Hack for a small size USB flash disk

I’ve one ONKYO entry level AVR HT-S3800 and it has a front USB port, mostly for playing audio files. This port has issues reading USB drives that exceed certain size limits. Say, if you plug a 16GB drive, there are high possibilities that this unit “may not” read it & I came across such a situation recently. To be quite truthful, I hardly ever tested this USB port & while repositioning the unit, I decided to give it a try.

After some deep scavenging I found an APACER Handy Steno, 512MB USB Flash drive from my collection of antiques, that I bought around 2004-2005. My AVR happily started playing from it, while it dissed my 16GB USB stick. So I thought of all possible solutions like ordering a 2GB USB stick online, getting one USB micro sd card reader etc etc.

After couple of days, at work I came up with a vicious idea. Got hold of my 16GB USB stick, removed the volume and created a 2GB volume, formatted with FAT32 and copied my audio files and took it home and connected to the AVR.

My unit started playing from the USB stick happily and no more hours long scanning or dissing the disk! The hack was fooling the unit to “think” the disk has only 2GB storage. The only downside of this hack is losing the balance storage. Who knows, this hack could be applied to other legacy devices as well, especially for car stereo head units that are few years old.

iPhone 11 stuck in the boot loop

Things go wrong, iPhones get in the boot loop & I had a nightmare two days back with the new iPhone 11 64GB, that was given to me as a corporate contract device.

As I don’t use Apple devices, I decided to exchange it with Wife’s Samsung Galaxy M30s. I setup up the device & came the menace. She had years long Whatsapp chats & asked the “Computer Guy” the question that hurts “You can’t do it right?!”

I bought iTransor & managed to “successfully migrate” the messages from Android to iPhone. The device restarted and that’s it. It got stuck in the boot loop, a partially eaten White Apple flashing againt a dark dark background. (iTransor is a pretty celebrated migration software & I believe things could get complicated at certain times & do not blame their software for the troubles I had. After all, I also develop software those act weird at times ;) )

I watched few YouTube videos, referred few articles etcetera and finally downloaded an app that claimed it would fix any boot related issues with iPhones and over 250 Apple devices. Following their neat instructions, connected the iPhone to my Windows Laptop using the provided cable & I reached to an instruction that asked me to:

  • Press volume up
  • Press volume down
  • Press and hold the Side button (right side single button on iPhone 11) “long”, even after the screen goes blank and Apple logo re-appears. Well in my case, after 10+ seconds, the iPhone screen shown me connect to PC image on the screen & finally I breathed. I was worried that I have to go back to my HR, get hold a copy of the invoice, approach a service center, wait for weeks until they “fix” the unit and returned to me..(Please watch the below video for a demonstration)

Once the connect to PC image appeared, I knew that I don’t need another paid software to “Fix” the unit. I repeated the cycle, this time with iTunes opened. iTunes immediately reported that the iPhone has an issue and to resolve, either the device should be updated or restored. Update failed, restore succeeded. My wife didn’t dare to challenge the computer guy once again and agreed that she would sacrifice her Whatsapp chats for the device.

So if you are ever stuck with an iPhone, have access to a computer & could follow few simple instructions, give the above a try. You may save some real bucks or end up with a truly bricked device ;)