screen does not come on

Discuss peripherals for the XO and power management.

Re: screen does not come on

Postby michael_g » Sun May 25, 2008 3:31 pm

I attempted the debrick solution described above:

* I soldered 4 wires on the back of the indicated jumper on the board.
* I connected these leads to an Arduino Serial to USB adapter
* I tried two different kinds of software to connect to the board: arduino, minicom
* Once the software (either) is sconnected to /dev/ttyUSB0 and usb connected to
desktop (also tried on laptop) The following message comes up:

Type 'i' to interrupt stand-init sequence
First stand-init:
DHCP init
memory node
Probing memory
Reclaim dictionary
PCI host bridge
CPU nodes
board revision
Date to EC
Wireless reset
PCI properties
Manufacturing data
USB setup
Init SHA-1 variables
Page Fault

* The clock reset instructions indicate that one has to it "i" right after fort shows up
this is quite difficult but I have managed it more than once. I don't have the message
handy but it makes some reply indicating it is now in "intereactive mode" or something
to that effect. The message does display the "ok" prompt.
Sadly after that there is no other sign of reaction from the XO. The messages
reach the Arduino because i see activity as I type from hte onboard leds. Typing the 'i' must
make it through to the xo because it does sometimes go into this other mode.

No idea what to try now.

Any suggestions appreciated.

Re: screen does not come on

Postby garydion » Mon May 26, 2008 6:26 am


It's been a while since I wrote my post above, but if memory serves, the laptop does not echo the commands you type. In that, I mean you must type the commands "blind" and just assume the characters are getting to the laptop. If you get the "ok" prompt, then you know your hardware is working correctly. Go ahead and follow the instructions on the page even though you can't see what you are typing. I remember having to cross my fingers, and I think this was the point I had to just go on faith that the developers' instructions would work.

Just follow the procedure at the bottom if this page:

Good luck,
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:57 am

Re: screen does not come on

Postby Guest » Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:34 pm

Reading the excellent instructions (Thanks Gary, Richard and others!) on how to set the clock I decided to give it a try.

The biggest challenge was to make the connection from the USB board to the MB of the XO, especially since I don't have a soldering iron... But I had a piece from a defect hard drive lying around. I noticed that the spacing between the connectors matched those of the J1. By attaching a piece of thick tape under the connectors it fit snugly under the four pins on the MB. Through out the process I verified that there was a connection with a multimeter measuring the resistance.


I ordered a Arduino Serial USB Board (From SparkFun, SKU#: DEV-08165). USB drivers were downloaded from The tape is only there to prevent things from moving :wink:


Here's a closeup of the connection to the MB. I used tape + clips/clamps to get a good connection between the piece from the defective harddrive (top picture) and the wires.


Here's an overview picture:


Once everything was hooked up I again verified the connection between the MB of the XO and the terminals of the Arduino board. I started HyperTerm from a PC running Windows 2000, set the therminal to ansiw (I tried some of the other settings, but they only gave me garbled text when I turned on the XO), turned on the XO and voilá - text appeared on the screen and I could follow the procedure from

Must say I felt a little bit like MacGuyver with all the wires and tape. But it worked! First thing I did was of course to update the firmware :)

This is certainly not the recommended way to fix an XO, especially considering the possibility of static discharges etc. But I thought I'd share this with you anyway. At least the XO survied my clumsy fingers.

Best regards,

(Oslo, Norway)

Re: dead laptop

Postby shafikd » Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:32 am

Not sure if anyone is still on this laptop was working fine but now it turns on but screen is

Guest wrote:Same problem here. I actually got mine to boot and it was working fine, but now "dead" again...
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:03 am

Re: dead laptop

Postby Steve Holton » Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:27 pm

shafikd wrote:Not sure if anyone is still on this laptop was working fine but now it turns on but screen is

Guest wrote:Same problem here. I actually got mine to boot and it was working fine, but now "dead" again...

This information may be useful:

If you received your XO in 2007 or January of 2008....
If you never conciously upgraded to a newer software release...
If you remove the battery and power cord, then plug in the power cord only, and the battery light flashes briefly once....
If you put the battery in, then plug-in the power cord and it either shows green (fully charged) or orange -> green (charging then fully charged)...

Then you were probably running the 650 release and the internal battery has come loose.

This is commonly referred to as a "D6 brick".

If you are a comfortable hardware hacker, you can probably fix this yourself using the information in this forum.

If not, your best bet is to contact one of the OLPC Community Repair Centers

and ask about fixing a D6 brick.

There are several equipped to provide this service. and it is sometimes offered as a free community service.

(Before anyone even asks, most repair centers are extremely restricted on spare parts availability, with only cannibalized parts available, if any at all, so until the spare parts situation is resolved it's probably not worth even asking about replacement batteries, keyboards, screens, etc. You could ask to be put on their mailing list. Unbricking, however, requires only special equipment and special knowledge, so the service is usually available.)
Steve Holton
Got an XO? Get on the map:
Steve Holton
Support Team
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 7:11 am
Location: North Carolina, USA

Re: screen does not come on

Postby Mon1018 » Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:21 pm

I have the same problem... any solution?
I'd like to know that too! But very good question! 8)
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Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:17 pm

Re: screen does not come on

Postby koolkat » Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:12 pm

Are you a real person, or someone almost ready to pose as a spammer by posting three utterly useless posts?
Support Team
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:44 am

Re: screen does not come on

Postby Eamonn » Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:45 am

Thanks, Steve!

Very helpful! :)

Re: screen does not come on

Postby lmaddy » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:22 am

I just received our laptop and the screen does not some on also. It seems like there is something wrong with the system. Does anyone know if it has to be replaced or hoe to go about it. :cry:

Re: screen does not come on

Postby bravesirrobin » Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:06 am

These have been helpful comments. Before I go out and by a Serial adapter, I noticed that the Fix Clock instructions suggest using another XO laptop as a terminal for this operation. Does anyone know if that still requires the elaborate connection via J1 on the Motherboard, or can they just be connected via USB cables (a much more desirable way to go). Thanks,

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Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:03 am

Re: OX-1 Resurection

Postby jmh » Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:24 am

Good news. It has come back to life.
Several months ago my XO-1 died. It acted as if it was getting no power when plugged in.
Today I tried again before asking for help and it just worked. Thanks for the inspiration.
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:07 am

Re: screen does not come on

Postby bravesirrobin » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:37 am

More good news. I too was able to resurrect a bricked XO-1, with instructions in this forum. The long post of garydion was great. I had to order (and assemble) the KronosRobotics RS-232 interface. The hard part though was making the connections to the XO motherboard. That J1 connector is *very tiny*! I too did solder connections to the back of the connector. After that, it was just doing the clock reset and ROM flash.

Yay! Thanks all,

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Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:03 am

Re: screen does not come on

Postby allan101 » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:12 am

Hi guys,
you are absolutely right-the yellow flash is only when inserting the power cord, not when pressing the power button.
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Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:50 am

Re: screen does not come on

Postby allan101 » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:10 am

Hi guys,
same problem here.It was working fine. But now again “dead”. How would upgrade the laptop. I really would like to get litle thing working since i am too curious about it.
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:50 am

Re: screen does not come on

Postby ncarrol » Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:42 am

Posts: 367
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:38 am


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