hbickerton
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:08 am

Pi won't boot, ACT blinking 8 times (solved)

Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:25 am

This started happening this morning. My RAM chip is from Samsung, so I don't think it's a problem with having old firmware. I've tried two separate SD cards known to work, testing each one with 1 - NOOBS, 2 -September Raspian written with Win32diskimager on Windows, 3 - September Raspian written with dd on linux, 4 - Latest Raspian written with Win32diskimager on Windows, and 5 - Latest Raspian written with dd on Linux. I've tried replacing the start.elf/bootcode.bin/etc files manually, didn't help at all. I tested for the fuse problem, didn't seem to have one, and I've left it unplugged for about 6 hours now just to see if it would work(it didn't). I've tried everything that I've been able to find on the internet, still not booting and blinking 8 times.

This happened after I used Win32diskimager to backup my SD card to my local hard drive. I've also been testing custom kernels the past two days, so it's been through some stress. Is there anything left I can try, or do I need to just order a new one?

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Burngate
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Re: Pi won't boot, ACT blinking 8 times

Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:44 am

According to http://elinux.org/R-Pi_Troubleshooting# ... ic_pattern "SDRAM not recognised. You need newer bootcode.bin/start.elf firmware"
Which, since you had a working system, can't be the case.
And when you tried the latest Raspbian you would have the latest files, anyway.

You mention September Raspbian; was that the one that was originally working? If it used to work, it should still work.
As far as I know, "testing custom kernels" can't affect the Pi itself, only the SD card, since nothing - well, almost nothing - is stored on the Pi.
Backing up your card using win32diskimager should be a read-only operation, though there could be situations where it could corrupt the file system, but re-imaging the card should cure that.

So we're down to the cards themselves, and the images you're writing to them, and the physical connection between card and Pi.
Several options:
1) Try pressing the card down onto its connections while it boots.
2) The card might be worn out, so buy a new card. As luck would have it, the front page is featuring "Buy an 8GB NOOBS SD card for £5"
3) Using win32diskimager, put the backup image back, and see what happens.
4) With any of the images, try renaming any or all of the files in the boot partition, so that the Pi can't find them. It should make things worse, and so point to whichever files are causing the problem. With bootcode.bin missing or renamed, you should get no flashing. No start.elf should give you 3 flashes. Mixing & matching various versions of each from all the images you have may give you ideas, and anyway will waste a lot of time until someone else comes along to help.

hbickerton
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:08 am

Re: Pi won't boot, ACT blinking 8 times

Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:25 pm

Try pressing the card down onto its connections while it boots
Just tried, didn't work.
The card might be worn out, so buy a new card
While it's possible, it seems unlikely due to the fact that I was just using the card minutes before things went bad, and I tried out another known-good card to no avail.
Using win32diskimager, put the backup image back, and see what happens
Tried it, no go.
Try renaming any or all of the files in the boot partition
Great idea. Renaming the bootcode.bin gave me 0 blinks, renaming the start.elf gave me 4 blinks.

I'm thinking that my RAM might have a hardware issue. I've been using my pi for prototyping, and to save space I removed the RCA out, Audio, and LAN ports by desoldering them. I did that about 2 weeks ago. It's plausible that during the process, the RAM chip got heated and slightly damaged, which would have become more damaged with the stress I've been putting it through the past few days. This would explain the reason that the RAM isn't recognized, as indicated by the 8 blinks.

Thank you for you suggestions! I've ordered a new Pi, it's in the mail now. I feel silly that I hadn't thought of the desoldering being the issue earlier :P

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