how to make a bootable USB linux sine pinebook will not boot up
#1
Since Pinebook pro will not boot at all ( black screen)

I'm trying to follow these instructions to make a bootable ubuntu 

https://itsfoss.com/create-live-usb-of-u...n-windows/

I don't know some answer needed  to get past  first step

1.  Is the system   MBR  or a GBT?

2.  is the system  UEFI  or legacy BIOS?
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#2
The answer to both questions is "no".

But if you can't boot, you won't be able to boot to USB, either.

You will need to re-flash your eMMC. Or disable or remove it and boot from micro-SD. But flashing the eMMC is the way to go. The easiest way is with an eMMC to USB adaptor; and by flashing the eMMC from a different computer.

You can reflash the eMMC from the PBP, but it's tricky.

If you have written to the SPI flash ROM, all the above is moot.
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#3
(11-21-2022, 07:31 AM)KC9UDX Wrote: The answer to both questions is "no".

But if you can't boot, you won't be able to boot to USB, either.

You will need to re-flash your eMMC. Or disable or remove it and boot from micro-SD.  But flashing the eMMC is the way to go.  The easiest way is with an eMMC to USB adaptor; and by flashing the eMMC from a different computer. 

You can reflash the eMMC from the PBP, but it's tricky.

If you have written to the SPI flash ROM, all the above is moot.

 I have not written SPI flash rom.
I will look into buying an adapter from Pine Store. 
I was able to Fix   Etcher on my Windows PC so I can make  linux bootable  micro SD card.  I needed to add permissions for Etcher  in the  Folders section of the Settings for Virus & threat protection.

Could you  tell me how exactly the Switch on bottom works?  
Does switching it one way make it only boot to SD card and switch other way only boots to EMMC? 

what does the reset button do ?  and what sequence do you press it, with emmc out or when it's installed?
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#4
(11-22-2022, 03:18 AM)River Wrote: I was able to Fix   Etcher on my Windows PC so I can make  linux bootable  micro SD card.  I needed to add permissions for Etcher  in the  Folders section of the Settings for Virus & threat protection.

Could you  tell me how exactly the Switch on bottom works?  
Does switching it one way make it only boot to SD card and switch other way only boots to EMMC? 

what does the reset button do ?  and what sequence do you press it, with emmc out or when it's installed?


Kind of. The switch doesn't flip between "SD boot ONLY" and "eMMC boot only," instead it functions primary as an enable/disabling switch for the eMMC. So currently your eMMC switch is set to ON (the PBP will see and thus try to boot from the eMMC first, as SD and USB are still in the boot order, but lower priority than the eMMC) when you flip the switch the eMMC will be disabled and your PBP will look to SD and USB for booting. 

That's a good question! The wiki's documentation of the Reset switch in the PBP is sadly minimal, and doesn't really tell us much. Unfortunately, I don't feel comfortable saying that this is definitive, but given the context in which it's most often used (PBP battery drained and not starting after extended charge time) and the function of the Reset button on the PinePhone, I'd wager that the PBP's reset button is just doing a simple hard restart of the board.
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#5
strings uboot.i* |grep boot_targ
BTW, MMC0 = emmc,,, MMC1 = sd
I believe the reset switch is same as holding pwr 20+s
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#6
If your PBP will already boot to a micro SD card you created, you can re-flash your eMMC without opening the PBP.
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#7
(11-23-2022, 07:09 AM)KC9UDX Wrote: If your PBP will already boot to a micro SD card you created, you can re-flash your eMMC without opening the PBP.


I have now made SPI.installer.img  about 30 times  on 10 different SD cards and none of them boot up .  I get a blank  dark blue screen, no  tow-boot  logo,  no text, no error. 

My SD slot seems to work because I can boot to SD  -Armbian just fine.
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#8
(11-24-2022, 10:25 PM)River Wrote:
(11-23-2022, 07:09 AM)KC9UDX Wrote: If your PBP will already boot to a micro SD card you created, you can re-flash your eMMC without opening the PBP.


I have now made SPI.installer.img  about 30 times  on 10 different SD cards and none of them boot up .  I get a blank  dark blue screen, no  tow-boot  logo,  no text, no error. 

My SD slot seems to work because I can boot to SD  -Armbian just fine.

Keep in mind, you are at the mercy of whatever U-boot is running on the eMMC.  That is what determines if an SD card is allowed to boot.  I have had this problem with the default Manjaru installation.  I didn't investigate it properly, but what I expect is the U-Boot that comes with Manjaru was the problem.  What I do know is that it is extremely frustrating when SD cards that should just work, simply don't.  With the eMMC switched off or removed, it becomes apparent why this happens.

You should be able to re-flash your eMMC from Armbian.

With all the hubbub lately about U-boot, the different versions, especially the problems with the de-facto official ("mainline"?) one, I'm starting to change my stance on whether it's a good idea for us all to install Tow-boot to SPI.  If that can be done simply and reliable, that might be the way to go.

EDIT: After reading your post in the other thread, maybe Tow-boot still isn't ready for prime time.
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#9
If the PBP comes with a documented boot order SD card first, why can't I just boot to an SD card? My PBP just ignores it and boots to eMMC. I'm having difficulty understanding why some boot procedures work and others don't. I just want to install Ubuntu instead of Manjaro. Much more useful to my development. I'm old old school BIOS but it always worked. Manjaro would be useable if I could install anything like ROS without 329 unresolved dependencies. It just slides in with Ubuntu. I guess Linux is not Linux. Anyway, I'm willing to reimburse ANYONE that helps me configure my laptop as a useful tool.
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#10
(11-27-2022, 11:10 AM)GreyHobbyist Wrote: If the PBP comes with a documented boot order SD card first, why can't I just boot to an SD card? My PBP just ignores it and boots to eMMC. I'm having difficulty understanding why some boot procedures work and others don't.

Where was this documented?  The (significant) PBP boot order that is documented (as far as I know) is
1 SPI ROM
2 eMMC 
3 Micro SD card

Unless you have written to SPI ROM, your boot starts with U-Boot on the eMMC.  As of 2022, the U-Boot that comes with the default Manjaru does not try to boot from Micro SD card.  The solution to this is to get a different U-Boot on the eMMC, or Tow-boot on either the eMMC or SPI ROM.
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