Pinebook Pro malfunctioned hardware
#1
Hello,

recently my Pinebook Pro, which I bought in July this year, started making a low volumed noise, coming from the mainboard and first the sound stopped working and later on the keyboard and touch pad stopped working. The only working key on the keyboard is the power on/off button.

First I emailed the shop, they told me to email the pinemicrosystems support and there I got the answer that this seems to be a malfunctioned keyboard. But the noise comed from the mainboard and sound is not working and if I plug in a USB sound module, the noise comes over the headphones connected to it. Now I can boot the system up, plug in a USB keyboard and mouse and work with it, but I'm not sure if it's a matter of time until it dies completely or not.

I own some other SBCs, using them every day for years and never had such an issue with those.

Has anybody here experienced this malfunction and knows if it's repairable and how?
  Reply
#2
Are you absolutely certain that you're not dealing with a software problem? You could boot a different operating system from SD card, to find out.
:wq



[ SRA accepts you ]

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  Reply
#3
(11-01-2022, 02:03 AM)KC9UDX Wrote: Are you absolutely certain that you're not dealing with a software problem?  You could boot a different operating system from SD card, to find out.

Thanks for your reply.

Sorry, I forgot to mention that the noise starts almost immediately after switching on the Pinebook. First the orange light turns on and after 4 seconds the noise starts when the LCD backlight turns on. That`s right before u-boot starts. So that of course is before the eMMC or SD card is being mounted. This seems not to be dependent on the boot medium or OS and this is even when booting without any SD or eMMC.

So if that's sofware related then probably u-boot causes it. But I made no update of u-boot since installing the OS in August this year.
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#4
Your boot sequence sounds very different from mine. Something is happening though to cause it at a certain point. I wonder what it is.
:wq



[ SRA accepts you ]

Everyone wants me to quit using NetBSD
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#5
You don't say if you updated the kernel
If the led turns on, whatever color, then uboot has loaded,
with no uboot,,, no led
It is not clear exactly when the backlight led turns on'
most uboots display nothing (& no backlight) , only the most recent uboots and tow-boot
Since, implicitly, this was not happening before, sounds like a kernel upgrade to me
If you have a previous kernel, I would manually rollback,,
ie edit extlinux.conf and do renaming in boot, make sure initrd and dtb match
  Reply
#6
(11-05-2022, 12:26 PM)wdt Wrote: You don't say if you updated the kernel
If the led turns on, whatever color, then uboot has loaded,
with no uboot,,, no led
It is not clear exactly when the backlight led turns on'
most uboots display nothing (& no backlight) , only the most recent uboots and tow-boot
Since, implicitly, this was not happening before, sounds like a kernel upgrade to me
If you have a previous kernel, I would manually rollback,,
ie edit extlinux.conf and do renaming in boot, make sure initrd and dtb match

Hi,
thanks for your reply.

the fist line on the boot screen is "u-boot 2022.04 (may 10 2022 - 09:01:16 +0100) Slackware" (see Photo below) and the backlight LED turns on right before the first lines appear. in this state LED is orange and then this screen disappears and the there are colored vertical stripes on the whole screen and after 2 seconds or so it switches black and then the kernel boot messages appear and the LED turns green. 

Now also the NVMe controller stopped working, so to check what was installed on the last update, I had to take out the NVMe and here's the list of the newest packges:
Code:
$ ls -lhtr /run/media/sam/SLKroot/var/log/packages/ | tail -n10
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1,2K Okt 24 21:55 perl-LWP-Protocol-https-6.10-aarch64-1_SBo
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1,2K Okt 24 21:57 perl-JSON-4.02-aarch64-1_SBo
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1,4K Okt 24 21:57 perl-data-dump-1.25-aarch64-1_SBo
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 3,0K Okt 24 21:57 pipe-viewer-0.1.8-aarch64-1_SBo
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2,1K Okt 26 18:03 svox-1.0+git20130326_8-aarch64-2_SBo
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  900 Okt 26 18:03 picospeaker-0.6.2-noarch-1_SBo
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1023 Okt 26 18:19 emacspeak-53.0-aarch64-2
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 192K Okt 26 18:22 emacs-28.2-aarch64-1
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 3,4K Okt 26 18:31 flite-2.2-aarch64-1_SBo
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  634 Okt 26 18:31 eflite-0.4.1-aarch64-1_SBo

I also have two RK3399 SBCs from Radxa , also running Slackware-aarch64 for about 2 years now and the output at boot time is equal to that on the pbp, only the LEDs are different and there is no Slackware logo but a u-boot logo. Smile

The noise started while downloading packages for the update.

[Image: 20221105205619-0456066b-xx.jpg]
  Reply
#7
OK, you have a recent enough uboot to display to screen
If you have a backup SD (& some different distro), I would try booting from that,,
with the emmc switch flipped to disable so that the uboot on emmc is not loaded
that the pci controller (nvme) is also failed, maybe it is indeed defective
  Reply
#8
(11-05-2022, 06:01 PM)wdt Wrote: OK, you have a recent enough uboot to display to screen
If you have a backup SD (& some different distro), I would try booting from that,,
with the emmc switch flipped to disable so that the uboot on emmc is not loaded
that the pci controller (nvme) is also failed, maybe it is indeed defective

Hi,
Thanks for your reply.

Now I've tested booting Kali Linux and when the XServer started and showd the login screen the noise came through the loudspeakers for a couple of seconds. I didn't log in the OS (I tried but the keyboard keeps avoiding its job) but pressed the power button and then the noise again came through the loudspeakers. So I opened the case again and disconected the display cable. Now when I power it on, there's no noise and according to the leds the systse came through the loudspeakers for a few seconds. I didn't log, since the keyboard is not working, but pressed the power button and then the noise again came through the loudspeakers. So I opened the case again and disconected the display cable. Now when I power it on, there's no noise and according to the leds the system without noise.

So what is broken?  The Display or the GPU? Holding my ear on the mainboard, the noise seems to come from the center of the board, so either from the SOC IC itself or something nearby it.
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#9
IF it had a florescent backlight (which it does NOT) the drive for the tubes (this is high voltage, often buzzes)
With a led backlight, I don't know why
I don't think the display is broken, since it seems to display correctly
With a broken kb and pci (nvme) I think you have a good claim for warranty
  Reply
#10
Not sure where to ask for warranty replacement for the pbp mainboard.

On November 7th I wrote an email about that to pine microsystems, but got no answer, so I asked the pine store and they told me to discuss it here.

So here's my opinion:
As the pbp malfunctioned in only about 3 month of usage, I'm not willing to buy a new mainboard. I simply lost my trust in the hardware and don't want to waste more money on it. The malfunction started from nothing but downloading update packages for the OS it's running.

So could please somebody tell me what to do to get a warranty replacement of the mainboard?
  Reply


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