Kindle DX crashed when copying new dictionary file

I’ve come across yet another way to crash Kindle DX: connect it via USB cable to your PC and try copying over a dictionary file. After copying around 2MB of data Kindle drive disconnects from the computer, Kindle goes into home screen and then freezes. I discovered this when trying to copy over Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary without using WhisperNet (since I’m currently outside the coverage zone).

The bug was pretty consistent regardless of which folder I tried to copy the file to. However after I’ve successfully copied the file over (I’ll explain how in a second) I couldn’t get my Kindle DX to crash with this file again. Copying the same file to Kindle 2 also worked out fine.

I’ve noticed that once some portion of file was copied you can append to it and it will not cause crashes. So I used robocopy.exe to resume the copy operation. To do it you need to put the file you want to copy in a separate folder and then run robocopy.exe /z . k:\documents after resetting your Kindle DX, assuming K: is your Kindle drive letter. If you are running Windows Vista it already comes with robocopy installed, for other versions you can download it here.

After the process was complete it seems that my Kindle works fine and there is no lasting damage. However if you would like to try reproducing this bug please to it at your own risk as your mileage may vary. Let me know if you experience something similar.

Later I did some additional testing and found out that other dictionaries would crash Kindle DX in the same way as well and for some dictionary files the robocopy workaround doesn’t seem to work. I’ve notified Amazon so hopefully it will get fixed sometime soon. With any luck this had already happened in Kindle 2.1.1 update that some people are getting already and that’s listed in the Kindle source code section along with Kindle 2.0.4 update.

Kindle DX crashed in PDF viewer

Looks like I’ve found a bug in Kindle DX PDF viewer: any time I open the second page of this PDF file Kindle DX would go into quick reboot. When it comes out of the reboot all of the items are gone from the home screen. To get them back I needed to create some dummy text file to force folder rescan.

It would be nice if someone could try to reproduce this crash and confirm that this problem is not specific to my Kindle. A word of warning though – although there seemed to be no lasting damage to my device and all my files were intact as well this kind of crashes (I would guess a buffer overflow or NULL pointer dereference) have potential for damaging the data. So if you feel like reproducing this bug do it at your own risk.

I’ll also follow up on this issue with Amazon and keep you posted on the progress.

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