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Registered a URL and setup a forum as the IPCam stuff really needed its own site vs my irregular blog posts about IPCam hacking at http://www.computersolutions.cn/blog

Author Topic: Broken Hootoo WLAN IP Webcam  (Read 19879 times)

May 11, 2013, 09:51:48 am
I searched via Google a little bit and found following :
Foscam Clone Recovery Tool
It looks like this Tool can read the flash content (at least the partitions) via RS232.
Here is a Link where it can be downloaded : http://blog.morrison.nl/2011/01/foscam-clone-recovery-part-2/

Unluckily i get an error message (0xc0000135) when i try to start the Program.
Maybe some Runitime library is missing on my PC. :-(

Anyway propably this program can help someone to recover his Camera (if he reads the firmware out of the device before playing around...)


May 11, 2013, 09:57:24 am
I guess, this program reads the flash by just executing the "D" command in the bootloader.
Should be not too complicated to implement this (e.g. with cygwin and the "expect" - Command.

When i have time, maybe i will try to do it.


  • ***
May 11, 2013, 12:20:46 pm
I searched via Google a little bit and found following :
Foscam Clone Recovery Tool
It looks like this Tool can read the flash content (at least the partitions) via RS232.
Here is a Link where it can be downloaded : http://blog.morrison.nl/2011/01/foscam-clone-recovery-part-2/

Unluckily i get an error message (0xc0000135) when i try to start the Program.
Maybe some Runitime library is missing on my PC. :-(

Anyway propably this program can help someone to recover his Camera (if he reads the firmware out of the device before playing around...)

IMHO. While I commend the author and creator of this tool for trying. Even they admit. There are issues with this tool. I would not depend on it, in the current state it is in.

As hard as it might be to believe. If you know where the camera was purchased, the seller. If you also know what version of system and Web UI software you currently have in your camera. You would be much better off, at this time. To deal with the seller.

If needed speak/email the person who currently is refusing you or plain not answering you about getting a copy of such firmware, which is currently in your camera. Go to their supervisor, and keep going up the food chain, if needed.

Examples:

I once had a situation with a respected sales person for Wansview cameras. I truly trusted them. I asked for the current firmware of what was inside a Wansview camera model I had ("Note: It was the initial version of firmware for the camera, when shipped. It was a new camera model"). They claimed they had NO access to that firmware version. I ended up dealing with tech support for Wansview. In one email, I now had my firmware version as an attachment, in the quick response, in that email. Yet, I argued, for many months, with the sales people, who all had the same story. That is was NOT possible to get that initial version of firmware. That if/when a firmware upgrade was available for the camera model, I COULD get it.

Once I even went so far as to do a "Whois" on the domain name of a company. Sent an email to the "Technical Contact" listed there. In one day I received the firmware I was looking for. That ALL other divisions in that same company told me, they had no ability to send. I started my email to this person with:

"You MUST be a very intelligent and trusted person by this company to be the Technical Contact for the companies entire website. I am contacting you specifically, because others in your company, have stated they are unable to locate the firmware for IP Camera model x, version y. You are my last hope on resolving this issue..."

In many cases. With many companies. The left hand does not know what the right hand has or is capable of providing. This is why it's important to "Walk the Food Chain" in that company. From sales to tech support, to customer service and maybe even doing searches on the company to locate who owns it, who is a VP, who sits on the board of directors. Locating their email addresses. Sending them an email, if required. All this takes time. But! It can be done.

Even in a worse case scenario. Assuming nobody is or has been helpful, following the above suggestions. Creating a serial interface, to walk your cameras memory. Albeit a very tedious process. You may find the ability to compare what currently is inside your camera as firmware to other brands, models and clones and after downloading their firmware. To see if you see anything that makes it appear that it in fact could be close or a complete copy of what you have as firmware in your camera. Even if what they use for system firmware versions or WEB UI versions have different numbers. Please see the next paragraph, on how to split downloaded firmware into components.

Sadly, there is nothing one can use or say, as a reference for all cases. If x = y then it's the same firmware. So, only you would be able to conclude how close, one version of firmware is to another. Meaning your camera. There are tools in the link below, which show how to split firmware versions into their components, so that you can compare other firmware versions, to what is currently inside your camera. At the image number level.

Your best bet, when all else fails. Is to see if you can create a proper and working serial connection to your camera. In order for you, to query as much detail and information, as you can. So that you can determine risks on how well a downloaded version of firmware, once spilt. Matches the current firmware in your camera. From one seller to another. From one brand, model to another or clone.

Here is one example of doing, just that: http://www.openipcam.com/forum/index.php/topic,473.0.html

It's very important to also realize.

As one example. That every Foscam MJPEG based IP camera has more than one hardware version for the same camera model. Taking this example brand into account. Due to PCB ("Printed Circuit Board") changes, including daughter PCB boards and other camera component changes, including what image sensors are used, as well as what wireless daughter boards are used. The same camera model numbers, can and DO have different requirements, based on component and PCB changes. As far as what firmware will work for what has/is sold as the same camera model number.

Because of this. Please never trust ANYTHING you stumble upon, that you read on the internet, that claims this firmware, available for download, from a 3rd party. WILL work for ALL camera models of BrandX.

One example of assuming otherwise: http://foscam.us/forum/new-firmware-version-for-released-mjpg-cameras-t3840.html#p18100

Don
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 02:08:01 pm by TheUberOverLord »

May 11, 2013, 04:20:37 pm
I know that propably i will never find a working firmware from another manufacturer.

The camera did not work very well before i flashed the wrong firmware into it.
(bad camera chip, bad wlan)
Another firmware will NOT improve that, i think.
It is already old now, doesnt have a real "brand", the company where i have bought doesnt exist anymore.

So - i have 2 possibilities :

1) throw it away; use the power adapter somewhere else...

2) play a little bit around with it; maybe compile a firmware by myself someday...


  • ***
May 11, 2013, 09:50:09 pm
I know that propably i will never find a working firmware from another manufacturer.

The camera did not work very well before i flashed the wrong firmware into it.
(bad camera chip, bad wlan)
Another firmware will NOT improve that, i think.
It is already old now, doesnt have a real "brand", the company where i have bought doesnt exist anymore.

So - i have 2 possibilities :

1) throw it away; use the power adapter somewhere else...

2) play a little bit around with it; maybe compile a firmware by myself someday...

If you remember the seller and the website name. If there was any firmware downloads. Using what's known as "The Way Back Machine". Even if the sellers website is no longer present. You may still be able to locate and download firmware for this camera here:

http://archive.org/web/web.php

At the risk of appearing sarcastic. Odds are not good, that you will be able to create/compile from scratch, a fully functional version of firmware for your specific camera. Supporting all functions and features it was capable of supporting. If you manage to pull this off. It truly, would be a first. Doing this successfully and perfectly, is a very complex and complicated, undertaking. Unless you happen to have all the source code, at your disposal.

Additionally. You may be surprised, that if you do diligent searches on the sellers name and brand and model of the camera, that someone, somewhere, is hosting a download of the firmware in question, or a earlier or later version. It might be worth the time to look.

If it were me ("And it's NOT") as one example of using a brand/sellers name to locate files stored in FTP directories, using Google. Here is example search criteria, using Foscam as the brand/sellers name:

Code: [Select]
"parent directory" + foscam
As you can see. Using the example above. There are many places to find firmware versions, available for download, for Foscam cameras. Besides only Foscam.com or other authorized resellers of Foscam.com. The same "Search Concept", may/might also apply, to your cameras firmware versions. Allowing you, to still locate the proper firmware for your camera. Even when, the original seller, is no longer in business.

Don
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 10:48:09 pm by TheUberOverLord »

May 12, 2013, 02:25:33 pm
Okay. I have tried now to contact the Company once again (via Amazon). The Product was called :

WiFi Lan/WLan zwei-Wege Audio Pan Tilt IP Kamera (Kutzen Sie die kamera mit Ihren Iphone 1G 2G 3G 3GS 4G oder smartphone)

There is NO hint who is the "real" manufacturer; neither a hint for a "real" Product ID or anything else.
I will make some fotos of the Box and the Stickers on the Camera and Post them the next days here.

  • ***
May 12, 2013, 10:24:10 pm
Okay. I have tried now to contact the Company once again (via Amazon). The Product was called :

WiFi Lan/WLan zwei-Wege Audio Pan Tilt IP Kamera (Kutzen Sie die kamera mit Ihren Iphone 1G 2G 3G 3GS 4G oder smartphone)

There is NO hint who is the "real" manufacturer; neither a hint for a "real" Product ID or anything else.
I will make some fotos of the Box and the Stickers on the Camera and Post them the next days here.

In your situation. Since your IP Camera is functioning, in some capacity. Anything you can do, to determine the brand and model can/could be helpful.

This includes:

1. Any model number on the box or included paper documentation or media included in the box.
2. Any transaction information available when your purchase of the IP Camera was done, debit/credit/paypal like information that may include the brand and model you purchased.

While you currently say your IP Camera model is a Hootoo. It can have many different hardware configurations, sold as different models or even the same model number.

Example: http://www.hootoo.com/downloads?SID=88dc560e6435e4e87faab47eaab4f45c#div_download-ht-ip006

You can even find a version of firmware for Hootoo based IP cameras here, in the file section. The question is. Is/Will it work for the hardware version of your camera model?

http://www.openipcam.com/files/Firmware/HooToo/

So depending on what wireless daughter board is being used. Installing the wrong firmware can cause a loss of wireless.

IMHO. I would NOT play Russian-Roulette with trying this and that firmware, without first trying the above, looking for a model number. In your case.

For others:

I suggest notating what the System and Web UI firmware versions are in your working IP camera. Even, when you may not know, what brand or model number it is. Prior to playing musical-chairs with other firmware versions, that you MAY/MIGHT think could/can ("somehow") make your camera function better than it currently seems to be.

I would even go so far as to say. Before installing any firmware in your IP Camera. That you might want to look for and download, what firmware is currently installed in your camera NOW. So, that you can attempt to revert back to what you had.

If it were me, and again it's not. I would even go so far as to determine, where images were located with my current firmware and also notate, what if any offsets those images had as execution requirements. So, that if it came to the point of restoring the original firmware in my IP Camera. Recovering my IP camera, using a serial interface, would be rather, pain free. Since I already had a copy of the firmware in my camera, saved somewhere, which I could split/use using a serial interface. Worse case.

Example: http://www.openipcam.com/forum/index.php/topic,473.0.html

This is NOT a game. When you take risks. You may suffer consequences. If you can't deal with those consequences. Which may include creating a serial interface to recover your IP camera. You might want to take a "Deep Breath" and think about what you might be getting into.

This does NOT apply to people who have bricked a camera, by simply attempting to upgrade from one proper firmware release to another.

I have a saying:

"It's one thing to be on the very edge of a cliff, on a tall mountain, on a windy and rainy day, standing on one leg, showing off to your friends, wearing a parachute. It's another thing, to do the same thing, while being totally naked."

So. Please don't always expect, in every case, the same "positive" and end results.

My background and reasons behind this saying: http://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfileByName&displayName=TheUberOverLord

Don

« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 12:25:36 am by TheUberOverLord »

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May 13, 2013, 02:46:22 am
Hi hollari,
I'm pretty sure your cam is a apexis model, most likely
http://www.apexis.com.cn/en/productsdetails_169.html
especially if the status led is white and the webUI has this unique design (see link).
You can find another apexis clone from pollin.de (incl. fw).

May 13, 2013, 03:09:02 am
Here are some other Fotos.
There is a small sticker on the box that says : "HOOTOO"

Maybe someone knows this webcam.


May 13, 2013, 08:08:21 am
I have now tried - once again - to flash the apexis firmware into the camera.
The firmware was named : J011_Firmware_17_22_2_36.bin
I have removed the first 20 bytes and split it into linux.zip and romfs like this :

dd if=J011_Firmware_17_22_2_36.bin of=linux.zip ibs=1 skip=20 count=786012
dd if=J011_Firmware_17_22_2_36.bin of=romfs ibs=1 skip=786032

Then flashed it into the camera :
FX 7 linux 0x7f020000 0x00008000 -acxz
FX 6 romfs 0x7f0E0000 0x7f0E0000 -a

Still the same.
See attatched LogFile !