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Purpose of service button

The service button (FN) is designed to run STB in one of the emergency boot modes in order to recover STB functionality.

Some typical cases of FN button applying:

  • You have forgotten your password of Access control - use Mode 2 Reset to factory settings to reset all variables including Access control settings;
  • STB fails to load and you can't open System Recovery Utility menu - 1) use Mode 1 Selecting alternative NAND or 2) use Mode 3 Emergency startup and subsequent Software update from System Recovery Utility.

Location of service button

The place where the button is located on STB depends on a model of STB.

  Snippet from User Manual MAG420 (see item 7 on Back Panel)

Image Documentation

  Snippet from User Manual MAG424 (see item 1 on Front Pannel)

Image Documentation

Emergency boot modes

Three emergency boot modes are supported. They are signaled by means of LED indication:
  • Mode 1 Selecting alternative NAND (LED white, slow flashing - 1 time per second). If for some reason (for example, after failed software update), software loading from the current memory bank does not complete, Mode 1 switches the loading from the alternative flash memory bank;
  • Mode 2 Reset to factory settings (LED red, quick flashing - 3 times per second). STB software loading can be failed by reason of inconsistent STB settings. You may need to reset STB settings;
  • Mode 3 Emergency startup (LED red, lights steadily). If STB not booted after attempts to boot in modes 1 and 2, this mode is used. The Emergency startup implies download in STB a Bootstrap file that contains System Recovery Utility enabling users to perform recovery operations.

Selecting emergency boot mode

To select certain emergency boot mode press and hold the service button before the power supplied. The current mode is indicated by means of LED: each mode has a unique indication. After the expiration of the decision interval (you should keep pressing the button), the system automatically switches to the next boot mode. To activate certain boot mode you must stop pressing the button during the required mode lasts. Procedure for selecting the emergency boot mode:
  • Unplug the STB.
  • Press and hold down the Service button.
  • Switch the STB power on.
  • Wait for changing LED indication:
    • Mode 1 Selecting alternative NAND (LED white, slow flashing - 1 time per second). In case the button released STB boots in mode 1. If the button is not released, STB will pass to mode 2.
    • Mode 2 Reset to factory settings (LED red, quick flashing - 3 times per second). In case the button released STB boots in mode 2. If the button is not released (continue to be pressed), STB will pass to mode 3.
    • Mode 3 Emergency startup (LED red, lights steadily).In case the button released STB boots in mode 3. If the button is still pressed, it results in standard booting (from active NAND).

Mode 1. Selecting alternative NAND

Mode 1 Selecting alternative NAND (LED white, slow flashing - 1 time per second) leads to switching software load from an alternative memory bank (NAND).
NAND1 or NAND2 - banks of internal non-volatile reprogrammable memory of STB. They are intended to store and load from them STB software. The use of two banks of memory improves the reliability of the software update process.  If the operation fails, the user can load software from the alternative bank.

Mode 2. Reset to factory settings

Mode 2 Reset to factory settings (LED red, quick flashing - 3 times per second) leads to reset STB to factory values. After resetting STB to the factory, the environment variables are returned to the initial values (set by the Manufacturer).

Mode 3. Emergency startup

Mode 3 Emergency startup (LED red, lights steadily) leads to download in STB Bootstrap file that contains System Recovery Utility enabling the user to perform recovery operations.
The Emergency startup is used if STB does not correctly load. It is applied to download in STB a Bootstrap file containing the Linux kernel along with System Recovery Utility. A bootstrap file may be transmitted in STB from the USB drive or over the network from DHCP/TFTP server. After Bootstrap loaded, the System Recovery Utility menu is opened and the user may take recovery actions. To download the Bootstrap file, the USB device is checked first (whether the USB device is ready and the required file is available). If the first verification is failed, STB goes to receiving data by the DHCP/TFTP protocol.

Emergency startup and System recovery. Bootstrap loads from USB drive

On PC (USB drive preparing)

  • The USB drive must have a FAT32 file system
  • Download Bootstrap file from required release;
  • On the USB drive, create mag<model > directory (it should be located in the root of the USB drive). Example for MAG420: mag420;
  • On the USB drive, put Bootstrap file in mag<model number> directory.

On STB

  • Unplug power supply of STB;
  • Connect the USB drive to any USB socket of STB;
  • Press Service button, plug power supply and wait until mode 3 (LED red, lights steadily);
  • Release Sevice button - the Emergency startup has been selected;
  • Press immediately Menu on the remote control and hold it until the System Recovery Utility menu appears on the TV screen;
  • In System Recovery Utility menu start recovery action:

If you can't open System Recovery Utility menu

If after selecting Emergency startup you can't open the System Recovery Utility menu :

  1. Attentively re-read the instruction and make sure everything has been fulfilled properly.
  2. Make sure that RC is in working condition (when pressing keys a specific LED on RC should be lit up). During pressing Menu, direct RC right to the Infra-Red receiver located next to the STB LED (hidden behind the housing cover).
  3. On the USB drive, recheck the names of the file and the folder. They should not contain characters added. Examples of wrong names are mag_420, Bootstrap (1) and so on.
  4. The Bootstrap file should be consistent with the STB model.
  5. There may be an issue related to format inconsistency of the USB drive - try to use a different USB drive.

Emergency startup and System recovery. Bootstrap loads from DHCP/TFTP server

  1. The Bootstrap file should be given from the required release and put on the TFTP server.
  2. An example of TFTP server configuring is given in the following sections: TFTP server. Installation, setup
  3. An example of DHCP server configuring: Loading OS kernel (Bootstrap / uImage) via TFTP on Emergency mode.
  4. Emergency startup and recovery actions on STB are similar to described for Bootstrap loading from USB-drive (excepting USB drive using).
Need Help

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

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