Solved -- Rock 5A - Setup Guidance Needed

I have repeatedly gone thru the forums and wiki and can’t seem to find my specific issues identified.

  1. Think I may have a faulty SPI. It is not recognized even if I use the rsetup flag or try armbian. I can write to it, but get a response that it is full. I have written to SPI and confirmed success, but then SPI appears to empty out after reboot. End result is I am trying to boot from NVME.

  2. Like many I have yet to be able to have the fan work, and I have tried all the suggestions from the forum.

If anyone is able to provide guidance on possible solutions to either of these issues I would be grateful.

As a side note I have tried most of the OS suggested and have run them from microSD, EMMC and yes NVME. I can run form NVME if I pull the SD card as soon as the blue light shows up. Pretty sure that is not how it is supposed to work thought.

Update -
Item 1: Able to get MaskRom to work and flashed SPI. Still same issue. Flashed files lost after reboot. So still not sure what to do.

Item 2: Found Fan fix via another post.Fan Control Fix by incognito

Really? I thought my modified fan control won’t work any more, as it’s supposed to be controlled by the kernel driver

Well for me it worked. Fan on my Rock 5A won’t spin up without it. May not last for the long haul, but currently it was a great find. Thanks!

Never was able to get my SPI to work. I could flash it following the WIKI instructions SPI Flash; but no matter what method or image I tried it would not survive reboot. Reboot always wiped the SPI.

Thankfully I had ordered a 32GB EMMC.

So for anyone else that may be having issues here are the steps I completed in order to have my Rock 5A run from NVME with working fan. End Result is booting form either EMMC or µSD Card to direct full boot and operation to NVME.

For OS I tried a few different types but choose to use Ubuntu server by Joshua-Riek.

  1. I flashed the Ubuntu Image on to the EMMC. You can flash a µSD Card if you prefer. I used an external writer for this step. I did not use the Rock 5A.

  2. I installed both the EMMC and the NVME and then turned on the Rock 5A, which will boot from EMMC.

  3. Login and then update using sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

  4. Final step was to follow the well written guidance by James A. Chambers. This article is written for the Orange PI 5, but works perfectly for the Rock 5A. – Orange Pi 5 NVMe/SATA SSD Boot Guide

    Scroll down the page and and begin following process starting with section entitled Preparing SSD

After following and completing the above guidance steps you will now be able to fully utilize your NVME.

Unfortunately I have yet been able to identify how to boot only from NVME so you will need the EMMC or µSD Card to be present to force boot process from NVME.


There appears to be a few options searching through the forum, but the following is what worked for me.

  1. I used the Fan-Control tool from lukaszsobala – lukaszsobala / fan-control-rock5b

Downloaded zip file to Rock 5A (NVME) and ran setup as indicated.

I wanted to put all information in one location to make the process easier for others experiencing similar issues.

Hopefully this information will be helpful.

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