Hardkernel's Exclusive North American Distributor
ABOUT eMMC MODULES
HOW TO WRITE eMMC MODULES
PREIMAGING ODROID-X, U2 AND U3 MODULES
REUSING eMMCs FORMERLY IMAGED FOR ODROID-X, U2 OR U3 ON THE XU3/XU4
CHANGING DISPLAY RESOLUTIONS ON ODROID LINUX
HOW TO INSTALL ANDROID AND GOOGLE APPS/PLAY STORE
WHY SINGLE BOARD COMPUTERS?


Comparing the speed of eMMC to microSD on ODROID-C1.
Speed difference will be greater on faster SBCs like the ODROID-XU4.

ABOUT eMMC MODULES

eMMC modules are a very fast and reliable storage option for ODROID computers.  eMMC storage chips are not proprietary, but they are almost always permanently surface-mounted to a system's mainboard.  In order to allow the eMMC chip to be removed, Hardkernel designed the eMMC modules that can snap on and off the ODROID.

As an added feature, Hardkernel has also designed an eMMC to MicroSD adapter board that allows reimaging eMMC modules from other systems.

To use an eMMC in any ODROID, all you have to do is snap the eMMC module into the eMMC connector on the ODROID. Each eMMC has an operating system distribution pre-loaded and pre-tested, so make sure you order an eMMC compatible with the ODROID that you have or are ordering.

In order to back up an eMMC, it can be performed directly on an ODROID by using a disk utility like dd, and copying to a microSD card. There are instructions on how to do this at http://forum.odroid.com, or see below. All current ODROIDs have an eMMC connector and a microSD slot.  An alternative method to perform a backup from an eMMC module is to hook up a microSD card reader via USB and duplicate the eMMC that way.

If you want to put a new distribution on an eMMC, then the eMMC adapter allows connecting the eMMC to a desktop or laptop and using the tools available on that computer’s operating system.


USB to microSD adapter compatibility

Writing OS to eMMC/microSD for the C1 (XU4 procedure is very similar)

HOW TO WRITE A NEW IMAGE TO AN EMMC OR MICROSD CARD

DOWNLOADING THE IMAGE

OS images for the different ODROID boards can be downloaded from http://odroid.com/dokuwiki/doku.php by clicking on the model of ODROID you have under the "Product" column on the left side of the page, and then scrolling down to the "Software Releases" section.

Linux is the preferred OS to use when reimaging eMMC and microSD modules.  In our experience, when reimaging fails with Win32DiskImager on Windows, the reimaging succeeds on Linux a large percentage of the time.  To reimage eMMC and microSD modules at ameriDroid, we use an XU3-Lite with an external microSD reader and an external USB hard drive that contains the images.


LINUX COMMAND LINE:

"dd" is already included in many distributions, so you don’t need to download anything. "xz" is already included in many distributions, but if you need to install it, use a command like "sudo apt-get install xz-utils" (method varies based on flavor of Linux).  Enter "unxz my-odroid-image. img.xz" to extract the .img file (replace “my-odroid-image.img.xz” with the name of the image file downloaded). Enter "df -h" and make note of mounted devices.  Insert microSD/eMMC card and run "df -h" again.  There should be at least one new device in the list.  It will look something like “/dev/ mmcblk0p1” or “/dev/sdd1”. The last part (“p1” or “1”, respectively) is the partition number.  However, to write to the whole card, you need to remove that part from the name (“/ dev/mmcblk0” or “/dev/sdd” from the above example) as the device for the whole card.  The card can show up more than once in the output of “df” if there is more than one partition on the card already.  Unmount the card with the following: "sudo umount /dev/mycard" where “/dev/mycard” is replaced by the full partition name you found on your system (like “/dev/mmcblk0p1” in the example above).  You need to run this command for each partition that is mounted on the card.  Remember, “dd” is nicknamed “disk destroyer” for a reason.  If you get the following command wrong, this may erase the computer’s entire hard drive.

"sudo dd bs=1M if=my-odroid- image.img of=/dev/mycard"

Replace “my-odroid-image.img” with the path to the image file you downloaded and decompressed.  Replace “/dev/mycard” with the full card name you noted in the steps above. This will take many minutes to complete, so move on to other nefarious schemes while this advances.  There will be no output indicating progress.  If you want to be notified with an audio alert when “dd” completes, enter the following in place of the “dd” command above:

sudo dd bs=1M if=my-odroid- image.img of=/dev/mycard && echo -e ‘\a’ || (echo -e ‘\a’; sleep 1; echo -e ‘\a’)

You will hear one beep if “dd” completes successfully, and two beeps if it fails for any reason. When “dd” finishes, run "sudo sync" to flush the write cache (just in case). Run "df -h", use the same method as above to unmount the card partitions, and then remove the card from the computer.


WINDOWS:

Get the  Win32DiskImager.exe for ODROID v1.1 which is available at http://www.hardkernel.com/?b144. Windows should automatically open the .zip file after you download and double-click on it, allowing you to copy the .exe file onto desktop or another location.  The advantages of this version over the version available at Sourceforge.com are that it allows wiping the flash memory before writing, and writes and verifies the data while writing to the card.  Accordingly, this makes the imaging process take about twice as long (three times as long if wiping first).

The download file may be compressed in .xz format.  To decompress, you need to download 7-zip or a similar utility from the Internet. 7-zip is available at http://www.7-zip.org/download.html.  If you use 7-zip, you need to open the File Manager component and navigate to the location of the download, and then open the archive and save out the contents. The “Device” field is empty if you start Win32 Disk Imager before inserting the card.  Remember not to do that!  Once you save out the .img file, make sure your microSD/eMMC card is inserted into the USB port. Next, simply open the Win32DiskImager. If you want to wipe any previous data off the card, remember to wipe it first.  Then, click the “Browse” button, find the .img file, and click the “Write” button.

If you get an error about the disk being corrupted or some other error related to the disk (eMMC or microSD in this case), you may need to reformat it in Windows first, like this:

Open a command prompt and type "diskpart"

Type "list volume" and press Enter. The volumes or partitions on your system will appear with a volume number, drive letter, label, file system, type, size and status. If you have only one partition on your hard drive, the volume represents the entire hard disk.

Type "select volume" followed by the volume number that you want to format. For example, if the eMMC/microSD is "Volume 3" in the disk list, type "select volume 3" and press Enter. DiskPart responds with "Volume # Is Now the Selected Volume."

Type "list part".  The partitions on the selected disk should be listed.

Type "select part 1".  If diskpart returns an error about no partition being selected, type "clean all".  If this returns an error, try cleaning the contacts on the eMMC/microSD module, the adapter, and the reader with isopropyl alcohol or contact cleaner.  Try again.  If it still returns an error, there is likely a problem with your reader, adapter or module.

Type "format fs=<file system type for the volume> quick" to do a quick format with the chosen file system. For example, if you want to format your volume in the NTFS format, type "format fs=ntfs quick" and press Enter.

If you receive an error when trying to write to the eMMC or microSD after performing the above steps, it is highly recommended to reimage the eMMC or microSD using dd on Linux.


Pre-imaging instructions necessary for the ODROID-X, U2 or U3


Video Tutorial:


Reusing eMMCs formerly imaged for ODROID-X, U2 or U3 on the XU3/XU4


Video Tutorial:

CHANGING DISPLAY RESOLUTION ON ODROID LINUX

HOW TO INSTALL ANDROID AND GOOGLE APPS/PLAY STORE

WHY SINGLE-BOARD COMPUTERS?

Maybe your story is the same. 

Santa answered a 7-year-old's letter with a shiny soldering iron.  Before long, he was taking apart electronics and salvaging the parts to make a crystal radio.  He hooked up the antenna lead to his aluminum window screen next to his bed (for better reception) and listened to AM radio stations through an earphone (mono, of course) as he drifted off to sleep dreaming of his next electronics project.

We live in a wonderful time. A time where technology is less a deciding factor on what we can invent, as long as we can imagine it.  A time when powerful computing starts way less than $100.

We love inventing things. A lot of our ideas require computing power. Therefore, we love single-board computers.

When it comes to single-board computers, and you want raw computing horsepower for cheap, come to ameriDroid.


We want to hear about your inventions!  Send a description and a picture, and we may feature it on our site!