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B.Goode
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Raspberry Pi 4 Model B - SPI EEPROM Corruption/Recovery

Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:06 pm

A heads-up for regular volunteer helpers in these forums -

This new (as of June 2019) text has just appeared on the Raspberry Pi official Downloads Page:
Recovery

If your Raspberry Pi 4 will not boot, it is possible that the SPI EEPROM has become corrupted.

To check, remove the SD card, disconnect the device from power, then reconnect it. If the green LED does not flash, you will need to reprogram the EEPROM:

Download the bootloader
Extract it to an empty FAT-formatted SD card and insert it into your Raspberry Pi 4
Connect the power and wait for the green LED to flash quickly
Ref: https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/


One important consequence of this is that my oft-given assurance that an RPi board has no user-modifiable persistent memory and is thus always 'factory fresh' at every Power On is henceforth not accurate.

jamesh
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Re: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B - SPI EEPROM Corruption/Recovery

Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:08 pm

Indeed. The Pi4 has 512Kb of EEPROM which hold the bootloader.

However, corrupting this is VERY difficult, so nothing to really worry about, and easily recovered using the instructions given.

The benefits are that we can upgrade the bootloader (previously hardwired in to the SoC) in the field, so we can add things like USB and PXE boot at a later stage.
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timg236
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Re: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B - SPI EEPROM Corruption/Recovery

Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:18 pm

B.Goode wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:06 pm

One important consequence of this is that my oft-given assurance that an RPi board has no user-modifiable persistent memory and is thus always 'factory fresh' at every Power On is henceforth not accurate.
On Pi3 it is possible to change the boot behaviour via OTP settings and this is required for PXE/USBBOOT so if these bits are set it's actually impossible to restore to a "factory fresh" configuration.

On Pi4 PXE/USB boot will be an EEPROM setting so it will always be possible to restore the boot behaviour to a factory fresh state.

As JamesH says nothing in Rasbian writes (or reads!) from the boot EEPROM so it's not going to get corrupted by accident.

recklessop
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Re: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B - SPI EEPROM Corruption/Recovery

Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:08 pm

jamesh wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:08 pm
Indeed. The Pi4 has 512Kb of EEPROM which hold the bootloader.

However, corrupting this is VERY difficult, so nothing to really worry about, and easily recovered using the instructions given.

The benefits are that we can upgrade the bootloader (previously hardwired in to the SoC) in the field, so we can add things like USB and PXE boot at a later stage.
I have a board that I have tried the proceedure on and it doesnt appear to work.

I just got the board today and the red light is solid, and the green light is also solid, but abit dim.

I initially tried several SD cards, flashed from other computers, I even tried an SD card from another known working PI4....nothing worked.

So I put the recovery files on a small SD card flashed as FAT and rebooted. Still nothing... just both lights solid.

Any advise?

jamesh
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Re: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B - SPI EEPROM Corruption/Recovery

Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:11 pm

Sounds like a dead board.

As above, the chance of a corrupted EEPROM is infinitesimal.
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masterice
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Re: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B - SPI EEPROM Corruption/Recovery

Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:25 am

If the Pi wont boot it may of course be a corrupt/faulty sd card.

I have had two genuine pi Noobs cards from CPC/Farnell this week, both of which refused to boot, simply giving a couple of green led flashes and then nothing.
Consequently I downloaded and wrote my own sd card and that worked straight off.

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