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Thread: Hacking Express gate (Asus Splashtop)

  1. #251
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6,598

    Default

    Can you boot grub2 with it?

  2. #252
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    Can you boot grub2 with it?
    You're talking about stboot, right? The only bootloader which managed to load using this method was GRUB4DOS, probably because grldr does not depend on the computer configuration and does probing (that's where we lose some time). I'll try to write my own lightweight bootloader, which would load the boot sector of a fixed partition.

  3. #253
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    1

    Smile

    Stboot will work with Grub2. If you already have Grub 2 installed on your machine, open up a terminal and run this command from within Linux:

    Code:
    dd if=/dev/sdX of=/tmp/sda-mbr.bin bs=512 count=1
    (where X is your primary hard disk containing the boot manager you wish to use with Stboot. "If" is input file, in this case the first 512 bytes of your hard disk which contains your MBR and "Of" is where you want the file backed up to. Usually 'sda' is common but different distro's might report different letters. Run 'sudo fdisk -l' to find your hard disks actual location if you're unsure.)



    This command copies your current Master Boot Record (MBR).

    From there, extract Stboot and open its containing folder. You should see a file called "bootsec.bin" which contains a Grub 1 installation which Stboot uses by default. Open up a file browser window and navigate to wherever you backed up your MBR (located at /tmp/sda-mbr.bin if you didn't alter the command) and copy the backup file "sda-mbr.bin" to the Stboot folder, then rename it to "bootsec.bin", replacing the original file. Then open up a terminal window and run the command:

    Code:
    yasm -o CEFULL stboot.S
    You may be asked to install yasm if you don't already have it. Proceed with the installation, and then re-run the command above.

    If all goes as planned Yasm will give you a new CEFULL file, which you then need to put into a new folder called "stboot", and then put that folder onto your hidden ASUS partition (might be different depending on your laptop model/manufacturer). To gain access to the hidden the partition where Splashtop resides run:

    Code:
    sudo fdisk -l
    For me, the hidden ASUS partition was located at partition 'sda1'. It might be different for you, just check on the right if there are any partitions that report themselves as "hidden". Once you've found it, you need to mount it.

    First make a new directory where the drive will be mounted:

    Code:
    sudo mkdir /mnt/HiddenPartition
    Then mount the hidden partition using the drive letter and number found earlier (mine being "sda1")

    Code:
    sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/HiddenPartition
    It may be helpful to make launchers running these commands so you don't have to type them every time you want access to the hidden partition.

    Copy the "splash.idx" file (included inside the Stboot folder) & the stboot folder with the new CEFULL file inside onto the newly mounted partition. With any luck you should now be greeted with Grub 2 when you press your Quickboot button to start up your computer. :-)

    In my tinkering with it, I could not however configure Grub 2 to start up correctly. I had to resort to using the default loader, Grub4Dos, to boot up Linux. It took a while to figure out but I got it to work by configuring the menu.lst file to be this:
    Code:
    default 0
    
    timeout 0
    
    color black/black black/black
    
    
    
    title Ubuntu
    
    insmod part_msdos
    
    insmod ext2
    
    set root=(hd1,msdos7)
    
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set c862fc36-83a2-4a61-862a-e3fe00dd25c1
    
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-28-generic root=UUID=c862fc36-83a2-4a61-862a-e3fe00dd25c1 ro
    
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.35-28-generic
    I looked to my former Grub 2 config file to find out what to put in here^. Yours will be different. Check /boot/grub/grub.cfg to find out the uuid, kernel and initrd info of your Linux installation.
    (Notice I used all black as the color scheme to avoid grub popping up at all while booting up.)

    It was odd to see hd1 would work as a location for Grub4Dos to look, seeing as how I only have one hard drive and Grub4Dos is based on Legacy Grub which uses a numbering system that begins with 0 where Grub2 begins numbering at 1. I guess Grub4Dos is just weird like that.
    Hope this post helps.
    -DreadHawk

  4. #254
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default

    How can I load Express gate through GRUB's menu.lst

  5. #255
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    2

    Cool

    First thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread... great info and nice tools here.

    I just wanted to share what I do to edit files on my p6x58d's 512MB ssd.

    At first I was starting ExpressGateUpdater.exe in windows and begin to update. Once it got to 100% backing up user data I would mount the drive in my VM of Ubuntu.
    After a bit of that I decided it wasn't always fool proof enough. So I made a little .bat to start the updater pause long enough to let the ssd get mounted then force close the updater before it ejects the device.

    Code:
    START ExpressGateUpdater.exe dir
    ping 127.0.0.1 -n 5 > nul 
    taskkill /im ExpressGateUpdater.exe /f /fi "WINDOWTITLE eq Express Gate Updater"
    I repeat the last line about 80+ times in mine but trunicated it here to show you. You will likely need to change the ping time "this is what I'm using to wait a few seconds after launching the updater before /f killing it."

    My hdd is slow so I need to wait about 5 seconds.

    After that I just go to disk management and assign it a drive letter. This way instead of flashing it with a new .DFI for one little change I can just have it mounted in windows in about 10 seconds and just drag/drop my changed files and reboot.

    Thanks again for the great thread/info guys.

  6. #256
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Wroclaw
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    5

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    Hi everyone!
    I'm also using a Asus Express Gate on Asus N52-DA (N61 MoBo),but in versions lower than 2.0 (so without "Cloud"). I can't using Express Gate Cloud, because it dosent't install (it shows install manager and "install" but, there is no files on a hide partition). I've got this log from an installation:
    ================================================


    OnBegin: Begin
    Installation Version is 2.6.32.207
    OnBegin: Date = 7-7-2012, Time = 13:57:38
    getBootWay: Begin
    getBootWay: Boot by BIOS
    CheckDVMEG1: Begin
    CheckDVMEG1: check key SoftwareASUS ExpressGate
    CheckDVMEG1: check DVM EG1 PROD_GUID
    CheckDVMEG1: check ASUS.SYS
    CheckDir: Begin
    CheckDir: ASUS.SYS
    CheckDir: szCkDirCMD is --drive 0 --partition 1 --checkfile ASUS.SYS
    CheckDir: The ASUS.SYS dir isn't found!
    CheckDir: End
    CheckDVMEG1: check ASUS.000
    CheckDir: Begin
    CheckDir: ASUS.000
    CheckDir: szCkDirCMD is --drive 0 --partition 1 --checkfile ASUS.000
    CheckDir: The ASUS.000 dir isn't found!
    CheckDir: End
    CheckDVMEG1: End
    RemoveASUSV1: Begin
    RemoveASUSV1: No exist ASUS V1.0!
    RemoveASUSV1: End
    OnBegin: End
    OnFirstUIBefore: Begin
    OnFirstUIBefore : Normal Install
    Initialization: Begin
    CheckDiskRemainSize: Begin
    CheckDiskRemainSize: Drive Letter is C:\
    CheckDiskRemainSize: Drive free space kilobytes = 40071012
    CheckDiskRemainSize: Disk Drive free size : 40071012 KB more then default 3145728 KB.
    CheckDiskRemainSize: End
    InitMapOfProductToVGA
    InitMapOfProductToVGA : End
    DMI_check: Check GetManufacturerInfo tool if exists
    DMI_check: Launch GetManufacturerInfo tool
    DMI_check: BIOS.INFO is Found.
    DMI_check: Manufacturer Name = ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
    DMI_check: Product Name = N61Da
    TargetMatch: Begin
    TargetMatch: Match ASUS!
    TargetMatchASUS: Begin
    RecoveryPartition: Begin
    RecoveryPartition: End
    SearchTargetPartition: Search all Type options is 1C,17. Now, the TYPE Partition is 1C
    CheckPartition_All: 1C
    CheckPartition_All: Select Disk 0
    CheckPartition: 1C
    CheckPartition: Disk Number = 0
    CheckPartition: Success to get Partition List
    CheckPartition: Success to open Partition List
    CheckPartition: svLine =
    CheckPartition: svLine = Microsoft DiskPart wersja 6.1.7601
    CheckPartition: svLine = Copyright (C) 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation.
    CheckPartition: svLine = Na komputerze: ASUS-N52DA
    CheckPartition: svLine =
    CheckPartition: svLine = Obecnie wybranym dyskiem jest dysk 0.
    CheckPartition: svLine =
    CheckPartition: svLine = Partycja ### Typ Rozmiar Przesunięcie
    CheckPartition: svLine = ------------- ---------------- ------- ------------
    CheckPartition: svLine = Partycja 1 Podstawowy 19 GB 31 KB
    CheckPartition: ListGetFirstString : svToken = Partycja
    CheckPartition: ListGetNextString : svToken = 1
    CheckPartition: Success to open ckHidePartition.Exist
    CheckPartition: svLine = Typ : 1C
    svToken = Typ
    svToken = :
    svToken = 1C
    CheckPartition: Check old EGC on hidden partition
    CleanDir: Begin
    CleanDir: ExpressGate
    CheckDir: Begin
    CheckDir: ExpressGate
    CheckDir: szCkDirCMD is --drive 0 --partition 1 --checkfile ExpressGate
    CheckDir: The ExpressGate dir isn't found!
    CheckDir: End
    CleanDir: End
    CleanDir: Begin
    CleanDir: ExpressGateUtil
    CheckDir: Begin
    CheckDir: ExpressGateUtil
    CheckDir: szCkDirCMD is --drive 0 --partition 1 --checkfile ExpressGateUtil
    CheckDir: The ExpressGateUtil dir isn't found!
    CheckDir: End
    CleanDir: End
    CheckPartition: Check hidden partition 1C size...
    CheckPartition: Find the 1C hidden partition!!
    CheckPartition_All: Disk Number is 0
    CheckPartition_All: Partition type 1C is found!
    SearchTargetPartition: Find the Type Partition is 1C
    TargetMatchASUS: Find OEMGROUP_ASUS_NB and get the Type Partition :1C,17
    TargetMatchASUS: End
    TargetMatch: End
    Initialization: cache_svTargDisk is 0 cache_svTargParti is 1
    SelectFeature: Do nothing!
    Initialization: End
    OnFirstUIBefore: End
    OnMoving: Begin
    INSTALLDIR=C:\Windows\IVG.TMP\
    OnMoving: End
    OnMoved: Do nothing!
    OnFirstUIAfter: Begin
    OnFirstUIAfter: Install WIM files....
    SetupWIM: Begin
    SetupWIM: cache_svTargDisk is 0 cache_svTargParti is 1
    DiskToolCopy: Begin
    DiskToolCopy: szCMD is --drive 0 --partition 1 --copy C:\Windows\IVG.TMP\ExpressGate ExpressGate
    DiskToolCopy: The directed dir is copyed successfully!
    DiskToolCopy: End
    DiskToolCopy: Begin
    DiskToolCopy: szCMD is --drive 0 --partition 1 --copy C:\Windows\IVG.TMP\ExpressGateUtil ExpressGateUtil
    DiskToolCopy: The directed dir is copyed successfully!
    DiskToolCopy: End
    SetupWIM: End
    OnFirstUIAfter: Install Windows Service
    SetupWindowsUtil: Now is Install Mode...
    C:\ExpressGateUtil\VAWinService.exe exists...
    C:\ExpressGateUtil\VAWinService.exe install success
    C:\ExpressGateUtil\VAWinAgent.exe exists...
    C:\ExpressGateUtil\VAWinAgent.exe install success
    GetWinBootUpForSingleBtn: Begin
    GetWinBootUpForSingleBtn: sCommand=/c "C:\Windows\IVG.TMP\OS Switch.exe" --getboot > C:\Users\Grisza\AppData\Local\Temp\BootUpVal.txt
    GetWinBootUpForSingleBtn: Start to process BootUpVal.txt
    GetWinBootUpForSingleBtn: Success to open: C:\Users\Grisza\AppData\Local\Temp\BootUpVal.txt
    GetWinBootUpForSingleBtn: Get the Boot up setting is -1
    GetWinBootUpForSingleBtn: End to process BootUpVal.txt
    GetWinBootUpForSingleBtn: End
    IsEFMBRBootType: Begin
    IsEFMBRBootType: nBootType=1 && g_nBootType=-1
    IsEFMBRBootType: End
    IsEFMBRBootType: Begin
    IsEFMBRBootType: nBootType=0 && g_nBootType=-1
    IsEFMBRBootType: End
    OnFirstUIAfter: Setting registry key
    OnFirstUIAfter: Create Uninstall ShortCut
    OnFirstUIAfter: Normal Install
    Reboot if needed
    OnFirstUIAfter: End
    OnEnd: Begin
    OnEnd: Clean installed temp folder
    OnEnd: End

    ================================================
    Maybe I should copy folders: asus.000 and asus.sys, before instalation of Asus Express Gate Cloud?


    So I tried to update a Flash Player in Express Gate, I used a squashfs tool to do that. Simply I unpacked a .sqx file with Flash Player (version 10.x), downloaded the newest version, unpucked, copied new files, made a .sqx, putted it into proper folder (asus.sys) and it won't work. It shows me an information that inslataion is incomplete.
    Please tell me what I have to do, to make it work with new Flash Player? I know that I have to install it, but how can I do on unworking system?
    It would be nice if I could use a Terminal in Express Gate, but how can I turn on it, and how to start this (normally it's ctr+T).

    I'm not using Ubuntu everyday, I've installed it a few days ago so I need instructions 'step by step' how to update applications on Express Gate.

  7. #257
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,598

    Default

    Most likely you did not cut the file with the checksums/update the checksum for that sqx. Also the squashfs version must be the same, you can check it with file. But basically the time for splashtop/expressgate is over. You do not even read one word about it on their own homepage, only splashtop2 which is now a streaming app for mobile devices and has got nothing to do with the mini linux system. Best get an ssd - then you can boot a full linux system within less than 30s from powerup - forget splashtop/express gate.

  8. #258
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Wroclaw
    Posts
    5

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    I think you're right.
    But what about Express Gate Cloud developed by VideAce? It's up to date, but it won't install on my laptop I think it is beacuse this system is for a memory chip on motherboard which I don't have.

    Can you recommend a system which I could install like Express Gate to be allowed boot this from special button for Express Gate? If something like this doesn't exist, maybe there is smthg which I can install like EG and run from GRUB2?

    Thanks

  9. #259
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Wroclaw
    Posts
    5

    Default

    I think you're right.
    But what about Express Gate Cloud developed by VideAce? It's up to date, but it won't install on my laptop I think it is beacuse this system is for a memory chip on motherboard which I don't have.

    Can you recommend a system which I could install like Express Gate to be allowed boot this from special button for Express Gate? If something like this doesn't exist, maybe there is smthg which I can install like EG and run from GRUB2?

    Thanks

  10. #260
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Wroclaw
    Posts
    5

    Default

    I think you're right.
    But what about Express Gate Cloud developed by VideAce? It's up to date, but it won't install on my laptop I think it is beacuse this system is for a memory chip on motherboard which I don't have.

    Can you recommend a system which I could install like Express Gate to be allowed boot this from special button for Express Gate? If something like this doesn't exist, maybe there is smthg which I can install like EG and run from GRUB2?

    Thanks

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