Unreliable boot behavior

Hi folks,
So far I only have experience with a single Raspberry PI model B. I've
got Raspbian installed on it and AFAIK it's configured correctly.
However, it boots up unreliably: after power failures, after giving it a
simple reboot command, and especially after a power-cycle following an OS
'halt'. Usually I have to leave it powered off for a while before it
shows any sign of life again.
Is this behaviour normal, or am I perhaps using the wrong SD card? I have
a Transcend SDHC class 10 card.
Thanks,
Jaap
Reply to
Jaap Winius
Loading thread data ...
Mine was very unreliable and often corrupted its SD Card before I ran rpi-update. Since then I have not had a single error.
Reply to
Gilbert Smith
Definitely not normal. I would check power, and the connection cable between PSU and device. Heat and cooling?
I'm mostly using the 5.25 V, 2 A PSUs sold by ModMyPi, but a couple from RadioSpares have worked as well (they are rated a little lower, but I don't want to unplug one to check right now!). My cards are all lower spec than yours.
--
Cheers, 
David 
 Click to see the full signature
Reply to
David Taylor
I have several of them with those cards (4GB, 16GB) and they are very reliable; I have never seen them fail to boot.
Reply to
Rob
Not normal, but I have one Pi (our of the 6 I own) that does this. It is the very first Pi I bought and the oldest - so it's probably been used/abused, and I overvolted it at one point (setting the internal over-volt bit)
I've been thorugh the mill of changing SD card, PSU, keeping it cool, keeping it hot and not really found a solution. Sometimes it reboots, sometimes not.
I'm not worying about it though, but thought I'd just add to the pool of knowledge... (or not :)
Gordon
Reply to
Gordon Henderson
Here's a video of mine taking 6 attempts to boot:
formatting link

Honestly I've got frustrated with how unreliable it is and have stopped playing with it.
--
-Toby 
Add the word afiduluminag to the subject to circumvent my email filters.
Reply to
Toby Newman
And...
Have you: - run fsck against both card partitions? - tried another SD card from a reputable source, e.g. Sandisk?
My series 2 (512MB) model B, which boots of a preformatted card supplied by Farnell, has never had any problems booting.
--
martin@   | Martin Gregorie 
gregorie. | Essex, UK 
 Click to see the full signature
Reply to
Martin Gregorie
It could also be a software problem such as something time-dependent in the boot code.
Some people (including those advertising the Pi) seem to forget that it is not a complete computer. It needs things to be added to it in order to make a full machine. Buying a Pi is a bit like buying a barebones PC which includes a CPU but requires the purchaser to add a power supply, hard disk, display, keyboard and mouse. And the user would have to build the hard disk image before booting!
AFAIK the Pi has no speaker. This means that if something goes wrong with bootup there is not even a way for it to generate a sequence of beep codes to indicate what the fault is.
That said, if the boot software supported it (and it probably should) the Pi could generate an error indication by means of an LED. The user could then get some indication of why nothing was appearing on the display. As things stand it either works or it doesn't and that leads to user exasperation. Maybe it needs a better bootloader.
James
Reply to
James Harris
The bootloader is cast in ROM and defined by the chipmaker, not the designers of the Pi.
Reply to
Rob
The initial minimal bootcode is fixed in ROM. All that does is check for a FAT partition on the SD card and load/execute "bootcode.bin", which contains the main bootloader which is under the control of the Raspberry Pi designers. It also does have LED diagnostics by flashing the ACT LED in certain patterns.
Reply to
Dom
...
...
...
As if by magic I found a matching reference.
"There may be a bug in the distributed version of bootcode.bin which causes problems with some sdcards.... This can also manifest itself as intermittent booting...."
Full text at
formatting link

There is a whole bunch of info there on dealing with boot problems including intermittent ones.
James
Reply to
James Harris
Interesting! I found this useful guide to LED patterns and other stuff.
formatting link

James
Reply to
James Harris
Yes, the troubleshooting guide is useful for diagnosis, especially with the new RAM types that have been used recently, which give an 8 flash sequence on recent firmware/bootcode, but no response from older firmware (pre march 2013?).
Reply to
Dom
>> >> >>> >>>> Hi folks, >>>> >>>> So far I only have experience with a single Raspberry PI model B. >>>> I've got Raspbian installed on it and AFAIK it's configured >>>> correctly. However, it boots up unreliably: after power failures, >>>> after giving it a simple reboot command, and especially after a >>>> power-cycle following an OS 'halt'. Usually I have to leave it >>>> powered off for a while before it shows any sign of life again. >>>> >>>> Is this behaviour normal, or am I perhaps using the wrong SD card? I >>>> have a Transcend SDHC class 10 card. >>> >>> Here's a video of mine taking 6 attempts to boot: >>>
formatting link
>>> >>> Honestly I've got frustrated with how unreliable it is and have >>> stopped playing with it. >> >> And... >> >> Have you: >> - run fsck against both card partitions? - tried another SD card from a >> reputable source, e.g. Sandisk? >> >> My series 2 (512MB) model B, which boots of a preformatted card >> supplied by Farnell, has never had any problems booting. > > It could also be a software problem such as something time-dependent in > the boot code. > > Some people (including those advertising the Pi) seem to forget that it > is not a complete computer. It needs things to be added to it in order > to make a full machine. Buying a Pi is a bit like buying a barebones PC > which includes a CPU but requires the purchaser to add a power supply, > hard disk, display, keyboard and mouse. And the user would have to build > the hard disk image before booting! > > AFAIK the Pi has no speaker. This means that if something goes wrong > with bootup there is not even a way for it to generate a sequence of > beep codes to indicate what the fault is. > > That said, if the boot software supported it (and it probably should) > the Pi could generate an error indication by means of an LED. The user > could then get some indication of why nothing was appearing on the > display. As things stand it either works or it doesn't and that leads to > user exasperation. Maybe it needs a better bootloader. > > James
--
Yes, considering that it claims to have educational aims, is it  
sufficiently 'open' for a group of us to start developing 'tools' to  
 Click to see the full signature
Reply to
Unknown
...
There is at least supposed to be a set of LED flash codes though they don't seem to have helped the OP.
formatting link

...
AFAIK the GPU is undocumented so it would probably be too difficult to learn how to program but it should be easy enough to deal with the CPU stuff if someone wanted to do that.
There is no MBR-based boot as far as I know. MBRs traditionally contain x86 code anyway. Info on the boot process is at
formatting link

This is something I may do in the future but not now. There is some info on getting control of the CPU at
formatting link

For anyone interested in getting involved in an existing project I found these
formatting link
formatting link

James
Reply to
James Harris
This is brilliant!! But then it's Cambridge ?!
Good heavens, I've missed this reply of 6 Oct. I've just-now d/l-ed and appended into an evolving book via a text-only fetcher, the above URL-contents.
Of course 'MBR' implies . And I suppose the fact thae RPi uses FATfs in early stage booting, is merely to fit-the-market.
I'm enthusiastic to start debugging my 1 dud of 3 Rpis, and will log the goal-directed-progress here:- * PWD-LED = ON * ACT-greenLED flashes after PWD-LED, but *ONLY* if SD equipped.
This looks interesting. Thanks for the pointers.
Reply to
Unknown

ElectronDepot website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.