dutchspace
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:00 pm

Pi imager bricked my SD card AND Laptop

Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:06 pm

Hi,

today i thought it would be a good idea to re-image my 64GB SD card.

i used the Windows pi imager and selected ubuntu to be installed on the SD card.

My computer: HP elite 840 G3.
64GB Samung uSD card

After +_ 60% i was too late to prevent windows from sleeping. When the computer was gone i took it out of sleep. The pi imager process was halted and windows was REALLY slow. the SD card is bricked now and windows is still really slow.

It was a fresh installed version of Windows 10. with all the latest updates. The system runs on SSD but it is unusable at this moment.

I have never seen this before.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 29336
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Pi imager bricked my SD card AND Laptop

Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:30 pm

I presume you have rebooted the laptop?

As for the SD card, what error does Imager give when trying to image it again?
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Working in the Applications Team.

dutchspace
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:00 pm

Re: Pi imager bricked my SD card AND Laptop

Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:27 pm

yes, the computer has been rebooted. I am now trying to do a reinstall of windows but that doesn't work through usb anymore. (last week i re-installed it from scratch without any issues).

I fear that my laptop is now bricked.

When i plugged in the USB drive (holding the SD card) in my mac initially the mac powered off immediately. luckily it booted again and miraculously the SD card showed up and i was able to format it.

For now this SD card is of least of my concern

i prepared a usb key to install ubuntu on the laptop but the system cant install. i get some error messages like:

the disk contains an unclean file system. and it seems the systems also cant read properly from the usb key.

i am not 100% what caused the problem:

the USB key (that holds the sd card)
the pi imager application
the sleep process from windows.

I will be doing some more testing.

bjtheone
Posts: 1477
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Location: The Frozen North (AKA Canada)

Re: Pi imager bricked my SD card AND Laptop

Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:19 pm

Given that the imaging process reads from somewhere (local or internet) and writes to the SD, I cannot possibly see how this process could have "bricked" your laptop. I am sure you could select the wrong device as the target and overwrite the OS but that is a separate (PEBCAK) issue. Also, even if you overwrote the OS, such that it could not boot, its is not bricked, it just needs the OS reloaded. "Bricked" == dead, as in a non recoverable hardware level issue.

Even if the SD card was very very messed up, the act of plugging it in should not cause a mac to power off. Are you sure that the USB adaptor is not damaged, such that it is shorting pins?

ejolson
Posts: 8055
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Pi imager bricked my SD card AND Laptop

Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:03 am

bjtheone wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:19 pm
Are you sure that the USB adaptor is not damaged, such that it is shorting pins?
I'd definitely suggest not trying the same USB adapter in another computer.

I've only destroyed one motherboard while
plugging in a USB drive. I never figured out whether it was static electricity or a short that caused the problem, but it was irritating to be replacing a motherboard for no other good reason.

In my case the system suddenly stopped working when I plugged the cable in. As yours is still working, albeit slowly, I think there is a good chance you'll recover it.

When you rebooted are you sure you did a hard power off and not standby?

It's possible your machine was infected with some sort of malware that triggered when it went to sleep.

dustnbone
Posts: 499
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:49 am

Re: Pi imager bricked my SD card AND Laptop

Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:26 am

Only thing that comes to mind is perhaps the system drive of the Windows install is filled for some reason, or experiencing very slow writes due to some pending failure of it's SSD.

dutchspace
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:00 pm

Re: Pi imager bricked my SD card AND Laptop

Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:11 am

I left the computer on to drain the battery.
This morning i tried to reinstall windows but there is no way to continue.
usually the computer let me re-image pretty fast but now i can't install.

I get a screen during the windows setup displaying:

Load Driver
A Media driver your computer needs is missing. This could be a DVD, USB or Hard disk driver. etc..

---
When trying to boot an Ubuntu installer it asks me to connect to a network before the setup starts because of missing containers.

I will remove the battery later just to make sure no components in the laptop still having a bit of power. but on this model laptop you need to remove a lot of screws before you get to the battery.

dutchspace
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:00 pm

Re: Pi imager bricked my SD card AND Laptop

Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:17 am

bjtheone wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:19 pm
Given that the imaging process reads from somewhere (local or internet) and writes to the SD, I cannot possibly see how this process could have "bricked" your laptop. I am sure you could select the wrong device as the target and overwrite the OS but that is a separate (PEBCAK) issue. Also, even if you overwrote the OS, such that it could not boot, its is not bricked, it just needs the OS reloaded. "Bricked" == dead, as in a non recoverable hardware level issue.

Even if the SD card was very very messed up, the act of plugging it in should not cause a mac to power off. Are you sure that the USB adaptor is not damaged, such that it is shorting pins?
The process was running fine, i could see the usb key blinking and it was already at +_ 60%. at that point windows was tired, entering sleep mode. I was able to get out of sleep mode but i could not resume the imaging process. After a reboot windows was so slow that it could not be used. Opening a CMD prompt took me 2 minutes. I decided to reinstall windows again but the computer did not let me. I was able to clear the SSD with diskpart during the windows repair modus but it still won't let me install windows (or ubuntu)

dutchspace
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:00 pm

Re: Pi imager bricked my SD card AND Laptop

Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:20 am

ejolson wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:03 am
bjtheone wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:19 pm
Are you sure that the USB adaptor is not damaged, such that it is shorting pins?
I'd definitely suggest not trying the same USB adapter in another computer.

I've only destroyed one motherboard while
plugging in a USB drive. I never figured out whether it was static electricity or a short that caused the problem, but it was irritating to be replacing a motherboard for no other good reason.

In my case the system suddenly stopped working when I plugged the cable in. As yours is still working, albeit slowly, I think there is a good chance you'll recover it.

When you rebooted are you sure you did a hard power off and not standby?

It's possible your machine was infected with some sort of malware that triggered when it went to sleep.
I did use the usb key in an other computer and was able to fix the sd card (initially the mac crashed, i have never seen that)
There was no malware (it was a greenfield windows 10 install with latest updates (1 week old) and unused

Cloudcentric
Posts: 1160
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:13 am

Re: Pi imager bricked my SD card AND Laptop

Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:43 am

dutchspace wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:20 am
ejolson wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:03 am
bjtheone wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:19 pm
Are you sure that the USB adaptor is not damaged, such that it is shorting pins?
I'd definitely suggest not trying the same USB adapter in another computer.

I've only destroyed one motherboard while
plugging in a USB drive. I never figured out whether it was static electricity or a short that caused the problem, but it was irritating to be replacing a motherboard for no other good reason.

In my case the system suddenly stopped working when I plugged the cable in. As yours is still working, albeit slowly, I think there is a good chance you'll recover it.

When you rebooted are you sure you did a hard power off and not standby?

It's possible your machine was infected with some sort of malware that triggered when it went to sleep.
I did use the usb key in an other computer and was able to fix the sd card (initially the mac crashed, i have never seen that)
There was no malware (it was a greenfield windows 10 install with latest updates (1 week old) and unused

May I ask what an x86 machine running Windows with issues has to do with the Raspberry Pi Forum ? Stating the Pi-Imager software trashed your machine is baloney.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 29336
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Pi imager bricked my SD card AND Laptop

Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:02 am

Cloudcentric wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:43 am
dutchspace wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:20 am
ejolson wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:03 am

I'd definitely suggest not trying the same USB adapter in another computer.

I've only destroyed one motherboard while
plugging in a USB drive. I never figured out whether it was static electricity or a short that caused the problem, but it was irritating to be replacing a motherboard for no other good reason.

In my case the system suddenly stopped working when I plugged the cable in. As yours is still working, albeit slowly, I think there is a good chance you'll recover it.

When you rebooted are you sure you did a hard power off and not standby?

It's possible your machine was infected with some sort of malware that triggered when it went to sleep.
I did use the usb key in an other computer and was able to fix the sd card (initially the mac crashed, i have never seen that)
There was no malware (it was a greenfield windows 10 install with latest updates (1 week old) and unused

May I ask what an x86 machine running Windows with issues has to do with the Raspberry Pi Forum ? Stating the Pi-Imager software trashed your machine is baloney.
Please keep it civil.

Whilst I cannot see any possible mechanism by which Imager could break a laptop, there is not need to be uncivil.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Working in the Applications Team.

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mahjongg
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Re: Pi imager bricked my SD card AND Laptop

Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:57 pm

Perhaps due to a user error you actually chose your windows hard disk instead of the sd-card as the target to do the install to, that was a "common issue" on older imaging software, but I thought that many safeties were added to this imager to prevent this from happening, but perhaps you circumvented them somehow.

But this is just my guess of what could have happened.

busywait
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat May 09, 2020 10:48 pm
Location: Southampton, UK

Re: Pi imager bricked my SD card AND Laptop

Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:26 pm

If you have a 1 week old computer that has stopped working while you were using it then it is reasonable to take it back to the shop to be replaced, in my opinion.

ejolson
Posts: 8055
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Pi imager bricked my SD card AND Laptop

Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:47 pm

dutchspace wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:11 am
I left the computer on to drain the battery.
This morning i tried to reinstall windows but there is no way to continue.
usually the computer let me re-image pretty fast but now i can't install.

I get a screen during the windows setup displaying:

Load Driver
A Media driver your computer needs is missing. This could be a DVD, USB or Hard disk driver. etc..

---
When trying to boot an Ubuntu installer it asks me to connect to a network before the setup starts because of missing containers.

I will remove the battery later just to make sure no components in the laptop still having a bit of power. but on this model laptop you need to remove a lot of screws before you get to the battery.
Before taking it all apart, is there a BIOS option for a reset?

On the other hand, if it is an older machine, looking at the battery might be a good idea. Last month I replaced a battery pack that had dangerously swollen to twice its original size in a notebook computer and was starting to press the case apart.
Last edited by ejolson on Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

LTolledo
Posts: 5814
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:29 am
Location: Anime Heartland

Re: Pi imager bricked my SD card AND Laptop

Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:25 pm

mahjongg wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:57 pm
Perhaps due to a user error you actually chose your windows hard disk instead of the sd-card as the target to do the install to, that was a "common issue" on older imaging software, but I thought that many safeties were added to this imager to prevent this from happening, but perhaps you circumvented them somehow.

But this is just my guess of what could have happened.
+1

its the "user" that issues the command to proceed...
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

drgeoff
Posts: 12175
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:39 pm

Re: Pi imager bricked my SD card AND Laptop

Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:40 pm

busywait wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:26 pm
If you have a 1 week old computer that has stopped working while you were using it then it is reasonable to take it back to the shop to be replaced, in my opinion.
@busywait

Where has the OP written that the computer is 1 week old? A fresh install of Windows 10 was done 1 week ago but the model in question has been available for more than 5 years.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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