[SOLVED] Can't boot from nvme after bios update

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stardust
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[SOLVED] Can't boot from nvme after bios update

Post by stardust »

Hello!

I have updated the bios of my H2 from 1.05 to 1.12. I followed the bios update instructions and everything went fine but unfortunately I am not able to boot from nvme disk anymore.

I have unplugged external USB drives but I do not see the Grub option as before (from the nvme). The nvme drive is listed under the Advanced configuration (although there is no info inside). Any tips on what I can do? Any help is appreciated.

EDITS:

Before the bios update, I do not recall seeing the "UEFI: PXE IP4 Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller" entries. Also I did not try to make any changes to the bios other than adjusting the hysteresis values (which was the main reason for the bios update).

I also tried to disable the "PCIe Selectable De-emphasis" I have seen around. It did not make any difference.

I tried to disable the PCI Express Clock Gating. No difference.

I have Archlinux on the nvme disk and I believe I used the EFI partitioning. I have not had any boot issue in a bit over a year since I got the H2 and the system has been rebooted on a weekly basis.
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Last edited by stardust on Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Can't boot from nvme after bios update

Post by odroid »

I've never seen such issue yet.

Try two things.
1. Disconnect the RTC/BIOS backup battery for several minutes after shutdown the system to reset the BIOS settings. You need to unplug the DC cable too.
After several minutes, connect everything again and test.
2. If #1 doesn't help, try flashing old BIOS 1.05 to narrow down root causes.

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Re: Can't boot from nvme after bios update

Post by stardust »

odroid wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:51 pm
I've never seen such issue yet.

Try two things.
1. Disconnect the RTC/BIOS backup battery for several minutes after shutdown the system to reset the BIOS settings. You need to unplug the DC cable too.
After several minutes, connect everything again and test.
2. If #1 doesn't help, try flashing old BIOS 1.05 to narrow down root causes.
Thank you for your reply, odroid!

Will try these. Do you know if those "UEFI: PXE IP4/6 Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller" are expected? I think I didn't have them in 1.05 when I changed the boot override to the USB pendrive (so I only had Grub and two entries related to the USB pendrive I used to update the BIOS).

Great that it seems that BIOS downgrades are possible. If 1. does not help I hope 2. brings the boot option back.

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Re: Can't boot from nvme after bios update

Post by odroid »

There should be a menu to disable the PXE boot option in some where BIOS settings.
We will check it early next week since it is already Friday evening here Korea.

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Re: Can't boot from nvme after bios update

Post by stardust »

Yeah, I know it is quite late in your timezone.

I have disconnected the RTC battery and DC cable and will reconnect and give it a go after lunch. I'll revert to 1.05 if it does not help. I'll update this thread.

Have a nice weekend!

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Re: Can't boot from nvme after bios update

Post by stardust »

Unfortunately none of the two suggestions worked.

I am now back to 1.05 but the nvme drive does not show up as a boot option anymore. The PXE boot entries disappeared after the bios rollback to 1.05.

I will boot from a Linux ISO from hard drive just to see if the nvme disk is detected. It is a quite standard WD Black (256GB).

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Re: Can't boot from nvme after bios update

Post by stardust »

I managed to fix the issue!

It seems that some UEFI motherboards wipe the NVRAM boot entries when the firmware or BIOS is updated. In order to get the chance to boot again from the nvme, I had to run grub-install from an ArchLinux USB flash drive. Unfortunately this was not all because that only gave me the GRUB shell instead of the traditional GRUB boot menu. From the GRUB shell, I managed to set the root, linux and initrd options manually and finally managed to boot to the OS. From there, I did run again grub-install (just in case) and grub-mkconfig which brought me back the GRUB menu.

Question/comment: wouldn't this happen to anyone who updates the BIOS? Does Ubuntu (or any other distros) handle the boot loader setup or boot partition in a special way that might allow to survive BIOS updates? I wonder if it would be worth mentioning about this potential issue in https://wiki.odroid.com/odroid-h2/hardw ... ios_update as it might be useful for others who might face the same problem.

Despite this headache, I have been extremely happy with my H2. Keep up the great work guys!

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Re: Can't boot from nvme after bios update

Post by fvolk »

stardust wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:36 am
Does Ubuntu (or any other distros) handle the boot loader setup or boot partition in a special way that might allow to survive BIOS updates?
grub-install --removable ...
does not depend on a UEFI boot entry but installs grub as generic EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI,
that is the way usb media uses to be portable and to be bootable without creating a boot entry in UEFI first.
You can also install Grub this way on a fixed SSD installation - this should survive UEFI flashing?
These users thanked the author fvolk for the post (total 2):
stardust (Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:50 pm) • odroid (Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:27 am)

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Re: Can't boot from nvme after bios update

Post by stardust »

fvolk wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:48 am
stardust wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:36 am
Does Ubuntu (or any other distros) handle the boot loader setup or boot partition in a special way that might allow to survive BIOS updates?
grub-install --removable ...
does not depend on a UEFI boot entry but installs grub as generic EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI,
that is the way usb media uses to be portable and to be bootable without creating a boot entry in UEFI first.
You can also install Grub this way on a fixed SSD installation - this should survive UEFI flashing?
That must be it! Thank you!

I was able to find it from the Arch wiki page about GRUB, listed as a tip section:
Tip: If you use the option --removable then GRUB will be installed to esp/EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI (or esp/EFI/BOOT/BOOTIA32.EFI for the i386-efi target) and you will have the additional ability of being able to boot from the drive in case EFI variables are reset or you move the drive to another computer.
You are right this is the way flash drives can be booted. I incorrectly thought this only applied to USB storage and didn't think it would also apply to other media.

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