EAM Platinum firmware recovery


Recovery procedure

This recovery procedure can be useful if the firmware has become damaged by a partial upgrade. If this procedure is not able to recover your unit, then the unit must be returned to Guralp Systems for reflash. If this is the case, please contact support for details and to arrange an RMA.
Note: The instructions for resetting the root password have been moved to here.


Physical access to the unit will be required. Equipment required:
  • Console cable (either a 12-way mil-spec to DE9 for digital sensors or metal cylindrical units, or a standard 9-pin serial modem cable (wired "straight-through" or pin-to-pin) for Peli-case variants).
  • Laptop or PC with serial port or USB to RS232 adapter.
  • Terminal emulator (e.g. PuTTY under Windows or minicom under Linux).
A suitable rsync/upgrade server is required. You therefore need either:
  • Internet access (to rsync.guralp.com TCP port 873/rsync); or
  • a local rsync server with a copy of the firmware on (refer to Chapter 5 of the Platinum manual for details on setting up a local mirror)


  1. Connect the console cable to the EAM and to the laptop/PC (the "recovery machine").
  2. Open the terminal emulator on the recovery machine and set it to 38400 baud, 8N1.
  3. Apply power to the EAM.
  4. Almost immediately, there should be some output. Approximately two screens (2×25 lines) of output will be displayed (more if there is any significant filesystem corruption.
  5. There will be a series of yes or no questions. Answer no (by keying the N key) to each question. Very old bootloaders have some minor differences, but the questions should be as below. If any question is accidentally answered yes, it is safe to simply remove and re-apply power, restarting the process from the beginning.
    Note: Do not key the enter key after each the N key: that will accept the default answer to the next question.
Boot-up procedure questions (answer the N key to each):
Attempt rsync update ? (y/N) n
Boot main via kexec ? (Y/n) n
Boot main via switch_root ? (y/N) n
Mount successful but no boot options available
Attempt scripted NAND device reinstall ? (y/N) n
At this point, you are now at a shell prompt and can continue the process as below:
/ #

Reflashing the firmware

If the firmware has really become damaged, to the point that it is no longer possible to boot the unit, then it is possible to erase everything and reflash it. This procedure is involved, and you may prefer to return the unit to Guralp support, but instructions are presented below for users willing to attempt the procedure.

Set up networking


If you are using DHCP to configure your network, run:
ifconfig lo
route add -net netmask lo
udhcpc --script /etc/udhcpc.sh --now --interface eth0


If you are not using DHCP and need to assign your networking parameters statically, find the correct values and then run:
ifconfig eth0 netmask
route add default gw
echo "nameserver"> /etc/resolv.conf

Set system date

The date must be set to something sensible because, otherwise, files will have incorrect modification times, which will cause various malfunctions. In the command below, replace:
with the Month (01 to 12);

with the Day (01 to 31);

with the Hour (00 to 23);

with the Minute (00 to 59); and

with the Year (2011 upwards)
The command should be entered as
date mmddHHMMYYYY
The data and time should be entered in UTC, regardless of your current time zone.

Erase NAND flash

This will destroy all your settings and data in the buffer (it won't affect data recorded on any mass storage device). There is no way to retrieve anything from the unit after running these commands.
umount /mnt
flash_eraseall /dev/mtd3
mount -t yaffs /dev/mtdblock3 /mnt
The flash_eraseall command will likely complain about multiple bad blocks and failures. This is normal for NAND flash. However, it should tick all the way up to 100%. If it aborts early then there is potentially a hardware problem. The last mount command must succeed, or there is a problem somewhere and the unit will likely need to be returned to GSL support.

Copy files on

In the example below it may be necessary to replace rsync.guralp.com with its IP address (currently or with the name of your local rsync server. This step will download about 50Mb of image data.
rsync --super --verbose --stats --human-readable --progress \
    --itemize-changes --recursive --times --links --perms \
    --chmod=ugo+r,+X --force \
    rsync://rsync.guralp.com/platinum-stable/CMG-DCM-mk4-eabi/ /mnt/
If this step fails at start-up (temporary failure in name resolution, no route to host, etc.) then something is wrong with the networking configuration. If it fails part way through, or at the end, something is likely wrong with the unit and it will need to be returned to the factory. If the rsync command completes successfully, create some necessary files:
cp -a /dev/null /mnt/dev
cp -a /dev/zero /mnt/dev
cp -a /dev/console /mnt/dev
mkdir -p /mnt/etc/conf.local
echo set_hwclock `date +%s` > /mnt/.magic_upgrade
Each of these commands is critical and must not fail.


Now it is safe to power cycle the unit. You can also boot the new system without power cycling by running:
kexec -l /mnt/boot/zImage
kexec -e
You can watch its boot progress on the console port. The first boot can take several minutes as the system will have to run through some basic initialisation procedures. However, you should eventually have a login: prompt, at which point you can log in as root using the default password (see note below) and refer to the Platinum manual to reconfigure the device.
Note : The previous default root password is now routinely tried by hackers during brute-force atacks. As a result, this procedure now changes the root password to This password is being protected from web crawlers. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We strongly recommend that you change this to something secure if the unit is to be connected to the Internet. Please see our Platinum security guide
Note : There is a lot of console output after the login prompt appears, so you may not see the prompt. In this case, merely key the enter key a few times until you see the login prompt and then log in as normal.

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