Release Pandora SD Installer


TomVS

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I used SD installer 1.4 with the latest firmware as stated on pandorabits.org...


The installer seems to work fine and confirms installation complete...


When rebooting in the left slot. There is some card activity for about 2 seconds and then al I get is a black screen.


I tried the hold-richt-shoulder-boot --- normal boot --- procedure and get the same black screen for minutes...


I used a 2gb sandisk ultra card which functioned without any problems before.
 

Dave1234

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I used SD installer 1.4 with the latest firmware as stated on pandorabits.org...


The installer seems to work fine and confirms installation complete...


When rebooting in the left slot. There is some card activity for about 2 seconds and then al I get is a black screen.


I tried the hold-richt-shoulder-boot --- normal boot --- procedure and get the same black screen for minutes...


I used a 2gb sandisk ultra card which functioned without any problems before.
How long did you wait? The first boot takes at least ten minutes.


Does any text appear on the screen when you do a right shoulder button boot? Some text should appear for a few seconds before the screen blanks.


One final thing to try - boot with no SD cards in the Pandora, then insert the one you installed to (either slot). Start a terminal and enter the following commands:



Code:
ls -l /media/PANDORABOOT/


ls -l /media/PANDORAROOT/


Post the output of those two command here. It might give me a clue as to what the problem is.
 

TomVS

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I used SD installer 1.4 with the latest firmware as stated on pandorabits.org...


The installer seems to work fine and confirms installation complete...


When rebooting in the left slot. There is some card activity for about 2 seconds and then al I get is a black screen.


I tried the hold-richt-shoulder-boot --- normal boot --- procedure and get the same black screen for minutes...


I used a 2gb sandisk ultra card which functioned without any problems before.
How long did you wait? The first boot takes at least ten minutes.


Does any text appear on the screen when you do a right shoulder button boot? Some text should appear for a few seconds before the screen blanks.


One final thing to try - boot with no SD cards in the Pandora, then insert the one you installed to (either slot). Start a terminal and enter the following commands:



Code:
ls -l /media/PANDORABOOT/


ls -l /media/PANDORAROOT/


Post the output of those two command here. It might give me a clue as to what the problem is.

I have been waiting for half an hour


No disk activity occurs after the first two seconds


With the right shoulder method some text appears i believe last line booting kernal but same only disk activity for a second


here is the result of the terminal operation


tom-openpandora:~$ ls -l /media/PANDORABOOT/


total 2280


-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 162 May 11 16:05 autoboot.txt


drwxrwxrwx 6 root root 2048 May 11 16:05 pandora


-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 2329224 May 11 16:05 uImage


tom-openpandora:~$ ls -l /media/PANDORAROOT


total 64


drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Mar 9 12:55 bin


drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Jun 27 2010 dev


drwxr-xr-x 53 root root 4096 Mar 9 12:55 etc


drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Mar 9 12:52 home


lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 12 May 11 16:05 linuxrc -> /bin/busybox


drwx------ 2 root root 16384 May 11 16:02 lost+found


drwxr-xr-x 10 root root 4096 Mar 9 12:52 media


drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Mar 9 12:54 mnt


drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Jun 27 2010 proc


drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Mar 9 12:55 sbin


drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Jun 27 2010 sys


drwxrwxrwt 2 root root 4096 Jun 27 2010 tmp


drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 Mar 4 09:32 usr


drwxr-xr-x 7 root root 4096 Jun 26 2010 var


tom-openpandora:~$
 

Dave1234

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The filesystem looks fine. It sounds like the kernel is starting and then hanging for some reason, so we need to see the kernel messages. Try replacing the contents of the autoboot.txt file on the PANDORABOOT partition with this:



Code:
setenv bootargs debug root=/dev/mmcblk0p3 rw rootdelay=2 vram=6272K omapfb.vram=0:3000K psplash=false

fatload mmc 0:1 0x80300000 uImage

bootm 0x80300000


And then try booting from the card again. You should get a whole bunch of messages scrolling up the screen. Hopefully the last few will tell us why the card won't boot. Let us know what you find.
 

TomVS

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The filesystem looks fine. It sounds like the kernel is starting and then hanging for some reason, so we need to see the kernel messages. Try replacing the contents of the autoboot.txt file on the PANDORABOOT partition with this:



Code:
setenv bootargs debug root=/dev/mmcblk0p3 rw rootdelay=2 vram=6272K omapfb.vram=0:3000K psplash=false

fatload mmc 0:1 0x80300000 uImage

bootm 0x80300000


And then try booting from the card again. You should get a whole bunch of messages scrolling up the screen. Hopefully the last few will tell us why the card won't boot. Let us know what you find.

Last line


Kernel panic - not syncing: No init found. Try passing init= option to Kernel
 

Dave1234

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Last line


Kernel panic - not syncing: No init found. Try passing init= option to Kernel

Does it say anything about partitions not being mounted just before that?


The reason that I ask is that from the directory listing it looks like init is there (it's the linuxrc link to /bin/busybox).


Some possibilities:


The root partition is not mounting for some reason.


/bin/busybox is missing or corrupt (this would be /media/PANDORABOOT/bin/busybox) if you boot from the NAND.


The kernel is looking in the wrong place for init (can't see why this would happen though).
 

TomVS

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Last line


Kernel panic - not syncing: No init found. Try passing init= option to Kernel

Does it say anything about partitions not being mounted just before that?


The reason that I ask is that from the directory listing it looks like init is there (it's the linuxrc link to /bin/busybox).


Some possibilities:


The root partition is not mounting for some reason.


/bin/busybox is missing or corrupt (this would be /media/PANDORABOOT/bin/busybox) if you boot from the NAND.


The kernel is looking in the wrong place for init (can't see why this would happen though).


I made a screenshot of the pandora while not booting...


Included as attachment...

not booting.jpg
 

Dave1234

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So the partition is mounting but init (busybox really) is not loading, which sounds like there are missing or corrupt files.


As the kernel messages don't give any more clues to what the problem might be, I can only give some general suggestions at this point:

  • Try adding init=/bin/sh to the end of the first line of autoboot.txt. If this works (which is unlikely given what we have already found) you should get a command line.

  • Check that your firmware image is not corrupt. You said that you are using the latest one, which as far as I know is hotfix 5. If so, you can use md5sum and the instructions here.

  • Check the partition for errors. This is how:
    1. Boot the Pandora with no SD cards in.
    2. Insert the card that you installed to in the left slot.
    3. Start a terminal.
    4. Enter the command sudo umount /media/PANDORAROOT
    5. Enter the command sudo e2fsck /dev/mmcblk0p3 -f
    6. See if any errors are reported.

  • Try the installer again, preferably with a different card.



If you can't get anywhere with this and want to reformat your SD card back to being a "normal" card but don't know how, then let me know and I'll post instructions.
 
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TomVS

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So the partition is mounting but init (busybox really) is not loading, which sounds like there are missing or corrupt files.


As the kernel messages don't give any more clues to what the problem might be, I can only give some general suggestions at this point:

  • Try adding init=/bin/sh to the end of the first line of autoboot.txt. If this works (which is unlikely given what we have already found) you should get a command line.

  • Check that your firmware image is not corrupt. You said that you are using the latest one, which as far as I know is hotfix 5. If so, you can use md5sum and the instructions here.

  • Check the partition for errors. This is how:
    1. Boot the Pandora with no SD cards in.
    2. Insert the card that you installed to in the left slot.
    3. Start a terminal.
    4. Enter the command sudo umount /media/PANDORAROOT
    5. Enter the command sudo e2fsck /dev/mmcblk0p3 -f
    6. See if any errors are reported.

  • Try the installer again, preferably with a different card.



If you can't get anywhere with this and want to reformat your SD card back to being a "normal" card but don't know how, then let me know and I'll post instructions.

It was the card ...


I bought the cheapest 2gig sd card I could find and it works on that one...


So it was the expensive 2gb sandisk ultra that was the problem


A shame because you notice the lack of speed of the cheap card in the pandora but also when using it in a digital camera...


It seems that our pandora is giving some sd cards a hard time


Thank you for the kind support and the excellent piece of software...
 
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Dave1234

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Thank you for the kind support and the excellent piece of software...

Not a problem. Thank you for taking the time to try out my suggestions.


I might use some of this to put together a troubleshooting page and put it on pandorabits.
 

MarioPandio

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Hi Dave,


cant thank you enough for this app. I find it brilliant and was looking forward to testing out your opkg installer for the dev tools and other things. However I keep getting wiped out at the moment, without the chance to make the alterations to the autoboot.txt file, or the file checking options, as the OS partition is simply getting deleted.


One thing I have noticed when using the SD Installer is that the latest revision has definitely made sure the SWAP partition is created of the approx size requested (sector size or whatever allowing) but I find that the estimate made for the EXT2 partition from the remaining size left from the FAT32, is wildly out.


I had to re-do the process several times initially (increasing the EXT2 space by decreasing the FAT32 space) until I actually get an PANDORAROOT partition that is as big as I needed i.e Filesystem, plus enough space for DEV stuff and plenty spare for other opkg installs.


So on a 32gb card I needed to allocate about 5gb spare to the EXT2 area + 512mb for SWAP in order to actually get a 3.4gb partition for the OS. Bigger than wanted but if I go any smaller than that, I find the OS partition has only about 600mb spare space, rather than what was estimated.


Aside from that it would be great if you could either add the option to name the partitions yourself, or have a shorter name like ROOT, BOOT, SWAP (SONY with the ladies :p j/k) as if you reduce icon size to around 30 on the desktop for more space, the SD cards cant be told apart and in Thunar, the long PANDORAR or PANDORAB is about all that's visible by default. Nothing major and they could be renamed afterwards but I'd rather set them as they are made.


What I would like to ask aswell, is in relation to whats happening when the OS gets deleted.


Its time consuming to reload the BOOT partition with data (I haven't figured out CloneZilla yet) and I am wondering if there is any way to simply re-make the EXT2 ROOT partition and have the OS re-applied to just that partition? In order to avoid deleting the entire card. Would the normal steps of unpacking a tar into that partition if named PANDORAROOT work with the remaining partitions the SD Installer originally created?


Edit : I've just found its perfectly possible to use Gparted to remake the EXT2 partition and re-label it, then unpack a HFtar into it with sudo tar <tarname> /media/PANDORAROOT. I'm learning something :rolleyes: .


Now I've not made a HF5 card before and so don't have the correct autoboot.txt. Could you tell me which of the ones listed here http://pandorawiki.org/Running_Linux_from_an_SD_card is correct please? Is it the one for multiple partitions? Or does SD Installer do anything different in order to use the SWAP file?


Sorry for the wall of text and the no doubt stupid requests and thank you again for an already great piece of utility software.
 

Dave1234

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One thing I have noticed when using the SD Installer is that the latest revision has definitely made sure the SWAP partition is created of the approx size requested (sector size or whatever allowing) but I find that the estimate made for the EXT2 partition from the remaining size left from the FAT32, is wildly out.
That's because the partitions get rounded up to the nearest cylinder boundary. The partition table records the start and end of partitions by cylinder numbers, a relic from the MS-DOS days of cylinders, heads and sectors. The larger the card is, the larger the cylinder will be and the greater the potential rounding error.


It is possible to change the number of cylinders, heads and sectors using fdisk but I don't really understand this process enough to risk putting it in the SD installer and potentially screwing up someone's SD card.

Aside from that it would be great if you could either add the option to name the partitions yourself, or have a shorter name like ROOT, BOOT, SWAP (SONY with the ladies :p j/k) as if you reduce icon size to around 30 on the desktop for more space, the SD cards cant be told apart and in Thunar, the long PANDORAR or PANDORAB is about all that's visible by default. Nothing major and they could be renamed afterwards but I'd rather set them as they are made.
Fair point. I'll change the names to BOOT, ROOT and SWAP in the next version.

Its time consuming to reload the BOOT partition with data (I haven't figured out CloneZilla yet) and I am wondering if there is any way to simply re-make the EXT2 ROOT partition and have the OS re-applied to just that partition? In order to avoid deleting the entire card. Would the normal steps of unpacking a tar into that partition if named PANDORAROOT work with the remaining partitions the SD Installer originally created?


Edit : I've just found its perfectly possible to use Gparted to remake the EXT2 partition and re-label it, then unpack a HFtar into it with sudo tar <tarname> /media/PANDORAROOT. I'm learning something :rolleyes: .
It's also possible to backup and restore partitions, or the whole card, using the dd command.

Now I've not made a HF5 card before and so don't have the correct autoboot.txt. Could you tell me which of the ones listed here http://pandorawiki.org/Running_Linux_from_an_SD_card is correct please? Is it the one for multiple partitions? Or does SD Installer do anything different in order to use the SWAP file?
Not sure I understand. The SD installer should work any hotfix version and the autoboot.txt it generates is always the same.
 

neko

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That's because the partitions get rounded up to the nearest cylinder boundary. The partition table records the start and end of partitions by cylinder numbers, a relic from the MS-DOS days of cylinders, heads and sectors. The larger the card is, the larger the cylinder will be and the greater the potential rounding error.


It is possible to change the number of cylinders, heads and sectors using fdisk but I don't really understand this process enough to risk putting it in the SD installer and potentially screwing up someone's SD card.
In fdisk press 'c' to turn off DOS compatibility mode, then 'u' to show sizes in sectors instead of cylinders. The first partition on an SDHC card usually starts at sector 8192, which is not aligned to a cylinder boundary.
 

MarioPandio

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Thanks for your response Dave1234,


I thought the first issue was unavoidable and thats totally understandable. Thanks for the technical clarification.


The 2nd issue of naming is appreciated.


The dd command copying is very interesting. I will definitely be giving that a go. I'd like to have a pretty fast recovery method for a decent installed set-up, as I simply don't trust SD cards at all but it is the cheapest and most flexible medium for Pandora storage, so was a wise choice by OPT. They are flimsy physically and I've had reputable brands wiped out easily by simply inserting them into differing machines to transfer stuff. I am glad of the SD mass storage mode (slower that it is) for reducing card swaps for this reason.


The last part was me having a blond moment whilst the Pandora was throwing a wobbly. I found it would happily untar a HF5 image but not HF4 into the ROOT partition. Hence I was trying to find the correct boot.txt for HF5 without ever having used SD installer for that purpose. I got as far as HF5 booting to the Welcome Screen (pandoras box is opened) but found i had no input methods working, nubs, keyboard and touchscreen were all dead.


I scrapped that idea of salvaging things and made a fresh HF5 install painlessly with SD installer instead and that worked fine.


Sorry to waste your time again and thanks for your help. :)
 

superatarian

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I tried this out on a 4gb card and it worked like a charm. The only thing is when I booted up and deleted a small file, I was told


I had no room to do so in the trash bin. I called up the file system and saw there was 0 bytes free. Is it supposed to happen this


way. No biggie, just want to know....
 
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superatarian

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This program worked great and it did not take any time at all. Great job guys.....

I tried this out on a 4gb card and it worked like a charm. The only thing is when I booted up and deleted a small file, I was told


I had no room to do so in the trash bin. I called up the file system and saw there was 0 bytes free. Is it supposed to happen this


way. No biggie, just want to know....

Opps, found out the problem. I set the VFAT partition way too high. I just decreased it a bit and now I have plenty of room.
 

Zucadragon

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I got a very strange error, I've tried it multiple times:


Error: Could not remove boot directory:


rm: cannot remove 'ext/boot/uimage-2.6.27.46-omap1': Read-only file system


rm: cannot remove 'ext/boot/uimage': too many levels of symbolic links


The first should be solvable with a chmod, right? But what does the second one even mean?
 

Dave1234

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I got a very strange error, I've tried it multiple times:


Error: Could not remove boot directory:


rm: cannot remove 'ext/boot/uimage-2.6.27.46-omap1': Read-only file system


rm: cannot remove 'ext/boot/uimage': too many levels of symbolic links


The first should be solvable with a chmod, right? But what does the second one even mean?

I don't know why you are getting the second message, but the first one means that the EXT3 partition on the card cannot be written to, so chmod won't help here.


Is the EXT3 partition on the card full? If so, try again allocating it more space.


Does it boot? Having got that far, it should boot, although swap won't work.


Can you try a different card?
 

Zucadragon

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I got a very strange error, I've tried it multiple times:


Error: Could not remove boot directory:


rm: cannot remove 'ext/boot/uimage-2.6.27.46-omap1': Read-only file system


rm: cannot remove 'ext/boot/uimage': too many levels of symbolic links


The first should be solvable with a chmod, right? But what does the second one even mean?

I don't know why you are getting the second message, but the first one means that the EXT3 partition on the card cannot be written to, so chmod won't help here.


Is the EXT3 partition on the card full? If so, try again allocating it more space.


Does it boot? Having got that far, it should boot, although swap won't work.


Can you try a different card?

It's a 16 gig card, I completely formatted it and let the program set up the partitions. No matter how large or small I choose the options it gives that error. It's a category 10 sdhc card though, and the wiki says that those give problems.


I tried a 32 gig category 4 card, and it worked fine on that one.


It didn't want to boot on the 10 card btw.
 

Dave1234

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It's a 16 gig card, I completely formatted it and let the program set up the partitions. No matter how large or small I choose the options it gives that error. It's a category 10 sdhc card though, and the wiki says that those give problems.


I tried a 32 gig category 4 card, and it worked fine on that one.


It didn't want to boot on the 10 card btw.

Thanks for the info. I don't have a category 10 card myself but from what I see on the board, they seem to give the Pandora a lot of problems and not just for the SD installer.
 
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