08/19/2016, 07:30 PM
It's a deeper level I'm referring to. If I buy a 128GB eMMC flash from somewhere, and install it in my webOS device, it's just as if I've bought a brand new hard drive and installed it in my PC.
Originally Posted by joeytino
Just like on a PC with a bare, new drive, I need something to boot into to prepare that storage to install the actual operating system to. On a Linux PC, for example, I would download an OS image, and write it to DVD or USB flash drive, and boot the PC from that. Then I could install the OS to the new hard drive.
On a webOS device, you don't really have the option to boot it from something external, like a USB flash drive. webOS, even Bootie (the recovery image) all reside on that eMMC flash chip.
Just like a PC hard drive, there are several partitions on a webOS device's eMMC flash - one holds the tokens, one is for the Bootie recovery image, one is for webOS, another is for the media partition, where your photos and other personal files go.
I can't use the webOS doctor on a device that I just installed that giant, but bare, 128GB eMMC flash to. When you run the webOS Doctor, the first thing you're supposed to do is put your device in Recovery mode. Well, recovery is a program (bootie) that lives in a partition on your eMMC flash.
The Android community for TouchPad created a tool, tpdebrick, by JCSullins, that can do this for TouchPads - it comes with programs and files to create those partitions and install things like bootie to a bare flash drive, or at least a corrupted flash drive. But it only is available for TouchPads, not webOS phones, and it won't really help me if I want to install a 128GB flash chip, because it only supports existing TouchPad flash sizes - 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB.
Another issue is tokens - each webOS device has a partition that holds device-specific tokens, without which webOS won't really run. They can be backed up and transferred from another device, with some effort.
Supply shops for cell-phone repair businesses sell adapters that let you temporarily mount an eMMC flash chip as an SD Card, or plug it into a USB port. And then you can use your standard Linux tools (or Windows, or Mac) to do things like create partitions and restore boot images, webOS tokens, etc. Then when you're done formatting and populating your new flash chip, then you can solder it into your old device. And this should be doable equally for TouchPads or phones.
I think formatting and preparing the new flash chip before installing it in the webOS device is the easier way to go. Only problem is you have to buy one of these adapters - I think anywhere from $150 to $200.