Chromium
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Can you brick a Pi?

Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:31 am

Just wondering if its possible to fully hard brick a raspberry pi ( completely doesn't work or turn on) before I start to do anything.

ShiftPlusOne
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Re: Can you brick a Pi?

Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:34 am

Not so much by software, but by using (very) bad power supplies or misusing gpio pins, yes.

ski522
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Re: Can you brick a Pi?

Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:44 am

The firmware is part of the SD card, so if you do brick it from a software point of view, just reflash the SD card and you're good to go. Misuse of the hardware and burning something is obviously something different.

Chromium
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Re: Can you brick a Pi?

Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:41 am

So basically if anything goes wrong from a software point of view, re installing Debian from an sd card should fix it? What about over clocking...could that mess it up?

techs1200
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Re: Can you brick a Pi?

Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:43 am

Chromium wrote:So basically if anything goes wrong from a software point of view, re installing Debian from an sd card should fix it? What about over clocking...could that mess it up?
if you do not overvolt the chip i think it wont be damaged by overclocking.

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Re: Can you brick a Pi?

Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:43 am

Chromium wrote:So basically if anything goes wrong from a software point of view, re installing Debian from an sd card should fix it? What about over clocking...could that mess it up?
If you overclock through the raspi-config script you shouldn't be able to brick the system by overclocking. (There are built in safeguards.)

ShiftPlusOne
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Re: Can you brick a Pi?

Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:53 am

The warranty void condition may give you a good clue.
(force_turbo || current_limit_override || temp_limit>85) && over_voltage>0

Over-clocking does not affect your warranty, so it's not something to worry about.

GaryCN
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Re: Can you brick a Pi?

Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:03 am

If you do your only out $35, I have had to re-flash a SD card, keyboard went crazy after sudo apt-get upgrade none of the keys were correct and I could not enter the login and password. I've only on day 4 or running it.

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Jessie
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Re: Can you brick a Pi?

Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:13 am

There is a small chance you could ruin an SD card by going balls out with your overclocks. But the R-Pi itself will be fine. I run allmost all my distros forced in the 900mhz+ range and other than a corrupt card that I had to re-format and reinstall now and then they have all been fine.

I guess the only way I can see bricking one is through physical damage. Water, bad psu, physically breaking your SD card slot. Through software it would be tough.

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Jim JKla
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Re: Can you brick a Pi?

Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:56 am

I was allways taught that its very hard to break (brick) a cmputer from software but if there was ever an operating system that could do it then that was Linux because of your ability to overclock things.

I remember when Slackware was released on one of the Magazines they gave a warning that playing with some of the settings could fry your monitor or graphics card but we have come a long way since then. ;)
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RaTTuS
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Re: Can you brick a Pi?

Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:02 am

Jim JKla wrote:..
I remember when Slackware was released on one of the Magazines they gave a warning that playing with some of the settings could fry your monitor or graphics card but we have come a long way since then. ;)
yeah X clock settings
I remember those days and I think there are still warnings about them in the config files ;-p
fun fun fun [though I never blew any monitors]
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Jim JKla
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Re: Can you brick a Pi?

Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:27 am

My neither, well not from software :oops: How did I drop that monitor?
Noob is not derogatory the noob is just the lower end of the noob--geek spectrum being a noob is just your first step towards being an uber-geek ;)

If you find a solution please post it in the wiki the forum dies too quick

dms75
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Re: Can you brick a Pi?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:15 pm

The chances of bricking the Rpi with overclocking are rather low I'd wager, most likely you'd just reduce it's lifespan, so accidentially bricking the RPi with software would be very hard.
(Has anyone tried to disable the overcurrent protection, to overvolt and overclock such that it doesn't just crash but gets too hot? It might be hard toget this right and very device dependant.)
However if you really wanted to brick it your best bet might be patching the start.elf files to (re-)programm the OTP bits in the chip. Code for the modification of the OTP memory is already implemented in the startup code somewhere to correct wrong boardrevision ids some boards got produced with. So there is binary gpu code available that does a potentially hamfull thing if modified. I don't know how far the gpu instruction set reverse engeneering effort has come, but I can imagine that someone involved in that effort could dissasemble / reverse engeneer the otp programming sequence and modify it to write all '0' or all '1' (depending on the type of memory) to the OTP memory, which might well brick it.
But why would anybody want to? Everything interesting is on the sdcard anyway which you can backup before trying it on real hardware so destruction of the hardware serves no real purpose.

The bottomline is - although it might be theoretically possible for a determined person to brick the RPi by software the normal user should probably not worry about it. And since i fail to see any "use case" for wich the destruction of the hardware would make sense i doubt that anyone would bother trying to figure out how to do it in the first place.

Dirk

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Re: Can you brick a Pi?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:53 pm

dms75 wrote:... since i fail to see any "use case" for wich the destruction of the hardware would make sense i doubt that anyone would bother trying to figure out how to do it in the first place.
There's got to be a kid someplace that'll think it fun to try

dms75
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Re: Can you brick a Pi?

Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:06 pm

Burngate wrote: There's got to be a kid someplace that'll think it fun to try
At least from an educational point of view that kid will have acquired a lot of usefull skills for an embedded systems engineer ;-)

Dirk

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