Boot problem (my own fault; not USB PD related)

Hi! Long time lurker, first time poster.

This is a problem I caused myself, but I have some trouble solving it because of some Rock 5B specific issues. Please allow me to explain.

I’ve been using the 5B for a while now and I really like the device. I wanted to change a boot parameter and I messed up because now I’m ending up in a boot loop. I know it’s not the power source, since I’m using a rPI 5.1v charger and that one was stable the whole time (until I rebooted).

I want to undo my changes to the /boot/config.txt, but here is the problem:

  1. my OS (boot + root) is on NVMe
  2. when try to boot with an SD card, the u-boot of the SD card is used, good
  3. the u-boot of the SD card sees there is a /boot partition on the NVMe and boots from there
  4. it hits the invalid config (I guess, I can’t debug that now) and after a while, reboots
  5. since the u-boot has console disabled, I can’t interrupt the booting and boot manually

Normally I would take out the storage in a different device and fix it there, but I don’t have another device that can read NVMe (well, I do, but that’s my current server. I’d rather not turn that off for a longer period of time if I can avoid it).

I guess I can put a different u-boot on the SD-card that will not try to boot from NVMe? Or at least allow me to select which device to boot from (if it boots from SD-card, then I’m good, I think I can fix it).

Any tips? Again, I’m pretty sure it’s not a power problem, it’s a boot config that I messed up myself :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance!

Related: @jack, do you know when the PD support will be include in U-boot? I think the U-boot console has been disabled to mitigate problems with PD, which is fine, but in this case prevents me from debugging/interacting with the boot process to fix my problem. If the PD support is fixed, I can use my PD charger and I think the U-boot console can be turned on again :slight_smile:

I forgot to mention, I have access to the serial console so I can see the 5B rebooting every … minute or so? I didn’t time it.

how about using debug version of u-boot for SPI?
https://wiki.radxa.com/Rock5/install/spi#Step2:_Get_RK3588_loader_and_U-Boot_images

if you want u-boot with console for uSD card, it needs to be recompiled.

Thanks @RadxaNaoki, I’ll give that a try

£6.33 20V 3.25A
https://a.aliexpress.com/_msvdRLK
im gonna try this one once it arrives

Thanks, but I don’t believe it’s PD related. My PSU is stable for now. I messed something up in software and I’m trying to figure out how to recover from that

I just tried this but this sadly did not get me further. When I boot I got this:

DDR Version V1.08 20220617
LPDDR4X, 2112MHz
channel[0] BW=16 Col=10 Bk=8 CS0 Row=17 CS1 Row=17 CS=2 Die BW=8 Size=4096MB
channel[1] BW=16 Col=10 Bk=8 CS0 Row=17 CS1 Row=17 CS=2 Die BW=8 Size=4096MB
channel[2] BW=16 Col=10 Bk=8 CS0 Row=17 CS1 Row=17 CS=2 Die BW=8 Size=4096MB
channel[3] BW=16 Col=10 Bk=8 CS0 Row=17 CS1 Row=17 CS=2 Die BW=8 Size=4096MB
Manufacturer ID:0x6

[snip]

Hit key to stop autoboot('CTRL+C'):  0
invalid flags type!

Device 0: Vendor: 0x144d Rev: 4B2QEXM7 Prod: S6P7NS0T128234R
            Type: Hard Disk
            Capacity: 953869.7 MB = 931.5 GB (1953525168 x 512)
... is now current device
Scanning nvme 0:1...

[snip]

Starting kernel ...

[    2.372660] Booting Linux on physical CPU 0x0000000000 [0x412fd050]
[    2.372683] Linux version 5.10.66-28-rockchip-gc428536281d6 (stephen@lara) (gcc (Ubuntu/Linaro     7.5.0-6ubuntu2) 7.5.0, GNU ld (GNU Binutils for Ubuntu) 2.34) #rockchip SMP Fri Nov 18 08:10:28 UTC 2022
[    2.382196] Machine model: Radxa ROCK 5B
[    2.382233] earlycon: uart8250 at MMIO32 0x00000000feb50000 (options '')
[    2.385332] printk: bootconsole [uart8250] enabled

and then it stops, until after a while it reboots and the same repeats.

So we can see that the debug u-boot is used (because I get more information) so it does use whatever is on the SD card, then that u-boot is booting from NVMe, which I wanted to avoid since the /boot was messed up.

Then I tried to stop the process (press CTRL+C when it says so) and then I got this:

[same stuff as before]

Hit key to stop autoboot('CTRL+C'):  0
invalid flags type!

Device 0: Vendor: 0x144d Rev: 4B2QEXM7 Prod: S6P7NS0T128234R
            Type: Hard Disk
            Capacity: 953869.7 MB = 931.5 GB (1953525168 x 512)
... is now current device
Could not find misc partition
ANDROID: reboot reason: "(none)"
optee check api revision fail: -1.0
optee api revision is too low
### ERROR ### Please RESET the board ###

which of course did not achieve my goal either :slight_smile:

Do you have any other idea how to boot from SD card (skipping the valid, but broken /boot on NVMe)?

I had gotten the similar problem. I found 2 methods to solve.

  1. Use different .img on SD. In my case, NVMe was debos-radxa image, if SD use the same image source it will boot for NVMe. If I use other source of image ex. Android, Ubuntu-Wayland etc. It will boot from SD.

  2. Remove NVMe.

I guess problem is the same UUID of disk partition on NVMe and SD.

Cheers

1 Like

Thanks for your reply!

Option 2 would not work. It’ll boot for sure, but then I can’t fix my NVMe :sweat_smile:

I’ve tried different OSs, my NVMe has Debian, the SD card has Armbian. I know from before the UUIDs are different (but maybe the labels are the same).

Before I also tried to boot from SD to fix something else (convert rootfs to lvm, which eventually succeeded), and I noticed that even though I’m booting from SD, the u-boot sees the boot partition on NVMe and gives that priority over the boot partition on the SD card.

I finally managed to boot from SD fully by removing the partition from NVMe with fdisk and after booting restoring the boot partition.

Obviously that’s not an option now, since I can’t boot a working Linux since the boot partition on NVMe (which I broke), takes priority. I wish I knew how to change that.

I might have to recompile u-boot to skip NVMe, but I was hoping to avoid that.

I’ll prepare it, give me a moment…

1 Like

That would be really useful, thanks!

@RadxaNaoki did you manage to make any progress on the u-boot image? I can deal with just the u-boot part, I don’t need the whole 16 MB image. I want to overwrite the u-boot on the SD card and I don’t want to overwrite the partition table, so I’m doing u-boot only anyway :slight_smile:

I don’t know if that makes a difference for you, but just in case!

I would recommend modifying the boot args to point to the physical partition of the sdcard (e.g. root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 instead of letting it use root=UUID=$UUID -

Hi steev, thanks for responding. I’m not sure if I understand correctly, but I think you mean the configuration that lives on the /boot partition?

In that case, I can change the boot partition of the SD card, but I think the u-boot picks the boot partition on the NVMe instead. If you know a way to edit the boot position on the NVMe, that would solve my problem since I can then correct my mistake :slight_smile:

@mjholtkamp sorry for the late reply.

could you try this u-boot image?

u-boot-rock-5b-console-nonvme.zip (682.0 KB)

you may use setup.sh like

$ sudo ./setup.sh update_bootloader /path/to/sdcard

Hey @RadxaNaoki, no problem, thanks for the image! I’ll give it a try and let you know how it went! I don’t know if I have time today, but I’ll try it as soon as I’m able!