NVMe boot stopped working OR how to fully reset SPI?

Hello friends. I’m struggling with nvme boot. So at first, I downloaded Stretch, flashed it to sdcard, then copied image to nvme, and made it boot. Everything worked nicely.

However, I realized I needed to install libcamera to attempt to get imx477 camera to work. Stretch had old gcc, so i thought to try change distro. First i did super dumb thing - dd from sdcard to live nvme parittion i booted from. Thought i can swap debian to ubuntu this way. It worked, but didn’t boot. Just having nvme drive attached wouldn’t boot even if sdcard was inserted.

After too many attempts, i figured out that I need to erase the spi flash (tried 23/25 pins too), and that helped me booting from sdcard while having nvme attached. But no matter what distros i tried, i never had it booting again from nvme. Even when i do super clean install onto sdcard, the bootloader upgrader never offers me to upgrade SPI, even if i erased it. It only offers update bootload on sdcard, but i still can invoke rockpi4c_write_spi_flash.sh, though it doesn’t do much.

So right now, booting with sdcard and having nvme attached works. Taking sd card away, to boot from nvme does not.

I dont understand how to return back to square 1… I just want to try it over.

I have had some success of installing armbian on nvme. The installation is quite simple. And also kernel is 5.1 in there, so that’s pretty good