SD card slots suddenly stopped working in Pandora. Help.


DrasticNerd

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My Pandora 1G has begun ignoring any card put into the SD card slots.

I have tried 2 different SD cards that I have used on this Pandora for many years (SanDisk class 10 Fat32 sizes 32GB + 16GB) and neither of them load.

I have tried testing left & right card slots and neither responds.

I even tried pulling the battery out, waiting a minute and putting it back in. No change.

The trouble started a few days ago. The Pandora would take a long time reading the SD card (yellow LED flickering) before it would eventually load the apps. But now it doesn't matter how long I wait.

How can I possibly fix this? It is running Super Zaxxon 1.74
 

levi

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I wonder if there's corrosion happening on either the SD card pads or the pins inside the sd card slots. The data speed dropping sounds a little to me like it's going back to the old SD card pins, which perhaps indicates it's losing connection to the better pins to use. As elw3 says though, the block of text at the end of dmesg when inserting a card might well help.
 

PowerGod

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Can you read them from a PC ?

While you try to find a solution, you could also use an USB stick to run Pandora apps, just copy there the pandora folder from the SD (if those are readable somewhere else).
 

ingoreis

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Do a Reflash work?
Or are the SD Cards even in the bootmenu not detected?
We had a nearby Error on another Thread and a Reflash from the Right SD Card Slot helped..not from the Left.

Or maybe you can Try a OS Update in Zaxxon?

Maybe there is something with your UBoot Bootloader not ok on the Nand.
 

DrasticNerd

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thanks all for your feedback. I will try dmesg and see what happens. Also I had another go before logging onto the forums and reading your replies. I inserted the 16 GB card into the right slot very carefully (I'm keeping in mind it could be a contact issue. I consider it unlikely that two separate cards would fail at exactly the same time) and booted Pandora. I had to wait some time after login while it read the card (yellow led flickering) and SUCCESS! It loaded the apps.
 

FBnil

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If it's a contact issue, you can put a small elongated paper on top of the sd card before sliding it in. Alternatively, you can open your Pandora and check if the contacts can be pulled a tiny little bit as to make a firmer contact. But its hard to get to. The third alternative is buy microsd cards, then only change that microsd part while keeping the microsd adapter inside the pandora. BTW: did BOTH SD card slots fail?
 

DrasticNerd

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Next update.
  • Good news. It appears that the card slots are not completely gone like I originally thought.
  • I have since had repeated success with reading the 16 GB card if I insert this after logging into the Pandora. If I insert the card respectfully and wait ~3 seconds, it will load and it works fine. (I should try booting with the card already in and see if it still reads)
  • The 32 GB card never loads no matter which slot is used or how I gently angle the card when inserting. (It flickers yellow LED for about a second and then yellow LED remains steady. Card name appears in the file explorer but can not be accessed)


@levi - I think you are right. The bottom screws in the top plate are corroding so I wouldn't be surprised if the sd slot contacts were starting to corrode also. (I have had my Pandora for many years.)

@PowerGod -
  • Yes, both SD cards are readable on PC. Admittedly they both request a disk repair when first inserted but after running that, both cards can be opened. There are no obvious signs of file loss/corruption.
  • Thanks for the tip re USB. That would have to be a last resort for me because whenever I connected USB drives in the past, it appeared that the read speeds were much slower compared to SD cards. Also the battery drained a lot faster.

@ingoreis -
  • I had considered a reflash but I was unable to read any cards when I made my post. However I have since got one card working so I may look at doing a reflash.
  • Although, talking of reflashes, I do know there is something funny with my Pandora when it comes to Super Zaxxon. Any firmware of Super Zaxxon 1.7X flashes up an error message whenever I shutdown. (I think this is a separate issue though. I should raise this in a separate thread.) I never get this error message after I downgrade to any of the Super Zaxxon 1.6X versions. I had been meaning to ask @notaz about this quirk but I never got around to doing so.
  • UBoot Bootloader not ok on the Nand = How can I check that?

@FBnil - Thanks for the tip re the micro sd cards. I'm too scared of damaging my Pandora to try opening it or inserting pieces of paper into the card slots :eek:


@elw3 - Thanks for the tip re dmesg. Below is the new text that is appended in the terminal after inserting the 32 GB card. I think I need to buy a new SD card.

[ 50.282287] mmc0: host does not support reading read-only switch. assuming write-enable.
[ 50.284179] mmc0: new high speed SDHC card at address aaaa
[ 50.297821] mmcblk0: mmc0:aaaa SU32G 29.7 GiB
[ 50.302368] mmcblk0: p1
[ 50.939910] FAT-fs (mmcblk0): bogus number of reserved sectors
[ 50.940063] FAT-fs (mmcblk0): Can't find a valid FAT filesystem
[ 51.086822] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0): VFS: Can't find ext4 filesystem
[ 51.087951] EXT3-fs (mmcblk0): error: can't find ext3 filesystem on dev mmcblk0.
[ 51.088928] EXT2-fs (mmcblk0): error: can't find an ext2 filesystem on dev mmcblk0.
[ 51.090820] FAT-fs (mmcblk0): bogus number of reserved sectors
[ 51.090911] FAT-fs (mmcblk0): Can't find a valid FAT filesystem
[ 51.179565] FAT-fs (mmcblk0): bogus number of reserved sectors
[ 51.179718] FAT-fs (mmcblk0): Can't find a valid FAT filesystem
[ 51.326232] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0): VFS: Can't find ext4 filesystem
[ 51.327331] EXT3-fs (mmcblk0): error: can't find ext3 filesystem on dev mmcblk0.
[ 51.328247] EXT2-fs (mmcblk0): error: can't find an ext2 filesystem on dev mmcblk0.
[ 51.329498] FAT-fs (mmcblk0): bogus number of reserved sectors
[ 51.329650] FAT-fs (mmcblk0): Can't find a valid FAT filesystem
[ 54.646667] mmcblk0: error -110 transferring data, sector 8216, nr 8, cmd response 0x900, card status 0xb00
[ 54.646759] mmcblk0: retrying using single block read
[ 57.443267] mmcblk0: error -110 transferring data, sector 8216, nr 8, cmd response 0x900, card status 0x0
[ 57.443420] end_request: I/O error, dev mmcblk0, sector 8216
[ 60.240051] mmcblk0: error -110 transferring data, sector 8217, nr 7, cmd response 0x900, card status 0x0
[ 60.240203] end_request: I/O error, dev mmcblk0, sector 8217
[ 63.036834] mmcblk0: error -110 transferring data, sector 8218, nr 6, cmd response 0x900, card status 0x0
[ 63.036987] end_request: I/O error, dev mmcblk0, sector 8218
[ 65.833679] mmcblk0: error -110 transferring data, sector 8219, nr 5, cmd response 0x900, card status 0x0
[ 65.833831] end_request: I/O error, dev mmcblk0, sector 8219
 
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elw3

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Its naming sectors, i think thats a strong indicator that the card is faulty, not the reader, still the timing of booth failing at a similar time is odd.
 

FBnil

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@DrasticNerd Here's some tips from my Pandora experience: Do not format your newly bought SD card as ext3. When I did that the SD card did not last longer than 6 months (with almost daily use). I did this for 2 years straight, now with 4 dead sd cards. My FAT formatted cards also did not last long (about a year before the File Allocation Table went bogus and the label/name of the card started to had random gibberish). ext4 cards still work (more than 2 years, same card). And I've only used slot 2 for interchange and kept my OS card in at all times in slot 1.
 

TrashyMG

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Late to the game. I wonder if it's because of formatting of the cards, exFAT isn't supported out of the box, there used to be an exFAT pnd, but from my knowledge there was some issues with it and it was pulled. NTFS can be used if needed, but you would need to install the community codec pack if you haven't already...

 

elw3

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ext3 needs to be setup for flash devices before it properly works on them, but difference isnt _that_ dramatic. Maybe 10-20% more read/write accesses compared to flash optimized FS. (personal estimation tho)
 

Letalis Sonus

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Maybe 10-20% more read/write accesses compared to flash optimized FS.
Divide that by 10. Unless we're talking about cheap ass flash with a dirty hacked FTL that does some seriously questionable stuff on non-FAT based filesystems - then you might be correct. If we narrow down "flash optimized FS" to "FAT based FS", that is.

F2FS seriously isn't worth shit if you don't have the hardware parameters of the flash's manufacturer to fine tune its mount options, otherwise it isn't doing any better than just using ext4.
 

levi

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I'm not sure what the difference between ext3 and ext4 is provided you have a filesystem that correlates to the ext3 requirements (that is it doesn't have too many subdirectories of a single directory), apart from perhaps the better support for large files.
 

TrashyMG

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I used ext2 on my SD cards for ages on the Pandora...
 

elw3

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ext3 is basically ext2 with added overhead, journaled writing, more logging etc.
If you take a note whenever a file is touched, instantly on the disk, on the same file, the wear level chip will be pretty upset.
Ext2 took less notes, ext4 does it smarter so wear leveling has less work. But Ext3 came from an age where HDDs where a prime tech and ssds had like 4gb so its doing stuff useful for spinning disks and not flash medias.
Back when ssds became a thing most linux wiki pages told ppl to use ext2 for it because ppl where concerned it decreases the lifetime.
One can adjust 3, but only to make it behave as 2 so really doing that was pointless.

In the end the settings have way more influence than the filesystem, its mainly complaining about defaults here and those of ext3 suck.
 

Letalis Sonus

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But Ext3 came from an age where HDDs where a prime tech and ssds had like 4gb so its doing stuff useful for spinning disks and not flash medias.
Plot twist: ext4 is older than the mainstream SSD trend as well and 320 GB SSDs already existed years before ext3 was created.

ext4 is just ext3 with some additional features like extents, which is why you can convert a ext3 partition into ext4 without reformatting. The only feature dedicated to SSD drives was TRIM support - which was added several kernel versions later. ext4 only exists as a separate filesystem because some developers did not want to harm ext3's stability by adding these new features directly to it.

That "added overhead" is also part of F2FS, because its impact on wear leveling was generally considered to be negligible.
 
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