Need Help Recovering Manjaro /boot Contents on Pinebook Pro
#1
While (intending to) backup files before installing Tow-Boot, I accidentally deleted all the files in my boot partition on my NVMe SSD. The root partition is fine.

Afterwards, I installed a fresh Manjaro image to my eMMC and I am currently booting it. I suspect that my NVMe root partition contains everything I need to restore /boot on the NVMe. For example, I have /var/cache/pacman/pkg/linux-6.25-1-aarch64.pkg.tar.zst and all my other package archives.

Can I run pacman from my eMMC system and tell it to install the needed package(s) from my NVMe drive onto the boot partition of my NVMe drive?
Perhaps I can simply umount the eMMC /boot partition, mount the NVMe boot partition in its place and then open a terminal in on the NVMe (/run/media…/var/cache/pacman/pkg/) folder and type "pacman -U <package.zst> but I also suspect a chroot to the NVMe system will be necessary.

What packages do I need to install? Maybe all I need to do is re-install the kernel under chroot and it will build a new initramfs-linux.img, etc.

Thanks so much for any help with the process.

-Cal

P.S. Unrelated but why does Tow-Boot say

Code:
WARNING: Bad CRC. Using default environment.
during boot.

I recently installed Tow-Boot to my SPI to replace u-boot installed on various other drives at various times.
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#2
It's probably telling you that your SPI ROM is uninitialized. What device does it say that about?

As far as /boot, Manjaru is weird so it'll probably make me look stupid saying this, but you shouldn't have anything "installed" there. Just copy the one from the eMMC.
:wq



[ SRA accepts you ]
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#3
(03-20-2023, 10:31 AM)KC9UDX Wrote: It's probably telling you that your SPI ROM is uninitialized.  What device does it say that about?

As far as /boot, Manjaru is weird so it'll probably make me look stupid saying this, but you shouldn't have anything "installed" there.  Just copy the one from the eMMC.

Thanks, KC9IUDX!

Yes--the Tow-Boot message is from the SPI, and that's where Tow-Boot is located. I've never installed Tow-Boot until now so it only exists on SPI.

I followed these Tow-Boot instructions and used Etcher to image spi.installer.img to an SD card.
https://wiki.manjaro.org/index.php/Manja...ptional.29

The SPI installer booted and seemed to work perfectly. Actually, except for the Tow-Boot boot message now, it seems to work perfectly to boot my eMMC Manjaro OS too! I could try flashing SPI again but, if it works (message notwithstanding), don't fix it (perhaps).

I'm doing a pacman -Syu to my eMMC system right now and then I'll try copying its /boot files to my NVMe and see if NVMe will boot. I've previously tried modifying the extlinux files to point to root on NVMe but had no luck. I have plenty of experience switching /boot and / pairings from the last two years running U-boot and a system on my NVMe. In fact, at one time I ran /boot and / from NVMe and it worked, but was not stable.

U-boot, root on NVMe and /boot on eMMC has worked for me for almost two years now. I have almost two years of history on my NVMe. I won't lose important stuff, because the / partition is still readable. I'll just have to reconfigure and system how I like it and copy /home over to it. I'd rather get the old system to boot!

73
Cal (AD8Q)

Okay. After doing pacman -Syu, my eMMC and old NVMe system appear to be on the same kernel revision. I copied the eMMC /boot files to NVMe and changed /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf file on the NVMe PARTUUID to match the NVMe root UUID. I also made sure the NVMe /etc/fstab file pointed to the NVMe root and boot partitions.

The old system that I'm trying to recover has symptoms similar to what's reported here, except I don't recall it happening after an upgrade and I no longer see the cursor on an otherwise black screen.

I think I need to boot to eMMC and chroot to the old system on NVMe and start reinstalling things but I don't know where to start. Probably building a new initframfs would be a good place. Will reinstalling the kernel under chroot, do that?

73
Cal (AD8Q)
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#4
I was able to capture the last text on the screen from a Tow-Boot boot of my NVMe. Should I try a chroot into the NVMe and kernel re-install?

   
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#5
Cal
I don't use Tow-Boot (yet) but my U-Boot always says something just like "WARNING: Bad CRC. Using default environment." when it reads the SPI ROM (because mine is uninitialized). I don't know which device yours is referencing, but it's just saying that there's no U-Boot or Tow-Boot there, so its going to continue booting.

As far as the rest, hopefully someone else can comment; I'm not that familiar with Manjaru (or Linux actually, I use NetBSD). It sounds like you're deep in Manjaru territory (blank screen with no cursor is very common).

73 KC9UDX Matt
:wq



[ SRA accepts you ]
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#6
(03-21-2023, 02:13 AM)KC9UDX Wrote: Cal
I don't use Tow-Boot (yet) but my U-Boot always says something just like "WARNING: Bad CRC. Using default environment." when it reads the SPI ROM (because mine is uninitialized).  I don't know which device yours is referencing, but it's just saying that there's no U-Boot or Tow-Boot there, so its going to continue booting.

As far as the rest, hopefully someone else can comment; I'm not that familiar with Manjaru (or Linux actually, I use NetBSD). It sounds like you're deep in Manjaru territory (blank screen with no cursor is very common).

73 KC9UDX Matt

Thanks for the info, Matt. I found this thread. Apparently, the warning is common to U-Boot and Tow-Boot but, if Strit isn't concerned about it, I guess I'll not worry either. My Tow-Boot is on SPI and I don't think there's a boot loader on my eMMC, though I'd need to double check to see if the Manjaro Image put one there but I don't think Manjaro supplies a boot loader these days in a Manjaro image. When I installed Manjaro to my eMMC after my NVMe quit booting, I had to remove my eMMC module and use another computer and my eMMC USB adapter to flash the eMMC with the Manjaro image. I could not get an SD card to boot Manjaro either, like I've done in the past. I've never had to use the USB adapter and another computer in the past.

https://forum.manjaro.org/t/u-boot-warni...up/96980/3

I still haven't found a solution to my NVMe drive not booting. I tried chroot and re-installed linux-image, which created the Image and initram files on the boot partition that I need, but I still can't get it to boot. There's a another thing that's really weird. My new Manjaro installation on my eMMC has an extlinux.conf file with a root UUID that doesn't even match the UUID on the root partition. I don't know how it can even boot. When I changed the UUID in the extlinux.conf file to match the partition, it failed to boot.

I borrowed another NVMe drive that's identical to my drive. I'll try installing a fresh system on it and see what happens. I'll be out of town for about 2 weeks though and probably won't get to it until I return home. At least I've not lost any data. The drive and /home directory are intact. I just won't boot.

Maybe I'll try NetBSD sometime. I haven't used it in years.

73
Cal -- AD8Q
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#7
(12-10-2023, 08:52 PM)emmausa Wrote: To restore Manjaro /boot content on Pinebook Pro, you need a USB drive containing the Manjaro ISO. You also need to know the name of your /boot partition. slope

No--I've concluded that my NVMe SSD drive problems are due to poor and unreliable support for the NVMe drive and adapter. There are a few threads here and on the Armbian website about the problem.
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