Save your sanity: If you buy a PBP, buy a serial adapter and USB to eMMC adapter.
It's about $15.

One thing I'm seeing, fairly consistently, is problems on the forum that are borderline impossible to troubleshoot without serial output.

Due to how the PBP brings up the display, it has to get quite far into the boot process before you'll see anything beyond the status LED.  Troubleshooting "LED comes on, nothing else happens" without the serial output is both challenging and frustrating.

With the serial output from the various stages of boot firmware and potentially early kernel, troubleshooting becomes very straightforward, because all the stages are fairly verbose and tell you what's wrong if they can't proceed.

Also, given the boot ROM's rather odd preference to pull firmware from the eMMC before searching the SD card, a corrupt eMMC will easily prevent the system from booting, and it's quite annoying to correct.

With a UART and the USB eMMC adapter, both of these problem classes become radically easier to troubleshoot and fix.

So buy (or build) the proper adapters.  Please.  It's still very much beta, rough around the edges hardware in early boot, and it would be really nice to be able to be more helpful.
Also get a screwdriver kit (phillips head), spudgers, and tweezers if you don't already have them. This will be very useful for disassembling the laptop without damaging it or yourself, and the tweezers will be useful for flipping hardward switches. A static wristband wouldn't hurt either.
great advice.

i am pleasantly surprised what can be accomplished without the usb emmc adapter. i ordered this also, but have yet to require it -- and i've been pretty cavalier about testing, etc.

i would add to that:
pbp screws kit ($1!)

plus nvme adapter for daily driver usage, etc. etc.
The eMMC adapter isn't required, but it's sure nicer than doing the switch twiddle.

Do you have a NVMe drive that supports proper deep sleep? Or do you just not let yours deep sleep?
i have fully disabled suspend in systemd, unfortunately. this support with nvme would be a great improvement!
just don't forget, that this serial adapter for BPB, sold by Pine is totally incompatible with PBP, because it's 5V whereas PBP expects 3V (not even 3.3V!) somehow Pine64 is silent about it for a long time, despite numerous requests from users, experiencing BPB operational instabilities while using the adapter.
and also, don't forget, that except eMMC, there is SPI NOR flash, that gets the highest boot priority, with even harder ways of recovering. the boot ROM choice is rather good though, because normally, FW should go into SPI, then if not, - eMMC. putting it into an SD card is rather some of "for tinkerers" stuff. but normally, FW is stable. Big Grin despite the said, it's recoverable anyway.
Er, wait... the Pine adapter is a 5V adapter, for a 3.3V UART? Doesn't that fry boards?


Ok, build your own adapter. I guess I'll do a quick writeup.
(06-29-2020, 05:13 PM)Syonyk Wrote: Er, wait... the Pine adapter is a 5V adapter, for a 3.3V UART?  Doesn't that fry boards?


Ok, build your own adapter.  I guess I'll do a quick writeup.
it makes it go nuts. search this forum. there are reports. and the silence of Pine as well is visible. Huh
Will a UART adapter designed for a Raspberry Pi (3.3V) be okay on the Pinebook Pro ?
I can recommend this adapter for the Pinebook Pro and Pinephone:

It's very well made and works great. 
Beware of cheap copies and fakes: I've bought 2 from Amazon with the same name that were fake.

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