Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

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Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by BlueScooby »

Hello All,

My Odroid XU4 has recently stopped working. It crashed a couple of nights ago (whilst playing Wonderboy in Monster Land), and hasn't worked since.

Now when I switch it on the boot screen appears, the fan turns on and the red light is solid and the blue light is flashing as usual (two blips). The screen then goes black and the fan switches off - the lights stay the same as described.

The fan periodically turns on an runs for a few seconds, then switches off.

I have tried making some changes in the boot.ini file to force the resolution but this did not seem to help.

Can anyone help with this?

Cheers

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by odroid »

If the blue LED was flashing like heartbeat, the OS Kernel loaded and booted fine at least.
I think some portion of the Linux root file system in your boot media might be corrupted.
You probably need to flash the the OS image into your microSD or eMMC again.
Which OS image did you flash?
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BlueScooby (Tue Jul 19, 2022 10:46 pm)

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by rooted »

I would try to ssh into the device and check dmesg assuming you have it connected to the network.

If the fan is turning on and off it means there is CPU load and the OS must be running.

*edit*
The fan intermittently powering on and off could also be the device is rebooting over and over.
Last edited by rooted on Tue Jul 19, 2022 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BlueScooby (Tue Jul 19, 2022 10:48 pm)

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by mad_ady »

Also check with a different 5V/4A (or more) PSU. After about two blips the system starts pulling more current from the PSU.
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BlueScooby (Tue Jul 19, 2022 10:47 pm)

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by BlueScooby »

odroid wrote:
Tue Jul 19, 2022 9:22 am
If the blue LED was flashing like heartbeat, the OS Kernel loaded and booted fine at least.
I think some portion of the Linux root file system in your boot media might be corrupted.
You probably need to flash the the OS image into your microSD or eMMC again.
Which OS image did you flash?
Thanks for the reply odroid - I am a bit new to this, and have bought the unit 2nd hand... how do I check the OS image?

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by BlueScooby »

mad_ady wrote:
Tue Jul 19, 2022 9:16 pm
Also check with a different 5V/4A (or more) PSU. After about two blips the system starts pulling more current from the PSU.
Thanks mad_ady - I'll look into this too!

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by BlueScooby »

rooted wrote:
Tue Jul 19, 2022 8:32 pm
I would try to ssh into the device and check dmesg assuming you have it connected to the network.

If the fan is turning on and off it means there is CPU load and the OS must be running.
Hi rooted - thanks for this. As mentioned above I am a bit of a newbie (to say the least!), how do I do what you have described above?

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by mad_ady »

Well, for checking the image and ssh, first you need to tell us what OS/image you're running.
Is it from sd or emmc?
Do you have a spare sd card (8GB) to flash the stock ubuntu 22 from Hardkernel to test the hardware?
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BlueScooby (Thu Jul 21, 2022 6:55 am)

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by BlueScooby »

mad_ady wrote:
Wed Jul 20, 2022 12:36 am
Well, for checking the image and ssh, first you need to tell us what OS/image you're running.
Is it from sd or emmc?
Do you have a spare sd card (8GB) to flash the stock ubuntu 22 from Hardkernel to test the hardware?
I think it is from an SD card? How would I check this?

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by mad_ady »

The emmc is a rectangular piece of pcb atached to the motherboard. It should be either red or orange. If you don't have it, you're running off sd.
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BlueScooby (Thu Jul 21, 2022 6:55 am)

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by BlueScooby »

mad_ady wrote:
Wed Jul 20, 2022 3:36 am
The emmc is a rectangular piece of pcb atached to the motherboard. It should be either red or orange. If you don't have it, you're running off sd.
Thanks, I'm running off SD then. What do I need to do?

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by odroid »

I think you are running a dedicated OS image for retro gaming.
In that case, you might need to ask the origin of the OS image in your microSD card to the seller first.
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BlueScooby (Thu Jul 21, 2022 6:56 am)

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by BlueScooby »

odroid wrote:
Wed Jul 20, 2022 10:07 am
I think you are running a dedicated OS image for retro gaming.
In that case, you might need to ask the origin of the OS image in your microSD card to the seller first.
I was scared you might say that... their username is no longer active.

I did browse through the contents of the SD card and found a text file called buildinfo or something similar, it also mentioned retropie, so that may be it?

I'll send more info when I get back from work.

Cheers

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by odroid »

In that case, the OS image might be based on RetroArena highly likely. viewtopic.php?f=96&t=40597

Anyway, backup your SD card contents (or ROM files) first.
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BlueScooby (Thu Jul 21, 2022 6:56 am)

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by BlueScooby »

odroid wrote:
Wed Jul 20, 2022 4:48 pm
In that case, the OS image might be based on RetroArena highly likely. viewtopic.php?f=96&t=40597

Anyway, backup your SD card contents (or ROM files) first.
Thanks Odroid, here is the file I was referring too:
Odroid Menu.JPG
Odroid Menu.JPG (37.62 KiB) Viewed 396 times
And here is the text file, could one of the lines in here describe the OS?
buildversion.txt
(1.56 KiB) Downloaded 9 times
Cheers

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by odroid »

It seems to be an old RetroArena OS image which was made around 3~4 years ago.

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by BlueScooby »

odroid wrote:
Thu Jul 21, 2022 9:51 am
It seems to be an old RetroArena OS image which was made around 3~4 years ago.
Is it likely I can download it from the link above? If so which image is it (Sorry!)

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by odroid »

I've no experience of using those gaming OS images in the fast few years.
Just try XU4 Alpha or XU4 Beta images.
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BlueScooby (Thu Jul 21, 2022 8:31 pm)

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by BlueScooby »

odroid wrote:
Thu Jul 21, 2022 3:33 pm
I've no experience of using those gaming OS images in the fast few years.
Just try XU4 Alpha or XU4 Beta images.
Thanks odroid, I'll give it a go.

As the hardware appears to be working, in the worst case could I not just start from scratch e.g. use a new OS?

Sorry again for the amateur questions!

Cheers

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by mctom »

Yes, you can always reinstall the OS, but preferably on another SD card, so you can move your game ROMs and saved data afterwards.
Especially given that your problems appeared all of a sudden with no explanation, I'd expect your current SD card may be broken.

I'm not sure where you live, but here I buy Kingston A1 16GB microSD cards for less than $4 with shipping, it's well worth the investment if you have a doubt about your old one.
I think 16GB should be enough for a bunch of old games, but ideally get yourself the same size you had, or the size that you actually used. This is not Windows, you don't need 30GB of free space to run the system.

If it turns out the card was fine, you'll be able to use it on your mobile phone, or a new Odroid computer in the future. :)

Let us know if you need help flashing a microSD card with a new OS image. Remember this process wipes out all the data from the card.
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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by BlueScooby »

mctom wrote:
Thu Jul 21, 2022 10:14 pm
Yes, you can always reinstall the OS, but preferably on another SD card, so you can move your game ROMs and saved data afterwards.
Especially given that your problems appeared all of a sudden with no explanation, I'd expect your current SD card may be broken.

I'm not sure where you live, but here I buy Kingston A1 16GB microSD cards for less than $4 with shipping, it's well worth the investment if you have a doubt about your old one.
I think 16GB should be enough for a bunch of old games, but ideally get yourself the same size you had, or the size that you actually used. This is not Windows, you don't need 30GB of free space to run the system.

If it turns out the card was fine, you'll be able to use it on your mobile phone, or a new Odroid computer in the future. :)

Let us know if you need help flashing a microSD card with a new OS image. Remember this process wipes out all the data from the card.
Thanks for this too mctom! I've got a few busy days ahead, but might need some help when I get around to doing this.

Cheers

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by BlueScooby »

Hi All,

Actually I decided to give it a go :|

Is it simply a case of copying the .img file onto my new SD card and inserting it into the Odroid? I have gone for the beta2 image from the link above.

Cheers

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by mctom »

It is not the case, and I feared this is what you'd assume. :)

You've got to use a piece of software that can write an image on the SD card.
The easiest to use on Windows (at the price of being a terrible bloat) is Balena Etcher: https://www.balena.io/etcher/
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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by BlueScooby »

mctom wrote:
Sat Jul 23, 2022 11:53 pm
It is not the case, and I feared this is what you'd assume. :)

You've got to use a piece of software that can write an image on the SD card.
The easiest to use on Windows (at the price of being a terrible bloat) is Balena Etcher: https://www.balena.io/etcher/
Haha - thanks mctom! I thought "it can't be this easy... can it?" :D

I will have a go in a few days when I get some time. Thanks for the link too!

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Re: Odroid XU4 not booting - stopped suddenly

Post by mctom »

All I can say is, it's going to only get easier, as long as you try to understand what you're dealing with.

The image file contains a literal, bit by bit, copy of a medium - be it a HDD, SD card, or a DVD. You may have seen iso files in the past, with ripped CDs or DVDs with games or anything - that's exactly the same concept.
In your case, the image file contains a Linux partition with OS preinstalled on it. That partition contains a preinstalled Linux, with all system files, and a default user account set up.

If you just copy a file to an SD card, you'll end up with a card with one meaningless file on it.
If you use Balena Etcher, or "dd" in Linux, or any other tool for this purpose, it will write the contents of the image file directly on the disk, completely bypassing any concept of "formatting" in the first place, so the disk will be populated with a new file system, and appropriate files to serve your purpose.
It's exactly the same process as burning an iso file on a DVD to recreate a copy of a DVD - surely you don't just burn a DVD with one meaningless file on it, instead you use a special procedure available in your burning software.

After the image is written on SD card, if you used Linux, you could have browsed the contents of a card and see there are indeed system files on it. Windows does not understand the Linux filesystem so you won't see anything, but your XU4 surely will.
Windows, in fact, will insist there is gibberish on a card and ask you if you want to have it formatted. The answer is no. :) It is already formatted, just in a way that Windows refuses to acknowledge.

If that description is not clear, please don't worry. Etcher is easy to use and you'll still do just fine without it. :)
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