pbp no longer boots
#1
Hi all!

This is my first post here. Just got a pbp that I bought used on ebay. The former owner had flashed it to the official manjaro kde distro. I was able to login and use it for a few days. Yesterday I was browsing the internet while it charged from a usb power bank (18w supply with a generic usb c cord). Eventually I unplugged the power bank and set the pbp aside. I did not shut it off. This morning it will not boot.  I've read the other "won't boot" threads.

I tried:
flip emmc switch and press reset button
I tried to boot a different manjaro image on an sd (pinebook pro manjaro i3) with and without emmc switch on
different emmc (came with a 128 gb and original 64 gb)
all of these I've tried both with and without the official barrel power adapter plugged in

so any suggestions? any other components I should make sure are seated properly? I do have a usb emmc adapter should I flash the emmc to the stock image over usb? could that power adapter have done something bad?

Thanks for any help!
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#2
sounds like the battery was drained all the way. Leave it charging for the better part of a day. (It's slow to fully recharge. from dead-dead, it can take about 8 hours to get to 30-50%, but that should be enough to boot it again.)

since sleep only works (okay-ish at that) with bsp uboot, it's probably wise to make it habit to shutdown your pbp after use, or make sure it's plugged in to charge.)
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#3
(12-01-2020, 01:31 PM)tophneal Wrote: sounds like the battery was drained all the way. Leave it charging for the better part of a day. (It's slow to fully recharge. from dead-dead, it can take about 8 hours to get to 30-50%, but that should be enough to boot it again.)

since sleep only works (okay-ish at that) with bsp uboot, it's probably wise to make it habit to shutdown your pbp after use, or make sure it's plugged in to charge.)
mmm okay thanks. I will keep it on the charger for a while. I did try to disconnect the battery and connect the by pass cables to start from just the power cable. it didn't boot. Would that rule out your theory?
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#4
(12-01-2020, 03:21 PM)tulsums Wrote:
(12-01-2020, 01:31 PM)tophneal Wrote: sounds like the battery was drained all the way. Leave it charging for the better part of a day. (It's slow to fully recharge. from dead-dead, it can take about 8 hours to get to 30-50%, but that should be enough to boot it again.)

since sleep only works (okay-ish at that) with bsp uboot, it's probably wise to make it habit to shutdown your pbp after use, or make sure it's plugged in to charge.)
mmm okay thanks. I will keep it on the charger for a while. I did try to disconnect the battery and connect the by pass cables to start from just the power cable. it didn't boot. Would that rule out your theory?
another detail. it's still charging. if I short press (2 sec)  the power button the power led will turn amber for maybe 10 second then green for 1 or 2 then off. no boot.
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#5
Something I would recommend for everyone is to set aside a separate SD card with a known good operating system on it. I have one with Debian just because that seems to have a good amount of functionality, plus it's very stable. I don't know that a current version is this way. But the point is, find one that works and keep it just for emergencies.

Turn off the eMMC, and try a different OS on an SD card. I don't recommend Manjaro for this. When it works, it works well. But I've had a lot of trouble getting it to start working. Try Debian, try NetBSD, try Android, try ChromeOS. When you find one that works, put the SD card away for safe keeping.
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#6
(12-01-2020, 06:58 PM)tulsums Wrote:
(12-01-2020, 03:21 PM)tulsums Wrote:
(12-01-2020, 01:31 PM)tophneal Wrote: sounds like the battery was drained all the way. Leave it charging for the better part of a day. (It's slow to fully recharge. from dead-dead, it can take about 8 hours to get to 30-50%, but that should be enough to boot it again.)

since sleep only works (okay-ish at that) with bsp uboot, it's probably wise to make it habit to shutdown your pbp after use, or make sure it's plugged in to charge.)
mmm okay thanks. I will keep it on the charger for a while. I did try to disconnect the battery and connect the by pass cables to start from just the power cable. it didn't boot. Would that rule out your theory?
another detail. it's still charging. if I short press (2 sec)  the power button the power led will turn amber for maybe 10 second then green for 1 or 2 then off. no boot.

What's the total charge time been? The PBP can be very slow to recharge.
I'd like to say "yes" to that, but i'm not qualified to do so lol there's been similar instance I recall where people tried to bypass the battery, and in the end they still needed to charge the battery all the way.
Have you tried turning off the emmc and booting one of the BSP images from SD, like @KC9UDX  suggested?
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#7
(12-02-2020, 07:59 AM)tophneal Wrote: Have you tried turning off the emmc and booting one of the BSP images from SD, like @KC9UDX  suggested?
If a non-functional bootloader were flashed to the SPI flash, then that would be the 1st choice for the RK3399 to boot from, right? So even with a working SD card and eMMC disabled, it would try to boot from SPI and fail (assuming SPI has a bad bootloader).

If a serial console cable is used, then it should be possible to see if pbp is attempting to boot at all and from what it is booting. Then you narrow down which of the two most likely problems you have, a) bad bootloader, b) bad battery.
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#8
It sure would! I missed mention of the SPI being flashed. There is a way to recover it, it can be found on the wiki page for the PBP SPI

Judging from OP's post, though, the SPI probably hasn't been flashed. If it were a bad SPI write, then they likely would've had troubles starting before. It honestly reads more like an extremely low battery issue.

A serial console cable should still provide a glimpse to what's happening when they try to boot, though. From everything described, it sounds like uboot is likely starting.
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#9
alright so some more info. It's now been on the charger for all of last night and today 16 - 18 hours. 8 hours or so ago I attempted to turn it on with an emmc flashed to manjaro i3. It did briefly show me the manjaro boot logo but then the display went dark and the green light went out. I switched back to the original manjaro kde emmc the machine came with and left the machine to charge another 8ish hours. Just a bit ago, I short pressed the power button and the power led went from amber to green and stayed green. It is still currently green but the display is dark.

I did not intentionally flash anything to the spi
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#10
I don't know about usbC, but if you leave barrel charger in a long time, red (charge) led WILL go out (pbp off)
Manjaro mounts by label, a fruitful source of (kernel) confusion, if there are 2 partitions with same label ...
and,, manjaro does not seem to have best uboot, do realize that uboot on emmc will be one used
I strongly suggest mrfixit's debian, do his update (NOT apt update) as a recovery SD
Use it with disabled emmc, then flip switch and rebind
If you have a linux box, check that extlinux root= is right, also fstab
If you want to use manjaro as a recovery SD, change label and extlinux and fstab
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