How to fix Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 with SpenCommand (and maybe otherapps) due to wrongly assigned MAC address (00:90:4c:c5:12:38) on Lineage OS

So few days back I got used Note 10.1 2014 as it was best bang for the buck. Unfortunately, it runs old Android 5.1 which is latest official release to day (and ever). As I for both usage and security reasons I decided to update to latest Lineage OS 14.1 (formerly Cyanogenmod).

One of the drawbacks of Lineage is not complete support for Spen. Don’t get me wrong, spen works fine to draw in some apps, but does not show hover cursor, button doesn’t work, etc… I wanted full functionality and found out, that best app to do so is SpenCommand.

For SpenCommand you need to have rooted device – I won’t get into specifics how to root, there is plenty of articles about that. I went with SuperSU variant.

Unfortunately after rooting and running SpenCommand, it did not work. The error given, after few minutes of „searching“ wait sign, was „unable to find initial hardware information“. In beta version, similar information was shown directly in app after about 30s.

I got in touch with developer via facebook (whow, how fast this guy replies to requests 🙂 and found out, that issue might be with Wifi, as it’s used to detect the device.

At this time, I found out, that my wifi has been assigned MAC address 00:90:4c:c5:12:38, which is not original MAC of my device, but rather some default/generic one (you can google for it and see many people have issue with that).

And now the important part. HOW TO FIX THIS? 🙂

What’s required:

1. Backup /efs folder

If you haven’t done so already, this is always recommended, as damaging anything in this folder can lead to tons of problems. Hopefully it’s not damaged already :))

2. Get your original WiFi MAC address

Either from the box or it should be located in /efc/wifi/.mac.cob or .mac.info. It should be something like this: 4C:A5:6D:19:6A:51

3a. Change your device MAC Address – simple solution

There is simple solution, like using some Mac Changer app. Using HARD CHANGE worked for me, but it did have to be done after each restart.

After doing so, you can run SpenCommand and it should work just fine.

3b. Change your device MAC Address – little bit more complicated solution

MAC address is stored in a file, in my case it’s in Two:
/system/etc/wifi/nvram_mfg.txt
/system/etc/wifi/nvram_net.txt

So with each of these file, do the following – open the in some ROOT explorer app (total commander mentioned earlier) and locate this line:
macaddr=00:90:4c:c5:12:38
and change it to the MAC address you located earlier. In my case:
macaddr=4C:A5:6D:19:6A:51

Tip: you can just duplicate line and comment the original one using #
Save file and done 🙂

There is a possibility (I had this issue), that you will not be able to write (save) file directly to /system/etc/wifi as even with root the Total Commander wont be allowed. I’m not sure why, but guess it’s some kind of not using busybox and SELinux issue. In this case, proceed as follow:

  1. copy the two files to /sdcard (or any other location, just remember it)
  2. make the changes in copied files
  3. open up Terminal application (mentioned earlier)
  4. type in su to get ROOT permissions
  5. type in busybox mount -o rw,remount system to mount system for writing
  6. copy the files to proper location using cp /sdcard/nvram_mfg.txt /system/etc/wifi/ and cp /sdcard/nvram_net.txt /system/etc/wifi/

The original files should be now replaced. Restart the device and you should be good to go.

You’ll probably need to do this each time you flash a new ROM till it’s fixed. (I’ll file this as a bug to Lineage team, so hopefuly it’s fixed soon).

Posted in Android, Mobile, Technology and tagged , , , , .

3 Comments

    • Hey,

      I’m actually not sure… this file in EFS should be there. If it’s not, than maybe your EFS partition got damaged. It’s stores some critical infromation which might get deleted when flashing some ROM. I’m not even sure you can restore it actually… it’s always receommended to backup it prior to doing anything like flashing or rooting a device :/ Maybe try to search for some EFS restore on XDA or something like that. Only other place where to find MAC I can think of is the box :)) Or you can use some made up one coming from other NOTE 10 device, I guess it should work as well.

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