Unable to make a bootable microSD card
#11
(09-15-2022, 11:07 AM)commiecam Wrote: Personally, I would happily pay the extra cost to save the frustration of dealing with this current idiotic situation.  The Pinebook Pro is a lovely little box, one  deserving of better treatment than this current mess. As to Manjaro, my personal aim is to get away from KDE's bloatware

(09-15-2022, 01:21 PM)steeb Wrote: Anyway, first piece of advice for anyone getting a new Pinebook Pro: Flash Tow-Boot to the SPI then you can get busy.

Just got a PBP.  All it does is flash the power led when trying to boot from SD.  This really is an idiotic situation.  Yeah I hear you... flash tow-boot to the SPI.  How do I do that?  If I find a tutorial, how do I know it was written for this "new batch" or if it only works on the old ones?

Next step is to toss this thing in the bottom of my closet and come back to it six months later... when I'm done being pissed at it.

In all seriousness.... having to jump through some kind of hoop before you can boot from a different device feels a lot like having to "root" or "jailbreak" your phone before being able to change it.  It's not the same thing... but it accomplishes the same function - serving as a roadblock to running someone else's software.  I didn't think that was supposed to be the philosophy behind these "open" devices.

The product page clearly states "Bootable microSD" but you can only get that if you perform the modifications necessary to enable it. In that case, they could say literally anything on the product page - if you do it yourself!  False advertising.

They should have inserted a little slip of paper in the box with the "new batch" warning that the bootable microSD feature now only works after you follow the official tutorial at their website (with a QR code).  The value of the amount of time I've wasted on this problem already exceeds the money I paid for the device.
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#12
"The product page clearly states "Bootable microSD" but you can only get that if you perform the modifications necessary to enable it. In that case, they could say literally anything on the product page - if you do it yourself! False advertising."

I prefer the term "purest bovine excrement."

"They should have inserted a little slip of paper in the box with the "new batch" warning that the bootable microSD feature now only works after you follow the official tutorial at their website (with a QR code). The value of the amount of time I've wasted on this problem already exceeds the money I paid for the device. "

Don't feel bad. This is my SECOND Pinebook Pro. The first one is still waiting for a replacement for a defective case hinge that they won't list as a part. Making it even worse, the case cover in their store that comes with hinges attached has been out of stock for a good year. I realize that we're effectively beta-testing a new device and we're all paying for the privilege of doing so. That being said, it's downright unethical at this stage of development to NOT stock a reasonable number of every spare part for us to BUY in support of OUR efforts to help them perfect THEIR design,or to maintain accurate information regarding hardware and firmware and the changes periodically occurring to both. Pity to treat such a potentially fine product in such a cavalier way.
 while(!(succeed=try()));
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#13
Unfortunatelly, the flashed microSD that used to boot now does not (green LED, blank screen with backlight on). How can I verify the integrity of the written image?

Edit: Reflashing the microSD didn't help.

Edit 2: The general consensus is to use a serial console cable for debugging. Moreover, it seems this is a hardware quirk as pointed out in https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?...#pid109449.
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#14
>How can I verify the integrity of the written image?
I hope you realize that if xzcat or zcat don't complain,,error out, download was OK
(the slightest change in a compressed file causes extraction errors)
so...
xzcat image |md5sum
cat /dev/SD |md5sum (replace SD with right mmcblkX_)
More likely your problem is uboot OR dtb OR boot.scr/extlinux.conf OR initrd
I would try some other (pinebookpro) dtb first, then check boot scripts
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#15
Guys, I’ve got one of the new PBP’s and it is bootable from the sdcard. I don’t care for Manjaro, so I went to the Kali site and downloaded their latest image and proceeded from there; they have an online guide if you want to look through it.

A few hours later I was up and running with Kali on the eMMC and didn’t mess with the spiflash; still running u-boot until I learn more about the options (That’s why I made a poll here).

I did have to try a few different sdcards to get one to work, never buy cheap sd cards from a grocery store, lesson learned (it was the closest shop). Balena on windows also had more failures with the sdcards than Linux. I verified the images & after the installation, hit the wifi problem, but that was solved soon enough.

At the moment, I’ve had a stable PBP since about 10 hours after delivery, have another os ready if needed on a usb drive which I can boot from through the u-boot menu & a sdcard for extra storage.

I’ve been using it daily for work 4-9 hours a day, weekdays and also as a testing device in my classes (os on a usb drive, kernel: 5.18.0-kali5-arm64).

So far it has survived my students and the staff checking it out/playing with it & I have no real complaints, except the fingerprints & a few stickers on the lid fixed that.
Sent from my Pinebook Pro.
Thank you PineTeam for your outstanding work!
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#16
Solved! Strit (Manjaro ARM) pointed out that mainline Linux kernel has issues booting from some SD cards (it cannot find the filesystem and results in the behavior described in my previous post), which partially explains why it worked for a while and since Armbian boots just fine, I solved this by installing their kernel (linux-rockchip64-bin) via chroot.
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