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Hardware problems with PineBook Pro - Printable Version

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Hardware problems with PineBook Pro - James Good - 01-07-2021

I am not real sure where to send this request. In late 2019, probably between late November and mid December, I ordered a PineBook Pro. This laptop was selected for a few reasons: Mainly the initial cost of the unit, and also the operating system. I did not, and still do not, know that much about the Manjaro programming language but understand that it is either a subset of Linux or is based on Linux. And I am trying to learn the Linux programming language. My use of the PineBook Pro would be as a study aid to use with a desktop computer that has Linux as the operating system. I plan to have a lesson or problem on the screen of the desktop and work on the solution on the PineBook Pro.


Not very long after my order was placed the first word about the corona virus came out in the news media and the factories in China started shutting down. Then other companies around the world started cutting back on their production because many of the parts that were needed were manufactured in China and were subject to the general shut down. Thus, all shipments of PineBook Pros became delayed. My order was finally shipped sometime between mid April and early May. It was delivered about the middle of May 2020.


The first time I turned the PineBook Pro on, I was able to go completely through the initial setup process. However, that was the only time that laptop even got past the login screen. Since that time, and I have attempted to turn it on and try to use it at least once almost every other week, the PineBook Pro only gets to a state where the power LED shows green and the three security switches (the microphone, the WiFi, and the camera switches) would show any indication of being pressed. The display would be black and would not respond in any way to any keyboard input or command. It seems to me that there is some hardware malfunction or problem that is preventing the PineBook Pro from powering on and becoming fully operational. I am requesting a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) so that this PineBook Pro can be returned to the distribution location and thoroughly checked out for any and all problems with the hardware inside this laptop. As it is right now, this laptop is and has not been usable for anything.


My email address as shown in the user profile is watched more than the forum so any answers and/or suggestions would be seen quicker if sent in an email than in a forum post.
Thank you,
James Good


RE: Hardware problems with PineBook Pro - KC9UDX - 01-07-2021

Your best source of help at this point is this forum. Pine64 does not currently have the kind of resources to take in your unit for testing, I don't think. You would be better off buying a new one. But first, let's get the one you have working.

Fortunately, it seems that you are having a software problem, and one that seems to be commonly reported with Manjaro. What you'll need to do is install Manjaro or some other operating system on an SD card, with which to boot the Pinebook Pro. I recommend the Debian image that was originally the official operating system, rather than Manjaro. But Manjaro should really work, too. Go to the Wiki linked at the top of this page, to Devices -> Pinebook Pro -> Pinebook Pro Images, and download either the Debian Desktop or Manjaro ARM image. Then you'll need an appropriate micro SD card, and a way to write the image to it.

Let us know what operating system you have on the computer you intend to write the SD card with, and we can tell you how to do that.

This may seem tedious and undesirable, but really this is the best possible way to learn what you're trying to learn.

It's also possible that someone can walk you through how to fix your current Manjaro installation the way it is. But I think you're better off booting from a micro SD first. You should have this ability anyway.


RE: Hardware problems with PineBook Pro - James Good - 01-25-2021

(01-07-2021, 09:10 PM)KC9UDX Wrote: Your best source of help at this point is this forum.  Pine64 does not currently have the kind of resources to take in your unit for testing, I don't think.  You would be better off buying a new one.  But first, let's get the one you have working.

Fortunately, it seems that you are having a software problem, and one that seems to be commonly reported with Manjaro.  What you'll need to do is install Manjaro or some other operating system on an SD card, with which to boot the Pinebook Pro.  I recommend the Debian image that was originally the official operating system, rather than Manjaro.  But Manjaro should really work, too.  Go to the Wiki linked at the top of this page, to Devices -> Pinebook Pro -> Pinebook Pro Images, and download either the Debian Desktop or Manjaro ARM image.  Then you'll need an appropriate micro SD card, and a way to write the image to it.

Let us know what operating system you have on the computer you intend to write the SD card with, and we can tell you how to do that.

This may seem tedious and undesirable, but really this is the best possible way to learn what you're trying to learn.

It's also possible that someone can walk you through how to fix your current Manjaro installation the way it is.  But I think you're better off booting from a micro SD first.  You should have this ability anyway.
Thank you.  I downloaded one of the Debian distros and got the PineBook Pro to boot into the desktop.   Smile