MC7455 in QDL mode

Bjørn Mork bjorn at
Wed Nov 22 08:59:53 UTC 2017

Bjørn Mork <bjorn at> writes:

> I believe the bootloader places the modern in some sort of debug mode
> when it falls to boot. And it speaks a different protocol (Sahara?) in
> this mode. You can download a memory dump using the ramdump tool from
> the SDK. Unfortunately, the firmware tools don't speak this protocol.
> But you can switch to a mode which allows firmware updates using some
> magic Sahara command. I have done this once a long time ago. Will see
> if I can find my notes from back then.

OK, found it.  But I see that I made a run-once-for-me-only tool, which
was too heavily inspired by the ramdump tool from the SDK.  Which means
that it is copyrighted Sierra Wireless, and not distributable in any
form AFAICS.  So I cannot provide you with that, unfortunately.

But luckily, the most interesting parts of it did not come from the
SDK.  I found them here:

This header is particularily useful, and GPL:

The necessary pseudo code is something along these lines:

- probe sahara protocol support by sending a "switch mode" command (0x0C)
- if it responds with a sahara "hello" (0x01) then continue
- send "hello response" (0x02)
- send "switch mode" (0x0C) again, requesting command mode (0x03)
- send "hello response" (0x02) again on successful mode switch
- send "cmd exec" (0x0D), where the command to execute is either "switch
  to DMSS" (0x04) or "switch to stream dload" (0x05)

You'll find all the emums and structs in the referenced header file.
That's supposed to be all.  I don't remember which one of the dload
protocols I had success with.  Looks like I implemented both to be

The above might be a unecessarily complicated.  I'm not sure you need to
go through the "hello" exchange twice, for example.  But it worked for

I guess minimalistic sahara support would be a nice addition to
qmi-firmware-update.  At least enough to detect the protocol and
(opionally?) switch to one of the supported download protocols.


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