PBP disappointment
#1
Hi everyone!
 
Two days ago I got my loooong awaited PBP machine. 
Turned it on, nothing happened. Put it away and did some reading about it. Then tried the second time and it started working. Filled in all the username/password/location, etc. things. Shut it down. Started up and of course asked me for the username and password. The username and password words are displayed on the lines of the boxes. Not in the boxes or outside of the boxes where the username and password supposed to be typed. To make the long story short, I tried every combination of usernames and passwords and obviously I can't go any further. 

Downloaded the Manjaro file, etched it on a 32G SD card.
Opened the back of the computer, switched the switch to disable the emmc and plugged in the SD card.
Nothing happened.
I took out the emmc module and tried to boot it up from the SD card; nothing.

I have the usb to emmc module from Pine.
WHY is not available FROM PINE, the SAME file (Manjaro), they install on the emmc in the computer, when they make the computer ready to ship, so anybody could REPROGRAM the emmc if necessary, like I need to do it now?
At least that is my conclusion, to start all over.

So far, the US$199.00 computer cost almost $400.00 Canadian coins. I could of got FOUR Raspberry Pi for that price and I never had any series problem with the Pi, like I have with the PBP.

"High hopes"!
That is what I had when I first heard about the Pine book about two years ago. It was a long wait and now "splash". Great disappointment. Not even heavy enough to use it for boat anchor.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faIeLL_1BeA

If anybody can help, please do so and thank you.
Needless to say, I am a beginner in the linux world. I looked and I couldn't find any file to copy into the emmc module. Is it available? 

There are people who know their "stuff" but can't explain and unable to teach what they know  to others and there are those who are great (I'll be nice), "explainers" but don't really know their "stuff". Both groups are useless to newbies.
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#2
1)  It would probably be an excellent idea to have a step by step guide in the newbie section of the forum.

2) I have not tried Manjaro on the Pinebook Pro, I started following Pine64 in September of 2019, and I ordered one immediately.

My first and second Pinebook Pro's came with the mrfixit's version of Debian, that was fairly simple to use and while I did have a few minor issues,  with the help of this forum I was able to resolve all the problems.

I still am using the mrfixit version of Debian, but I did recently test drive the latest release from Debian's website of the 'arm64'  on an sd card and it did run ok, even the wifi worked.

I have also tested the mrfixit/Debian (from the Pine wiki)  flashed to an sd card, and that does work for me.

When you say "etched" I assume you mean 'Balena Etcher' .?

You said you have the usb/eMMC  adapter ? 
 You should be able to use that adapter to flash a new operating system to your eMMC .
     ( There are a few  'ready to use'  operating systems in the wiki. )

 NOTE :  It is a different download for the sd card and for the eMMC.!  !

ALSO :  I just re-read your original post, you do NOT need to remove or turn-off your 
           eMMC to boot from the sd card..!
                 It will always boot first from the sd card "IF"  one is in the slot.

Good Luck
      LINUX = CHOICES
         **BCnAZ**
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#3
Try refitting the EMMC and turning it back on. Then try to boot an OS from the SD card.
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#4
I'm sorry that this is turning out to be a bad experience for you. I know how it feels when you feel like a purchase wasn't worth it or a good deal. That sucks...

However... being a 'linux newbie' I don't think you should have pulled the eMMC at all... your first problem was simply that you didn't know the proper login user name, which you setup.

I know it may feel like the OS/Pinebook Pro did that to you; but... you entered a username, had you typed it in correctly Manjaro would have logged you right in.. in fact, even if you didn't know it there were ways at finding it out - but we're beyond that now.

I think NOW, you can burn any PBP image that you like to an SD Card and boot via SD. I would suggest Manjaro because its what is supported at shipping.

Here are PBP OSes:
https://wiki.pine64.org/index.php?title=..._Downloads

You would download one, again I'd use Manjaro, and then use Balena Etcher to burn this to an SD card.

After you burn it to an SD card, insert to the PBP and get logged into Manjaro. Then, Manjaro has an applicaiton that will flash the OS to your eMMC. (Doing what you originally asked, to make the device as it was the day it shipped.)

The name of that command, which I just learned about, is:
manjaro-arm-flasher

You can find this in the add software application - or pamac - in the Manjaro GUI...

I haven't flashed this over yet, but assume that its pretty straightforward. I was given a link to a thread on Manjaro forums discussing it, tho:

https://forum.manjaro.org/t/manjaro-arm-flasher/26002

DO note that you need to unmount the eMMC first, before running manjaro-arm-flasher... in that manjaro.org forum thread, they discuss this at length.

I'm sorry your events have created issues - TBH I'm having issues right now with my BBS server on Raspberry Pi and trying to get it to boot from USB/SSD drive instead of an SD Card. I updated the eeprom, using the NEW way in raspi-config... copied over the SD card to SSD and rebooted. It was an utter failure; all the systemctl events were failing, and it wouldn't boot into GUI. Then, I flashed over a STOCK raspberry pi os to the SSD and it booted, but had errors and was running stupid slow; long story short, I hadn't updated my system with sudo apt upgrade before, and it ended up being USER ERROR...

I know that sucks to hear, but if we get rid of USER ERROR, these devices perform. Let me know if you get beyond this issue. You CAN get manjaro on that eMMC just like it was on day 1 - and I hope you have a better experience.

Mine was the opposite with PBP. I turned it on and got logged into Manjaro... fine.
Then I flashed some OSes to SD Card and have been playing around with different ones... everything went easily.
I haven't opened the case yet, and don't plan to until way later... for me, the PBP is less of a tinker toy and more of an ARM based laptop to be used and compatible WITH my tinker toys. (Raspberry Pi projects, etc.)

Do let us know if you iron out your PBP issues. I think these devices are nice, and hate hearing a negative experience. Sorry.
-----
 pAULIE42o
.  .  .  .   .  . .
/s
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#5
First, the password problem was probably a locale problem. Because the password is hidden you don't realise that you're pressing the "wrong" keys. But it's too late to worry about that.

You *do* sometimes have to remove the eMMC to boot from SD. The SD boot priority is lower than the eMMC by default. But in this case, since the eMMC was booting, it shouldn't have been necessary.

Slow down and be patient; it's easy to bugger things up on these machines, and unbuggering them is simple if you really know what you're doing. But if you don't really know what you're doing, is eat to get it wrong.
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#6
Quote:So far, the US$199.00 computer cost almost $400.00 Canadian coins. I could of got FOUR Raspberry Pi for that price and I never had any series problem with the Pi, like I have with the PBP.
sigh. why I feel the quoted line is the ultimate reason of your post? maybe because I've seen similar moaning with not so hidden advertizement of RPi before? you know, you could have gotten nothing for 0 canadian coins, and had 0 problems with it. imagine. My guess is that PBP just got offended by you, for mentioning RPi where that wasn't needed at least to say. The solution for you - give it to me, I don't like RPi, have 0 coins (any), and a million plans with it, I bet, we would get friends with it. Tongue But seriously, you obviously need to learn. wiki, forum search, chats. learn, ask, not complain.
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#7
a development product requires development capability. this stuff isnt hard, but it does require effort.
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#8
Linux tyro..., well it is ALWAYS worth trying to get a vt (virtual terminal)
Much can be fixed and trouble-shot from command line
If you can't get vt, either the computer is not booted or video problems, bad display
From X,, press, HOLD control & alt, + F key,, F2 -> F6 (not F1, F7, F8->F12)
Be persistent, maybe because of systemd might have to do twice, try another
Once I had to C-A-F3, C-A-F3, C-A-F2,, I don't know why (I did get vt)
Then, at login prompt, type password to see if looks OK (or locale is wrong or a dead key)
Don't press enter, backspace it away, try to login (both user:password must be exactly right)
Then startx or startplasma or sudo init 5 or ......
If it is a display manager (dm) problem, you may wish to remove sddm & install lightdm
(or, there are several others, nodm, gdm, lxdm, xdm, whatever, use package manager)
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#9
(09-19-2020, 09:37 PM)bcnaz Wrote: 1)  It would probably be an excellent idea to have a step by step guide in the newbie section of the forum.

2) I have not tried Manjaro on the Pinebook Pro, I started following Pine64 in September of 2019, and I ordered one immediately.

My first and second Pinebook Pro's came with the mrfixit's version of Debian, that was fairly simple to use and while I did have a few minor issues,  with the help of this forum I was able to resolve all the problems.

I still am using the mrfixit version of Debian, but I did recently test drive the latest release from Debian's website of the 'arm64'  on an sd card and it did run ok, even the wifi worked.

I have also tested the mrfixit/Debian (from the Pine wiki)  flashed to an sd card, and that does work for me.

When you say "etched" I assume you mean 'Balena Etcher' .?

You said you have the usb/eMMC  adapter ? 
 You should be able to use that adapter to flash a new operating system to your eMMC .
     ( There are a few  'ready to use'  operating systems in the wiki. )

 NOTE :  It is a different download for the sd card and for the eMMC.!  !

ALSO :  I just re-read your original post, you do NOT need to remove or turn-off your 
           eMMC to boot from the sd card..!
                 It will always boot first from the sd card "IF"  one is in the slot.

Good Luck

=================================

bcnaz:   "It would probably be an excellent idea to have a step by step guide in the newbie section of the forum."

----------------------------------------------

Spot on!

Seeing a lot of natural and very common newbie questions many of which have been addressed and answered somewhere in the forum.
Many newcomers to the forum don't realize that "Search" is their friend and that many answers are buried in the various forum threads.

Any way to steer them into efficient use of the forum and towards resolution of their problems/questions is to everyones advantage.

The Wiki is great but it would seem that a clearly designated newbie forum thread for each Pine64 Product could be very useful saving many newcomers considerable frustration and time.  Besides, happy community members are the goal for all of us that wish Pine64's bold experiment long term success.

In fairness to all newbies I think its fair to say that it is sometimes tedious and requires some patience to find and isolate the pertinent information for a particular issue and will only beome more so as the forum's posting data grows.

All of this offered by someone who is still but a newbie!  Ha!
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#10
@Page { size: 8.27in 11.69in; margin: 0.79in } p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 115%; background: transparent }
I took out the computer from Hell PBP today.


The last time I forgot to mention that it didn’t do anything when it wasn’t plugged in and battery power showed 98%.


Today I wanted to start up again and NOTHING!
Took the back cover off, switched the emmc switch to the other position, took out the SD card and NOTHING!
Then, I pressed the “Reset” botton.


When there is no SD card plugged in and the emmc switch is in the emmc position, it started to boot from emmc and of course asked for username/password crap.
Then, plugged in the SD card and NOTHING.
Took out the SD card and NOTHING.


Again, I’ll have to take the cover off, push the “Reset” button and I’m sure it will want to boot again into the emmc, as it did before.


By the way, when I set it up the first time, the username or password was “rock/rock”.
I CHANGED that to what I wanted to be but when the final page came up in the setup process, showing what I typed in for username/password, etc., the “rock/rock” DID NOT CHANGE to what I typed in.


I DO NOT want to use the emmc but the SD card as the emmc “straps” me down. I want an operating system that I can change instantly, which is the operating system on an SD card today. USB would be preferred though.
I am not anal about “security” and “privacy” crap either, because both of them are nothing but ILLUSIONS. None of them exist today.


Even if the computer would start up from emmc, I would want to change it to SD card boot-up. So, being unable to pass by the username/password block is meaningless. I don’t want emmc but SD.
Is there any boot-up info on the emmc, so it is necessary to have it installed, even when booting from SD?


*******


Paulie420”
Thanks for your input!
You are absolutely right; “for me, the PBP is less of a tinker toy and more of an ARM based laptop to be used and compatible WITH my tinker toys. (Raspberry Pi projects, etc.)”
FYI
I read or heard it somewhere, that if you chose to install the package that boots the Pi from USB, if something goes wrong, the Pi becomes useless.


********


I wanted to have a fully operational linux laptop, to get away from that damnable, inferior windows monstrosity. The Raspberry Pi did that but it is not a laptop machine. If I would be able to THROW OUT the rock board that doesn’t rock at all and install the Pi, I would not hesitate for a moment.


One can’t do too much with the PBP, as far as hardware hacking goes. The Raspberry Pi is really the platform for hardware hackings and projects.


I’m going to try to etch (Yes, with Balena etcher) another SD card but as of now, the long awaited PBP is collecting dust...until I go out and do some target shooting.


Thanks again for everybody who had or has any meaningful input to solve this problem...if solvable.
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