Cannot boot to SD card - Completely locked out of my phone the day I got it
#1
I recently got my pinephone in the mail and within an hour locked myself out of the device. My model is the "Community edition: KDE plasma mobile" that came with Manjaro installed by default.




After looking it up online, I'm not the only one who realized too late your pin number to unlock your screen had anything to do with the password for the standard user. The only thing I've done so far is through the command line I updated/upgraded with pacman, disabled the SSH daemon (regretfully) and changed the password to the user. This has locked me out of the device.





I have been unsuccessful trying to boot anything from an SD card to resolve the problem above. I have tried 2 different micro SD cards, I have tried to flash from different devices (Desktop and laptop), different software to flash (dd and something called "balena etcher") and different OS images such as Arch, postmarketOS, mobian, sailfish and the phone when booting does the same thing. I was following these instructions...




From the wiki:



To install an image to the microSD card:



  1. Download your chosen image from PinePhone Software Releases
  2. Extract the compressed file
  3. Write the image to your SD card, see below
  4. Plug SD card into phone
  5. Boot phone

These instructions haven't worked on my phone when booting.







Mod instructions to install to emmc using JumpDrive:




https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=9444




1) download the Jumpdrive image



2) flash the Jumpdrive image to a SD card



3) boot from the SD card




Attempting to follow this mods suggestion about flashing the program "JumpDrive" to help with my problem, I can't get past step 3 because of the same thing as the OS images above happens when I boot.



Problem: When I insert the micro SD, I turn the phone on and a red light appears for a moment. Then it vibrates once and the light turns green/yellow, the screen lights up for half a second like it's attempting to boot and goes black almost instant. Then after a few seconds I see the KDE logo with the gear and it boots to Manjaro where I'm completely stuck and can't get passed the pin number. 




Jumpdrive, and every distro the exact same thing happens when attempting to boot from the SD card, I have checked after every flash that the files were written.




Can someone please help me get back into this phone I would appreciate it tremendously..
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#2
I realized people will just ask me how am I copying the images to the SD...

dd: `sudo dd if=file.image of=/dev/sdX bs=4M`
bmaptool: `sudo bmaptool copy file.image --nobmap /dev/sdX`
etcher: Choose image file, choose target, click flash, wait until it's done.

Nothing has worked so far, I'm mostly just trying to get this "JumpDrive" program to boot.

What can I do? Does anyone see what I'm doing wrong? I have mounted the SD card and checked if files are being written and they are.

Thank you again in advance for any help.
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#3
Hi. Doesn't sound like you're doing anything wrong unfortunately. When i use etcher to write an image, e.g. mobian-pinephone-phosh-20201229.img.gz or pine64-pinephone.img.xz, to my SD card, then when I put my SD card into the phone, it will always boot from it. Assuming you've put your SD card the right way round into the upper slot, which I'm sure you have, then there doesn't sound like there's much else you can try. I suppose you could give the contacts on the card a bit of wipe and maybe blow into the slot on the phone? But unless anyone else can suggest anything, it sounds like you may have a hardware problem.
EDIT: I suppose yu could do some reading up on SD card compatibility, e.g. https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?...&pid=78509 just in case you're very unlucky and have 2 incompatible ones?
EDIT2: I suppose the fact that it does something different when the SD is inserted is a good sign. Is your PP 2GB or 3GB as I think there were some issues on 3GB models with older images, but Jumprive 0.6 onwards should work as should the latest version of most OSs. Hope someone can come u with some ideas for you.
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#4
(02-12-2021, 03:56 AM)moodroid Wrote: Hi. Doesn't sound like you're doing anything wrong unfortunately. When i use etcher to write an image, e.g. mobian-pinephone-phosh-20201229.img.gz or pine64-pinephone.img.xz, to my SD card, then when I put my SD card into the phone, it will always boot from it. Assuming you've put your SD card the right way round into the upper slot, which I'm sure you have, then there doesn't sound like there's much else you can try. I suppose you could give the contacts on the card a bit of wipe and maybe blow into the slot on the phone? But unless anyone else can suggest anything, it sounds like you may have a hardware problem.
EDIT: I suppose yu could do some reading up on SD card compatibility, e.g. https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?...&pid=78509 just in case you're very unlucky and have 2 incompatible ones?
EDIT2: I suppose the fact that it does something different when the SD is inserted is a good sign. Is your PP 2GB or 3GB as I think there were some issues on 3GB models with older images, but Jumprive 0.6 onwards should work as should the latest version of most OSs. Hope someone can come u with some ideas for you.

Thanks for the reply, I have been losing my mind for a whole day wondering what in the world was happening. I had a strong feeling it was the phone.. I just checked if my micro sd was a UHS-I and it is. found 2 other micro SD cards a 2GB and a 4GB  (to use with JumpDrive) and sadly have the same issue.. I don't want to return the phone I would love to get this fixed and get it working but I will have to contact someone at pine64 if all else fails.. I have the 2GB model
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#5
One other thing to try - use the serial terminal that's available via the headphone socket.
https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/PinePhone#Serial_console
If the OS version you're using presents a login prompt you should be able to get in using the password you set, then change it to a numeric one.
  Reply
#6
(02-15-2021, 11:38 AM)wibble Wrote: One other thing to try - use the serial terminal that's available via the headphone socket.
https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/PinePhone#Serial_console
If the OS version you're using presents a login prompt you should be able to get in using the password you set, then change it to a numeric one.

I was reading about this, but I don't have the cable so I guess this wouldn't work for the time being. I was also looking at this FEL mode trying to activate it without the serial console but my phone doesn't have a special button and the standard button combination way isn't working for me either..
  Reply


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