Yet another Pinebook Pro won't boot thread
#1
Tongue 
My old Pinebook Pro wouldn't boot (it tried, but reported boot error messages and hung). It has no eMMC in the laptop at all (removed long ago), but I used to boot Manjaro from the SD card.

I flashed Manjaro ARM Generic to the SD. No boot at all (no power lights, no response).

I flashed Tow-boot to the Pinebook's SPI from the SD card. This booted, and the flash was successful.

I flashed Manjaro ARM Generic back to the SD card, but it does not boot. No power light.

I flashed the old Manjaro image for the PBP to the SD card, but that does not boot.

I re-flashed Towboot to the SD card. That boots!

Edit: I ended up using Towboot to erase the SPI, and then reflashed Towboot to the SPI. That gave me the Towboot boot menu. I think we're onto something here!
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#2
I also managed to brick my pinebook pro.  Blank display no LED

After much futzing around I got tow-boot installed to the SPI.

I used the usb adapter to dd  fresh copy of  Manjaro-ARM-kde-plasma-generic-23.02.img.xz to the emc card.

I boot from the emc the LED goes green  and I can see image load then the screen flashes a green blocky display with a grey bar at the top for a second or so then nothing it goes blank.

I rewrote a backup  copy of the working SD card image to a  sd card same thing green display then blank.
I used dd to write  a copy of Manjaro-ARM-kde-plasma-generic-23.02.img.xz to a usb drive same result.

So what step did I miss?

Short update armbian 23.02 appears to boot from usb.
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#3
After configuring Armbian on the NVME and the Sdcard I formatted the emc with a ext4 partition just to verify it basically worked.  I then dd'ed a new Manjaro .img file to the emc and this time it booted fine.  So my guess was the graphics was in a weird state that Manjaro could not handle on its initial boot and Armbian sorted it out??
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#4
It seems like Tow-boot is on an older version of uBoot, which is know to have issues with some 2020 era Pinebook Pros that somehow come with slightly different displays and thus only boot with a black screen. Very difficult to replicate though as it isn't entirely clear which ones are exactly effected. Supposedly this has been fixed in the latest uBoot version though, so I am waiting for a re-base of Tow-boot. (Edit: yes latest release of Tow-boot works on my 2020 Pinebook pro)
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#5
(04-28-2023, 04:54 PM)pinemouth Wrote: My old Pinebook Pro wouldn't boot (it tried, but reported boot error messages and hung). It has no eMMC in the laptop at all (removed long ago), but I used to boot Manjaro from the SD card.

    I flashed Manjaro ARM Generic to the SD. No boot at all (no power lights, no response).

    I flashed Tow-boot to the Pinebook's SPI from the SD card. This booted, and the flash was successful.

    I flashed Manjaro ARM Generic back to the SD card, but it does not boot. No power light.

    I flashed the old Manjaro image for the PBP to the SD card, but that does not boot.

    I re-flashed Towboot to the SD card. That boots!

Edit: I ended up using Towboot to erase the SPI, and then reflashed Towboot to the SPI. That gave me the Towboot boot menu. I think we're onto something here!

it is very strange to me to know that this issue is still not solved by the devs
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