What to do if your PinePhone Pro does not boot
#1
If your PinePhone Pro does not boot please first of all do not panic and grab a cup of tea. There are typically two reasons why the phone might not boot, both are due to known software bugs in the old pre-flashed operating systems in the Explorer Edition.

Here are the causes and how to fix them:

The battery is drained

Cause: If the battery is drained the phone won't boot from microSD card or from the eMMC and instead get stuck in a boot loop. In that state the phone also can not be charged properly. This can also happen if the operating system got stuck at boot or at shutdown prior.

Fix: Charge your phone in Maskrom mode as explained here: https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/PinePhone_P...ly_drained

The pre-installed operating system is corrupted

Cause: The pre-installed operating system is corrupted. This can typically happen due to updates going wrong or by trying to flash incompatible images to the eMMC (for example such of the regular PinePhone or earlier Mobian releases). By default the phone will boot from the eMMC first, so it tries to boot the corrupted installation.

Fix: Flash a microSD card with a compatible operating system as explained here: https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/PinePhone_P...croSD_card. Then boot the phone while holding the "volume down key" (if device was ordered after July 2022), see https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/PinePhone_P...emporarily.

See https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/PinePhone_P..._corrupted

Issue not fixed?

Both issues can also occur at the same time, so it's recommended to follow both instructions in order if the following only one of either did not help. Please join the bridged community channel under https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/Main_Page#Chat_Platforms. The friendly community is happy to help.
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#2
Quote:Check if the phone in Maskrom mode appears in the output of the Linux command lsusb on the computer

And if your computer is running Windows10...what then?

While following steps 4-5:

Quote:Hold the "RE" button underneath the back cover of your Explorer Edition (or shorting the bypass contact points on the Developer Edition)

Connect the phone to an USB port of a computer, while still holding the button for some time

...Windows10 did make the same sound it always makes, when a USB device is newly connected. Though, as expected, nothing shows up in File Management. Is that sound-byte any indication that power is now being transferred to the battery? The LED on the front of the phone did not come on. Nor does the phone offer any indication that the battery is charging.

Though, while the battery is sitting at just above room temperature, the phone's Quectel EG25-G unit is generating mild heat.

For reference: Desk: 25.8C, PPP Battery: 28.4C, Quectel EG25-G unit: 30.2C.

That seems...promising(?).

I do have the keyboard addon. Is there any way to insert the phone's battery in that unit, and charge it that way? Or can I simply charge the keyboard unit separately, and then utilize that as a power-supply?
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#3
(03-16-2022, 03:49 PM)Simon Belmont Wrote:
Quote:Check if the phone in Maskrom mode appears in the output of the Linux command lsusb on the computer

And if your computer is running Windows10...what then?

While following steps 4-5:

Quote:Hold the "RE" button underneath the back cover of your Explorer Edition (or shorting the bypass contact points on the Developer Edition)

Connect the phone to an USB port of a computer, while still holding the button for some time

...Windows10 did make the same sound it always makes, when a USB device is newly connected. Though, as expected, nothing shows up in File Management. Is that sound-byte any indication that power is now being transferred to the battery? The LED on the front of the phone did not come on. Nor does the phone offer any indication that the battery is charging.

Though, while the battery is sitting at just above room temperature, the phone's Quectel EG25-G unit is generating mild heat.

For reference: Desk: 25.8C, PPP Battery: 28.4C, Quectel EG25-G unit: 30.2C.

That seems...promising(?).

I do have the keyboard addon. Is there any way to insert the phone's battery in that unit, and charge it that way? Or can I simply charge the keyboard unit separately, and then utilize that as a power-supply?

The sounds are a good sign but a better one would be to check the device manager for an unknown device, which should have the VID 2207 and the PID 330C in the device properties, I think. Please do the charging without the keyboard being attached, as using the USB-C port of the phone while having the keyboard attached is not recommended and probably doesn't work properly. 

Charging the keyboard separately won't help with the drained phone battery as U-Boot is bootlooping due to a bug with a drained phone battery and it won't charge properly in that state either, until Maskrom mode is used.
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#4
Quote:The sounds are a good sign but a better one would be to check the device manager for an unknown device, which should have the VID 2207 and the PID 330C in the device properties

Yup, it's there.

I didn't necessarily mean, 'have the whole phone installed inside the keyboard case.'

Rather, I meant, "swap the phone's battery in-place-of the keyboard's battery and plug the USB-C into the keyboard unit, thus bypassing any software issues the phone is imposing on its own charging process."

Never-mind that though. I am in the process of returning the keyboard unit now anyway.

I flashed an SD card with Ubuntu Touch, and followed the instructions on booting from the SD card slot (including the missing steps).

Nothing. This extremely vague "push this, then this, but not-this for too long"-crap feels like a practical joke. I've tried many variations of this "let go at just the right moment (not that there's any indication as to what that moment is)"-game. Same result, every time: nothing.

I'll try another OS I guess...

No indication that the battery is even charged, for that matter. Despite being charged via my computer's USB port for over 24 hours... Windows did see the device plugged in, so I assume it was charging (but who would even know?).
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#5
(03-17-2022, 07:40 PM)Simon Belmont Wrote:
Quote:The sounds are a good sign but a better one would be to check the device manager for an unknown device, which should have the VID 2207 and the PID 330C in the device properties

Yup, it's there.

I didn't necessarily mean, 'have the whole phone installed inside the keyboard case.'

Rather, I meant, "swap the phone's battery in-place-of the keyboard's battery and plug the USB-C into the keyboard unit, thus bypassing any software issues the phone is imposing on its own charging process."

Never-mind that though. I am in the process of returning the keyboard unit now anyway.

I flashed an SD card with Ubuntu Touch, and followed the instructions on booting from the SD card slot (including the missing steps).

Nothing. This extremely vague "push this, then this, but not-this for too long"-crap feels like a practical joke. I've tried many variations of this "let go at just the right moment (not that there's any indication as to what that moment is)"-game. Same result, every time: nothing.

I'll try another OS I guess...

No indication that the battery is even charged, for that matter. Despite being charged via my computer's USB port for over 24 hours... Windows did see the device plugged in, so I assume it was charging (but who would even know?).

I'm all for community sourced solutions. But not when the problem itself already cost me 400 bucks, and has specs worse than my Pi4B.

Ubuntu Touch has no release for the Pro so this is 100% an user error. Are you sure you have the release page of the Pro open? I don't think your battery is drained, I rather think your preinstalled OS is corrupted and you're trying to boot from the wrong images. 

Regarding the RE button I'm sure you can do it, as you already loaded Maskrom mode with it successfully. There is no special timing except for "hold it long enough". If you hold it for too long the only thing "bad" happening is the eMMC not getting initialized in the OS.

And frankly I don't want to see the last part of your reply. As buyer of the early adopters batch you're expected to write the documentation and the software, you know that and the warnings are everywhere. If you don't agree with that, don't buy the early adopters batch. Upcoming batches will likely have more bugs regarding the boot process fixed and they might use Tow-Boot on the SPI.
  Reply
#6
(03-19-2022, 08:51 AM)fxc Wrote:
(03-17-2022, 07:40 PM)Simon Belmont Wrote:
Quote:The sounds are a good sign but a better one would be to check the device manager for an unknown device, which should have the VID 2207 and the PID 330C in the device properties

Yup, it's there.

I didn't necessarily mean, 'have the whole phone installed inside the keyboard case.'

Rather, I meant, "swap the phone's battery in-place-of the keyboard's battery and plug the USB-C into the keyboard unit, thus bypassing any software issues the phone is imposing on its own charging process."

Never-mind that though. I am in the process of returning the keyboard unit now anyway.

I flashed an SD card with Ubuntu Touch, and followed the instructions on booting from the SD card slot (including the missing steps).

Nothing. This extremely vague "push this, then this, but not-this for too long"-crap feels like a practical joke. I've tried many variations of this "let go at just the right moment (not that there's any indication as to what that moment is)"-game. Same result, every time: nothing.

I'll try another OS I guess...

No indication that the battery is even charged, for that matter. Despite being charged via my computer's USB port for over 24 hours... Windows did see the device plugged in, so I assume it was charging (but who would even know?).

I'm all for community sourced solutions. But not when the problem itself already cost me 400 bucks, and has specs worse than my Pi4B.

Ubuntu Touch has no release for the Pro so this is 100% an user error. Are you sure you have the release page of the Pro open? I don't think your battery is drained, I rather think your preinstalled OS is corrupted and you're trying to boot from the wrong images. 

Regarding the RE button I'm sure you can do it, as you already loaded Maskrom mode with it successfully. There is no special timing except for "hold it long enough". If you hold it for too long the only thing "bad" happening is the eMMC not getting initialized in the OS.

And frankly I don't want to see the last part of your reply. As buyer of the early adopters batch you're expected to write the documentation and the software, you know that and the warnings are everywhere. If you don't agree with that, don't buy the early adopters batch. Upcoming batches will likely have more bugs regarding the boot process fixed and they might use Tow-Boot on the SPI.

You are right on all point sir. I apologize, and I removed the remark.
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#7
That is a method that seems to work for many of the forum members,  so I cannot argue that.

BUT it is also not the only method that works.

Arch is probably the best 'out of the box' OS for the Explorer phone at the moment for running from the sd card.
  Before I wiped my emmc, ---  I had to press my power button for 6 seconds for it to boot from the sd card,
now it boots from the sd card with the normal 2 second press.

Mobian runs 'out of the box', but it does have a few problems, like freezing on suspend.
  (You can turn off suspend)

Anyhow,  I have not had to use the "reset" button ever,  and I have been able to boot my Explorer with a minimum of problems.

** Persons new to the Pine phones should be made aware that there are 2 Different operating systems, 
One for the original Pine phone,
and one for the Pro series phones, 
--  and they are Not inter-changeable, the Pro has different hardware. (mostly)

** When flashing sd cards, there are several methods that work well, --- Myself I prefer using the Balena Etcher app.

** For the time being it is suggested to use the sd card to run from, but that will soon change as the software evolves.
----  (except for actual developers)
Development of the software for the new Pro series seems to be evolving quicker now,  than in the early Brave Heart days.!
      LINUX = CHOICES
         **BCnAZ**
               Idea
   Donate to $upport
your favorite OS Team
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#8
I got rid of U-Boot and replaced it with Tow-Boot. I listed every step in the process, including a few comments on what I tried that did not work, in this thread:

https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?...998&page=4

Next step is to get Arch onto the eMMC.

I have noticed frequent inconsistencies in the instructions provided by Pine64. And not the type that could be explained by language barriers either. In some cases whole steps, which are crucial, are omitted from instructions.

From what I've seen in people's documentation of their experiences with either the Developer or Explorer models, it seems like the "improvements/fixes" made from one to the next, are where most of the problems stem from. Isn't it supposed to work exactly the opposite, when bringing a product to market? How could anyone have tested the Explorer before shipping it and said, "that'll do!"..?

I figured this phone would require a bit of work. I didn't realize that meant it would arrive soft-bricked. I hope steps are being taken to address the disastrous states these phones are arriving in.

In any case, that's why I listed the steps I've taken, so meticulously. Maybe it will be helpful.
  Reply
#9
(03-20-2022, 07:18 AM)Simon Belmont Wrote: I got rid of U-Boot and replaced it with Tow-Boot. I listed every step in the process, including a few comments on what I tried that did not work, in this thread (page two):

https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?...#pid108308

Next step is to get Arch onto the eMMC.

I have noticed frequent inconsistencies in the instructions provided by Pine64. And not the type that could be explained by language barriers either. In some cases whole steps, which are crucial, are omitted from instructions.

From what I've seen in people's documentation of their experiences with either the Developer or Explorer model, it seems like the "improvements/fixes" made from one to the next, are where most of the problems stem from. Isn't it supposed to work exactly the opposite, when bringing a product to market? How could anyone have tested the Explorer before launch and said, "that will do." ..? I figured this phone would require a bit of work. I didn't realize that meant it would arrive soft-bricked. I hope steps are being taken to address the disastrous states some of our phones arrived-in, in future phones that are being shipped.

In any case, that's why I listed the steps I've taken, so meticulously. Some of it (or most of it) may be superfluous, but harmless. But at least there is nothing omitted.

The printed instructions are required by law, while the wiki instructions are the up-to-date instructions considering all kind of possible issues, so best to stick to the wiki. Regarding the software state of the Explorer Edition: exactly, Pine does not write the software and also does not test it, the user of this early adopters batch does. It's a common misconception of people who can't overcome their expected projections of how commercial companies work versus the business model of Pine.
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#10
The original Brave Heart phone came with just a "hardware testing" operating system installed at the factory.

Perhaps Pine64 should revert to that again --- to reduce the misconceptions to potential buyers ? ?

Most of the help and advice here on the Pine forum is from fellow Pine64 device "Users"....
Some are seasoned professionals, some are brand new windows or apple converts plus everyone inbetween.
Some are easy to understand, some -- not so much.

But we do "TRY" to help each other.

Pine64 just sells us the hardware.
      LINUX = CHOICES
         **BCnAZ**
               Idea
   Donate to $upport
your favorite OS Team
  Reply


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