Pinebook Pro won´t boot either from eMMC or microSD
#1
Hello, as you can read from the title, I can't get my PBP to boot from the eMMC or the microSD. I have used Linux a little before, specifically Kali. I was trying to install Arch Linux because I want to use it as my main distro. I was following the instructions on https://github.com/nadiaholmquist/archis...g/20200702. However, I think I must have done something wrong because once I did everything that the installation process said, I proceeded to boot and it did not boot, it got stuck on a black screen with the orange led on. I then tried to boot without the microSD, directly from eMMC and the same happened. I think it has something to do with u-boot but I don't how to turn it on to fix it. I have been browsing the archives and forums for hours but I can't seem to find a solution. I am just afraid I might have killed my new PBP. I appreciate any suggestions!
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#2
(10-23-2020, 12:42 AM)robieguarneros Wrote: Hello, as you can read from the title, I can't get my PBP to boot from the eMMC or the microSD. I have used Linux a little before, specifically Kali. I was trying to install Arch Linux because I want to use it as my main distro. I was following the instructions on https://github.com/nadiaholmquist/archis...g/20200702. However, I think I must have done something wrong because once I did everything that the installation process said, I proceeded to boot and it did not boot, it got stuck on a black screen with the orange led on. I then tried to boot without the microSD, directly from eMMC and the same happened. I think it has something to do with u-boot but I don't how to turn it on to fix it. I have been browsing the archives and forums for hours but I can't seem to find a solution. I am just afraid I might have killed my new PBP. I appreciate any suggestions!
I've also tried this: https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?...sed+u-boot, but if i turn off the eMMC then I can't even turn it on. I don't know if I am doing something wrong.
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#3
Will it boot with the eMMC disabled? If not, you'll need to flash a bootable image to the SD card, with another computer. I recommend the Debian that originally came with the Pinebook Pro. It is the most reliable. Once you've done that, and the PBP will boot, then you can flash the eMMC with whatever you like.

If you have only used Linux a little, I recommend you stick with Debian or Manjaro for a while.

By the way, you can't really brick the PBP.
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#4
(10-23-2020, 04:32 AM)KC9UDX Wrote: Will it boot with the eMMC disabled?  If not, you'll need to flash a bootable image to the SD card, with another computer.  I recommend the Debian that originally came with the Pinebook Pro.  It is the most reliable.  Once you've done that, and the PBP will boot, then you can flash the eMMC with whatever you like.

If you have only used Linux a little, I recommend you stick with Debian or Manjaro for a while.

By the way, you can't really brick the PBP.
If I disable the eMMC I can't boot it. I try turning it on with the eMMC disabled but nothing happens, the led doesn't even turn on.
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#5
If you have the eMMC disabled, the SD card will boot, if the SD card is bootable.

Download this image https://github.com/mrfixit2001/debian_de...226.img.xz and flash to an SD card. If the SD card is good, and you have flashed it correctly, it will boot.

Incidentally, I fully expect that if you're used to Kali, you will like Debian much better than Arch linux. Kali is derived from Debian. If you still want Arch linux, I recommend Manjaro, which is Arch derived, and will be much more functional than a generic Arch build. The Manjaro image for the PBP is the most functionally complete. The Debian image is in my experience, more stable, and more likely to just work. That's why I recommend Debian just to get the machine to boot.
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#6
(10-23-2020, 04:49 PM)KC9UDX Wrote: If you have the eMMC disabled, the SD card will boot, if the SD card is bootable.

Download this image https://github.com/mrfixit2001/debian_de...226.img.xz and flash to an SD card.  If the SD card is good, and you have flashed it correctly, it will boot.

Incidentally, I fully expect that if you're used to Kali, you will like Debian much better than Arch linux.  Kali is derived from Debian.  If you still want Arch linux, I recommend Manjaro, which is Arch derived, and will be much more functional than a generic Arch build.  The Manjaro image for the PBP is the most functionally complete.  The Debian image is in my experience, more stable, and more likely to just work.  That's why I recommend Debian just to get the machine to boot.
 Thanks, I'll consider using Debian instead, I just wanted a fully customizable distro that had nothing preinstalled, but maybe I'm not ready. Big Grin 

I've downloaded the image and flashed it to my microSD. But as soon as I turn the eMMC switch off it seems like the power is cut because whenever I try to reboot, nothing happens and the leds don't even turn on, no color. I'm not sure as to why this is happening. Does it need to be a specific microSD?

I have also ordered an eMMC adapter, so when it arrives I'm hoping that I can just reflash the eMMC and get it running because I think the issue is uboot, but I have never worked with this so I'm not really sure how it works.
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#7
It sounds like you don't want linux at all! What you want is NetBSD! In that case, use this image http://www.armbsd.org/arm/netbsd-9/20201...pro.img.gz

But let's get this thing booting first. What you're describing is a blank or improperly flashed micro SD card. It does not need to be a specific one per se, but there are reports of some that don't work. If you can, try a different one. I use SanDisk ones (the exact type is that recommended for my GoPro camera) and Kingston (ones that came in raspberry pi bundles) and ones that I bought from Pine64. I don't have any that don't work, but again there are reports of ones that don't.

Having the eMMC adaptor will be helpful. But it's not necessary.

How exactly are you flashing the SD card now? I use NetBSD, and the method I use would work for linux too, but things will be different with other operating systems.
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#8
(10-24-2020, 03:23 AM)KC9UDX Wrote: It sounds like you don't want linux at all!  What you want is NetBSD!  In that case, use this image http://www.armbsd.org/arm/netbsd-9/20201...pro.img.gz

But let's get this thing booting first.  What you're describing is a blank or improperly flashed micro SD card.  It does not need to be a specific one per se, but there are reports of some that don't work.  If you can, try a different one.  I use SanDisk ones (the exact type is that recommended for my GoPro camera) and Kingston (ones that came in raspberry pi bundles) and ones that I bought from Pine64.  I don't have any that don't work, but again there are reports of ones that don't. 

Having the eMMC adaptor will be helpful.  But it's not necessary.

How exactly are you flashing the SD card now?  I use NetBSD, and the method I use would work for linux too, but things will be different with other operating systems.
Hahaha, I do want Linux, but I just want to set some of the stuff up. I’ll look into NetBSD later. Thanks! 

Now, the thing is I had booted from the microSD before. I ran Kali from the microSD while having the default Manjaro on the eMMC. Then I flashed Arch on the microSD and when i finished with the partitions and the setting up I rebooted and it never rebooted. It got stuck on a black screen with the led light on orange color. And It stayed like that for hours. Then I tried booting from the eMMC with manjaro which shouldn’t have been affected, however, it didn’t boot. This is why I think the problem is with U-boot. 

Now, if I turn off the eMMC, and hold the power button to turn on, nothing happens. The light doesn’t even turn. It’s like the power is cut off. I don’t know if the microSD stopped working. It is a sandisk which is supposed to be recommended for booting with Linux. If I insert it on my windows to flash it, it gets flashed without problems.

Finally, to flash I use etcher and I just select the image and the microSD.

Thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it.
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#9
When you try to boot from emmc (no sd inserted) do you get any leds?
When you have no leds (except for red charge led, on side) it may be "hard locked"
OR no uboot may be findable, not likely here
You can try, not likely to solve, press and HOLD pwr button, 20-25 seconds
(with no "bad uboots connected, ie no SD card, or emmc disabled, wherever bad uboot is)
--edit--
Someone on the manjaro forum had to switch arch dtb/ use manjaro dtb to make arch install work
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#10
I would certainly keep the eMMC disabled until you get it working. The eMMC is totally unnecessary to make it work with the SD card, and this is the minimum configuration.

Please do try the power long-press. If it's currently on and locked (it does seem that way), then doing this will cause it to power off. In that case, you can power it on, and it should boot.

I have no experience with etcher, but that is the recommended tool, and should get the job done.
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