A new lease of life for Mi Pad

Xiaomi’s Mi Pad was launched in 2015 to the global markets with above average specs. Unfortunately being a 4-year-old product means sooner or later development and support for it was going to end sooner or later – another consequence of the fast-paced nature of smartphone-tablet market. The last official build was MIUI 7 based on Android Kitkat (China version was supported up to MIUI 9).

Frankly, although the Mi Pad sported the decent NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor, paired with a measly (by today’s standard) 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM (now THIS is terrible…), it does come with a high resolution 1080p IPS screen (326PPI). This makes it a rather good media consumption device. A few months ago, I decided to dust off a couple of Mi Pads that I had and started to look for third party ROMs that can extend Mi Pad’s usefulness. Below are the steps which I used to flash LineageOS Unofficial 15.1 (Android Oreo), for my own benefit when reflashing in future. It’s a combination of steps I found from multiple sources, combined with my own experiences. For those who may be unfamiliar with this Android Distribution, LineageOS is the successor to the custom ROM CyanogenMod.

Downloads

Files that need to be downloaded (links can be found online):

  • mocha_repartition_1_2GB_RahulTheVirus.zip: Keep as zip. This is needed to merge the two partitions, or Gapps can’t be installed.
  • TosForPSCI-0.1: This needs to be unzipped to img, for flashing using fastboot.
  • recovery-03.11.2018.img: For some reasons, newer versions of TWRP recovery didn’t seem to work reliably so I am sticking with this slightly older version.
  • lineage-15.1-20181228-UNOFFICIAL-mocha: Keep as zip file, install from within recovery.
  • Gapps: I have found one tablet, pengapps-pico (needs to be arm, not arm64) worked but not on another, but MindTheGapps worked consistently so I am sticking with this version.
  • SmokeR24.1-stable(31.12.2018-12.56): Keep as zip, install from within recovery. This must be installed at the end or touchscreen won’t work during initial set up.

Once custom recovery has been flashed, I’d suggest pushing items 4-6 to /sdcard for faster installation.

adb push filename /sdcard

Installation

  • Change active system to partition 1.
  • Go into fastboot mode, and flash tos and TWRP custom recovery.
  • fastboot flash tos your-path-to-tos.img
    fastboot flash recovery your-path-to-recovery-03.11.2018.img

  • Reboot to recovery. I found it was necessary to hold on to the volume button for another 5-10 seconds after Mi logo has appeared.
  • fastboot reboot WHILE holding vol+ button.

  • Merge system partition
  • Reboot to recovery. A couple of times this took up to 20 minutes to restart. Keep Mipad charged in the meantime.
  • Full wipe: system, cache, data, dalvik
  • Flash current LineageOS build
  • Flash Gapps
  • Flash touchscreen hot fix
  • Reboot tablet.

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