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Purpose of service button

The Service button (FN ) is located on the rear panel of the STB MAG-256 on the left of the LAN socket. It is intended for emergency recovery STB operation.

In normal mode, the STB is booted automatically according to preset settings, access to System Recovery Utility is available. Service button should use if STB fails to boot and there is no access to the System Recovery Utility menu.

Emergency boot modes

Four emergency boot modes are supported:

  • Mode 1 (LED white, slow blinking ). Starting STB from the first (main) bootloader - if a second copy of the bootloader was installed in the STB, this mode switches the STB to start from the first (installed in the factory) bootloader;
  • Mode 2 (LED white, quick blinking). Selecting alternative NAND - if for some reason the download or update of the software from the current memory bank has not been successful, this mode switches the loading from the alternative flash memory bank;
  • Mode 3 (LED red, fast blinking). Reset to factory settings - if some STB settings do not allow to boot, you may need to reset the environment variables of the STB software to the initial value;
  • Mode 4 (LED red, light steadily). Emergency startup - loading the System Recovery Utility menu via USB or over the network (requesting update data via  DHCP protocol) - in some cases, if you can not boot from modes 1-3, this mode is used.

Selecting emergency boot mode

To select certain emergency boot mode press and hold service button before the power is supplied, or in the first 2 seconds after the STB is powered on. The current mode is indicated by means of LED: each mode has a unique indication. After the specified interval (about 1 sec) is expired (you keep hold the button), the system automatically switches to the next boot mode. To activate a certain boot mode you must stop pressing the button during the required mode.

Procedure for selecting the emergency boot mode:

  • Unplug the STB.
  • Press and hold the service button.
  • Switch the STB power on.
  • Wait for changing LED indication:

Mode 1. (LED white, slow blinking). Release the button - mode 1 is activated - the STB is loaded from the first bootloader (if after the LED turns constantly white you press the button again, this can bring up the System Recovery Utility menu - when the message "Press Menu button to start Recovery menu" is appeared on the screen, you should press the Menu on RC). If you continue to hold down - STB goes to mode 2 selecting.

Mode 2. (LED white, quick blinking). Release the button - mode 2 is activated. If you continue to hold down - STB goes to mode 3 selecting.

Mode 3. (LED red, fast blinking). Release the button - mode 3 is activated. If you continue to hold down - STB goes to mode 4 selecting.

Mode 4. (LED red, light steadily). Release the button - mode 4 is activated. If you continue to hold down - STB exit from the selection of boot modes and boots in normal.

Location of service button and light indication of loading modes

Emergency Recovering with Service Button MAG256

Emergency startup

The emergency startup is used if STB does not boot because of problems with the STB software. It is applied to download the Linux kernel (that contains System Recovery Utility) from a USB-drive or over a network using the DHCP protocol. After that, you will be able to call the System Recovery Utility menu and take the necessary actions for recovery (boot from an alternative NAND, reset settings or update the STB software).
To download Linux kernel the USB drive is verified first (if the USB device is readable and required file is available). If USB drive verification has failed the STB goes to receiving data by DHCP protocol.

System recovery with USB-drive in Emergency startup

Use the front USB connector. The file system of the USB-drive is FAT32.

  • Download the uImag_mag256 file from the release of MAG256;
  • Rename the file to Bootstrap;
  • At the USB drive create mag256 directory (it should be located in the root directory of the USB drive)
  • At the USB drive put the Bootstrap file in the mag256 directory;
  • Insert the USB drive into the front connector of the STB;
  • Unplug power supply of STB;
  • Press service button, turn on the power and wait until mode 4 (LED red, light steadily);
  • Release the key - Emergency mode is selected;
  • On the remote control press Menu to bring up the System Recovery Utility menu;
  • Perform the necessary recovery actions (boot from alternative NAND, factory reset or update the STB software).
Need Help

Dave is an expert on the MAG STB and the author of this article.

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