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Hacking Express gate (Asus Splashtop)

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  • Can you boot grub2 with it?

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    • 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.

      Comment


      • 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

        Comment


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

          Comment


          • 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.

            Comment


            • 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.

              Comment


              • 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.

                Comment


                • 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

                  Comment


                  • 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

                    Comment


                    • 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

                      Comment

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