Reflashing emmc module

Hi all!
I am a bit of a noob. Oh well I guess we all start at some point.

I just flashed the emmc module that I put on to my Raspberry Pi 4 board with the image that was mentioned into the curriculum to set up a Cardano Staking Pool. After I was done I noticed there was no Desktop Gui which I really wanted. So I did some googling and found a way to get the Armbian-Config installed and also entered a command so it would load the Gui. However after it had loaded the gui I was having other issues such as missing icons and many things like browser and command terminal would not load for me (I guess its missing the link or path or something?).

I am now thinking of reflashing the emmc and starting all over again. However I noticed that the emmc module is underneath the big black heatsink that I mounted with some thermal compound.

Do I need to remove the heatsink again and clean the thermal compound off and do it all again so I can access the emmc and reflash it on my windows pc? Is there some other way for me to reflash the emmc module without having to remove it all?

I am thinking of maybe putting on Raspbian Buster which is the latest version of Raspbian I was reading. Would I have any issues trying to configure and run a Cardano Staking Pool on Raspbian? I guess the little screen that shows my ip address and temp and cpu load and stuff like that might not be working anymore in Raspbian unless I somehow manually set that part up?

Thank you immensely for anyone knowledgeable that may be able to help me out with these issues. I didn’t even think I would get this far into it. Its a bit of a learning curve for me. cheers all

You can remove/install the eMMC without taking off the heatsink, but it’s a little tricky.

Removal is easy enough, you can do it with a toothpick, just slide it under and carefully pop the module off.

Reinstalling is where it gets a little more difficult. You have to use a tool of some sort and place the module so that it’s resting on the connectors. Then use your tool (I use an allen key) to gently press both sides of the module down. (It’s easier than it sounds once you get the hang of it.)

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Missing icons? Where? This is how Armbian desktop looks like:

Also performances should be something like this if you are using a very fast SSD drive for your system.

Start with a desktop build which gives you full desktop (with Office and other big suites) which you have to install manually if you start from a CLI -> armbian-config -> desktop. Which is BTW not exactly for noobs. Just look for a desktop build:
(use 4.4.y kernel based images for now)

Raspbian is for Raspberies. It will not work here.

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Ok thanks for the suggestions guys! Another question if I want to reflash the emmc in windows using etcher … can I just go over the last flash I did and it should work? Or do I need to do anything beforehand like format it again?

Also the link igorp provided shows me two downloads for Armbian. One is Armbian Bionic and the other is Armbian Buster. What is the difference between the two? As you know I am wanting to run a Cardano pool as per the curriculum provided here…
Would both work for that? Is the Bionic version the one without the Desktop Gui by any chance? The version the Cardano Pool tutorial provides is listed on this page which was a cut down version of Armbian I guess with no Gui …

If I reflash it with a full version of Armbian that has desktop gui do I need to manually install the script to get the little screen that shows cpu stats and temp and ip address working again? I think last time with the cut down armbian version it was automated to do it for me and it just worked as soon as it connected to the internet and ran some script automatically to do it for me.

I will try later on removing the emmc with a toothpick and somehow getting it to line up again with the connectors on the board with the heatsink on there and use a tool of some kind to push it back on. It doesnt look like there is a lot of space to do it. Looks kinda tricky! I hope I can just reflash it with etcher and go over the last flash without needing to do anything else?
cheers guys

No, just flash it.

Bionic = Ubuntu based, Buster = Debian. Pick the one that suits your application best. I can see there mentioning Bionic version, so go for Bionic (desktop) which is the very first link:

Yes, they used CLI image but if you need a desktop for other needs, start rather with a desktop. Both works the same.

You mean the one that comes preinstalled? htop … that’s by default. Armbian-config way of installing desktop only install a little lither version, without Office, without Thunderbird, … but the core is identical.

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Thanks mate for taking the time to help me out! I am a bit exhausted … very humid day here and I basically spent 4 hours today working on it all only to find out I gotta pretty much go back and star over. Oh well its a lesson learnt :p. Feeling a bit shakey now so might come back to it later when my energy levels are back to normal and I will attempt the toothpick trick that NeckoMay suggested in his reply. I was hoping that there was a way to maybe put the image on a usb stick and then somehow reflashing the emmc that way… without needing to remove it again to reflash it in windows using the usb to emmc adapter. If the toothpick trick doesn’t work for me I will have to take that big heatsink off and get new thermal compound to mount it again after so I can access the emmc module. cheers mate

The toothpick is just to remove it, you’ll need something sturdier to reinstall it. That’s where the allen key is useful, since you’ll have to use it as a lever to gently push the connectors together.

(And that’s “her reply”, not “his”. :slightly_smiling_face:)

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Got ya thanks NekoMay I will try it a tad later.

Hey back again! I managed to get the emmc module all sorted out and reflash it with the armbian that you suggested. However with the ethernet cable plugged in this time the little screen and the little light I have connected to the raspberry pi4 did not automatically start grabbing the update from the gihub respository like it was supposed to do so the light and screen indicator would work. Still trying to find a way to make those work now. It did do this automatically last time with the other image I was using and the light and screen started working by themselves.

In case you are confused what I am talking about this explains it:

Is there some manual way for me to run the script or something? I am still learning so any help is greatly appreciated!

cheers again

I don’t quite understand where you have problems. Is Armbian working well on your Rockpi4? Do you have access to the internet?

You are asking for help at the wrong place. I never heard for the stuff you are trying to use and I am pretty sure not many if any on this forum. Here you will get help to get system up and running.

Cardano help is probably somewhere there at their website?

Ok thanks igorp for all your help! Its a slow process for me but I am getting there step by step very slowly. I just emailed the people who created the tutorial hoping they may be able to assist with that part. cheers mate…