queshrmp
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:02 pm

Unable to boot and unable to flash EEPROM

Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:08 pm

Background
Raspberry Pi 4B (2GB).
After failing to boot a fresh setup of the latest Raspbian (red and green LEDs turn on, green turns off immediately after and stays off), I followed the recommendation to make sure the EEPROM is in tact.

I took an sdcard, formatted with FAT32, and simply put the content of the .zip file from raspberrypi.org in it. I then put it in the Pi, plugged in the power and presented with 2 long flashes and then 4 short ones, repeatedly, which is apparently an undocumented error sequence.

Having no micro HDMI cable, I connected the serial pins to UART. The error in the console is:
Loading vl805.sig hnd: 0x00000031
Loading vl805.bin hnd: 0x0000002a
SHA256
00000000 12 67 75 0e 2e e8 49 b3 44 8a 93 fa 7b f2 92 90 | .gu...I. D...{...|
00000010 75 1c c8 98 a5 4d 76 ab 0d 6e c7 a4 7a c1 89 60 | u....Mv. .n..z..`|
File has Invalid/missing signature: 'vl805.sig' (65)
FATAL @ 0x8000654a
I tried to remove vl805.bin and vol805.sig completely from the sdcard, which brought me to the same error but in regards to pieeprom.sig/bin.

I also tried to replace the recovery.bin, vl805.bin and pieeeprom.bin files with more recent ones from https://github.com/raspberrypi/rpi-eeprom/ (and update the .sig files accordingly).

The voltage of the Pi is rock steady at 5.17vdc (exactly, constantly, for at least 15 seconds). I plugged the sdcard into a different pc with a different card reader, and checked the SHA256 of the files - they match the checksums inside the .sig files.

I tried the procedure with 4 different sdcards, 1 of which is brand new (SanDisk 16GB class 10) and 1 is 100% working (Kingston 16GB class 10).

Updates
EDIT 2019-12-13
I bought another sdcard, a Transcend 16GB class 10. As expected, this didn't help and I'm having the same SHA256 errors.
However, the first few power cycles reported different SHA256 hashes, and after a few times it went back to the one as shown in the log above.

After thorough fishing for more details, I can confirm that it detects the correct SHA256 for files that are 32 bytes or smaller, and incorrect SHA256 for files that are larger than 32 bytes.
Last edited by queshrmp on Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.


renice123
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:56 pm

Re: Unable to boot and unable to flash EEPROM

Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:35 am

Judging by the "symptoms", you have a working raspberry, but you are a little excited and trying to act randomly. Why change the EEPROM if you are not sure that a serious error has occurred? Personally, I rarely saw EEPROM fail on any device, but almost all Raspberry owners, if there is a problem with the download, are feverishly trying to fix EEPROM. What does it give? This is a potentially dangerous operation.
Can you just create a new sd boot map using the dd or etcher command?
https://www.etcher.io
Try to follow the operating system boot instructions and not back down from them. Best of all, if you are not sure of the stability of your Raspberry, use a 16 Gb memory card from a well-known manufacturer, for example, Sandisk Ultra. Such small cards are rarely faked and they work well with Raspberries.
There is a section on the forum devoted to the problems of primary loading and, apparently, your Raspberry is not sick, but healthy.
https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... 28&t=58151
You can also remove the sd card and turn on the computer. Is there a few flashing green LEDs?
Image
To check that the bootloader is working correctly, turn off the power, unplug everything from the Raspberry Pi 4, including the SD card, and then turn the power back on. If the green LED blinks with a repeating pattern then the bootloader is running correctly, and indicating that start*.elf has not been found.
Reprogrammed using the Recovery image available on the raspberrypi.org downloads page.

queshrmp
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:02 pm

Re: Unable to boot and unable to flash EEPROM

Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:31 am

Thank you for the reply. I've been through everything you described, and while most of it is trivial and assumes this is the first place I've visited for help, that is not the case. I hope I answered everything you mentioned.
renice123 wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:35 am
Judging by the "symptoms", you have a working raspberry, but you are a little excited and trying to act randomly. Why change the EEPROM if you are not sure that a serious error has occurred?
Because I tried to boot Raspbian using different sdcards and after verifying the downloaded files. I even tried to boot an existing setup that has been working on a Pi 3B+. IRC suggested making sure the EEPROM was not corrupted.
Personally, I rarely saw EEPROM fail on any device, but almost all Raspberry owners, if there is a problem with the download, are feverishly trying to fix EEPROM. What does it give? This is a potentially dangerous operation.
I didn't come up with the idea myself, but the fact that the relatively simple process of verifying SHA256 (put aside the actual flashing and whatnot) cannot be executed properly makes me wonder what's going on.
Can you just create a new sd boot map using the dd or etcher command?
https://www.etcher.io
Try to follow the operating system boot instructions and not back down from them.
I've tried to create the sdcard multiple times. It wouldn't boot. The green LED would flash once maybe and then turn off permanently. I also tried multiple sdards from different brands, just in case.
Best of all, if you are not sure of the stability of your Raspberry, use a 16 Gb memory card from a well-known manufacturer, for example, Sandisk Ultra. Such small cards are rarely faked and they work well with Raspberries.
Like mentioned in the original post, among other things, I tried a SanDisk 16GB as well as a Kingston 16GB. It seems both align with your recommendation. The SanDisk is brand new (never used before) and the Kingston has been working on the Pi 3B+ for some time now.
That said, I will pay a visit to the shop and buy yet another one, just to rule out the extremely rare possibility that even the working sdcard is somehow malfunctioning.
There is a section on the forum devoted to the problems of primary loading and, apparently, your Raspberry is not sick, but healthy.
https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... 28&t=58151
This is the obvious. I've read this and followed the relevant information from that post long before I posted here. Nothing helped and nothing seems to be directly relevant either. The problem, as somebody described it earlier, is probably "on a much higher level".
You can also remove the sd card and turn on the computer. Is there a few flashing green LEDs?
To check that the bootloader is working correctly, turn off the power, unplug everything from the Raspberry Pi 4, including the SD card, and then turn the power back on. If the green LED blinks with a repeating pattern then the bootloader is running correctly, and indicating that start*.elf has not been found.
Just one short flash, then it's off. The red light turns on and stays on.

renice123
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:56 pm

Re: Unable to boot and unable to flash EEPROM

Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:27 am

If you did everything possible to restore your computer, then it most likely makes sense to return the faulty device to the seller (if the warranty allows) or buy a new one.
It is unlikely that the case is in the sd card if your Raspberry does not blink green LED properly if there is no card. Therefore, it seems to me that it makes no sense to buy a new memory card - it will be just another card.
However, then it makes sense to try to restore the EEPROM by writing a recovery image to the memory card (does that really require a FAT partition?) Because it looks like your EEPROM is corrupted and then your previous steps are clear.
You could describe in detail what happened to your computer (in what mode it worked, what was connected, etc.). It seems to me that your experience can help microcomputer users how to avoid problems with the fourth version of Raspberry. As far as I know, it is malfunction that rarely occurs

hippy
Posts: 8571
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Unable to boot and unable to flash EEPROM

Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:38 pm

renice123 wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:35 am
Why change the EEPROM if you are not sure that a serious error has occurred?
It took me a while to figure this kind of behaviour out.

What drives doing such things is the understanding that, when something isn't working, the first thing to do is to make sure things are how they are meant to be, ensure everything is such that it should work. If one cannot tell if something is right or up to date, reinstalling it will ensure that it is.

Nothing wrong with that, and especially when that may well be what is suggested as the first thing to do when they arrive and seek help.

For the inexperienced it's often a no-win situation. If they haven't done something they risk being criticised for having not done that. If they have they risk being criticised for having done it.

I support a product which gives an error message when it cannot program a device attached by a serial cable. I see numerous reports of "Getting an error message. Un-installed and reinstalled the serial device drivers. Un-installed and re-installed the software. Re-installed Windows. Still getting an error".

It's usually a simple case of having not power-cycled a device when programming it. They wasted their time and energy trying to fix things which weren't broken, weren't causing the problem, risked making things worse, and sometimes do, but one can't really blame them for wanting to ensure they can say things are how they should be.

queshrmp
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:02 pm

Re: Unable to boot and unable to flash EEPROM

Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:18 pm

renice123 wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:27 am
If you did everything possible to restore your computer, then it most likely makes sense to return the faulty device to the seller (if the warranty allows) or buy a new one.
That's the "easy" solution. I considered that before reaching out for help here.
It is unlikely that the case is in the sd card if your Raspberry does not blink green LED properly if there is no card. Therefore, it seems to me that it makes no sense to buy a new memory card - it will be just another card.
I agree. I still decided to spend a few bucks on another sdcard, just in case. It's small money and I'll find a use for it sooner or later anyhow.
Unfortunately, I report that as expected, it didn't help at all.
However, then it makes sense to try to restore the EEPROM by writing a recovery image to the memory card (does that really require a FAT partition?) Because it looks like your EEPROM is corrupted and then your previous steps are clear.
The log in the original post is the issue I experience while (before actually) flashing the EEPROM. Nothing makes sense, that's why I'm here.
You could describe in detail what happened to your computer (in what mode it worked, what was connected, etc.).
Nothing "happened" to it. It never "worked" - it never booted since I received it and the EEPROM has been throwing that SHA256 error at me since the very beginning.

queshrmp
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:02 pm

Re: Unable to boot and unable to flash EEPROM

Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:23 pm

hippy wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:38 pm
It's usually a simple case of having not power-cycled a device when programming it. They wasted their time and energy trying to fix things which weren't broken, ...
As mentioned in the original post, I measured very stable 5.17vdc. I tried two different power supplies (3A and 4A).
Are you suggesting my issue is due to a faulty power supply? If so, what or how do you suggest that I test it further?

hippy
Posts: 8571
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Unable to boot and unable to flash EEPROM

Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:36 pm

queshrmp wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:23 pm
hippy wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:38 pm
It's usually a simple case of having not power-cycled a device when programming it. They wasted their time and energy trying to fix things which weren't broken, ...
As mentioned in the original post, I measured very stable 5.17vdc. I tried two different power supplies (3A and 4A).
Are you suggesting my issue is due to a faulty power supply?
No, that was referring to the situation with the product I support and the preceding paragraph to that.

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