Archive for July 2011

Attempting to boot Symbian^3 on the TMDSEVM3530 : Take 1

July 31, 2011

Given that I’ve recently obtained a Texas Instruments TMDSEVM3530 development board (which is supposedly a cousin of the slightly-more-popular BeagleBoard, from what I can gather), thanks to Andrew Back (and DesignSpark), I thought that it’d be interesting to see if I could get Symbian^3 running on it.

I’ve got another, more detailed post sitting in my WordPress drafts, but I thought that I’d share some rough notes that I managed to salvage from an unsaved document, prior to yet another ATI driver-induced BSOD moment, in the meantime.

Note: Everything mentioned here is the hypothetical product of “thinking out aloud”, and I can’t guarantee that anything mentioned here will actually work, or that your expensive development board won’t be reduced to a smouldering pile of rubble.

I also recommend obtaining a USB/RS-232 cable, if you haven’t either already got one, or you’re unfortunate enough to have a “modern”/”legacy-free” PC without RS-232 serial ports. Unfortunately, mine’s currently in Paris according to FedEx, so I’m working blindly for the moment.

It’s also probably a good idea to make either a copy of the individual files from the Windows CE demo SD card that ships with the board, or create a raw disk image of its sectors using WinImage, dd or a similar tool.

With that in mind:

  • Download and unpack the ROM archive from DropBox
  • Rename or move the NK.BIN file in the root directory of the aforementioned SD card, so that it can be restored later
  • Copy either beagle.rom.img or wildducks_demo.rom.img from the ROM Images directory to the root directory of the card as NK.BIN
  • Unmount the card and insert it into the board’s SD card slot
  • Attempt to boot the board…

It’s probably also necessary to replace the MLO and/or EBOOTSD.NB0 files with new ones, although I haven’t got around to figuring out what to replace them with, yet.

Inserting the card into the board’s SD Card slot will cause it to display a splash screen containing 4 coloured squares during the boot process – but seemingly causes it to do little else (unsurprisingly).

At this stage, if you rely on using the Windows CE card to test booting from SD, it’d be a good idea to reinstate the original NK.BIN file.

Another approach would be to obtain another SD card, use the shell script contained within the “OMAP35x EVM” package from this page to install Android on it, and then replace the uImage file (after backing it up) with one of the files from ROM Images.

However, doing so results in the board’s LCD being blank during boot.

The chances are that at this stage, you’ve either:

  • Irreversibly damaged your board – unlikely, since booting the WinCE card works successfully
  • Got stuck in a bootloader loop somewhere – very likely, according to a wild guess
  • Successfully achieved a boot of the OMAP35x evaluation board using a ROM that obviously wasn’t intended for it – very unlikely

If you’re unable to debug the board using one of its serial ports afterwards, then the most that you can do is either stare at 4 LEDs, or replace the uImage file with the original version and play with an unstable build of Android.

With a serial cable, and the board’s bootloader console, you could probably attempt to try a modified version of the Quick Start instructions from the old Symbian Wiki.

If those don’t work, then attempting to load the ROM image at one of the memory locations mentioned in this QNX-related page, or at the Wild Ducks page might (if you’re lucky).

I’ll probably have another play, once my cable arrives…