Can't boot from a microSD card
#1
I can't figure out how to boot from a microSD card. Looking online, most of the relevant information I can find says that the PinePhone Pro's default settings are to boot from the microSD card, and only boot from the eMMC is not microSD card is present.



I've copied a postmarketOS image on the microSD card, putting it on the phone (yes, I checked it's the right slot!), and then turned it on. It just boots to the factory KDE OS.



I've been told to hold the up button when the phone vibrates during boot, but the phone does not vibrate at any point when starting up. The top LED flashes white very briefly, moments later a mouse pointer appears briefly, then the speakers make a light "thud", and finally I see the lock screen of the OS on the MMC.



I tried holding the up key (and also with down key), but the results never vary. I grabbed the `-installer` image from here: https://images.postmarketos.org/bpo/v21....0406-1001/



Here's what the partitions looks like on the mSD:



Code:
$ lsblk | grep -v nvme

NAME        MAJ:MIN RM  SIZE RO TYPE  MOUNTPOINTS

mmcblk0    179:0    0 119.1G  0 disk

├─mmcblk0p1 179:1    0  243M  0 part

├─mmcblk0p2 179:2    0    2G  0 part

└─mmcblk0p3 179:3    0  2.5G  0 part

│ └─root    254:0    0 921.6G  0 crypt /

  └─swap    254:1    0    32G  0 crypt [SWAP]


I tried copying the image over it from scratch a few times, always same results.



Any ideas?
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#2
I moved your thread in the correct section, you posted to the section of the regular PinePhone before. That is also your issue with the image, you try to boot a regular PinePhone image instead of one for the Pro (different boards, different SoCs, not compatible). Pmbootstrap is mandatory, as explained on the wiki.

There are quite a few more issues from your description, for example did you write that you tried to boot with the "Volume up" button, instead of the RE button and that you "copied" the image, instead of flashing it and that you think that the microSD card is first in boot priority, which is false too, so it reads like you got completely false information from somewhere. Make sure to have a look at the wiki, it is all explained there, https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/PinePhone_Pro
  Reply
#3
(04-09-2022, 12:11 PM)WhyNotHugo Wrote: I can't figure out how to boot from a microSD card. Looking online, most of the relevant information I can find says that the PinePhone Pro's default settings are to boot from the microSD card, and only boot from the eMMC is not microSD card is present.



I've copied a postmarketOS image on the microSD card, putting it on the phone (yes, I checked it's the right slot!), and then turned it on. It just boots to the factory KDE OS.



I've been told to hold the up button when the phone vibrates during boot, but the phone does not vibrate at any point when starting up. The top LED flashes white very briefly, moments later a mouse pointer appears briefly, then the speakers make a light "thud", and finally I see the lock screen of the OS on the MMC.



I tried holding the up key (and also with down key), but the results never vary. I grabbed the `-installer` image from here: https://images.postmarketos.org/bpo/v21....0406-1001/



Here's what the partitions looks like on the mSD:



Code:
$ lsblk | grep -v nvme

NAME        MAJ:MIN RM  SIZE RO TYPE  MOUNTPOINTS

mmcblk0    179:0    0 119.1G  0 disk

├─mmcblk0p1 179:1    0  243M  0 part

├─mmcblk0p2 179:2    0    2G  0 part

└─mmcblk0p3 179:3    0  2.5G  0 part

│ └─root    254:0    0 921.6G  0 crypt /

  └─swap    254:1    0    32G  0 crypt [SWAP]


I tried copying the image over it from scratch a few times, always same results.



Any ideas?

I recently had to reinstall TowBoot for some reason in order to get it to boot to the mSD properly when holding Volume Down at startup.
It seems that after a while the first install of TowBoot stopped working correctly.
  Reply
#4
Right, looks like I was also reading wiki entry for "PinePhone" (not-Pro) on the in the postmarketOS wiki, hence the mixed up info . The volume key info I got from IRC, but that seems to be mistaken too. I actually had no idea about the RE button.

I copied the image the same way I'd create a bootable USB drive using an OS image:

Code:
xz --decompress --stdout 20220406-1001-postmarketOS-v21.12-phosh-17-pine64-pinephone-installer.img.xz | sudo dd of=/dev/mmcblk0 bs=4M status=progress

The partitions on the card look like this after copying the data:

Code:
$ lsblk | grep -v nvme
NAME        MAJ:MIN RM  SIZE RO TYPE  MOUNTPOINTS
mmcblk0    179:0    0 119.1G  0 disk
├─mmcblk0p1 179:1    0  243M  0 part
├─mmcblk0p2 179:2    0    2G  0 part
└─mmcblk0p3 179:3    0  2.5G  0 part

I'm not sure what the difference between copying an image an "flashing" the drive is -- last time I flashed something was many many years ago and it was usually devices with on-board memory that I needed to flash via USB or serial. I've also never used microSD cards before, so might be missing something that's very obvious to others.

So I'm not pressing the RE button while holding the power button, and the phone simply stays off and doesn't turn on. If I DON'T hold the RE button and just press the power button, it boots up into the eMMC's OS.

As per my timings, I need to hold the power key AT LEAST 11s for the phone to boot, and the screen will only turn on about 10 seconds later, when it's done starting the eMMC's KDE.

Pressing the RE button at any point during the initial 11 seconds results in the phone simply staying off.

Pressing the RE button after the initial 11 seconds usually results in the phone staying off, or booting to the eMMC. When pressing the RE button at the EXACT right moment, it does turn on after a while, but startup fails; the error message was systemd indicating that dependencies for ModemManager had failed and boot stalled.

The tricky part is that I can't figure out when that EXACT moment it; I only got to it by mere chance due to retrying dozens of times (and didn't take a photo of it!). It seems the timings need to be done with PERFECT, or the phone either doesn't boot, or boots off the eMMC.
  Reply
#5
(04-10-2022, 04:19 AM)WhyNotHugo Wrote: Right, looks like I was also reading wiki entry for "PinePhone" (not-Pro) on the in the postmarketOS wiki, hence the mixed up info . The volume key info I got from IRC, but that seems to be mistaken too. I actually had no idea about the RE button.

I copied the image the same way I'd create a bootable USB drive using an OS image:

Code:
xz --decompress --stdout 20220406-1001-postmarketOS-v21.12-phosh-17-pine64-pinephone-installer.img.xz | sudo dd of=/dev/mmcblk0 bs=4M status=progress

The partitions on the card look like this after copying the data:

Code:
$ lsblk | grep -v nvme
NAME        MAJ:MIN RM  SIZE RO TYPE  MOUNTPOINTS
mmcblk0    179:0    0 119.1G  0 disk
├─mmcblk0p1 179:1    0  243M  0 part
├─mmcblk0p2 179:2    0    2G  0 part
└─mmcblk0p3 179:3    0  2.5G  0 part

I'm not sure what the difference between copying an image an "flashing" the drive is -- last time I flashed something was many many years ago and it was usually devices with on-board memory that I needed to flash via USB or serial. I've also never used microSD cards before, so might be missing something that's very obvious to others.

So I'm not pressing the RE button while holding the power button, and the phone simply stays off and doesn't turn on. If I DON'T hold the RE button and just press the power button, it boots up into the eMMC's OS.

As per my timings, I need to hold the power key AT LEAST 11s for the phone to boot, and the screen will only turn on about 10 seconds later, when it's done starting the eMMC's KDE.

Pressing the RE button at any point during the initial 11 seconds results in the phone simply staying off.

Pressing the RE button after the initial 11 seconds usually results in the phone staying off, or booting to the eMMC. When pressing the RE button at the EXACT right moment, it does turn on after a while, but startup fails; the error message was systemd indicating that dependencies for ModemManager had failed and boot stalled.

The tricky part is that I can't figure out when that EXACT moment it; I only got to it by mere chance due to retrying dozens of times (and didn't take a photo of it!). It seems the timings need to be done with PERFECT, or the phone either doesn't boot, or boots off the eMMC.

The main issue here is that you try to boot an image for the regular PinePhone but you own a PinePhone Pro. The PinePhone Pro can not boot regular PinePhone images. The flashing command looks correct and with Tow-Boot there is actually a volume button combination to boot from microSD card (you left out the detail that you're using Tow-Boot), so the RE button is not required in that case.

Please make sure you're downloading your images only from https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/PinePhone_P...e_Releases
  Reply
#6
Right, I just figured the same thing: the images I'm using are not for the Pro.

Thanks for all the pointers though, happy to hear that the problem is on this side of the keyboard and not the device itself. Will retry with the right images, and open a separate thread if I encounter other issues.

Hopefully all this info will be of use to other confused souls in future.
  Reply


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