rpi-update, now no longer boots


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by ren41 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:29 pm
I ran rpi-update before dinner, primarily because I read on the forum that iptables had been implemented/enabled.

Now my rpi doesn't boot; I get the red power LED and, after a few seconds, a flickering green LED. I'm not sure what to do next; if I can't boot then I can't reflash with an older firmware version, always supposing one is still available. Help, please!

Is it worth getting a new SD card and copying the old card's image onto it (can you do this? Surely you can, but in any case I'm not sure I've got enough HDD free space on my laptop to save a 16gb image), in case it's an access speed problem? I'm usng a 16gb Sandisk microSD card in an adapter - I've had no problems wih it.

ren
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by Lorian » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:30 pm
What does it say if you plug it into a screen?
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by dom » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:41 pm
Put the card in a windows/linux machine and report back what's in the boot partition (i.e. the one that WIndows can see).

The files should match:
https://github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-firmware

(start.elf will be the same as one of armxxx_start.elf, depending on your memory split).

Is the green LED flickering, or is it flashing a specific pattern?
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by ren41 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:48 pm
It's plugged into a screen - it says nothing, it's blank.

As far as I can tell, it's flickering rather than showing a specific pattern. I will check that though.

I have a Windows7 laptop with an SD card slot. I've never been able see any of the card if I
examine it in Windows - not even the root directory.

I have a dual boot PC but it doesn't have an Sd card slot.

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by grumpyoldgit » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:51 pm
ren41 wrote:It's plugged into a screen - it says nothing, it's blank.

As far as I can tell, it's flickering rather than showing a specific pattern. I will check that though.

I have a Windows7 laptop with an SD card slot. I've never been able see any of the card if I
examine it in Windows - not even the root directory.

I have a dual boot PC but it doesn't have an Sd card slot.

Ren


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by lookoutjames » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:51 pm
I also ran rpi-update tonight, and also find my Pi no longer boots. There were no errors after the update, and I rebooted immediately.

What I see is that the green OK LED flashes a single long flash (~1s), then quickly starts flashing 6 quite slow flashes (slightly shorter than the initial flash), then a gap, then 6 slow flashes, then a gap, etc. Is this also what you see? If you're seeing random flashing then it might be something different.

Nothing output on the monitor. No other changes to the Pi: same behaviour if I remove all USB devices and just leave the power (from an iPhone-charger wall-wart, measured at 5V between TP1 and TP2) and the HDMI output. I'm using a HDMI -> DVI converter that was working prior to the update.

My guess is that this is some sort of equivalent to BIOS POST codes but I've not found any reference anywhere to what specifically the 6 flashes mean. Is this documented online anywhere (I'm happy to read source code if that's the only place).

I've not checked the contents of the SD card yet (need to use a different computer).
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by dom » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:57 pm
@ren41
For some reason built in sdcard slots in laptops are crap. I have same problem on my Dell Latitude. I always use an external USB reader.
I have a printer with an sdcard slot which does work. You may also find a camera, an e-reader, a pda etc has a USB lead and sdcard slot and could be used.

@lookoutjames
6 flashes means start.elf was found, but corrupt. Can you check on Windows if start.elf matches the armxxx_start.elf from github?

The flashes were only added this weekend to try to identify how far the boot gets before failing. These are currently implemented ones:
> 3 flashes: loader.bin not found
> 4 flashes: loader.bin not launched
> 5 flashes: start.elf not found
> 6 flashes: start.elf not launched
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by ren41 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:04 pm
I'll go & check for flashing pattern. Good call on putting SD card in phone - although the Pi card was orig in my HTC phone - they seem to be notorious for throwing a corrupt card error if the phone is jolted. It's my only choice though!

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by lookoutjames » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:13 pm
dom wrote:@lookoutjames
6 flashes means start.elf was found, but corrupt. Can you check on Windows if start.elf matches the armxxx_start.elf from github?

The flashes were only added this weekend to try to identify how far the boot gets before failing. These are currently implemented ones:
> 3 flashes: loader.bin not found
> 4 flashes: loader.bin not launched
> 5 flashes: start.elf not found
> 6 flashes: start.elf not launched


Excellent. I write this post on a computer in one room, move to a computer in another room (the one with the working SD card reader) and your reply was waiting for me when I sat down. Thank you!

I've just downloaded the git repo from github and the latest sha1sums do match the ones on my SD card (for all the files present in both places). So I guess I'm a bit stuck unless I revert to an earlier kernel from github or something (or wait for a fix...). Is this something other people are seeing too? I'll see if I get time to poke around on the change logs on github, otherwise I'll try to experiment tomorrow evening if I get time.
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by ren41 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:14 pm
It's flashing in blocks of 5 so start.elf not found?

It's embarrassing to admit it but I do use the phone purely as a phone. Can someone tell me how to get to the command line & disk manager? It's an HTc Desire HD.

Many tha
nks to everyone.

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by dom » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:25 pm
lookoutjames wrote:I've just downloaded the git repo from github and the latest sha1sums do match the ones on my SD card (for all the files present in both places).


OKay, but start.elf isn't in Hexxeh's repo, but is should be identical to one of:
arm128_start.elf, arm192_start.elf or arm224_start.elf
Is it?
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by ren41 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:54 am
grumpyoldgit wrote:
ren41 wrote:It's plugged into a screen - it says nothing, it's blank.

As far as I can tell, it's flickering rather than showing a specific pattern. I will check that though.

I have a Windows7 laptop with an SD card slot. I've never been able see any of the card if I
examine it in Windows - not even the root directory.

I have a dual boot PC but it doesn't have an Sd card slot.

Ren


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Poundland sell an SD card reader?
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by RaTTuS » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:33 am
ren41 wrote:Poundland sell an SD card reader?

yes [possibly depends on which one] - and guess how much it is
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by ren41 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:10 am
RaTTuS wrote:
ren41 wrote:Poundland sell an SD card reader?

yes [possibly depends on which one] - and guess how much it is


ha!

Is it likely to just be that start.elf is missing? If so, could I just put it on the card using gparted? The card reader can read the card fine in gparted, just can't even readt /root in Windows.

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by rurwin » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:33 am
No, but you could put it on the card using Windows. It is /boot you need to fiddle with, and you can see that in Windows.
Just copy the right armXXX_start.elf file to start.elf.
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by ren41 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:21 am
I checked the card and start.elf was there. I thought I would copy the start.elf out of the boot.bak directory over it, to see if that would help if it was corrupted but that first partition is designated a read only file system and I don't seem to be able to change that. Is there a way to do it? I have been using the file manager out of pmagic to view the files etc.

I was able to copy the start.elf and armxxx_start.elf files into a different directory where I checked their checksums. start.elf didn't match any of the other 2. It also didn't match the start.elf out of the boot.bak directory.

And the start.elf out of the boot.bak directory doesn't match any of the armxxx-start files either.

Another thing that was odd was that after I'd changed directories to the first partition, I was able to run the checksum on the armxxx files, but trying it on start.elf gave me an I/O error. I wonder if the file is left open - but if that was the case, would I have been able to copy it?

Thoroughly confused now.

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by dom » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:29 am
There was a bug in the sdcard driver on June 13, and fixed on June 16. If you updated in that interval, it may have corrupted your boot partition. (Which sounds like what you are seeing).

Simplest solution is to re-image. I'd recommend switching to this:
http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/1435

If you need to recover, then I'd suggest formatting the boot (FAT) partition and copying back the files needed.
(if they are in github, use those. If not, use the ones from boot.bak).
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by ren41 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:59 am
I have the card up again on someone's laptop now. start.elf can't be renamed so I think it must be open or corrupted in some way. We've tried deleting it and Windows thinks it has, but it's still there, and so can't put a copy of arm192_start.elf in its place. It thinks it's 0bytes long now.
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by ren41 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:11 am
Hi Dom

I did the rpi-update yesterday so it should have been OK, I would have thought. Re-imaging will wipe my whole SD card, won't it? I read in another thread that you can flash to a second card and then copy its boot contents to the original card but as in PMagic in my laptop - my only way I can look at the card without the RPi - it thinks the boot partition is a read only filesystem, I don't see that is going to work.

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by ren41 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:32 am
Bingo! I was able to delete start.elf in PMagic (I don't think I tried that the first time, I just attempted to rename it. It wouldn't let me rename the copy of the arm192 file but I was able to do that in Windows, and now the Pi is booting up as usual. Thanks everyone for all your help.

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by lookoutjames » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:51 pm
That solved my problem too -- start.elf was corrupted. Windows didn't like it at all: didn't let me rename it; claimed to let me delete it it but a 0-length file remained. Running chkdsk on the FAT partition fixed it enough for me to copy one of the other start*.elf over the top, and then it booted fine.

Thanks for your help! I'll go and try the new wheezy image now, too.
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by ren41 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:28 pm
great! I meant to suggest you tried replacing start.elf too.

I wonder if it left the file open - still all good practice! Mind you I did waste a couple of hours of work time, as I had to borrow someone else's laptop SD card reader.

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by ingestre » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:37 am
Oh I am glad that this forum exists!

I have exactly this problem - Ran rpi-update this morning (20th June) and I now get the 5 (or is it 6? - hard to tell) yellow flashes indicating the start.elf corruption issue.

I was cursing all the way to work - Thought I was going to have to rebuild the entire image! Then I read that there is a way round this.

I have a netbook with a card reader (eeePC running stock Xandros) - Can I can use that to repair the corruption on the SD card, or does the fact that the boot partition is FAT32 mean I require a Windows machine to implement the workaround?
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by rurwin » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:42 am
The eeePC would be perfect.
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by ren41 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:46 pm
I couldn't delete the corrupted file from windows - I don't know if this was a chance thing or not. I deleted the file in Linux. If you have this problem and you don't have a Linux machine, then download PMagic and burn the .iso to disk. Make sure your PC/laptop with card reader is set to boot first from a CD (usually press either F12, F8 or F12 as the machine boots up, sorry I forget which); you'll get a prompt on screen as to which key to press. Reorder the boot sequence so that the CD drive is the first option. After that it's just a question of putting the SD card in the card reader, the CD in the CD drive and rebooting. It will boot up into a RAM-based Linux environment with PMagic. Open File Manager, navigate to the SD card's top level & delete start.elf. Then you can reboot into Windows and copy & rename the relevant armxxx_start.elf to start.elf and hopefully the SD card should boot up as usual.

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