Create and Use and USB Recovery

In the very rare case your device becomes ‘bricked’ - I recommend you try creating a recovery USB:

Download the latest image file. 5-CAP Image – Google Drive

Burn the image file to a 16GB or larger USB flash drive using free ‘imageUSB’ software.

Plug the USB drive into the back of the Intel CAP and power on.

Imaging process should begin and take about 8 minutes. Confirm the little blue light stays lit during the process. Slow flashing of the 3 waving lights.

It will be blank and the 3 waves will be solid once complete.

Power off the unit by holding the button for 3 seconds, remove the USB, add Internet connectivity, and turn the device back on.

I see two files in the download folder. I’m only going to use the RACHEL_recovery_USB, right?

You’ll want CAP RACHEL Install v2.0, before you do, @jfield can you confirm this won’t wipe his content?

Sorry, no. The Install v2.0 is intended for fresh installs only: it WILL format the hard drive and wipe any content that is there.

The next version will have a “recovery” option like we did for the original CAP.

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I am updating some older RACHEL Plus (CAP1) units. I used the “RACHEL_Recovery_USB_1-2-16_9.1.1_20161205” image, with method 2 (I clone the 500 GB HDD later). However, I notice that after imaging the eMMC the RACHEL Home page does NOT display the nice battery meter and IP addresses that recent RACHEL Plus units we purchased have. Also it doesn’t appear the Admin update/hide module feature works.
I also have to manually update Ka-Lite from 0.16.9 to 0.17.0 (which also means downloading a complete new language pack with videos and exercises).
Is there a later version of the USB Recovery image that works on the CAP1 devices that includes these features, or do you have tips on what files I could copy from a properly working RACHEL Plus to a re-formatted one to fix the battery meter and other issues?
BTW, I also tried using the latest USB Recovery image for the CAP2 model on one of these earlier CAP1 models, but it would not boot the USB drive to install at all (not surprising as I know the CAP2 has more memory, different CPU, and runs Ubuntu 14 instead of 12). So what are the options for updating the older CAP1?

I think @jfield is still just in process of merging the CAP2.0 content shell into GitHub officially, with compatibility for both devices. Just a time capacity issue on our end right now.

NOTE! The following is for CAPv1 (model numbers WRTD-303N).

Version 9.1.1 of the RACHEL Recovery USB does include the latest front page updates. If you do not see it, it could mean one of two things: (1) either you need to Ctrl-Refresh the webpage when at or (2) the installer couldn’t install the files it needed on the USB recovery for you to properly display the latest version of the frontpage. When that happens, it defaults to the last version that is known to work with the installed version.

UPDATE - Latest RACHEL Recovery USB published here.

I have a WRTD-303N. I could not find 9.1.1 and so from your citation I’ve just downloaded RACHEL_Recovery_USB_1-2-16_v9.2.0_20170420.img and followed the instructions at! to create the recovery USB.

The end of the instructions lists the timings of the wifi/dot lights and none of them correspond with what I am experiencing: 15s quick flash wifi (no dot), 15s solid wifi (no dot), continuous wifi breathing (no dot). Same reports in six attempts. Nothing corresponds with the documentation.

I know it says that the boot doesn’t happen 30% of the time, but it isn’t happening for me 100% of the time. Any ideas of what I should do?

Thanks for the guidance! . . . . . . . Ken

Okay … the 9th time through (after a jiggle of the USB stick) the load happened with different timings than expected, but the end result was as expected.

However, I can get the administrator interface at port 8080, I can get the lesson interface at port 8090, but on port 80 I get “404 - Not Found”. This is both through the wired LAN and through the wireless.

What might be missing from the recovery USB to give a 404? I can SSH into the box … where is the home page?

Thanks! . . . . . Ken

USB drives can be finicky sometimes. Since you can ssh into the box, please post the output of the following commands:

fdisk -l
df -h
cat /var/log/rachel/rachel-scripts.log

Also, please post the log file from the install USB. When you plug the USB into your computer, you should be able to see the log file called “update.log”


Thanks, Sam, for such a prompt response! I don’t see an attachment option for replies so I’ve posted the two files here in a temporary directory: I will delete the directory when you are done with the files.

I looked at them. The hard drive on the CAP didn’t mount which is why you can’t see any RACHEL stuff.

Was this a RACHEL-Plus when you bought it or was this a plain CAP?

In it’s default mode, the USB will only work successfully with a RACHEL installed CAP. If it was a RACHEL, did you have any modules installed? We can figure it out either way.

Couple questions:

  • How did you image the USB?
  • What program or method did you follow?
  • What OS did you burn it with?
  • Did you check the MD5 of the image prior to burning?

The Windows tool I recommend has a function that will do that as well. The MD5s are on the Google Drive where you downloaded the image.

I purchased two RACHEL-Plus boxes in December 2015. The second one is in Tanzania. I have to bring mine up-to-date in order to swap out with the one in TZ which will come back to me and I’ll bring that up-to-date when it arrives.

Jonathan hand-crafted some fixes on mine, but because I don’t want to impose on him again to hand-craft the fixes on the second unit when it comes back, I felt it necessary to use the Recovery image on mine and simply use the Recovery image on the TZ box when I get it. Apparently, the December 2015 box doesn’t have sqlite on it: Add or Update Content - RACHEL-Plus 2017 Software Release

Any modules would only be the ones that were default in December 2015. There was no module management software back then.

My assumption from the top message in this thread was that a “bricked” box would be made whole by using the Recovery image. So I thought regardless of the state of the system, even patched as accomplished by Jonathan, all I simply had to do was use the Recovery process on my box, ship it to TZ and then do it again on the TZ box that comes back.

The process you folks have pulled together is very straightforward and easy to follow.

Some answers:

  • I followed the instructions at:! (and noted that the indicator light timings were quite different)
  • default method as downloaded: method="1" # 1=Recovery (DEFAULT), 2=Imager, 3=Format
  • OSX Sierra: sudo dd if=/Users/admin/t/RACHEL_Recovery_USB_1-2-16_v9.2.0_20170420.img of=/dev/rdisk2 bs=1m
  • from my Terminal history I noted that it matched: ~/t $ md5 RACHEL_Recovery_USB_1-2-16_v9.2.0_20170420.img MD5 (RACHEL_Recovery_USB_1-2-16_v9.2.0_20170420.img) = ab5634dd94676ea88357efc60eef900a ~/t

Thank you for all your time with this, Sam. I’m confident it will help other users who have old boxes or “bricked” boxes if the Recovery process accommodates the most number of situations.

. . . . . Ken

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All that looks good…couple thoughts:

  • I have had great success bringing back a broken/bricked RACHEL with the USB in Method 1 (where hardware is not the cause)
  • Some USBs are more temperamental than others; I would recommend trying a different brand, if you were to have those problems again (not the cause of your current situation which I describe below). I have had good success with Patriot, Silicon Power, and Kingston.

However, in your case, I believe the purchase date gives away your challenge. You purchased these when we used a very different partition schema for the hard drive. In our Google Drive here, there is an archive folder. In that folder is an image called That image should bring your RACHEL-Plus back to life. Unfortunately, we have not maintained that version of our image since July 2016. The main reason is that we were not effectively utilizing the hard drive partitions and made a organizational decision to move to a new schema that provides more space to RACHEL modules.

You have a couple options if you wish to move to the new schema:

  • If you have a large internet connection, you can run your current RACHEL Recovery USB in Method 3 and then use either the web interface or the RACHEL configure script (found on the RACHEL in /root) to download the modules you need. The RACHEL configure script allows you to download modules en masse.

  • If you don’t have a large internet connection, I would recommend that you use plug in a large USB 3.0 external hard drive to RACHEL and copy off your module folder (they are located at /media/RACHEL/rachel/modules). Then use RACHEL Recovery USB in Method 3. Once the imaging is complete, copy your module folder back over to RACHEL.

I’d be happy to walk you through it any of it.

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Thank you, Sam, I am up and running now with the new module interface by using Method 3. No spare hard disk available, so a bunch of downloads ahead (thankfully my ISP has free downloads from 2am to 8am that do not count against my monthly cap).

One observation: the home page link “View and Upload Content” was where I went looking for the module interface. I did not realize until hunting around that it was under the “Admin” link.

I very much appreciate the guidance. . . . . . . . . Ken

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Hi, I can’t seem to find the newest Recovery USB image that you’re referring to as “RACHEL_Recovery_USB_1-2-16_v9.2.0_20170420.img”

I do see something by that name in Sam’s google drive folder but it’s a document. I have 9.1.1 downloaded. Should I wait for the newer one?

I obtained from here:

I finally downloaded the last of the 300Gb of modules (my son works the night shift!) and installed my own custom module and with more testing I’ll be shipping mine to Tanzania soon.

That’s great @gkholman – did you use the web interface in the admin panel to download the modules?

Yes. Took three nights of my son engaging the transfers.

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