Booting OS from SD card: consistency issue
#1
Hey there!

I've searched the forum profoundly and I apologise if I have missed any solution that's already out there.

I've used Etcher to flash operating systems to my SD card, and they do boot from my brand-new Pinebook Pro that's running a fairly untouched Manjaro OS.

I have my SD card inserted properly in my Pinebook Pro and it boots from the SD about 30% of the time. The behaviour is the same for after a complete shutdown and a restart. I've tried two different OSs so far, with the same result.

When I cold start the computer I've tried to hold the power button down just slightly until the power light comes on and then release it, to holding the power button down for a longer period of time. It doesn't matter which I try.

I've spotted this forum post that mentions upgrading/replacing uboot, but I'm far too much of a noob to understand whether that would work in my case or how to perform it.

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you so much in advance.
#2
What does it do the other 70% of the time, and what is on the eMMC?
#3
(07-20-2020, 02:33 PM)KC9UDX Wrote: What does it do the other 70% of the time, and what is on the eMMC?

Oh, it boots to the HDD OS (Manjaro) 70% of the time and 30% of the time it boots to what's on the SD card.

Currently it's got Debian on the card, the latest Pinebook Pro-made version that's available for download through the Pinebook Pro OS-image pages.
#4
update uboot or replace the sdcard.
#5
(07-21-2020, 12:17 AM)xmixahlx Wrote: update uboot or replace the sdcard.

Thanks! I've read up a bit on uboot; it seems far too complicated to update for a Linux noob like myself, so I'll start off by trying a new SD card. The one I've used is from Pine64 but I guess it could be that the card itself is wonky.
#6
(07-21-2020, 02:14 AM)pivic Wrote:
(07-21-2020, 12:17 AM)xmixahlx Wrote: update uboot or replace the sdcard.

Thanks! I've read up a bit on uboot; it seems far too complicated to update for a Linux noob like myself, so I'll start off by trying a new SD card. The one I've used is from Pine64 but I guess it could be that the card itself is wonky.
Updating uboot could be as simple as reflashing your eMMC with a different/newer OS image.
#7
(07-21-2020, 03:08 AM)KC9UDX Wrote:
(07-21-2020, 02:14 AM)pivic Wrote:
(07-21-2020, 12:17 AM)xmixahlx Wrote: update uboot or replace the sdcard.

Thanks! I've read up a bit on uboot; it seems far too complicated to update for a Linux noob like myself, so I'll start off by trying a new SD card. The one I've used is from Pine64 but I guess it could be that the card itself is wonky.
Updating uboot could be as simple as reflashing your eMMC with a different/newer OS image.

Oh. I've used two different OSs with the same SD card already, with the same result, i.e. it's still a 30/70 chance that boot leads to SD image/HDD OS. Or do you mean that I could reflash the OS on the computer?
#8
The way I understand it, the boot process is thus:

The system tries to boot from SPI.  Failing that (which it should because you've never written boot code to SPI), it boots from eMMC (the flash module inside the Pinebook Pro).  The uboot on the eMMC is supposed to attempt to boot from SD card before continuing to boot from eMMC.

Old versions of uboot (that came pre-installed on the eMMC) didn't do this reliably.  Newer versions do.  As far as I can tell, newer eMMC images of certain operating systems come with the newer uboot.  (That's what you're referring to as the "OS on the computer").

Here is the boot information on the wiki:

https://wiki.pine64.org/index.php?title=...t_sequence
#9
(07-21-2020, 04:19 AM)KC9UDX Wrote: The way I understand it, the boot process is thus:

The system tries to boot from SPI.  Failing that (which it should because you've never written boot code to SPI), it boots from eMMC (the flash module inside the Pinebook Pro).  The uboot on the eMMC is supposed to attempt to boot from SD card before continuing to boot from eMMC.

Old versions of uboot (that came pre-installed on the eMMC) didn't do this reliably.  Newer versions do.  As far as I can tell, newer eMMC images of certain operating systems come with the newer uboot.  (That's what you're referring to as the "OS on the computer").

Here is the boot information on the wiki:

https://wiki.pine64.org/index.php?title=...t_sequence

Thanks! I can now say that I think the issue is resolved.

I got a new SD card. I've installed Debian on it (via Manjaro's built-in disk manager) and everything's fine now. Boots every single time.

In essence, looks like everything's working as it should now! I guess the Pine64-provided SD card is wonky.


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