Pinebook Pro refuses to boot from eMMC
#11
(12-09-2020, 12:18 PM)tophneal Wrote:
(12-09-2020, 11:33 AM)pivic Wrote: Thanks a lot for your time, effort, and patience with myself, being a complete noob.

You're not rude at all; I should have been clear: I don't know Linux much, and even though I've now read up a lot about U-boot.

Firstly, the bind/mount commands didn't mount anything. I performed an lsdsk, which actually listed the eMMC, but still.

Secondly, I ran Mr. Fixit's script as sudo:

[Image: H0XxJpi.png]

Reboot did nothing: eMMC switch was in the correct position (towards the hinge) so eMMC wasn't turned off. I couldn't boot Pinebook Pro from the eMMC, but it could boot from SD.

Thirdly, I retried the script:

[Image: XvvETH9.png]

That did nothing either; the same result as mentioned at my second attempt (as mentioned in this post).

Fourthly, I did this:

[Image: 2jzMxQd.png]

After that little manoeuvre, the computer won't start at all, not from SD nor eMMC. I'm guessing I've now either completely bricked the computer or something else is the matter. At any rate, this computer is becoming my Joker's Origin Story, but I could have myself to blame completely, which I naturally accept. Desperation has brought me to this moment.  Tongue

Any help at this point would greatly be appreciated.
You're on the right path in that last image.

judging from the lsblk output, the emmc was bound and mountable. I goofed there. Binding will make it visible to the PBP again, so it can be mounted, but you don't necessarily need it mounted for this.

Concerning the dd commands you ran:
1. it'll need to be run with sudo.
2. do NOT include any partitions. you used mmcblk1p1, but you should be using mmcblk1. Look at the commands given on the page for pcm720's uboot that i linked previously.
3. don't bother with the SPI img. get rid of it, it's considered unstable even for those that know what they're doing, and it won't work on the emmc (it's made specifically for the PBP's SPI.) you write that to the wrong place, and you'll likely need to rewrite your emmc.

If your Debian SD won't boot, I'd just rewrite it. Easiest/fastest way to get it back up and booting.

Thanks a lot for your kind response.

Since I did all that I described there, the computer won't boot at all, which is a shame. I've tried maybe ten different distributions and versions—all, according to the Pine64 software-wiki page, OK for boot via SD/eMMC—but sadly, the computer won't start at all.

By this, I mean there's no starting lights going on at all. The only light that comes on is the red light that goes on when the machine is charged; I left it charging for a few hours, both via the Pine64 charger and via USB-C, so I'm quite sure the battery's charged.

I tried using the reset button, and nothing happens. I've used three different MicroSD cards (which have all worked on the computer in the past).

Either the computer is fed up with me, I've destroyed its ability to boot from MicroSD by what I've done so far, or there's another way to salvage this. I hope you guys feel the energy to come up with some kind of tip because I'm at my (already tiny) wit's end here. Please, if you can, run a tip by me. Thanks.

(12-09-2020, 12:46 PM)wdt Wrote: Don't write uboot or idbloader or trust to any partitions NOT mmcblk1p1,,
unless you have made those partitions in EXACTLY the right place
ie, 64 sectors, 8M, 12M (and a raw write, obviously no filesystem)
Normally, partitions start at 16M (32768 sectors) or more after start of device,
the 1st 16M is for mbr and uboot files

Thanks, I'll bear that in mind next time I might destroy a hard-drive sector or two.  Angel
#12
(12-10-2020, 07:57 AM)pivic Wrote: Thanks a lot for your kind response.

Since I did all that I described there, the computer won't boot at all, which is a shame. I've tried maybe ten different distributions and versions—all, according to the Pine64 software-wiki page, OK for boot via SD/eMMC—but sadly, the computer won't start at all.

By this, I mean there's no starting lights going on at all. The only light that comes on is the red light that goes on when the machine is charged; I left it charging for a few hours, both via the Pine64 charger and via USB-C, so I'm quite sure the battery's charged.

I tried using the reset button, and nothing happens. I've used three different MicroSD cards (which have all worked on the computer in the past).

Either the computer is fed up with me, I've destroyed its ability to boot from MicroSD by what I've done so far, or there's another way to salvage this. I hope you guys feel the energy to come up with some kind of tip because I'm at my (already tiny) wit's end here. Please, if you can, run a tip by me. Thanks.

That sounds more like your PBP had its battery completely drained. Unfortunately, if it was drained dead then you'll need more than a few hours to get it charged enough to boot again. Try 6-8 hours of charge time. When I do that, I let mine charge for at least 8 before attempting to boot. Since the PBP has a low draw, even for charging, it takes a lot longer than conventional laptops to recharge.

You may also need to hold the power button for a few more seconds after it gets charged back up.
#13
It's been reported in other threads that if you drain it that far, you might need to charge it once with a USB-C charging cable to revive it. I'm not sure why.

Then, as @tophneal brought up, it might be executing a software loop or the SOC has otherwise crashed and is "running" with no signs of life. If that's happening, you need to hold the power button for twenty seconds or so to get it to turn off. Then press it for a second to get it to turn back on.

But have no fear, it's impossible to "brick" the PBP; and nearly impossible to get to a point where it just won't boot.

Don't worry about the reset button; you shouldn't need that unless you've written something to SPI F-ROM.
#14
(12-10-2020, 08:07 AM)tophneal Wrote:
(12-10-2020, 07:57 AM)pivic Wrote: Thanks a lot for your kind response.

Since I did all that I described there, the computer won't boot at all, which is a shame. I've tried maybe ten different distributions and versions—all, according to the Pine64 software-wiki page, OK for boot via SD/eMMC—but sadly, the computer won't start at all.

By this, I mean there's no starting lights going on at all. The only light that comes on is the red light that goes on when the machine is charged; I left it charging for a few hours, both via the Pine64 charger and via USB-C, so I'm quite sure the battery's charged.

I tried using the reset button, and nothing happens. I've used three different MicroSD cards (which have all worked on the computer in the past).

Either the computer is fed up with me, I've destroyed its ability to boot from MicroSD by what I've done so far, or there's another way to salvage this. I hope you guys feel the energy to come up with some kind of tip because I'm at my (already tiny) wit's end here. Please, if you can, run a tip by me. Thanks.

That sounds more like your PBP had its battery completely drained. Unfortunately, if it was drained dead then you'll need more than a few hours to get it charged enough to boot again. Try 6-8 hours of charge time. When I do that, I let mine charge for at least 8 before attempting to boot. Since the PBP has a low draw, even for charging, it takes a lot longer than conventional laptops to recharge.

You may also need to hold the power button for a few more seconds after it gets charged back up.

Thanks a lot! I charged it overnight (10 hours) but still nothing happens (and I've tried all cards).

I'm trying out what @KC9UDX Just mentioned, i.e. to charge it using only a USB-C charger. I'll try to start the computer after it's charged for a few hours and I'll remember to press the On button a bit longer than usual. I've also used the hardware-reset button some times, previously.

The red light switches on when I'm charging it (both via power cable and USB-C), so that's good, at least.

Still, I'm fearful that something has happened. I've checked every cable and every connector that I can find on the motherboard, but nothing seems to have come loose.

Thank you so much for your help so far, guys. I really appreciate it,
#15
(12-10-2020, 07:04 PM)KC9UDX Wrote: It's been reported in other threads that if you drain it that far, you might need to charge it once with a USB-C charging cable to revive it.  I'm not sure why.

Then, as @tophneal brought up, it might be executing a software loop or the SOC has otherwise crashed and is "running" with no signs of life.  If that's happening, you need to hold the power button for twenty seconds or so to get it to turn off.  Then press it for a second to get it to turn back on.

But have no fear, it's impossible to "brick" the PBP; and nearly impossible to get to a point where it just won't boot.

Don't worry about the reset button; you shouldn't need that unless you've written something to SPI F-ROM.

Thanks, both to yourself and @tophneal. I've charged the computer, first for 10 hours via the Pine64 power cable, then 15 hours via USB-C connected to a power cable. The red light goes on when the computer is being charged in either way.

Sadly, nothing happens when holding the power button for 20, 60, or even 120 seconds, releasing, and then holding the power button for one-two seconds. Nothing happens whatsoever. I've also tried disabling the eMMC-hardware switch and retrying the above, to no effect.

It seems the computer is stone-cold dead at this point. I've (again) checked all cables and they're all plugged-in, as far as I can see, judging from the Pine64 guide regarding the hardware under the hood.

As you have indicated, I don't think I've managed to ruin the computer by flashing U-boot the wrong way, but I'm concerned with the fact that the computer doesn't seem to boot in any way. I've used four different MicroSD cards and re-flashed them all with images that have previously worked; I used Etcher for this, including the validation phase that told me all images were successfully burned and verified.

Do you reckon I should return to Pine64 support about this? I lack adequate electrical skills and a multimeter to try and figure out what could be wrong, and I don't know the technical side of this well enough to be able to test different hardware parts. I really want to be able to continue using the Pinebook Pro, but if they can't help me I see no other way out of this than to buy a new computer from a different vendor (as the Pinebook Pro is out of stock and I've received no replies to my asking them when it will be in stock again).

Any further help would, again, be greatly appreciated, as I'm utterly stuck. Thanks so far, guys!
#16
First what you need is a serial console. Get the headphone to USB adaptor, and flip the switch inside the PBP. I forget how it's marked, but it comes from the factory set for audio, and you want to switch it to serial data. You'll need a computer with a terminal emulator that can run at 1,500,000 baud, and work with a USB RS232 device.

Keep the eMMC disabled for now. Try booting any way you can, and see what you get on the terminal.

Someone here reported trouble with the reset button at one point. I wonder if since pressing it, it might have gotten stuck on. But start with the serial console.
#17
>I lack adequate electrical skills and a multimeter
>The red light goes on when the computer is being charged in either way.
If you leave it charging long enough, the red led should go out
(with non-running pbp, may take 24 hrs, try both ways, (barrel, C))
If it doesn't (go out),, that is not right
Some chargers have a meter builtin, I actually have 2, 1 is a car cig lighter plug
The other cost ~$20+, there are also inline meters, usbA in, usbA out, cheaper (?$5)
Then A->C cable
I would remove the emmc, then you are sure
(the docs are poor, ie switch enabled = emmc disabled, not made explicit and should be)
#18
Good point. Do remove the eMMC.

If you've never done this, it isn't obvious, but you just pull it straight up to remove it.

I should mention something else that isn't obvious: all the boot code (including U-boot) exists on the boot device.

If you have boot code on the SPI F-ROM, that runs at startup.
Else, if you have boot code on the eMMC, and it's enabled, that runs at startup.
Else if you have boot code on the micro SD card, that runs.

So unless there's something on the SPI F-ROM (very unlikely), as long as the eMMC can run, a corrupt U-Boot on there will prevent you booting any other way.
#19
Does the green power light go on at all? I believe it's controlled directly by the pmic so it should turn green even if the CPU doesn't boot if there is enough power from the battery.
#20
I don't think that it is, but I'm not positive. U-boot turns mine orange, the operating system turns it green. I don't recall for certain, but I think that if U-boot fails, it doesn't turn on at all.


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