marco79
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:45 pm

[Resolved] Pi 4 won‘t boot anymore after bootloader firmware upgrade

Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:51 pm

I updated the bootloader firmware of my Pi 4b according to this tutorial. It was still on 13701 (May 10, 2019) and the update showed version 137ab (Sep 10, 2019).

After „sudo reboot“ the Pi didn‘t boot anymore. :cry:

The bootloader seems fine, I even did the recovery method and the green LEDs blink four times when I start the Pi without sd card. But unfortunately my former SD card with my whole system won‘t boot anymore. Is there any chance I can rescue it? This would save me lots of hours of work (and some files I didn‘t backup before).

I don‘t even have a micro-HDMI adapter since I forgot to order it on day 1 and never needed it until today. The Pi 4 is/was running headless (Buster lite) for months without a problem. It’s a 128 GB Sandisk sd card with FAT32/ext4 and I‘m using the original Raspberry power adapter. There‘s nothing connected to the Pi except a network cable (LAN). At the beginning it seems to start up fine and both the LEDs blink without a special pattern. But after some seconds it just stops.

Maybe the problem was that my buster wasn‘t on the most recent version and I haven‘t run a dist-upgrade or full-upgrade before (which wasn‘t mentioned in the guide)?

Thanks for your help!
Last edited by marco79 on Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

marco79
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:45 pm

Re: Pi 4 won‘t boot anymore after bootloader firmware upgrade

Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:24 pm

I bought a micro-HDMI cable and the boot screen looks like this.

Code: Select all

You are in emergency mode. After logging in, type ...

Cannot open access to console, the root account is locked. See sulogin(8) man page for more details. 

Press ENTER to continue.
If I press ENTER then it says "Reloading system manager configuration. Starting default target" and then it hangs again with the same output as above.

I attached a screenshots. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
console-output.jpg
console-output.jpg (250.12 KiB) Viewed 348 times

marco79
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:45 pm

Re: Pi 4 won‘t boot anymore after bootloader firmware upgrade

Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:54 pm

:arrow: I fixed the issue! :o

After searching this forum for hours I found a hint that the emergency mode might be related to invalid entries in /etc/fstab. I remembered that I once used an external SSD for backups and therefore edited the fstab in order to mount it on system startup. Back then I formatted the drive as exFAT and installed the necessary packages for it (exfat-core & exfat-utils). Everything seemed to work just fine.

I fixed it by mounting the sd card in another linux machine and editing the /etc/fstab file by just removing this last line for the exfat ssd.

After that I put it back in the pi 4 and it started, performed a disk check, rebootet again and now everythings works as before. The bootloader firmware is on the latest version as well. The problem had nothing to do with the bootloader upgrade. It's just that I didn't reboot my Pi for a long time! Lucky me. 8-)

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thagrol
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Re: [Resolved] Pi 4 won‘t boot anymore after bootloader firmware upgrade

Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:13 pm

Here's a hint for you (and anyone else) adding fstab entires for USB connected drives: always include "nofail" in your mount options. That way the system will continue to boot if the device isn't present.

Obviously it won't be mounted so it's probable that any apps or services that expect it to be will fail or access your SD card.

If you plug in the device after boot you'l need to mount it manually.
Attempts to contact me outside of these forums will be ignored unless signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public enquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters

marco79
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:45 pm

Re: [Resolved] Pi 4 won‘t boot anymore after bootloader firmware upgrade

Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:33 am

thagrol wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:13 pm
Here's a hint for you (and anyone else) adding fstab entires for USB connected drives: always include "nofail" in your mount options. That way the system will continue to boot if the device isn't present.
Thanks, that‘s exactly what I did today after I read about this option.

The second thing I did was to setup raspiBackup which now runs once a week and stores an incremental backup on my ssd (attached via USB).

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