Bricked phone after u-boot update
#1
Hi there - I'm hoping someone can help me figure out how to fix my Mobian installation. I've got it installed on the eMMC, with a 128Gb SD card for storage of music and such, and it's been working great since I got the phone several weeks ago. Today I did a couple of apt update & upgrades. On the second update it told me that u-boot-sunxi and u-boot-tools were among the packages to be updated. I ran sudo apt upgrade as usual to upgrade the other packages in the list, but then following the directions on the Mobian wiki Tweaks page I also ran
Code:
sudo u-boot-install-pinephone

to actually upgrade u-boot. The output in the terminal was exactly the same as the last bit of output from my regular sudo apt upgrade, so I don't know if this actually did anything different or not.

I then tried to reboot the phone, since I figured this would be good after updating the bootloader, and after it shut down nothing happened. Now whether I push the power button briefly or for 5 seconds or so I can't get the phone to turn on - the screen remains blank and off. No green LED, nothing. I swapped out my SD card for a Jumpdrive card and am able to get in and see my filesystem just fine. But when I remove the Jumpdrive SD again I still can't boot into Mobian.

Any thoughts on how to be able to boot into Mobian again would be much appreciated. I'm assuming with Jumpdrive I can do something to fix it, but am not familiar enough with the boot file system to know what files to replace or commands to run. Thanks!
#2
I should add that I know I could just save whatever I want from the home directory (or even the whole thing), reflash, and start over, since I can still boot from the SD card. I'd actually been thinking about doing that anyway, since I've installed and deleted a bunch of applications to see what works on the phone, and wouldn't mind getting a clean start. I'm more just curious about how an experienced Linux user might fix this kind of problem, and how to avoid causing it again next time I have to update u-boot, since I'm still relatively new to Linux (less than 2 years using it).
#3
I would put Mobian on an SD card and boot from there to fix it. Preferably the latest nightly to see if it isn't a general Mobian problem you encountered (had that happen to me).
Then I would mount the EMMC somewhere. First the root filesystem and then the boot filesystem.
Code:
sudo mount /dev/mmcblk2p2 /mnt
sudo mount /dev/mmcblk2p1 /mnt/boot

Check that dtb, Image.gz and initrd.img point to the latest kernel
Code:
ls -l /mnt/boot

And finally update the boot loader. u-boot-install-pinephone is just a wrapper for u-boot-install-sunxi64 with some additional checks and tricks to find the correct boot drive. We don't want it to find out the boot drive, we want to supply it ourselves.

Code:
sudo u-boot-install-sunxi64 /dev/mmcblk2

I hope that helps.
#4
(08-04-2020, 11:23 PM)Boern Wrote: I would put Mobian on an SD card and boot from there to fix it. Preferably the latest nightly to see if it isn't a general Mobian problem you encountered (had that happen to me).
Then I would mount the EMMC somewhere. First the root filesystem and then the boot filesystem.
Code:
sudo mount /dev/mmcblk2p2 /mnt
sudo mount /dev/mmcblk2p1 /mnt/boot

Check that dtb, Image.gz and initrd.img point to the latest kernel
Code:
ls -l /mnt/boot

And finally update the boot loader. u-boot-install-pinephone is just a wrapper for u-boot-install-sunxi64 with some additional checks and tricks to find the correct boot drive. We don't want it to find out the boot drive, we want to supply it ourselves.

Code:
sudo u-boot-install-sunxi64 /dev/mmcblk2

I hope that helps.
Great - thank you @Boern . I'll give it a try. I appreciate the background information on updating u-boot.
#5
Thank you @Boern , that worked.

Next time there's a u-boot update, should I do something different than what I did before? Last time I did a regular sudo apt update, checked the upgradable packages, and then sudo apt upgrade (since there were a lot of other packages needing to be upgraded as well). Afterwards, I ran sudo u-boot-install-pinephone. Should I have upgraded u-boot through this method (or the more specific one you recommended) first, and then done the sudo apt upgrade for the rest of the packages? Would like to avoid causing this problem again, thanks!
#6
My guess is that you hit some edge case. Usually you don't have to install u-boot yourself. apt upgrade should handle it by itself.
#7
(08-07-2020, 11:48 AM)Boern Wrote: My guess is that you hit some edge case. Usually you don't have to install u-boot yourself. apt upgrade should handle it by itself.
Good to know, thanks.


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