Can I recover bricked device from Mask ROM mode?
#1
Sad 
From a combination of haste, lack of experience awkward documentation and just enough knowledge to be dangerous, I have bricked my PPP. The result is a brief red LED on startup and then continuous green (lasts at least 12 hours). I think I have corrupted the eMMC - some of my stupid steps are below.

I have now enabled mask ROM mode (that took hours repeating the same thing over and over!). Is there anything I can now do to recover the device? I have read quite a lot on the forums, but I am now at the stage where I don't think my use case fits and I don't want to make things even worse than they appear to be. 

TIA for any hints - I'm enjoying the ride but it's a little bumpy at the moment...and next time I will be more careful

List of activities:
1) Startup and play with the default software. Update needs several attempts. Find camera app doesn't work, and having set up wi-fi, I can't seem to change the SSID. Look to install some apps and find challenges (Signal not available, and 2 options for BitWarden).
2)  Set up SSH so I can check a few bits, but then think that a bluetooth keyboard may be easier overall so enable bluetooth.
3) Perform update and reboot
4) Reboot fails and arrives in emergency mode (rockchip-usb2phy failed to create phy; bootsplash failed to initialise; failed to read codec capabilities on bluetooth hc10)
5) Boot into SD card (Arch Linux phosh)
6) Use SD card OS to extract Manjaro ARM image and copy over to eMMC
7) Current status
  Reply
#2
You did nothing dumb to me, this is just perfectly normal and sane hacking around :)

I didn't have the problems you encountered with wifi and updates (although indeed, camera does not work for me as well on pinephone pro), so I can't exclude the possibility of a hardware issue, but if you're trying to fix a broken install on the eMMC, you're almost there. I use pacman directly to perform my updates, though, so maybe I would have had the same issue using a GUI.

You did almost everything that you should : flashing an OS on a SD card and bypassing the eMMC to boot on the card (gladly, we can now do that, which allow to not brick the phone if we install a bogus uboot on the eMMC). Now the only thing you need to do is to flash an image on the eMMC.

For that, download a pinephone pro image on your temporary OS (beware not downloading a pinephone image, they're not the same!) and copy it to your eMMC.

To find the device name, use `lsblk`. The device will probably be `mmcblk1` or `mmcblk2`. The SD card you are currently using is the device with one partition mentioned as being mounted as root partition (a "/" in the column "mountpoint"), so the eMMC device is the other one.

Once you found the eMMC device, you can flash the image using `dd`, which copies a file at an other location:

    sudo dd if=</path/to/your/image/file> of=</path/to/your/device> bs=1M

`if` means "input file" (the image), `of` means "output file" (the device) and `bs` is the buffer size (how many bytes copied at a time ; the higher the faster, but the more ram used and the most prone to error - 1M is usually fast and safe).

Once done, the OS is installed on the eMMC, you can just reboot.

Note that if you mistakenly write on the device of the SD card instead of the eMMC, it's no biggie either : just flash again an OS on the SD card and start over.
  Reply
#3
(01-31-2022, 03:15 AM)ojimek Wrote: You did nothing dumb to me, this is just perfectly normal and sane hacking around Smile

I didn't have the problems you encountered with wifi and updates (although indeed, camera does not work for me as well on pinephone pro), so I can't exclude the possibility of a hardware issue, but if you're trying to fix a broken install on the eMMC, you're almost there. I use pacman directly to perform my updates, though, so maybe I would have had the same issue using a GUI.

You did almost everything that you should : flashing an OS on a SD card and bypassing the eMMC to boot on the card (gladly, we can now do that, which allow to not brick the phone if we install a bogus uboot on the eMMC). Now the only thing you need to do is to flash an image on the eMMC.

For that, download a pinephone pro image on your temporary OS (beware not downloading a pinephone image, they're not the same!) and copy it to your eMMC.

To find the device name, use `lsblk`. The device will probably be `mmcblk1` or `mmcblk2`. The SD card you are currently using is the device with one partition mentioned as being mounted as root partition (a "/" in the column "mountpoint"), so the eMMC device is the other one.

Once you found the eMMC device, you can flash the image using `dd`, which copies a file at an other location:

    sudo dd if=</path/to/your/image/file> of=</path/to/your/device> bs=1M

`if` means "input file" (the image), `of` means "output file" (the device) and `bs` is the buffer size (how many bytes copied at a time ; the higher the faster, but the more ram used and the most prone to error - 1M is usually fast and safe).

Once done, the OS is installed on the eMMC, you can just reboot.

Note that if you mistakenly write on the device of the SD card instead of the eMMC, it's no biggie either : just flash again an OS on the SD card and start over.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. However, I cannot boot from the SD card either - I just get a blank screen and green LED.

I can see the device via $lsusb from my desktop, so I wondered what I could do given that seems to be my only access.

The need to tinker is too strong, so I will try the Manjaro-ARM-phosh-pinephonepro-beta21 image again...
  Reply
#4
(01-31-2022, 03:15 AM)ojimek Wrote: You did nothing dumb to me, this is just perfectly normal and sane hacking around Smile

I didn't have the problems you encountered with wifi and updates (although indeed, camera does not work for me as well on pinephone pro), so I can't exclude the possibility of a hardware issue, but if you're trying to fix a broken install on the eMMC, you're almost there. I use pacman directly to perform my updates, though, so maybe I would have had the same issue using a GUI.

You did almost everything that you should : flashing an OS on a SD card and bypassing the eMMC to boot on the card (gladly, we can now do that, which allow to not brick the phone if we install a bogus uboot on the eMMC). Now the only thing you need to do is to flash an image on the eMMC.

For that, download a pinephone pro image on your temporary OS (beware not downloading a pinephone image, they're not the same!) and copy it to your eMMC.

To find the device name, use `lsblk`. The device will probably be `mmcblk1` or `mmcblk2`. The SD card you are currently using is the device with one partition mentioned as being mounted as root partition (a "/" in the column "mountpoint"), so the eMMC device is the other one.

Once you found the eMMC device, you can flash the image using `dd`, which copies a file at an other location:

    sudo dd if=</path/to/your/image/file> of=</path/to/your/device> bs=1M

`if` means "input file" (the image), `of` means "output file" (the device) and `bs` is the buffer size (how many bytes copied at a time ; the higher the faster, but the more ram used and the most prone to error - 1M is usually fast and safe).

Once done, the OS is installed on the eMMC, you can just reboot.

Note that if you mistakenly write on the device of the SD card instead of the eMMC, it's no biggie either : just flash again an OS on the SD card and start over.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. However, I cannot boot from the SD card either - I just get a blank screen and green LED.

I can see the device via $lsusb from my desktop PC, so I wondered what I could do given that seems to be my only access.

The need to tinker is too strong, so I tried the Manjaro-ARM-phosh-pinephonepro-beta21 image again...still nothing.

At least I can regularly connect to the PC - the reset button needs to be pressed for at least 5 seconds (I do 10) while plugging in USB cable - I used a wooden BBQ skewer which seems more reliable than smaller items.
  Reply
#5
A note of warning, btw : after flashing my eMMC to put manjaro/phosh on it, I booted with an other OS on the SD card and realized that while the root partition I was using was indeed the one from the eMMC, the boot partition was the one from the SD card (basically, the phone booted on the SD card but mounted the eMMC's OS). While it does not cause any immediate issues, that would have ended poorly in case of updates, with the eMMC OS updating the SD card boot partition. I don't know if uboot put anything in root partition, like in /usr, but that would mean having half a version on the root partition and half an other version on the boot partition. Anyway, that can't be good Smile

Removing the SD card booted properly (and fully) on the eMMC, and then I reformatted the SD card to make it be a data partition.

Also worth noting that after flashing the eMMC, the trick "short press power to boot SD card, long press to boot eMMC" mentioned on the wiki does not work anymore for me (it may just a matter of uboot configuration). But this is no issue, as I can just use the RE bypass if I want to boot a SD card to try something.
  Reply
#6
(01-31-2022, 05:55 AM)Damage Wrote: I cannot boot from the SD card either - I just get a blank screen and green LED.

Oh, ok. So you could boot on the SD card after the initial problem, but not after flashing the eMMC, is that right?

Have you tried booting on the SD card bypassing the eMMC by pressing the RE button? (as mentioned here : https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/PinePhone_Pro#Boot_order )

I assumed that's how you booted the SD card after the first problem, but I realize you don't mention it, actually.
  Reply
#7
I suspect that your battery is too low to boot properly. Even hooked up to the charger and fully updated, the battery still seems to discharge, albeit slowly. Turned off and disconnected from the charger, it willstill discharge.

There are some power management issues on PPP, waiting to be worked out. If you have access to an external battery charger (such as recommended in @Otter post on anti brick devices), i would start by charging the battery back to full state and putting in a fresh sd card (i am using archlinux phosh with few difficulties so far).

Fwiw, i and others have noted that by inserting an sd card and simply booting by plugging in the charger, no button pushes are necessary to bypass the emmc. Strange, but true.

My shutdown procedure for now is disconnect from charger (or it will simply reboot after shutdown),
Shutdown from the menu,
Remove the battery and put it on the charger to restore it.

I suspect that people like @Danct12 or someone else will soon find what is causing the charging issue

UPDATE 20220131 : Fully updated Archlinux Phosh is now charging while using the Pinephone Pro. Im doing some studies now with the phone on, but unplugged from charger to find out how fast the phone is discharging and to try and see exactly whats drawing the most power while the phone is quiescent.
Pinephone Pro enthusiast and SUPER-HYPED for PineTab 2! PT2 is AWESOME!
Former electrical engineer. Current rancher.

I know a lot about a few things, a little about a lot of things and am ignorant of an unknown number of things.
  Reply
#8
(01-31-2022, 07:57 AM)Conjada Wrote: I suspect that your battery is too low to boot properly. Even hooked up to the charger and fully updated, the battery still seems to discharge, albeit slowly. Turned off and disconnected from the charger, it willstill discharge.

There are some power management issues on PPP, waiting to be worked out. If you have access to an external battery charger (such as recommended in @Otter post on anti brick devices), i would start by charging the battery back to full state and putting in a fresh sd card (i am using archlinux phosh with few difficulties so far).

Fwiw, i and others have noted that by inserting an sd card and simply booting by plugging in the charger, no button pushes are necessary to bypass the emmc. Strange, but true.

My shutdown procedure for now is disconnect from charger (or it will simply reboot after shutdown),
Shutdown from the menu,
Remove the battery and put it on the charger to restore it.

I suspect that people like @Danct12 or someone else will soon find what is causing the charging issue

Thanks for the comments - I will try to get a separate charger, but the battery has charge - about 4.2V (and it booted fine before at 3.7V). It looks like the Mask ROM mode does not discharge. I tried the bypass eMMC using charger and that doesn't work :-( - either USB3 port on PC, or a 2.4A wall charger.

So in summary I can enable Mask ROM mode or try to boot (SD or eMMC) whereby I get a "starting" buzz with red LED followed by constant green LED, with no signs of screen being switched on, or booting happening (screen is OK, because mask ROM mode has a screen logo briefly).

I've added an image of the last "boot" that happened (it was not successful) for reference as I forgot to add that originally.    

(01-31-2022, 06:44 AM)ojimek Wrote:
(01-31-2022, 05:55 AM)Damage Wrote: I cannot boot from the SD card either - I just get a blank screen and green LED.

Oh, ok. So you could boot on the SD card after the initial problem, but not after flashing the eMMC, is that right?

Have you tried booting on the SD card bypassing the eMMC by pressing the RE button? (as mentioned here : https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/PinePhone_Pro#Boot_order )

I assumed that's how you booted the SD card after the first problem, but I realize you don't mention it, actually.

ojimek thanks for that - I missed the subtlety (even though I read that page several times!) Smile

(For others, I did this counting to 3 on the RE pin, keeping thew power pressed for longer and the resulting buzz was longer, and higher frequency that dropped down in frequency).

Having found another issue (I can't find a way to retry the wifi if you mistype the password) I "rebooted to SD" (manjaro as described above. I get back to the green LED.

So back to the bypass again - boots from SD card :-)

This all leads me to think I bodged flashing the eMMC. Is there the option to re-install the original to eMMC?

And I will read it very carefully this time!
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#9
Glad to hear that you're working again, even if it is from SD. In my VERY humble opinion, I would wipe the emmc (as per the directions on the PPP wiki page) and then booting from the SD card will be trivial... at least until things are working better. You'll also be able to check out other distros on a trivial basis or recover more quickly than dealing with emmc at this point. About the only thing you'll get with emmc right now is a bit more speed in operation. But, that may be what you're looking for, so my opinion could be out of line.

I haven't seen the factory image available anywhere. But, that doesn't mean it isn't.
Pinephone Pro enthusiast and SUPER-HYPED for PineTab 2! PT2 is AWESOME!
Former electrical engineer. Current rancher.

I know a lot about a few things, a little about a lot of things and am ignorant of an unknown number of things.
  Reply
#10
I encountered the same issue with a corrupted eMMC install. I wrote a guide here: https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=15921 but to summarize:

1. Remove USB-C power and the battery.
2. Hold down the power button for 10 seconds, release for 3 seconds, hold down the power for 10 seconds, release the power button.
3. Re-insert the battery.
4. Hold reset (pinhole top left named Re) while inserting USB-C power.
5. Release reset after 4 seconds.

Please let me know if it works for you.
  Reply


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