PBP won’t boot from eMMC after Debian update / Tow-Boot installer won’t boot from SD
#1
For 2 years I’ve been running Debian 10 Buster on my PBP, installed, with encryption, on the eMMC with Daniel Thompson’s awesome installer (thank you Daniel!!). The PBP is my daily driver.

Last week I tried upgrading to Debian 11 Bullseye following the instructions on the Debian website (https://www.debian.org/releases/bullseye...de-process). All seemed to go smoothly until it came to rebooting, which unfortunately only produced a green power LED and a black screen.

I tried installing Tow-Boot, hoping I could salvage something with that or otherwise do a clean install of Debian 11. Unfortunately booting from the Tow-Boot installer SD card fails in the same way: Only the power LED lights, otherwise nothing happens. I tried 2 different SD cards (both Kingston 32 GB Class 10 U1 though) and wrote the spi.installer.img to the cards using both dd and the disks utility.

I can boot Bullseye from a similar SD (previously created with Daniel Thompsons installer) though. Undecided

I recorded the upgrade with “script” as per 4.4.1 in the Debian upgrade instructions but don’t really know what to look for.

I’ve been a linux user for around 15 years, happy to use the command line for simple things and to fix problems with instructions found online but otherwise very much a GUI person. I can’t really find any information relating to my 2 problems so I’m more than a bit out of my depth here.

Is there anyone with an idea what I’m doing wrong?
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#2
can you chroot into your existing debian install from the SD install to view system logs?
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#3
(04-26-2022, 11:23 AM)tophneal Wrote: can you chroot into your existing debian install from the SD install to view system logs?

Hi tophneal. While I’m reading up on chroot: From the SD I can unlock and mount the eMMC and I seem to have access to all the directories and files.
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#4
To chroot I'm trying to follow the steps I found here:
https://superuser.com/questions/111152/w...stallation
I'm already getting stuck at the second step though:
Quote:/$ sudo mount -t ext4 /dev/mmcblk2p6 /mnt
mount: /mnt: /dev/mmcblk2p6 already mounted or mount point busy.
I unmounted mmcblk2p6 but keep getting the same reply.

EDIT:
Okay, that was because the LUKS filesystem was still unlocked..

With guidance from:
https://archived.forum.manjaro.org/t/how...tion/10760
Quote:cd /
/$ sudo cryptsetup open --type luks /dev/mmcblk2p6 crypto
/$ sudo mount /dev/mapper/crypto /mnt
/$ sudo mount /dev/mmcblk2p5 /mnt/boot
/$ sudo mount /dev/mmcblk2p4 /mnt/boot/efi
/$ sudo mount -t proc proc /mnt/proc
/$ sudo mount -t sysfs sys /mnt/sys
/$ sudo mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev
/$ sudo mount -o bind /run /mnt/run
/$ sudo mount -t devpts pts /mnt/dev/pts/
/$ sudo cp /etc/resolv.conf /mnt/etc/resolv.conf
/$ sudo chroot /mnt
root@PBPD11:/#
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#5
Regarding Tow-Boot, I did find this:

https://github.com/Tow-Boot/Tow-Boot/issues/18

Apparently it is possible to install Tow-Boot to SPI with nandwrite.

Will it help me/do I need it though?
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#6
it may not. towboot is certainly best used on the SPI. it's not exactly a recovery tool, more like a more user-friendly bootloader option. i also had a rough start getting my towboot install SDs to boot. Surprisingly i had to use a class 4 sd card to get it to boot and install for me.

my first guess would be to replace/write the uboot from the debian 11 repos to the emmc (could be a newer kernel not playing well with an older uboot.) if this is the issue, towboot could help you if installed to the SPI. the PBP will find it before the uboot on the emmc and use towboot to start up the OS.
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#7
Quote:(...) towboot could help you if installed to the SPI. the PBP will find it before the uboot on the emmc and use towboot to start up the OS.

I was hoping it would work like that. Thank you for confirming!



Quote:Surprisingly i had to use a class 4 sd card to get it to boot and install for me.


Thanks for the tip! Shops are closed here today so I've ordered one as it seems an easier path for me than


Quote:(...) to replace/write the uboot from the debian 11 repos to the emmc (could be a newer kernel not playing well with an older uboot.)

While I'm waiting for the SD card to arrive I'm trying to figure out how to replace/write uboot from the repos. Doing a search for u-boot in Synaptic on Bullseye from the SD card u-boot-menu is the only hit. Installed is version 4.0.3 which is also the latest version. Using chroot on the eMMC gave me this:


Quote:root@PBPD11:/# sudo apt list u-boot-menu
Listing... Done
u-boot-menu/stable,now 4.0.3 all [installed]

I guess that means that replacing uboot probably won't change much? Fingers crossed for the new SD card!



Having access to the eMMC, is there any specific log I could look at (and does it matter if it is through chroot or just using the file manager from the SD card)?
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#8
u-boot-menu does not do what you seem to think it does
It has no u-boot or idbloader in it
Just to set up extlinux.conf
It is hard to know just what version uboot is, but you can use dd to copy it out
something like dd if=/dev/emmc of=uboot.sav bs=1M skip=4 count=4 (in a directory where you want it to be)
Then, with gui hexeditor search thru it
BTW, idbloader on SPI is different than when on emmc, starts at 0, somehow expanded with 0-filled sectors
I think uboot unchanged, but??? at 6M (not sure) instead of 8M
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#9
Thank you wdt, I really appreciate the help I'm getting here. You can tell that I don't really know what I'm doing..

I had some hope I might be able to pull of your dd & hex editor suggestion but failed with

Quote:dd: failed to open '/dev/emmc': No such file or directory

I think that with my limited linux skill set my best bet at the moment is to get Tow-Boot to work from the SPI with that new SD card and then see if I can get Bullseye to boot off the emmc with that.
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#10
replace /dev/emmc with appropriate /dev/mmcblkX (where X=0,1,2,,, whichever)
lsblk,,, the one with .../boot[0,1]
Do NOT use any partition, just the whole raw device
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