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Old 03-02-2012, 10:17 AM   #1
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Need help with Red Hat Machine!

Hello, I have a Play Network c400 hard drive player. Pictures here:

This machine costs $500 from Play Network and is required for all Starbucks stores nationwide. I had mine for 1 year before it stopped working. The extent of the technical support that Play Network gave me once it stopped working was "turn it off and then back on again" and when that didn't solve the problem, they insisted I purchase another machine for $500...

As you can see from the images, the machine is more than just a music player, even though that is all it's used for in my store. It is actually a full-fledged PC. I hooked up a monitor and booted it and it turns out it is running Red Hat Linux.

It boots through lots of stuff but then eventually gives a bunch of file system errors (something about allocating blocks), says kernel panic, and then changes to read only mode and just hangs there...So it seems the machine is fine, minus the IDE hard drive. Play Network refused to sell me just a hard drive and insisted I purchase the entire machine for the full price.

The BIOS is password protected and the USB / mouse / keyboard modules are missing during the Red Hat boot, so while they work in the BIOS screen, they are disabled starting with the GRUB and on through the boot sequence. I am attempting to reset the BIOS password by removing the CMOS battery (jumpers method didn't work), but an initial 30-minute attempt failed, so now I'll leave it out for an hour...

Is there anything I can do? How can I repair the hard drive? If I purchase/download Red Hat, could I create a recovery CD? Is there some way to slave the HD to a functioning PC and then inspect/repair the file system that way?

I am 100% new to Linux and would appreciate any help you can offer.

Old 03-02-2012, 11:55 AM   #2
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Why not call your franchise contact at Starbucks and complain about what Play Networks is telling you? Does Play not have support contracts? If they do then any "replacement" should be covered - if they say you need a whole new system then they should provide it as part of the support contract.

Many systems have what is called "embedded" Linux and often enough it is based on RedHat but may have been modified significantly from the original. Often enough you can't even really get to root level on them or many of the basic utilities installed on a full fledged system aren't available.

If you do get past the BIOS password and it IS a full version of RedHat Enterprise Linux then what typically happens is during boot it runs fsck to check the filesystem and if it fails on root (/) then it mounts root but only read/only. You can try running "mount -o rw,remount /" to remount the filesystem after you are at a root (#) prompt. If that works you can try running "fsck -y /" to run a full filesystem check of root. The "-y" tells it to answer yes to any questions the fsck generates. These questions are fairly esoteric and often numerous so it is usually best to do the "-y" unless you're a very high level Linux person.

I'm afraid the most likely issue is that your hard drive has failed and if that is the case you may not be able to recover easily and the "fsck -y" will fail.

Note that if the "fsck -y" on / succeeds there may be other filesystems that also fail on fsck (e.g. /opt, /usr, /home) and if so you can just run the same command (e.g. fsck -y /home) to check them.
Old 03-02-2012, 11:42 PM   #3
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I have no idea what the purchase agreement or licensing are on these devices, but you SHOULD find out before you dig into this. If trying to troubleshoot the problem yourself violates the agreement, you COULD find yourself in court. Starbucks is NOT going to back you up if you have violated a policy or agreement that they are required to support.

The support level from the vendor should shame everyone associated with the company, but they may be on more firm legal ground than you!

Take care.
Old 10-07-2012, 09:13 PM   #4
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This is what I did to reclaim the system

Find the epia0207.BIN on's website and apply the updated bios, then I reset the bios password.
Getting into the system is a bit more involved. You will need to remove the motherboard from the system and plug in a keyboard into the PS2 port, since they have disabled USB keyboard and mouse.
Now reset root password.
When system boots up select the Kernel (Default Line) Press E to edit
Select the second line and press E to edit the entry.
append S to the line and press enter
now press b inorder to boot
Once booted type passwd in order to reset the root password
now type sync
then reboot
you should now be able to login to your system and run what ever you need to.
I'm trying to figure out how they configure the system i've been able to get to the music and filesystem
but still don't understand completely how they get it all to work together.


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