Release Pandora SD Installer


Dave1234

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Would it be possible to implement Partition Names?


E.g BOOTSD and OTHER or give a prompt to name them
I could change the script to name the partitions when they are formatted.


I'm not sure about adding the option to choose a name though, as I don't want to add too many questions to the script.
 

Agent ZigZag

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I have just tried this, and it all seems to work fine while installing using latest firmware image - but when I restart all I'm getting is a black screen. I've left it for about 20 minutes and not a thing has shown on the screen (tried 2 PNY class 10 16GB SDHC's). I'll try a slower POS card (that's POS as in "Pile Of Shite" unbranded thing, not POS as in some obscure brand, though it may as well have been branded that cause it's slowwww). I might try my 16GB class 10 Trancend from my camera later too.


Also, MarioPandio, you could try using CloneZilla on the PC for cloning. I was going to try that if it worked to see if it worked but it hasn't so I haven't but I will if it does. I just love to make things sound as complicated as possible.
 

Dave1234

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I have just tried this, and it all seems to work fine while installing using latest firmware image - but when I restart all I'm getting is a black screen. I've left it for about 20 minutes and not a thing has shown on the screen (tried 2 PNY class 10 16GB SDHC's).

The 16 GB card I used for testing (a TDK) took ages on first boot, much longer than all the other, smaller cards I tried. Maybe it was booting, just very slowly? Was the SD access light flashing?
 

Agent ZigZag

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I have just tried this, and it all seems to work fine while installing using latest firmware image - but when I restart all I'm getting is a black screen. I've left it for about 20 minutes and not a thing has shown on the screen (tried 2 PNY class 10 16GB SDHC's).

The 16 GB card I used for testing (a TDK) took ages on first boot, much longer than all the other, smaller cards I tried. Maybe it was booting, just very slowly? Was the SD access light flashing?

The SD LED was not flashing. I wasn't clear if it should be or not so I left it for over half an hour anyway. I found my Sandisk Ultra 8gb and tried it too, but same thing. The LED flickers in the first few seconds then nothing but a blank screen. Can you link to a firmware you are certain is working please? I just got my Pandora and I've got a fair bit to learn yet, but the OS has only had the codec pack and hotfix 5 installed and nothing more since I got it - so it should be virtually at factory settings. And by the way, thank you very much for the time and effort you've put into this - it is appreciated.
 

Dave1234

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This is the link to the latest firmware version. Currently this is hotfix 5 which is tested and known to work.


If it still does not boot and you are getting a black screen, try booting like this:


Put SD card in left slot.


Whilst holding the right shoulder button, switch on the Pandora.


You should see a boot menu. Select "default boot".


Let me know what appears on the screen, especially any error messages.
 

MarioPandio

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I sued your latest PND prior to my holiday and it worked fine with both HF4 and HF5 but the naming of partitions issue that meandu229 mentions appears to me to be pretty critical.


Without named partitions I was finding the cards were getting randomly allocated mmcblkBLAH addresses with each boot up, which led to all keyboard shortcuts for applications randomly failing. Was pretty annoying but by booting into the NAND and using Gparted I was able to rename them and now the more definite path to applications seems to be behaving properly. If you could add a naming partitions portion to the script, I think it would solve potential hassles like these (though its probably only happening to myself :( )


I couldn't get my NAND to SD copy to boot at all (though I see Trix has managed this, so I shall have to pick his brains on that one in future).


@Agent ZigZag, many thanks for the CloneZilla tip I will give that a go after my vacation :) Would be handy to image a refined set up and have it ready to flash a card with Dave1234s installer when wanted.
 

xopher

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Hi Dave, very useful app for SD installs on the go!!! No need for alternate PC or CLI tappery. I've done both a HF5 and Stuckie's Debian Squeeze install with this utility. I know this has been requested already and I saw your original answer but I'd like to request it too to show user interest, can we please have the ability to name the partitions? Also, can there be some sort of routine added to skip card partitioning if you already partitioned and just reformat and untar to the ext3 partition? Again, thanks for your work.
 

Dave1234

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By popular demand, there is a new version (1.4) of the SD installer which labels the partitions for you. These are set as PANDORABOOT (Window/VFAT) and PANDORAROOT (Linux/EXT3).


As I'm working on a few other Pandora related things, I've set up a new site pandorabits.org and that's where I've put the new version (as you can see, it's the only thing on there at the moment).


Even though the SD installer is now hosted elsewhere, if you have any questions, I'll still respond to them here so everyone can benefit.
 
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meandu229

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By popular demand, there is a new version (1.4) of the SD installer which labels the partitions for you. These are set as PANDORABOOT (Window/VFAT) and PANDORAROOT (Linux/EXT3).


As I'm working on a few other Pandora related things, I've set up a new site pandorabits.org and that's where I've put the new version (as you can see, it's the only thing on there at the moment).


Even though the SD installer is now hosted elsewhere, if you have any questions, I'll still respond to them here so everyone can benefit.
Thanks for this change,
 

Agent ZigZag

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For some reason v1.4 isn't working at all for me - won't even start. Sorry I havent got back sooner with error reports, but I was busy. I can tell you that I downloaded the latest firmware, and decided to try v1.2 since v1.3 had installed but never booted. It seems to have worked (used my Sandisk 30mb/s 8GB card) at least now I know what it should be looking like when it's working right. If you want me to test newer versions let me know, but I have no idea why 1.2 works and 1.3 installed but wouldn't boot and 1.4 just wouldn't run at all. I'm sorry I'd deleted the non working 1.3 install so I couldn't hold the 'R' key - if you think it's important I'll install again, but I'd rather give 1.4 a shot when I get a working PND (unless it's just not working for me).


Thanks for your time and efforts. I'll try CloneZilla in a bit and report back.
 

Dave1234

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I've just tried a fresh download of 1.4 straight onto the Pandora using Midori and it ran fine.


I'm wondering if there is something about the you are getting the files onto the Pandora that is causing the problem, but I've no idea what it could be.


Here is something you can try:


Open a terminal and go to the directory containing the SD installer 1.4 PND. Then enter:



Code:
md5sum sd_install.pnd

You should get:



Code:
b3e7ab476fd28c4e40c68ca7e70f6452  sd_install.pnd

If the number does not match then the file is corrupt.



You can also do this for the firmware file. If you are using the hotfix 5 file, you should get:



Code:
c26e2c326fe74a5ca5ba5597c87d2e21  pandora-rootfs-HF5.tar.bz2

The name might be different but the number should be the same.



You could also try running the PND with the pnd_run program from the terminal:



Code:
pnd_run sd_install.pnd

That might give you some more information on why it isn't running.
 

Agent ZigZag

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I've just tried a fresh download of 1.4 straight onto the Pandora using Midori and it ran fine.


I'm wondering if there is something about the you are getting the files onto the Pandora that is causing the problem, but I've no idea what it could be.


Here is something you can try:


Open a terminal and go to the directory containing the SD installer 1.4 PND. Then enter:



Code:
md5sum sd_install.pnd

You should get:



Code:
b3e7ab476fd28c4e40c68ca7e70f6452  sd_install.pnd

If the number does not match then the file is corrupt.



You can also do this for the firmware file. If you are using the hotfix 5 file, you should get:



Code:
c26e2c326fe74a5ca5ba5597c87d2e21  pandora-rootfs-HF5.tar.bz2

The name might be different but the number should be the same.



You could also try running the PND with the pnd_run program from the terminal:



Code:
pnd_run sd_install.pnd

That might give you some more information on why it isn't running.

I had a similar thought. The firmware should be fine (since its an archive the files inside should be ok) but certainly downloading the PND on windows then copying to an SD is corrupting it somehow. I downloaded the PND on the pandora and ir ran fine (both 1.3 and 1.2). It fails to explain why 1.3 was installing but not booting though.


I tried using CloneZilla to make a clone, but it didn't boot - which I find really odd. I'll try again, the first time I cloned an 8gb card and wrote to a 16gb. Next time I'll try the same card for both r/w.


Also, I tried Debian using 1.2 and it installed just fine. Debian is pretty good, though for now I'll stick to the Zaxxon release as I have too much to try playing with on the official firmware. Maybe if I find my camera (mislayed it) I'll use that Trancend 16gb SDHC for Debian as it's fast.


EDIT: Ok, seems like if you save the pnd to an NTFS formatted partition (either on the PC or directly from the Pandora) it's getting corrupted or something. I can happily confirm that 1.4 is installing latest firmware as I type. Also, I suspect that CloneZilla may work if only re-writing the system partition, perhaps writing the whole "drive" clone was messing the boot partition or something. I'll let you know when I test it more.


EDIT 2: Right then, there's some lessons to be learned here. Don't buy shitty PNY class 10 SDHC cards. I found one of my trancend class 10 16gb cards (I have 2, one is still in my missing camers). Installed in the PNY cards (again I got 2), I was had a slow slow OS, which would invariably have to be reset after 5 minutes cause things were going wrong. The trancend (which was the same price) is fast - relly fast, almost as fast as the NAND - and I also used SWAP which just killed my PNY altogether. Now I need to find that damn camera with the other Trancend. I may still use the PNY card for storing stuff, if it doesnt corrupt the files (I think it was only having problems when being used as an OS since I have stored data on it perfectly normally with no corruption for a few months). I can honestly say, my class 10 Trancend works way faster than the Sandisk 30mb/s card - it's almost twice as fast, half the price and double the size.


EDIT 3: Well, this is mental - CloneZilla works. I tested it by making an image of the Trancend 16gb and writing it to the shitty PNY 16gb card. The wierdest thing about it is the PNY card booted almost as fast as the original Trancend card did, and the OS seemed to run fine. So installing on the Trancend and cloning to the PNY works great, but installing straight to the PNY cards (both) was sluggish and led to major corruption that eventually, after 3 or 4 boots inevitably led to it becoming non-bootable. I tried installing various things and rebooting, like the codec pack and it worked fine using the cloned trancend image. I can't understand this at all. I know the PNY cards were ok when using them on the PC, and they seem to be fine on the Pandora unless you setup an OS on them... that's bizarre. Also, just as a side note, I also cloned using norton ghost 11.5.1 and the image ran perfectly, again to a PNY 16gb card. If you are a little intimidated by command line tools (though clonezilla is really very simple to use and there's no typing needed) you can use ghost to clone your card. There's pro's and con's - eventually we'll get ext4 and ghost won't handle that, but for now it's easier and probably offers an ability to resize partitons to a smaller size, which I don't think clonezilla can do, though cloning to bigger partitions/cards is easy. Hope this info is of some use to someone - maybe MarioPandio.


Finally a question. Does the current firmware support squashFS?
 
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MarioPandio

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Hope this info is of some use to someone - maybe MarioPandio.


Hmmm - very likely when I can read what you wrote, as it would appear you cracked what I was hoping would be possible, or in other words :


Wants pawn term, dare worsted ladle gull hoe lift wetter murder inner ladle cordage, honor itch offer lodge dock florist...."O hoe! Heifer blessing woke," setter wicket woof, butter taught tomb shelf, "Oil tickle shirt court tutor cordage offer groin-murder. Oil ketchup wetter letter, an den - O bore!". Soda wicket woof, tucker shirt court, an whinney retched a cordage offer groin-murder, picked inner widow, an sore debtor pore oil worming lion inner bet. Inner flesh, disk abdominal woof lipped honor bet an at a rope. Den knee poled honor groin-murder's nut cup an gnat-gun, any curdled dope inner bet.
 

Agent ZigZag

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Am I the only one having problems saving *.pnd's? If I save them anywhere except in the home directory they don't work. Am I doing something really stupid and obvious? Also, if I create a new partiton using gparted it either won't let me write to the partition or pnd's are buggered (tried this since I had problems creating directories on the vfat partiton - how do I give myself write access?). I have copied the PND's to the home directory to see if they will then work, but they don't. I'm reasonably new to linux, so I guess I just don't know something that's really obvious. Please help.
 

Dave1234

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Are you sure that this isn't a dodgy SD card? It sounds very much like it.


Are you saying that you can download a PND and copy it to the home directory and it works, but if you then copy it to the pandora/apps (or pandora/desktop, or pandora/menu) directory on the SD card it doesn't? Have I got that right?
 

JWWargo

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I'd like to preface this by saying my problem could very well be a corrupted SD card: It's a Transcend 4gb, and it's speed rating is 150x. The card was giving to me by my roommate who found it on the ground while walking to work. I had to apply tape over the lock mechanism to enable writing on the card so my WinXP laptop could format it. I FAT32 formatted the card using Panasonic and tested it in SLOT 2 (right slot) of my Pandora. I discovered two things, 1. The tape needs to stay on the card to be able to write to it on the Pandora. And 2. My SLOT 2 has that locking spring issue, the tape on the card actually holds it in the slot and allows for it's usage. (I don't want to open up my Pandora to try and fix it and I can't RMA the unit right now because I'm leaving in 3 days for 4 months of hitchhiking around the USA.)


So the card WAS working before I attempted to use SD Installer.


Downloaded the latest version (1.4) and the HF5 firmware tar zip. The first time I ran it, I got to the point where it begins to install and the progress bar froze (much like meandu229 reported). The SD led light on the Pandora was still flashing, so I left it alone... for about an hour or so. It was still stuck in that same spot when I returned so I tried to manually kill the app. No luck, the SD card light was still on and the desktop was unresponsive so I had to hard reset.


After the reboot, I noticed the Pandora was still recognizing the card, it was on the desktop with the new label "SD/MMC Drive". When I tried opening it in Thunar, however, I got a Mount Failed error message -> Unable to mount "SD/MMC Drive": mount: /dev/mmcblk1p1: can't read superblock


I assumed this meant the card needed reformatting. This time I used fdisk and created an EXT3 format. When it finished, I tried accessing the card again and got the same error message.


Is this an SD card problem? When I put the card in my reader inside my laptop, it recognizes the card but it severely slows down the computer.


Also, I have tried redownloading sd_install.pnd directly to my other SD card from both Dave1234's website and the Pandora Repo and when I md5sum I get a different number than what you posted. Is the file corrupt or is downloading it directly to my card corrupting it?


I wish I could be more help, but I'm learning all this from scratch. I really just want to do this for the swap space. That's what I originally intended to use the card for.
 

Dave1234

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It sounds like part of the card is corrupt to me.


This sort of problem sometimes doesn't show up until something actually tries to write to the faulty area of the card, so the card might look fine in Windows but starts to have problems once you fill it up.


The md5sum values will be different from the ones earlier in this thread because they come form an earlier version (1.4 versus 1.4.1).
 

JWWargo

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It sounds like part of the card is corrupt to me.


This sort of problem sometimes doesn't show up until something actually tries to write to the faulty area of the card, so the card might look fine in Windows but starts to have problems once you fill it up.


The md5sum values will be different from the ones earlier in this thread because they come form an earlier version (1.4 versus 1.4.1).

Yes, I was assuming as much with the card. Guess I'll have to wait 'til I can afford another card to gain some swap space.


Thanks for clearing up the md5sum confusion. I was going nuts trying to download a "clean" copy. :p
 
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