Leapster Explorer: Emerald Boot SD0 Autoboot

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With the LeapPad Explorer SD replaced NAND as the storage medium of choice. The Emerald Boot and Madrid Boot (LeapPad) sources are basically parallel builds, you build both at the same time. With a little tweaking you can set up Emerald Boot to check the SD card in a cartridge on boot up, and if it contains a correctly formatted SD card, kernel, rootfs, etc it will boot off that, if not, it falls back to normal NAND booting. This is fairly similar to how the LeapPad works, except it checks SD1 instead. In theory this modification should work with the LeapPad also. As of this writing the LeapPad has not been released.


UART Boot Emerald Boot (for testing, highly recommended)

Software Needed

LeapPad Explorer Sources (LF-Linux-2503-20110602-1237.tar.gz)

EB2.0.2 SD/UART Patch

Linux host PC

Hardware Needed

Console Access

SD Card Cartridge

micro SD Card

== Set up SD Card

Partition SD Card

The SD card requires some special kind of formatting. There is a file in /emerald-boot that explains some of it. This explains everything but the /Bulk partition, which is still mounted from NAND. This is a bit involved of a process.

Plug in your SD card and reader, then run dmesg in a terminal. You should see an entry like /dev/sdf where f is a,b,c,d,etc where you're SD card was mounted.

Caution make sure you correctly identify your SD card device, and back up any needed information, this will erase all data and could unintentionally destroy needed data if done to the wrong device.

First we need to partition the disk, sd[x] is replaced with your location.

sudo fdisk /dev/sd[x]

This will bring up a prompt in fdisk, type m for help, and it will explain the options. There are 3 partitions that need to be created the screen partition, kernel, and rootfs. Each one is nearly the same, so repeat this 3 times, only the partition sizes and names change.

First type u this change the units used.

Next create new empty partition table type o

Add a partition by typing n

It will ask you extended or primary type p for primary.

For the number, 1 for your first partition, 2 for second, etc.

Next it will ask you for the First sector, just hit return to accept the default.

For Last sector, you'll need to determine the size for each,1st +1M for 2, kernel +8M is good, and for the last, rootfs just leave it blank and accept the default by hitting return. If you try and get bulk/ mounted, pick a reasonable value here, and then leave bulk/ to fill up the rest.

Once all done, type w to write the settings

Write Data to SD Card