It will fail in most Pandoras, so don't worry.
  3. USB OTG / Host / SD 2-Combo-Test: This test will make sure both of your USB-Ports and the second SD-Card-slot is working.
    To run the test, you need to plug in a MiniUSB > USB-Cable into your Pandora. So basically, connect the big USB port with the Mini USB-Port.
    It should be plugged in before you start the Pandora. Also, it needs to have a FAT32-formatted SD Card in the second slot.
  4. SD Slot 2 Test: To only test the second SD Card slot, put a FAT32-formatted SD Card into the slot and run the test.
  5. USB-Stick-Test: Same as the SD Slot 2 test, just with a USB Stick,
  6. TV-Out-Test: This simply enables the TV Out. You should see the flasher-menu on your TV afterwards.
  7. WiFi Test: To run the Wifi-Test, you need to set up an unprotected access-point with the ESSID PND_TEST. The Pandora will then try to connect to it.
  8. Flash the Battery Chip: This reflashes the calibration data onto the battery chip. Only do that if the Pandora does totally wrong battery readings.
  9. Input-Tester: Here you can test all inputs (keys, nubs, touchscreen) of your Pandora. To exit, press L+R+Pandora.
  10. Bluetooth-Tester: This enables the bluetooth chip. It's just a quick functional test.
  11. Quit the test and reflash the system: This will completely wipe your internal storage and reflash the bootloader, the kernel and the OS.
    This basically resets the Pandora to factory settings.
  12. Quit the test and save the log to the SD-Card: This will end all tests and save detailed results onto the SD Card. It's normal that it says "Update failed", so don't worry about that.

That's it - and good luck in getting your Pandora back to work!
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good to have. hopefully i will never need it. ;-)