“Hidden” 256MB storage on the Flytouch 3 P041

I was playing around with my cheap Flytouch Android tablet, using dd to create images of the different partitions of the internal storage (which is, in fact, just a microSD card).

Turns out I discovered that there is a 256MB FAT partition living on /dev/block/mmcblk2p6. By this time, geek users already know what to do: with root privileges, mount the partition in some directory..

So, open a terminal on your rooted Flytouch 3 (P041 and DK1031 models should have this partition). Type:

~# mkdir /mnt/sdcard/256MBfat
~# mount -t vfat /dev/block/mmcblk2p6 /mnt/sdcard/256MBfat

This should result in a new folder in your sdcard directory. This folder is a filesystem node, like the sdcard1, udisk1 and udisk2 folders.
This FAT partition is empty and should have about 256MB space. If it isn’t, or if the mount command returned an error, then that’s interesting 🙂

Why is this partition in these tablets? Well, I have a theory. These tablets support having a recovery partition, even though most firmware updates provide no recovery image files. The fact that this is a 256MB partition may indicate that it is meant to hold contents similar to the system partition, and in this case, it should be formatted as EXT3 and not FAT.
As most firmware versions for this tablet available on the internet don’t include a recovery image, this partition just gets formatted as FAT by the updater kernel at update time.
But what if the updater never touches this partition? This would be pretty good news. You could use this more or less hidden partition to store the owner information, so if your tablet ever gets stolen you’d always have a way to recover it.
If that was the case, you could also use this partition to store essential APK files and configuration so it would be easier to recover from a firmware update or factory reset.

As a last and kind of unrelated statement, I’d like to point out that the bootloader of InfoTM tablets is much more complex than it may appear at first.
Through a serial line that I believe to be the A-A USB connection used by IUW to burn updates, the bootloader can provide a serial console, that can be used to change the boot parameters for Android and maybe even boot other operating systems from the external SD card.
This thing of the bootloader is something I’m figuring out slowly by analysing the uBoot update file I have, u-boot-nand.bin.

If you have one of these InfoTMIC tablets, feel free to comment below with any important additional information.

NOTE: this post was written months ago but was sitting on a text file on my desktop for months, waiting to be posted. So this isn’t a recent discovery, but still an interesting one.


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