Public service announcement!

We’ve just had an email from one of our distributors:

I have noticed an increase in the quantity of returns where it’s claimed by the customer that the Pi will not boot. My view is that in the majority of instances they are attempting to use the unit with an OS that is not compatible with the Hynix chip, often inserting a card from a Pi they already have which reinforces the view in their mind that the new unit is faulty.

Just yesterday I received a batch of 21 units from a school and upon testing with the latest version of Raspbian Wheezy all booted normally.

If your 512MB Pi has a Hynix memory chip in the middle of the board (that’s the black, square RAM chip right in the centre, and it’ll either say Samsung or Hynix on it in white letters), please ensure you are using the latest version of Raspbian, which you can get from the downloads link at the top of the page. The version on that page will always be the latest available. It seems a lot of the people who have been caught out by this are folk who have bought a pre-flashed card from someone on eBay or Amazon. We always recommend against this, because the images on those grey-market cards are often months out of date – and a lot of work is done on the software every week, so a months-old operating system will bear little resemblance to the newest version. If you absolutely must buy a pre-loaded SD card, make sure you buy it from a reputable source.

144 comments

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I had the same problem, however that was with a crappy SD Card. After I tried a Class-10, I had no problems. I plan on buying a class 4, 6, and/or 8 to see how low it can go.

I doubt it is the devices fault. People would rather blame the manufacturer that themselves. I’m surprised someone hasn’t sued McDonald’s because coffee shorted out their Pi.

It’s more likely to be one of these reasons.
– You are an idiot
– Your case is conductive and is shorting out the Pi.
– Poor quality memory
– Poorly installed OS (or an OS that won’t work, maybe you are trying to boot from an ISO on your SD card)
– You caused physical damage to the device. (it is small and is easy to damage. It’s NOT as sturdy as your phone)

—Just to name a few. But I really doubt it was the devices fault.

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About 66% of the returns that come in don’t actually have anything wrong with them. Another very common fault we see is where someone’s just dragged and dropped an image onto an SD card in Windows – despite the very clear instructions on NOT DOING THAT on the downloads page!

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66% is a lot. Maybe consider making an installer for them? Make one similar to installing windows programs where there are instructions per step (even a progress bar like “1-out-of-3 done”), then a next button to go to the next step, etc. I also thought about a “repository” style of installing distros. Say, they choose from a list which distro they want, and then the installer downloads for them the latest update from your site, and installs is automatically on the SD card. The users can then drag the installer inside the SD card’s root directory, so that in the installation, all they have to choose is the distro. This would greatly reduce the human-errors that can be made with choosing the file, and where to install the file.

At such an easy task, for someone to fail means there is still that “technicality” that is hard to do for computer illiterate people (which is funny because every one knows how to use a computer, right?).

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Actually it doesn’t surprise me at all. In the late 90s I worked at a test-bench for a computer company. Part of my job was to test the ‘defective computer parts’ another company send back (This other company did our customer service on site). This included motherboards, graphical cards, hard drives, etc…

We found that 95% of the motherboards they replaced for a customer were not defective. It’s a psychological effect I think. You arrive at a customer, his PC is not working well or he has vague issue, you can’t find the cause (probably a Windows crap out) so you change the motherboard, so it seems as if you fixed something.

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I know exactly what you mean, and it makes me want to pull every strand of hair from my scalp.

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There’s nice detailed instructions on the wiki… http://elinux.org/RPi_Easy_SD_Card_Setup (which again, it sounds like people aren’t bothering to read).

The “repository style installer” sounds very similar to the way https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNetbootin works – I guess it might be an interesting project for someone (with more free time than me!) to adapt a copy of that into being Pi-OS installer…? (just to clarify – UNetbootin will *not* work for installing Raspi distros)

Have a look also at http://berryterminal.com/doku.php/berryboot (the latest version already includes the Hynix-memory firmware fix).

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Yeah I realized (and remembered that there is such thing close to what I was referring to), but maybe it’d be better if they made an official raspberry pi distro installer? :)

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This is very well put! People are lazy! You must read and take the time to learn how to do things right.

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While Jimmy’s first reason may sometimes apply, customer service reps aren’t normally allowed to say that :-). Back in the early days of R-Pi, a common issue was trying to use a cheap USB power supply which could not provide enough current, and I think that is sometimes still a factor. Also incompatible SD cards, I think that’s much better now. Flattened non-contacting pins on the SD card connector also affected me personally (fix: bend them back up- carefully). Interesting bug with the out of date software distributions. Probably even if the vendor includes a red, bold-face warning note about that with each Pi, some users will ignore it because they “know what works”.

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PS – I agree with Jimmy, too, though opening up the world to newbies is going to result in this kind of situation, and hopefully they can learn from it and keep experimenting!

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Ah, the perils of dealing with the public -.-

Good luck!

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Whats the actual issue with Hynix RAM? Can’t see anything in the forums apart from overclock speed being better on the Samsung RAM.

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Reason for asking is that I’m about to buy another board, but want/need to use an SD-Card OS I’ve already made a lot of changes to. I can’t remember all of the changes (history log tells me which files I’ve edited, but not what I’ve changed), so its gonna be a real pain to start from scratch again.

The forum posts I have read said that some of the early models had Hynix RAM in them, so I don’t follow why the latest image is needed now. Is this to fix a fault with the RAM or is it a new part that needs a new driver etc.

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From what I can tell, the Rev1.0 Model Bs shipped with either a 256MB (2Gbit) Hynix or Samsung RAM chip. IIRC the Rev2.0 boards were actually shipping for a short time with 256MB of RAM, and after the RAM upgrade was announced they were all using 512MB (4Gbit) Samsung chips (and the firmware in the OS download images had already been updated by then).
So I’m guessing it’s now the 4Gbit Hynix chips used by later 512MB Rev2.0 boards that need some kind of new driver… it’d be interesting to hear if this is in the binary firmware blob, or the Linux kernel, or both, or something else ;-)

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The binary blob needs to set up the SDRAM correctly (i.e. give it all the right settings) it does this by reading a manufacturer id / product id and setting it based on this… But of course if you change the device then the blob needs to know…

Gordon

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When I bought my second Pi recently I emailed the supplier first (New IT) to make sure I got one with a Samsung memory chip. As a result this second Pi is 100% compatible with my first 256Mb Pi, even to being the same maximum overclock speed (1050MHz).

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Please note that there is really no difference in the quality of the RAM or its capabiliites between the two devices. They are to all intents and purposes identical. So as long as you have the latest firmware, all Raspis are compatible.

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If someone with experience knew what they were doing, they could use Linux and the “offline mode” I added to rpi-update to update the firmware files in the /boot directory – would that fix the problem, or does it go deeper than that?

All my RasPi’s have Samsung RAM (so I’m not affected by this), but I’m assuming it won’t be too long before the non-Raspbian distros on the downloads page get updated to work with Hynix RAM too?

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These problems are no surprise.

Most people today can’t follow simple directions.
It doesn’t matter what the topic is.

No one listens anymore.
No one wants to pay attention.

Everyone is self centered.
The population as a whole dumbing down.

It’s really sad.

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Your comment was too long – I couldn’t be bothered to read it. Can you give me a 5-word summary? ;-)

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People are really stupid now-a-days.

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Reminds me of a good book from 1985 called:

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

It’s amazing to see what has happened since the book has been written.

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I would generalize that much. Unless you can somehow claim you have the official instructions, then the world is confusing. There are hundreds of posts out there detailing how to install the wheezy image, yet many of them could be flawed. Since nobody “owns” anything, it’s tough to be able to get things working and are reliant on..

– Current state of hacking (eg. stable, tweaked etc.)
– Existence of official instructions
– Reliability of users’ instructions, comments (assumptions, missing details, false claims)
– Version, build of software/hardware

After working through several different instructions, I know that there are more reliable sources than others, yet no one seems to have all the answers. (I’m generalizing to all R-Pi related stuff, of course).

But so what if they’re stupid, it’s up to us to figure out how to make this so easy, even an idiot could install it. As an example, I found Raspbmc the easiest thing to install out of anything, it’s really 1-click. If the goal is to make it kid friendly, maybe it needs to be even dumbed down even more, don’t confuse that 5 yr old with phrases like “install image using dd” right from the get-go. :)

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Does that mean there’re some extra boards available for ordering? :)

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By returning the unit when it does’t work, one is actually missing a good learning experience behind the raspberry pi: setting up the computer to work.
The rpi is definitely not for the faint of heart :D

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Yep, it reminds me of when I started using Linux. Mandrake 8 had some serious problems with my hardware, but being on a slow connection at the time I couldn’t just download a different OS. I relied on a set of ‘grey-market’ CDs and Google – and ended up knowing more than most about hdparm and X.

Thanks for the public service announcement, by the way – it’s much nicer than the one that followed me home the other day. ;)

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If I have an older version of Raspbian Wheezy, and I run rpi-update and of course apt-get update/upgrade, is that equivalent to using the newest Raspbian distribution? Thanks.

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That should be fine, as long as you have a non-hynix Pi to actually run it on, otherwise it just won’t boot!

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I keep a download of the latest version of the OS on my PC ready for installation as I set up quite a few Pi’s. However, I have noticed that when a new version is released and I install the previous version, I am then unable to properly upgrade / update the newly installed image, but it does not affect images that I installed prior to the new version being released!

Also, my first 512 MB Pi ran quite happily with an SD card set up for a 256 MB unit using the previous version of the OS until I had a catastrophic PSU failure at which point neither the Pi nor the SD card would boot. I tried two other SD cards in the Pi and none of them would boot it and after having been in the 512 MB one would not boot any of my 256 MB versions.

Over the next few weeks I kept trying the dead Pi and the dead SD cards. All of the SD cards recovered within a day or two, but the 512 MB Pi remained dead for several weeks. It eventually booted and has remained fine ever since and is now running the latest version of Raspbian.

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Thanks, I suspected that it would work, but wasn’t sure. I’m in the same boat as others, in that I’ve done a lot of customization to my current 256MB system that I wouldn’t want to have to repeat.

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The Xbox generation. Put the disk in and run it!
RasPi takes a little more than that, so they resort to buying a cad from Eprey.

I guess they need a paper in the box that says read this first.

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Would better model numbering help.
The Model B I got is not like the Model B being sold these days
and this story shows that not all Model Bs these days are the same.

Diversity is ok, it means the Pi is able to change and adapt.

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Nope they wouldn’t read it thinking they know better lol

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I had the same problem, however after checking the image on the sd card found out that it was a bad image. people should be checking the md5 on the images as well… and make sure they are properly attaching the sd card to the board.

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A lot of people are buying RPIs that really have no business with them. If you aren’t willing to experiment and use some trial and error troubleshooting it’s not the thing you should be buying. Mine didn’t boot the first time either but I pulled up google and went to work. Tried a different power plug and it booted but then I had other issues. It took a little while but I eventually got it working like I wanted. I like to hack and that’s what I like most about the RPI, it’s built to hack on. Thanks for making something so much fun for geeks everywhere.

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I completely disagree with the sentiment that A lot of people are buying RPIs that really have no business with them

I thought the Raspberry Pi was specifically create to expose non-hackers into the the exciting world of computing. Not as a hardcore device that only experienced hackers can get to work.

It’s a pity there are some teething problems, but from reading the first post on the camera it looks like a lot of really smart people are working to fix all the problems.

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It would be fair to say, “really smart” is an understatement, and short of time to work on it too I imagine (debugging takes a massive amount of time).

Not all parents who want their kids to try the RPi will be computer experts, even when I was at school, computing in the real sense was being swiftly forgotten (I did more computing in primary school than in secondary).

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I agree with the sentiment that a lot of people have no business buying a Pi. There are some people that just don’t have the predisposition to learn this kind of thing. By analogy, I’ll never buy a football because, unlike some people, I know that I’ll suck at it. I just don’t have that kind of talent. Which is why I do IT instead.

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So, how to you find out whether you has the disposition WITHOUT TRYING IT? How do you know that you’ll suck at football, WITHOUT TRYING IT?

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Hi James,

don’t get me started! Conversation with my Mother in Law:

Me: Where shalle we go to eat?
Her: I don;t know, you choose, I don’t mind.
Me: (Naughtily) How about Sushi?
Her: I don’t like sushi, I’m not going there.
Me: Have you tried it?
Her: No, because i don’t like it!
Me; Sigh!

I know I suck at football, by the way, I have tried it. I was a reasonably good goalkeeper though – less running about! ;-)

Cheers,
Norm.

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Based on my personal observations of my experiences with different types of sports-like activities, and the professional evaluation of people who know how to engage in sports activities, I suck. Apparently I was born with two left feet, both size 12. So I understand, and embrace, the certainty that if an activity requires athletic talent, not only will I not be good at it, but I will not enjoy it. Conversely, I am very good at anything involving technology and computers in particular. This is how I make my living. So when the Raspberry Pi came out, I bought a few knowing that I would enjoy tinkering with them.

It is quite possible for most people to know whether they should get involved in a hobby. Unfortunately, some people don’t think it through, and then blame the hobby or the activity when they can’t do it.

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Token Devils Advocate Position (i.e. don’t kill me!):
So a Samsung chip has better OS compatibility than a Hynix chip. Yet they are both sold as the same product at the same price with no Point-of-Sale warning to the consumer. And the consumer has no ability to know which is (or choose) the more OS compatible chip. That’s fair.

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No, as Gordon said in a previous post: the SW image has a list of all supported SDRAM chips. The Hynix memory was only recently added to that list because PIs with that specific Hynix memory chip only recently cam in production.

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How about other operating systems or custom installs such as RISC OS or raspbmc?

I’m still testing my new Pi with various builds, it boots fine with the latest Raspbian, but not with RISC OS nor raspbmc images I made previously.

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The latest build of raspbmc works, so it should be possible to zip-up the contents of ~/.xbmc from an ‘old’ system to move the settings across.

Unfortunately the latest build of RISC OS appears not to work.

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Using a brand new 4 GB card, RISC OS does now work, hooray!

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In the first place a Hynix RAM shouldn’t have been used when a workaround is necessary for proper operation. Hopefully this workaround resides inside the blob, allowing use of RISC OS et al. with those boards, not only Linux.

That said, I have Rev. A boards with Samsung and Hynix chips and both did work with early OS’, so this problem might have been introduced with the 512MB revision.

Any insights on this issue?

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See post above. It is NOT a work around. I have run extensive test using memories from all vendors. Yes that are some differences but they all work far within the Jedec standard specified parameters.

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I have been having issues booting later versions of Wheezy with my 256MB RPi and the only way I can get the board to boot is to replace the bootcode.bin and start.elf file from earlier builds that worked and it boots up just fine.

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That’s odd. I use a 256MB device, and have no problems with the latest builds….

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I can confirm, I too have a 256Mb model and it’s fine on the latest Raspbian.

Cheers,
Norm.

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I know it sounds weird that a 256MB board has issues booting up but I get the colour square with the current Weezy build. It could be that my board is faulty somehow but I will try to capture a vid showing the problem and post it on YouTube. And I’ve used six different Class 4 Kingston and a Class 10 Sandisk Extreme card and they only as mentioned with older versions of the bootcode/start.elf

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That is very odd indeed. It should work fine.

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I recently submitted an article to MagPi on the very topic of keeping a Debian, Raspbian or Arch distro up to date, including the OS and the firmware. Hopefully, to be published soon.

Butg then again, working in IT Supprt as I do, it depends on whether people read it!

Cheers,
Norm.

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Nearly all reported ‘problems’ (reported in the forums) with the new V2 Gertboard have been traced back to people not reading the instructions not attaching the required jumper on J7. PBKS. ;)

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I’m not surprised – in the absence of a change in model number or similar, why would anyone expect to have to use a different base OS on a machine they bought this week than on one they bought last week?

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Because that what it says in the instructions?

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Instructions? What is “instructions?”

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http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads

Note the phrase “this is the image we recommend you use”. Although it could be clearing stating that you must use it for latest RAM chips (although those chips were released some months ago now I believe)

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I’ve worked with commercial Unix for over twenty years (and Linux just slightly less) and the first thing I have to teach new sysadmins over and over again is to read the “known issues” list which comes with every new piece of harware and software release. Would shipping one in a more interesting format (such as a getting started comic) with each Pi help address this problem? I wouldn’t say that people are lazy but the whole ethos of the Pi attracts people who don’t have a technical background and so don’t understand that you have to prepare the system correctly.

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Keeping the system up to date in situ is definitely the way to go.

So often the answer given to is to re-image, but how often will a beginner do that before they get bored of doing it (and shove the board back in the drawer).

Each time they have to take the time to set everything up how they want (which is a big task for a beginner), only to be told “all that hard work you spent ages working out how to do…well scrap that you need to update again”.

It is something which we need to help beginners out with as much as possible.

I think the suggestion should be, ensure you have a spare SD card and try a clean image, and if that works, then ensure yours is updated (and here is how).

Again, Norman (above) has provided lots of useful information in the MagPi on how to backup and restore SD card images, which should help with the process.

I look forward to the article Norman (I’ve not been following what is in this month), so clear information on updating will be very useful, it is a confusing topic (linux is a complex beast for beginners).

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The point is, you get a new Pi you need to use the latest image. So the problem is third parties selling out of date images, OR people using images from Pi’s they already own. The second is not a ‘beginners’ case – if they already have a Pi they are not a beginner. So the problem is solely down to people selling old images. Which unfortunately is difficult (impossible) to police, and a shame, since writing your own image is NOT that difficult.

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Unfortunately as soon as the Image is written then it is going to be out of date and I’ve come across many people who have brought a RPi, and not ever switched it on for several months. [crazy people I know].
I guess there will be times when the current image when you receive your RPi is still updated later to fix an issue though, so updating is still important.

But agreed if people are selling cards with images on, then it would be reasonable to expect them to at least put the latest image on at the time of selling. That is the service they are claiming to provide after all (they may see it as a way to sell cheap SD cards for a premium).

People like to have a “golden sample” I guess, to ensure that things work out of the box, and they think getting a pre-installed card will reduce the risk (also ensuring the card is compatible).

But doing your own using the latest image is the better way to go (and AFAIK there aren’t many cards now which don’t work with the latest images).

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In fact, perhaps we could do with some standard utilities which are in the image pre-installed which:
a) Can perform a backup and restore to a specified location (with a method to restore in the case of full failure – ideally directly from the RPi (from a clean image or the current one and also through flashing the card directly).
b) Can perform all the required updates (including the blobs and other parts) with ease. Perhaps with an option to just check for an update and see the change logs. There could even be an option to check on power up, and notify if there are any important updates.

We have to give people a helping hand, make the important processes as simple as possible.

Note: I’m not saying the above may be possible or practical, but for a beginner it would help a lot even if some of it is.

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On all my Linux systems (I use Linux Mint 13 KDE as the main one, and for work I have Oracle Enterprise, Scientific Enterprise, Suse Linux Enterprise and Arch) running in various VirtualBox VMs.

Every one has an updater utility that sits in the task bar, dount not much at all, until it disovers that updates exist. Then it notifies me that there are “n” updates waiting and if I choose to open it, it will give me a summary of the waiting updates.

I don’t have to physically check for updates, it’s all done for me. I think Windows Update can be configured to do a similar automatic check, but I don;t tend to use Windows all that much, so I may be talking out of the wrong oriface again! ;-)

Now, I’m not sure how these updaters check and count the updates, but I’m wondering if it might be something to add to the Rasbian/Debian/Arch repositories and to the task bar, as with ahem, “proper grown up” distors?

I mean no insult by the way with that bit above. I love my Pi and I’m convinced that Rasbian is a great distro. However, I’m open to all and any insults in return. Fire away! :-)

What I do finid irritaing about the vast majority of distors, grown up included, is the fact that when you are on release x, and release x+1 comes along, I have to reinstall, and reconfigure. This is hugely pants for me, as my own preferences are sometimes deleted and replaced – OpenSuse, I’m looking at you! – Arch on the other hand, is a rolling release distro. You install it once, and configure it exactly as you like, and then simply apply the regular updates to keep you up to date.

The other distros could learn a huge amount from Arch.

Ok, I’m off my soap box now. I’m off to see if I can find out how these updaters work, and maybe, just maybe, write a utility!

Cheers,
Norm.

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The style of update you have described work fine for a running OS but the issue for the Pi is that the kernel won’t boot as it doesn’t support the new hardware. Oh, and as a tip, if you use a config management system such as cfengine or puppet you’ll never loose your configs to an update again :-)

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Metwater,

Tim seems to like the article. He’s added it to the “pending” pile. :-)

Cheers,
Norm.

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Probably was Will, I’ve not been able to lead the mag for the last few months.
(BTW big thanks for your contributions)
Meltwater (Tim Cox). :D

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Bloody hell! For “Tim” read “Ash”. I knew yo were Tim! Seems my fingers try and type what they think I mean as opposed to what I do mean! :-)

Cheers,
Norm.

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I think it is very unfair to call people dumb that just copy over a thoroughfully updated OS image from their running RasPi to their new one.

I never saw an announcement that newer Model B Rev. 2 boards were not compatible with older Raspian versions.

Event now the comments suggest that not everybody understood if using rpi-update regularly would make the image compatible to the new boards. My understanding is that the answer is yes.

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Some people don’t read the instructions that come with products they purchase.
That leads to unnecessary RMAs.
Others don’t read carefully the posts on raspberry.org, and that leads to unnecessary posts.

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Do you really suggest to read all the posts here?
I must have gotten you wrong…

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I meant the blog posts. If you don’t get it there, perhaps you could do some research, why not all the posts?

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I’ve never seen any posts saying that new raspis won’t work with old firmware/OS images.

Apart from this one, of course…

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For those of us running Jams and otherwise providing front-line support, this kind of info is critical to know. If this issue is specifically cited in the printed instructions that come with these boards (e.g., “This board has Hynix RAM and must be booted with the latest distro at http://,,,”), the user doesn’t read/understand it, and we don’t see it because all they’ve brought to us is a board, there is a fair possibility that we might also try to boot with an SD card that doesn’t have the latest-and-greatest boot files (e.g., the cards in our demo Pii are up-to-date, but a spare card may have an OS that’s a version or three old).

I’m pretty active in the forum daily and this is the first time I’d heard about this issue, so this hasn’t been well-publicized. A search for “Hynix” results in some recent appropriate posts, but that certainly isn’t a search term I’d have thought to use before this.

Anyway, now we have yet-another arrow in our ever-growing quiver of troubleshooting techniques, and thanks for making this more obvious.

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I’m really surprised at the tenor of some of the comments here. If I got a new Raspi, I’d have expected the build that I use on my existing model Bs to work. One of them – I have seven – has been up for 110 days. Why would I upgrade the firmware? I’ve been in IT for 25 years – I don’t mess around with a working operating system.
I visit the forum every day – I didn’t know I needed to use the latest firmware on newer Raspis. There’s a good chance I’d have sent one back. A “what’s new” link on the homepage might help…

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We have ALWAYS said that you should use the most recent firmware version/OS version – we are constantly improving both. In this case, the firmware needed to set up a new SDRAM device being used in production, which is why it needed to be updated. Not something you would encounter in the PC world, but very common when using embedded chips.

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OK. I didn’t know that we’re supposed to put on the latest firmware. I’ve been proceeding as if I’m running Linux on a computer – I’m not au fait with embedded systems at all (though nor am I solely a PC man, BTW).

I understand you work on a shoestring – Liz didn’t like my suggestion you should have a “we’re currently working on these fixes” page and I can see why, because there’s so much. But is “what’s new” too much to ask? Even if it’s on the wiki.

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Caldimerda,

I’ve been in IT for 30 years too. In that time I’ve worked for Govenrment, Banks, Software Houses and in support for all of them. We *always* updated a working system – you have to because of bugs, security holes (aka Windows!) and such like.

Nowadays, most of the support guru’s life is taken up by keeping the system secure, both against intruders and to avoid loss of or corruption of data, by applying updates and patches.

I’m puzzled as to why you would expect your existing OS to work fine on a NEwer Pi? Does your new computer still come with Windows 3.0? Does it still have a 80363DX CPU? etc. Things move on, upgrades are required.

You probably don’t know if your car, I assume you have one, gets it’s engine management system updated when you go for a service. How about your phone?

I could go on, and indeed, I often do, but you cannot simply sit around and think that it worked fine before, it’s obvioulsy going to work fine later. It usually does, but not always.

Even the Curiosity Mars Rover has been updated.

Anyway, take care.

Cheers,
Norm.

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Norman,
I don’t find it puzzling as to why someone would expect an OS they downloaded a month (?) ago to not work on what is to them (An ordinary customer, not a support person or techy) exactly the same hardware as they may have used previously. In this case we are not talking about patching or upgrading a running system. This problems causes a complete failure of the hardware.
Many of the distributors sell starter kits, of which part is normally a pre-imaged SD card, for which they have probably paid a premium. They now find themselves in the position of having to do exactly what they paid extra for not to do, in re-imaging the card.
Regarding your point on Windows 3 and a 386, if that combination works for someone they why shouldn’t they continue using it if thatis what works for them. Progress is not always good, somertimes it is just progress.

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Morning Napier,

what can I say? Good points. Well made. Thanks.

Re preloaded SD cards, I know there have been a few posts in the forums about some companies (inc Amazon) selling pre-loaded cards that won’t work. Those people who have taken the time to investigate have found a very old release of the OS pre-loaded.

My opinion is simple, the only place you should be able to buy a pre-loaded SD card is from the Foundation, of RS and Farnell’s. Maplin’s etc, sure with a starter kit, but those images must have been tested.

I know, the world is not ideal. Shame.

Cheers,
Norm.

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Of course, there is no legal way the Foundation could prevent others from making preloaded cards, even if they did sell their own (They don’t).

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Hi Norm,
I don’t disagree with your basic comment. Although in that corporate environment any and every o/s, firewall etc upgrade would be manually applied to the build and exhaustively tested.
My long-running Raspi is stable. I don’t need to worry about fixing bugs or security holes or making it run faster. I wouldn’t expect my build to work on a model A or a model C (were there such a thing) but I didn’t realise I could buy a new Raspi model B and it would be different to my existing Raspi model B.
Oh – and my car hasn’t been the same since it’s last service :-) and I rooted all my phones so no, I would now want them “upgraded” either.
All the best, C

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Probably also worth saying that my PC build is probably more or less identical to millions of others. But my Raspi – with the packages I’ve compiled and the software I’ve written – is unique. So I am careful with changes.
As it happens I do firmware upgrades every time I make a change to my build. But I didn’t know until today that the hardware was changing all the time.

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I think ‘all the time’ is a little bit disingenuous. There are very few HW changes that need absolutely need a firmware change – this RAM issue is one of the few. It’s expensive to make a HW change, so we do as few as possible.

I think, for the RAM change, you can just change the start.elf file to the latest – but Gordon would need to confirm that. You should’nt need to reimage the card. So if you have lots of cards set up for teaching, that you intend to use on new Pi’s you should be able to jsut replace the ELF on each card rather than reimage. Or if making the cards up for the first time, ensure your image uses the latest firmware.

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Hi James –
Sorry – hardware changing “All the time” was clumsy phrasing. I just meant that it looks like I should assume that any new Raspi might be different to the last one.
Regards, C

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@JamesH,

Thank you for that information, albeit I’ve had to read 70 comments to find it out. Is there any chance it could be put in the main post.

I’ve bought quite a number of Pi’s (and very happy with them all). I have a nice suite of tools that I’ve built up over that time. These take time to load and configure, and having to remember and redo all the various steps to get the same configuration is not trivial.

If it’s just a question of changing a few files in /boot, then no problem, I can still have my configuration. It’s the thoughts of having to start all over from scratch that seems to be exercising most of the commenters here.

All the Best.

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I think its is a matter of just changing the start.elf file to the latest version, but I will need to confirm that.

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Ok, so the firmware blob contains a list of RAM chips it supports. Instead of assuming people will read technical manuals, why not just print a friendly message on screen saying that the software encountered an RAM type that is not supported and that the user should update the software?

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Because the system cannot even boot without the required SDRAM settings, so there is no display.

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Do be honest I think the Distributors have brought it on themselves!
What they should have done/do is include a large font obvious note with all Hynix RAM Pi’s
saying: IMPORTANT this Raspberry Pi needs Debian version X dated Y or later.
It will NOT work on earlier versions.

It also should include a note re other distributions
n.b. All distributions including …, … & RISC OS need later than X date (Don’t say latest as that will in a few weeks/months not be appropriate)

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Totally agree.

I find the fact that the “Model B” RPI is in fact 3 models, or at least three different revisions.
Not even all 256 or 512 MB versions are the same and need different firmware (firmware which is external) I always though it was really daft to not change the model number when they started manufacturing 512MB versions, and now again the end-user has the pain with the change/mix of memory.

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They don’t need different firmware – they all run fine with the latest firmware. Firmware should always be backwards compatible.

For example, there will be a new firmware release when the camera board comes out – because we need to add stuff to the firmware to make the camera work. But that firmware will work on older boards with no camera.

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The new Pis may work fine with the new firmware, but if I am say, a teacher who has had 1 Pi for several months and developed an image with preloaded materials to use in a class, or someone using the Pi in an embedded project – there is no reason to think that image wouldn’t work in a new Pi, especially going from a Rev2-256 to a Rev2-512 with different RAM chips; the user might not even notice the difference.

I think there should be an small hardcopy documentation addendum included with any revisions that need new firmware…..

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As I said further up in the comments somewhere, I’ve suggested to the distributors that they do just that!

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I’ve mailed them suggesting they do this.

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I personally have some sympathy with, say, the IT teacher who bought a RPi a few months ago and, in her own evenings, set up various examples for her kids. apt-get installing here and there, debugging, modifying stuff until there was a really tidy, working package. She orders 20 new model A boards for school and copies the images she has prepared onto 20 new top quality SD cards.

So the instructions are to make a new image with the latest download but that leaves the issue of reproducing exactly what she’s done on the prepared card. The slightly harder to discover alternative instructions are to apt-get upgrade. However on my RPi this stopped working several months ago (have to power off/on to escape after freeze) so eventually I’ll have to start again from scratch and attempt to remember what I’ve added. (Unless some kind person can point me at something to list just the packages I’ve installed)

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$ dpkg –list
will list absolutely all packages installed. You could put that in a file, save it somewhere that isn’t your SD card, and then diff it against your new install?

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I think it sounds like it is a cheaper solution to simply add a booting 2GB SD card by default (just to save you the hassle of having to resend the article back to the customer). 2GB SD cards costs how much nowadays?
But in that case customers always have a working SD card to test the bootsequence and you can advise them to test that one in case something fails. They can also use it for reference in case they made a change to their own image and it fails to boot.

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To be honest, I hate manufacturers that change their hardware without changing the version number or the name.

It’s a nightmare to find working hardware for linux.
Very often someone wrote a driver for something, and I bought this hardware, only to find out that the manufacturer had changed the hardware recently, without telling anyone.

From this point of view, I think it was a bad idea to change to a not compatible RAM, without changing at least the version number. Especially for an open source project.

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The problem is that we could not have a reliable revision number based on the RAM. Since the RAM is effectively interchangeable, the production line can use either at any time. So it could switch between RAM at any point, so today’s Raspi’s use Hynix, tomorrows use Samsung, but the day after that could be either. But the revision number of based on the board, not the RAM used. As long as you have the recent install, it really makes no difference which RAM device you have. To all intents and purposes the HW is identical, its the software that is different.

The best option is simply use the latest available code which is going to work on whatever device you throw it at. I’m not sure what docs go with the board, but hopefully they will (now) be a little more emphatic at explaining you need the latest software.

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“She orders 20 new model A boards for school”
Just to nit-pick: The Model A boards all come with 256MB memory, and so wouldn’t be affected by this 512MB Hynix memory issue ;)

“Unless some kind person can point me at something to list just the packages I’ve installed”
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=debian+list+installed+packages

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Er :s well I’ve probably checked out some of those over the past few months. But the critical bit missing from your search was “that I have installed”. However even with that extra condition there doesn’t seem to be a simple solution. The best I have found so far is to:
0. with the old SD in the Pi run dpkg -l ‘*’ >old_setup
1. download and install a fresh SD image
2. with the new SD in the Pi run dpkg -l ‘*’ > fresh_setup
3. using another computer or USB drive copy the old_setup onto the new SD
4. diff old_setup new_setup

This is obviously a lot of messing around and even this doesn’t give me the answer I really want as there will be packages installed as part of the old download that have been replaced by an alternative in the new version.

So, if anyone has any suggestions (more specific than “search the internet”) they would be gratefully accepted.

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fresh_ rather than new_ obviously

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Morning Paddy,

***** UNTESTED ******

According to the docs for “dpkg” you can duplicate the packages installed between two computers as follows, usual stuff about using sudo applies!

1. On the master computer, run dpkg --get-selections >master_card.txt
2. Copy the file to the slave computer.

On the slave computer:

1. run dpkg --clear-selections to set all non-essential packages to “please remove me”. It will not remove them though!
2. Run dpkg --set-selections < master_card.txt to set all the selections to those on the master computer. Again, nothing is installed.
3. run apt-get dselect-upgrade to do the deletions and installs.

The “man dpkg” page has this to say:

To make a local copy of the package selection states:

dpkg --get-selections >myselections

You might transfer this file to another computer, and install it there with:

dpkg --clear-selections
dpkg --set-selections <myselections

Note that this will not actually install or remove anything, but just set the selection state on the requested packages. You will need some other application to actually download and install the requested packages. For example, run apt-get dselect-upgrade.

Cheers,
Norm.

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Afternoon Paddy,

Ok, I tested it. DON’T USE IT!

Collecting the data works well enough. I then reimaged a spare card and booted from it. The image was the latest Raspbian which is what my main card is based on.

On booting I set up the overscan, memory split, ssh and so on and resized the root partition. A quick reboot and I was ready to try it out.

The master list was scp’d over from my laptop where I had copied it prior to swapping over the SD cards.

The clear-selections ran ok. However, as soon as that was completed, I found I could only execute certain commands. top for example refused to start thankfully dpkg was fine too, but just about everything else, including reboot and shutdown simply barfed with the error “cannot execute file”. Oops.

I then tried to run the set-selections part and the screen filled up with lots of errors telling me that “some package name” was not found in the database.

Still, I persevered thinking I could recheck after a reboot.

apt-get dselect-upgrade started, and then hung at 0%.

So, best avoided I think, it appears not to work and I now have an unbootable Sd card. Luckily I had a backup!

Cheers,
Norm.

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Another update on this matter.

I’ve reflashed my card with the latest release of Raspbian – 2013-12 and tested this again. As before I got a lot of warnings about some packages not being in the database, but the killer appears to be the message at the end:

dpkg: error: unable to sync new file ‘/var/lib/dpkg/status-new’: Input/output error

It is at this point that I can no longer execute any binary files, other than what appears to be built in to bash. Attempting ro run apt-get, for exampel, returns this erro:

/usr/bin/apt-get: cannot execute binary file

So, the system is somewhat stuffed I suspect!

I did another test with a clone of my existing card. These two are not yet fully up to date. Booting from the clone, which has a copy of the dpkg --get-selections output in the /home/pi location I was able to run the dpkg --clear-selections and dpkg --set-selections commands. No warnings or errors this time.

The following apt-get dselect-upgrade did work and installed a few new packages that appear to have been added. Booting off this card after the upgrade showed a new network manager utility on the task bar.

Once again, I ran the dpkg --get-selections with output to a file. I scp’d that file to my laptop and rebooted the Pi from the now out of date other SD card. After a quick scp of the new file to the /home/pi location again, I was able to run the clear, and set selection commands with no errors, but a list of the new packages in the updated SD card did give a warning about not being in the database.

Running the dselect-update command worked. At the end, I had no errors and after a reboot the new network manager appeared on the task bar.

A quick get of the selections and a diff with the other’ card showed them to be identical.

So, it seems that this process does work, but it also seems to depend on how much a difference there is between SD cards.

I doubt it will synchronise any stuff (technical term) that you have installed outside of apt-get though, plus, I’m not convinced that it will synchronise any specific configuration that you have done on the master SD card.

Still, at least it sort of works!

Now, I’m off to see if I can fix that newly jiggered SD card!

Cheers,
Norm.

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Actually the first link in that search result I posted appears to explain exactly what you’re asking for… http://serverfault.com/questions/161412/how-to-get-a-list-of-all-root-main-installed-packages-on-debian#161416

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Thanks for this information. I have four Pi. I wanted to be able to say i have a Raspberry Pi. When I got my first one a long time ago, I followed the process of generating an OS onto an SD card. I have not tested it yet. I bought a new version 2 when they came out. I got one with my support of Magpi. I just got my Open Sprinkler Pi from Rayshobby that uses a Pi to run your irrigation system. I would have assumed the original SD card would work on all four Pi. In my opinion this is akin to putting a DOS boot disk into any early Intel PC and not having it work. I would never have assumed the OS was at fault. Now if you want to talk about CP/M computers, the assumption would be different. There was a standard hardware configuration for early PCs so that MS-DOS would work. And by the way, I have been doing computers since I got out of the Marines in 1974 so I have a modicum of experience.

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In my opinion, humble as it is, pre-loaded SD cards are a mistake. Surely the core point of the Raspberry Pi is to educate children, newbies and some older farts like myself, about how these things work; the stuff that we have been insulated from for many years with the likes of MS and Apple – which is fair enough. However, I think if you want to learn this stuff, surely it is important to learn how to do it from the ground up. Personally, I was hooked on the RasPi #because# it did nothing out of the box. I knew nothing about linux or python or gpio etc, and #because# I had to research and learn, and continue to do every day, I now know and understand so much more about the way computers work than I did six months ago. My advice FWITW, if you get and pre-loaded SD card in a start up kit or other source, before you put it near your RasPi, re flash it with the latest distro. It is easy, and there is plenty of info out there, starting with http://raspberrypi.org

MS

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I think here’s one that’s missed out on. Even teachers don’t rtfm, but then again, there’s hardly a manual in print. There should be a big black warning on top of the box: If you are a teacher, plz go to raspberrypi.org first and read the install instructions very carefully.

And make sure you got descent power supplies.

That said:, Liz,

It isn’t obvious for anyone other then washed out IT guys like me. I think you were out of order, although with the bet intent.

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I think (know, because I’ve read it) there is a most excellent book called ‘Raspberry Pi User Guide by Eben Upton and Gareth Halfacree’ on sale in paperback and ebook for around £9…plus about 60 or so others covering many apsects of Raspberry Pi.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=raspberry+pi&rh=n%3A266239%2Ck%3Araspberry+pi

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I bet you it doesn’t cover this

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To me this all reinforces why the RPi is needed. Too many years of dumbing down, plug’n’play is a myth and always has been.

The new generation of children brought up on the Raspberry Pi will never fall into this trap.

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Why not use Micron memory?

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If they made the required POP package at a sensible price (i.e. current levels or lower), I’m sure it would be considered. Of course, we would have to issue a new firmware with the correct timings.

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All manufacturers negotiate with their suppliers and select parts based on that. So I assume Micron did not provide a competitive enough offer. And yes, we did test the BCM2835 with Micron memories. In fact Micron was the only manufacturer who borrowed us one of their ‘slow corner lot’ memories which we tested against our corner lots to see if they worked (By the way: yes, they did)

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First of all I’ve never seen any information about this. If I’d bought a new rpi and it didn;t work with the card that worked in my old one I’d assume it was broken too…

Secondly I don’t have any device able to write to an SD card other than my raspberry pi. I got someone else to download the image for me the one time, but why do so many people here assume that everyone has an SD card writer available to them? I have several PCs, none of them have one…

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Not trying to be a pain, but am interested to know why you would assume it was broken before trying the latest image? My personal approach would be to download the latest image and try it just to be sure (since all questions asked on here about this sort of thing always get answered with – ‘are you using the latest image’)

Now in your particular case, that would be difficult to do without an SD card writer of course. Do you have USB? Because USB to SD card readers are pretty cheap so would be a good option = http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/43-IN-1-USB-STICK-MULTI-MEMORY-CARD-READER-Camera-SD-MINI-SDHC-MS-MIRO-M2-TF-MMC-/130742284110?pt=UK_Photography_MemoryCardReaders_RL&hash=item1e70d8ef4e

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James,

I am going to use this reply to your post to make a point.

I just read through the FAQ accessed via the FAQ link at the top of this page. I looked for something like “Why won’t my Raspberry Pi boot?”

I did not find it. I don’t know if you update the FAQ or if Liz does, but I think it might be appropriate to have something as important as this memory problem mentioned in the FAQ.

I suspect you are very much more involved with the Raspberry Pi than I am. You have much more knowledge about them. Please do not assume that everyone has your knowledge of the Pi or your troubleshooting methods.

Thanks

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Yes, the FAQ does need updating. In fact there is a lot of docs that really need to be updated, but it’s only very recently that the Foundation has been able to take on paid staff, and this sort of documentation doesn’t write itself for free. There are plans afoot to improve documentation all over.

This particular issue however is an unusual occurrence but even so, the first thing you should try if you Pi doesn’t boot is to make sure you have the latest software release. If you ask a question on the forum the firs question you will be asked back is ‘are you running the latest software’?

I’ll reiterate that this isn’t a problem with the devices or the software. There is no ‘problem’ with the memory – its works absolutely fine and went through a lot of testing prior to use. As you have noted, the real problem is informing people they should really be using the latest software at all times. Which we have now done of course.

And just for completeness, I had no idea you needed the latest software for the latest boards! And I work with the things every day. And I didn’t notice because I always use the latest software as a matter of course. But that’s just me. But that does back to my question…why don’t people thing it might be a problem with their software, or, indeed come to the Foundation website and ask on the forum? That’s what I’m trying to understand.

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James,

First, I don’t want anybody to think that I am making negative comments about the Raspberry Pi or about the foundation or any of the volunteers or any of the now employees. I have a lot of respect for all of these folks. They took a concept to a great conclusion. I believe the Raspberry Pi has caused a new computer/technology revolution.

But, If I have a SD card with a Debian image installed and I boot one of my Raspberry Pi’s with it, I expect that I will be able to take that card and put it into another of my Raspberry Pi’s and expect it to boot. I have four Raspberry Pi’s. Two early models and two later models. I don’t know if any of mine have the funky memory.

But If 3 of my 4 Raspberry Pi’s can boot with the same SD card and the fourth cannot boot, my first guess is that there might be something wrong with the Raspberry Pi.

Now that I have seen this discussion, I now know that the first thing I have to do in this case is to get the latest greatest Debian download from this web site and install that and try booting with it.

But, before this discussion, my experience was that I could take a DOS disk to any PC in the shop, regardless of whether made by IBM or a local clone maker. I absolutely expected the PC to boot. With Windows and such, it became more complicated. That is what my experience told me. That is why I would have suspected the Raspberry Pi before now.

There is absolutely nothing in my experience that would have made me think the software was bad if I could boot one or more of my Raspberry Pi’s with the SD card but it failed on one. I cannot say what anybody else is thinking for sure, but I expect their thought processes might resemble mine.

I do have to say that if I had this happen to me, I would probably have done lots of investigating on this web site and others. But, I have never learned how to initiate a comment here that was not part of an already existing conversation. I once asked when the “buy one give one” away was gong to come up in a conversation of another topic and was told to not post off topic comments. I don’t know any other any other way to ask the question.

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Fear not – I know you are not having a go. I also am interested in why people are returning Raspi’s without having exhausted the options to find out why they might not boot. Fewer returns is a good thing, and the posts here are a perhaps a good indicator of why people are returning before trying the right firmware.

I can certainly see the points you are trying to make, and do wonder whether it’s my path in to this stuff (BBC micro in the mid 80’s) that means I tend to explore all the possibilities before finally resorting to blaming the HW (note, I am a softwware engineer by trade, and I do indeed prefer to blame the HW! Software is ALWAYS right, obviously….)

It’s all good information needed to get the documentation up to scratch.

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Hi James,

There is one thing about all of the DOS and Windows computers and even the Linux computers on Intel/AMD platforms that is consistent. All of them have a BIOS chip where information about the board configuration and even software to run the various hardware might be found.

I just realized that the Raspberry Pi probably does not have a BIOS chip.

I suspect that all of the hardware identification is done in the boot sequence.

I hope that’s the difference. That way, I can understand better why you need to generate a SD Image with a minor change in hardware.

And trust me, changing from 4 GB or RAM in a PC to 8 GB is a very minor hardware change. Windows is likely to make you get another activation, but that’s because Microsoft likes control.

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Yes, that is the difference. There’s a lot of discussion about the way the Pi boots in the forums – it’s worth a look!

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Gents, if I may stick my oar in.

I understand what “Homer Hazel” is saying and I agree, Windows/Dos etc all seem consistent. However, I had to reflash my BIOS a couple of times in the past to add a new disc drive. The old one couldn’t cope.

So, it’s not so long ago that these consistent devices were not so consistent at all. And reflashing your BIOS was a good way to brick the PC. It still scares me today, reflashing BIOS, or upgrading my AK100 Music player, or my Galaxy Tab etc.

Cheers,
Norm.

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Just 2 words to say here “Pound Shop”. I really couldn’t exist without a memory card writer, and as they are now available everywhere for so little, I would reccomend that anyone who uses memory cards invests in at least one.

For a start, how do you test if a memory card is any good? The first thing I do on any new memory card is run a test on it to check capacity, speed and basic ability to read back what is written. I’ve had some nasty surprises with memory cards. Using them for photography you cant just hope / trust the makers name, that they will be any good. And then there are batches of “fake” cards, that have their firmware hacked to show more capacity that they actually are.

So for just one pound I can be fairly sure my cards are good.

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The raspberry pi is a wonderful learning device and there is no shortage learning opportunity nor is there any shortage of information or people willing to help on the forums, wiki and personal blogs.

I love the idea that you should need to understand how to write the the disk image to the SD card and that you should be interested in which revision board you have and which chip is compatible with which OS level it all adds to the fun.

I was going to suggest not to change a thing but then I had a good idea – perhaps the foundation might like to use the opportunity to provide a paid support model or training for people to get them started. I know a lot of people that are overwhelmed by the Pi but like the idea and what personalised help.

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I also like the idea of understanding how to write the latest disk image to an SD card. I recently bought a Raspberry Pi and have placed an order for three books, with the intention that my 10 year old can learn a lot more about computers through working through those books. The very first thing I’d like her to do is download the latest disk image and write it to an SD card. I’ve already been through the process twice myself with two different OSs to test the machine and it all worked fine the first time in both cases. I do, however, have Samsung memory, but I would assume that the process I followed by downloading the latest image would have worked fine on the new boards.

I remember being a 10 year old myself with a VIC 20 at home, a BBC Micro at school, and learning how to translate assembly language in to machine code, poke it in to memory and then see if it ran. The Pi definitely appeals to the people of my generation that were hacking away with 8-bit home computers in the 80s, and now that she is the same age, I’d love my daughter to have that same experience. She just isn’t getting such an experience from our desktop Windows PC. So the lower the level can get, the better I think.

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As long as you use the latest image, all will be well – there is no difference between the memories as long as you do that.

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Would someone be able to clarify: at which point did Raspbian become able to work with the new RAM?

I began with 2012-12-16-wheezy-raspbian.img. On 9 February, I did apt-get update and apt-get upgrade. I realise this is not the absolute latest. Is it expected to be OK?

I ask, because I redistribute a somewhat customised version of Raspbian (for free download). I have a few Pi computers for testing, but they are not extremely recent.

Thank you in advance,

Daniel Barker

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I think that Raspbian has always worked with the new RAM, it’s the binary blob that needs updating as that is what sets up the SDRAM timings (and that comes with the latest Raspbian). So you could just get start.elf from the latest Raspbian to update your distro.

I think.

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Looking through the commit history on github https://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware/commits/master it looks like support for Hynix 512M memory was added on Jan 16 2013, so I’d assume any OS image released after then already comes with the necessary firmware blob included.

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Crikey Liz, Who would have thought that your Public Service Announcement would have generated such responses. Personally I found it extremely useful, and have completely changed my thoughts on backing up, so thank you very much.
(It also made me re-think the sort of issues that Microsoft must have to contend with when producing their ‘one size fits all’ OS’s. I’m not saying that MS Windows is any better, but I am now surprised that it is not worse.)
All the best, Norman.

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So, are there going to be updates to the installer? I don’t use the images – I prefer to do a “normal” raspbian / debian install. My wee pi is a server so I don’t want to load an image filled with X and many things which I’d have to uninstall. The installer worked fine on my pre-Hynix Pi but it looks like it was last updated in August.

My Pi isn’t a Hynix as far as I can tell and it’s happily aptitude upgrading as I speak but if I ever had to do a reinstall …

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I’m not sure what “installer” you’re referring too, but as explained in multiple other comments (sigh) you just need to ensure you’ve got a copy of the latest start.elf in your /boot partition.

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Actually, you probably need bootcode.bin as well. But the principle is correct.

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Schools returning Pi’s like this does indicate how poor the IT Technical Support is in Schools. Any technician with a gram of common sense would of investigated further Getting the latest version of the software is up there with ‘is it switched on?’ when diagnosing computer problems.

This is very disappointing.

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Will the Hynix chips support the current [2012-08-08] soft-float version of wheezy? This is the only version that supports the Oracle JVM.

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You just need to copy the start.elf and bootcode.bin from the latest release to the FAT partition and it should boot OK.

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It’s not so easy to get it right. I followed the instructions in the quick start guide on this site, followed the link there, and ended up downloading 2012-12-16-wheezy-raspbian.zip. I guess that image will not work with the Hynix chip?

So even rtfm is not even working all the time. :)
Please change the quick start guide and maybe you’ll see less returns.

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i have had that problem with my 512 pi using class 4 8gb cards but they still work with my 256 pi i was using them with rasbmc which was overclocked to fast in the settings i have tried reformating them but the 512 pi still refuses to boot from them i think that maybe a combination of overclocking and reformatting and possibly the 512 pi read line needs more power than my power supply can deliver may be the cause

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Andrew, I was pretty sure I had tried that previously and I’ve just had another go, even adding the suggested !~E. However it brings up page after page of stuff that I certainly haven’t installed.

Obviously I didn’t make myself clear. What I want to see is a list of just the packages I’ve installed. At a guess this would be

python-imaging
python-tk
maybe something to do with sphinx
one or two others I can’t remember which is why I want this list
that’s it

So though the link tells me how to filter the list a bit there’s obviously something else I’m missing.

Anyway thanks for help, and thanks to Norman

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This installer: http://www.raspbian.org/RaspbianInstaller

The one that hasn’t been updated since August. I’m not interested in the pre-fab image loaded with dozens of packages I have to rip out. I’d like to build up from scratch.

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