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[SOLVED] Have I killed it already?

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 7:19 am
by wub
Hi! I just got an XU4 with the 6A 5v power supply that I intended to use as part of a home-brew NAS. I put DietPi onto a micro SD card, plugged in an HDMI monitor and a keyboard/mouse combination along with the card, then connected the power supply. The red LED was joined almost immediately by the blue LED and the fan spun up. I waited what I considered a longish time, but nothing further happened. The HDMI monitor never indicated that anything was connected to it.

That started a long process of trying various distros, SD cards and removing unneeded connections. I have never been able to get the blue LED and the fan to turn on again. I have 3 Odroid C-2s, which are providing various services on my network (one is my router), so I have some idea of how this should have gone. I have run out of ideas, and assume that at this point all I have is a cute brick. I am seriously disappointed. I have no idea what I did to deserve this.

Are there any other steps I could take at this point? I have checked the uSD/emmc switch a couple of times, and tried booting with the switch in both positions (powering down before switching it!) It seems funny that when the blue LED and the heat-sink fan came on, I have no recollection of pressing the power switch, although I have tried it many times since.

Re: Have I killed it already?

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:23 am
by odroid
If the blue LED was solid on, the system booted but failed to run a Linux Kernel.

Flash the latest Ubuntu OS image (ubuntu-18.04.1-4.14-mate-odroid-xu4-20181203.img.xz) with Etcher to narrow down root causes.

Re: Have I killed it already?

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:45 am
by wub
Is it OK if I use dd instead? I downloaded the ubuntu-mate image you recommended, then grabbed a copy of Etcher, which I have heard good things about but never used before. All I could get it to do was either tell me my removable drive already had an image (or swap, after I reformatted it) or that no drive was connected, even though the drive is visible to my OS. I finally "googled the error message" and hit this comment:

fjblau commented Dec 22, 2018

Etcher no longer recognizes an SD card as a removable drive. Kind of renders the program useless. YOU HAD ONE JOB, as the kids say.

on the GitHub page: https://github.com/balena-io/etcher/issues/2490#

Decided to try dd again, but again nothing except a steady red LED. If I push and hold the 'power' button, I hear a faint high-pitched whine. I'll keep an eye on the Etcher project's page, in case they fix the problem. Maybe I can find an old version somewhere...

Re: Have I killed it already?

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:28 am
by rooted
Sounds like your SD card may be bad or your writer.

Re: Have I killed it already?

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:46 am
by wub
Yeah, that's what I thought. I got another card, switched laptops, repeated the image download, extracted and dd'ed the image onto the new card on the alternate laptop. No change. Just to verify the SD card and the write process were OK, I put a Raspberry Pi image on the card using the alternate laptop. It worked flawlessly when I tried booting one of my Pis with it.
From this, I conclude that the SD card and the burning process are OK.
I did have to use a different power supply for the Pi, but otherwise everything else was the same. I think I somehow killed the XU4 after that first boot when the blue LED came on. I guess I'll have to replace it.

Re: Have I killed it already?

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:52 am
by rooted
Could you post the exact name of the file your using?

Re: Have I killed it already?

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:38 am
by wub
For completeness, I used dd 8.28 (default block size) to put ubuntu-18.04.1-4.14-mate-odroid-xu4-20181203.img onto a 16 Gb micro SD card.

Re: Have I killed it already?

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:46 am
by mad_ady
Have you used the disk as a target and not the first partition, right? Something like of=/dev/sda, not sda1.

Re: Have I killed it already?

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:27 am
by wub
I used:
dd if=ubuntu-18.04.1-4.14-mate-odroid-xu4-20181203.img of=/dev/mmcblk0

On my laptop, SD cards mounted in the built-in reader show up as /dev/mmcblk0. If there are partitions on the card, I see /dev/mmcblk0p0, /dev/mmcblk0p1 etc.

Re: Have I killed it already?

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:03 am
by odroid
Please try Etcher which as has a great read-back-verify feature.
Also do not extract xz file since Etcher's built-in extractor works nicely.

Re: Have I killed it already?

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:46 pm
by wub
Please read the seventh post above yours: currently, Ethcher does not recognize SD cards. Apart from that, apparently it works fine. Can you direct me to a site where I can obtain an older version of Etcher that does still recognize SD cards?

I have been downloading, extracting, and burning image files for C2s, Raspberry Pis and suchlike for some time. I have encountered SD cards which cause problems, but .tar.gz, .xz, .bzip and other file type have not presented extraction problems and dd has been a reliable tool for burning images, provided it is aimed properly. Perhaps I should simply buy a preloaded card from Hardkernel or Ameridroid? But what would I do with it if the XU4 board is toast?

Re: Have I killed it already?

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:10 pm
by odroid
You can find older Etcher versions from this link.
https://github.com/balena-io/etcher/rel ... ter=v1.4.0

What is the brand/model name of your SD card?

Re: Have I killed it already?

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:36 am
by wub
Thanks for the pointer to older Etcher versions. I have installed an earlier version and will try it a bit later.
As for the SD cards - no particular make or model, they are the in-house Micro Center cards. I accept all responsibility for triggering any obligatory lecture, let's skip that part and get to the part where I ask you which make and model I should have bought, and I'll place my order later today.

Re: Have I killed it already?

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:01 am
by rooted
I use and like Samsung EVO+ and SanDisk Ultra, the Samsungs are generally a bit faster with higher IOPS.

Re: Have I killed it already?

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:28 pm
by wub
Just ordered three SanDisk Ultra micro SD cards, won't arrive for a few days. I'll update this when I've tried the older Etcher and the new micro SD cards.

{SOLVED}Re: Have I killed it already?

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:24 pm
by wub
I'd like to thank you folks for your patience and helpfulness. The SanDisk cards arrived today, I finally got Etcher to cooperate (several versions can't find even these SD cards on either fo my laptops...) but I was able to burn the recommended Ubuntu image and boot from it! I was very glad to get a good result, and immediately repeated the process with the current DietPi distro that I intend to use. Everything went just fine this time. Perhaps the providence that watches out for fools was keeping an eye on me while I used substandard SD cards to boot countless Raspberry Pi distros and even three Odroid C2s that I use on my home network. Oh well. Live and learn. If all of this tinkering with these small boxes was too easy it wouldn't be any fun.

Re: Have I killed it already?

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:00 pm
by rooted
Glad that it worked out