Jimbo1954
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Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:37 pm

New Pi won't boot with old SD

Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:55 pm

Well, I guess the subject says it all....

I have been developing a series of applications on a Pi that was bought very early in the Pi availability (so old, it has no mounting holes). The apps work great, and now its time to make a couple of replicas of the hardware/software for friends.

I took the good SD card and, using win32diskimager, wrote a disk image to my PC. I then blew the image onto a couple of new SD cards and put them into new Pis (newer ones WITH mounting holes). Tried to boot either Pi with either SD...nothing, nada, zero! The power LED came on but no others.

So I put the SDs into the OLD card, one after the other and it all works, so I'm thinking "*Two* bad Pis??? :o ". To confirm, I downloaded and burnt a new image onto one of the new cards, put it into both the new Pis and up they came! So the hardware is good, but the SD with software developed on the old card won't work with the new card.

I suspect a firmware issue here, but while I'm used to working in the user side of Linux, the system/firmware/microcode is not something I know too much about....Can anyone suggest a way forward here, I don't really want to have to copy all the config files from old to new, there's *hundreds*! :roll:

Thanks for any thoughts

Jim

jdb
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Re: New Pi won't boot with old SD

Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:15 pm

Your newer rev2 Pis will probably have newer SDRAM. There have been firmware updates that support this newer SDRAM.

You should update your "Image". On your old Pi, if you run sudo rpi-update then this will download latest kernel/firmware and save these to disk. If you then image that filesystem and put it on a new rev2, then it should work.
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klricks
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Re: New Pi won't boot with old SD

Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:59 am

In order to use the rpi-update command you have to first download and install it and I think some other stuff.
https://github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-update

I just use the standard commands. These will update the firmware to a new enough version which will work with both old and new RPi's with the different RAM chips.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
Unless specified otherwise my response is based on the latest and fully updated Raspbian Buster w/ Desktop OS.

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rpdom
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Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Re: New Pi won't boot with old SD

Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:54 am

klricks wrote:In order to use the rpi-update command you have to first download and install it and I think some other stuff.
https://github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-update
Or just:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rpi-update
sudo rpi-update

to install rpi-update and get the very latest code. :)

Jimbo1954
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Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:37 pm

Re: New Pi won't boot with old SD

Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:50 am

Thanks for the suggestions...I did as suggested:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rpi-update
sudo rpi-update

and watched a firmware update take place (I already had the latest version of rpi-update). However, it made no difference when I put the "old" SD in the "new" Pi: the Red LED came on solid, the green "OK" LED flashed briefly very soon after power up, then it just sat there and did nothing...

Is there something else I should be checking? have I done something wrong?

Many thanks for the help so far! :P

Jim

tvjon
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Re: New Pi won't boot with old SD

Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:45 am

I had a similar problem with a Maxell 8G class 10 SD.

There must be some small variation in either or both SD card holder depth, & SD card depth. I discovered that if I plugged in the Maxell then clipped a clothes peg over the SD, so the peg presses onto the DSI connector on top of the board, the SD boots fine on the new RPi's. On 4 "old" RPi's no need for the peg :) Every recent new RPi needs the peg so I can only use that SD in new boards that don't have a case.

drgeoff
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Re: New Pi won't boot with old SD

Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:10 pm

tvjon wrote: Every recent new RPi needs the peg ....
How many is your "every"?

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CWRoos
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Re: New Pi won't boot with old SD

Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:40 pm

Copy the fat part (config.txt, cmdline.txt, start.elf, bootcode.bin (or just all of them) from a rasbian image to the old image.

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rpdom
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Re: New Pi won't boot with old SD

Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:46 pm

CWRoos wrote:Copy the fat part (config.txt, cmdline.txt, start.elf, bootcode.bin (or just all of them) from a rasbian image to the old image.
No need to do this. The rpi-update will have installed the new files.

I second the clothes peg test. I've had a card that cracked along one edge - barely noticeable, but enough to stop it booting. Others have had issues with the card slot breaking slightly and the card connectors not making contact properly.

tvjon
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Re: New Pi won't boot with old SD

Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:19 pm

drgeoff wrote:
tvjon wrote: Every recent new RPi needs the peg ....
How many is your "every"?
3 so far, bought within the last 3 months. I'll try the Maxell SD on a friend's boards when I see him. He also has 3 recent boards.

Thinking more about this, only the ones made in China work ok with that SD....

tvjon
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Re: New Pi won't boot with old SD

Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:28 pm

rpdom wrote:...

I second the clothes peg test. I've had a card that cracked along one edge - barely noticeable, but enough to stop it booting. Others have had issues with the card slot breaking slightly and the card connectors not making contact properly.
Interesting, thank you for mentioning that. I also have a 4Gb "Peak" SD, rather dear when I bought it about 3 years ago & whose case is now almost split in 2, & the contacts are so thin that they're almost touching, because the tiny raised plastic separators between said contacts have peeled away from the base plastic. It still actually works, but it's too fragile to use daily now.

Jimbo1954
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Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:37 pm

Re: New Pi won't boot with old SD

Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:20 pm

OK, so I did some more swapping and testing and I can confirm the following:
The "old" board has no "made in..." branding; but the new ones have "Made in China" silkscreened on to them.

I got two 32G C4 SanDisk SDHC cards, identical in every way to the SDHC card upon which development was done, wrote a virgin Raspberian system on one, and cloned my running system onto the other with win32diskimager.

I put the cloned SDHC into the "old" Pi, and booted it. No problems, everything worked fine.
I put the virgin Raspberian into the "new" Pi and booted it. No problems, booted into raspi-config. I didn't bother running that, but it did at least hint that there was no issue with card/socket necessitating a clothespeg.

I then got the "old" Pi, with the cloned SDHC and ran:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rpi-update (it told me no need, rpi-update was already the newest version)
sudo rpi-update

I could see update running, everything seemed fine, no errors, it completed and asked for a re-boot, which I did by power-cycling. After this, it came up and worked flawlessly.

Next, I took the apparently-good SDHC out of the "old" board (power off first ;) ) and popped it into the new "Made in China " board. Wired everything up, powered up, still nada, zilch, zero, sweet FA :cry:
When it was first powered, the red power LED came up and stayed up. The Green OK LED flashed briefly after power up but not for long and only once. No other LEDs came up, and the screen (HDMI connected) remained blank.

I didn't have a clothes-peg to hand, but I used my standard-issue thumb and forefinger to compress the SDHC into the socket as described but it made no difference. I hadn't really expected it to because the virgin Raspberian SDHC worked fine in it, suggesting its a problem with the boot sequence, not the physical connectivity.

I'm a bit worried I will have to manually transfer files from the development machine onto the others if I can't reliably clone SDHC cards, but I find it hard to believe that is necessary, and I'm suspicious that I've missed a trick somewhere along the line.

Oh, and just to stop the obvious question about the compatibility of the SDHC cards, I have cloned onto two different cards and got the same failure with both, and blown virgin Raspberian on to the SAME two SDHCs and got faultless boots to raspbi-config

If anyone has any further ideas, I'd be real glad to hear....

Thanks

Jim

Totalacedude
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 8:36 pm

Re: New Pi won't boot with old SD

Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:49 pm

Hi. Right im having the same issues. Bought a new pi and until I had a use for it I loaded it with xbmc. I have come to now use new pi to replace my old 1as a server. I Put the sd card server program in (that works) into new pi and just red led. Put it back into old pi and it runs sweet. If I put the xbmc frm new pi to old 1 that runs fine. It seems like anything that has been used in old pi will not work in new 1. Even updated wheezy on old pi but still nothing(read that the new type pi's have an issue with older wheezys). Am beginning to think its something on the bootloader section stopping it, but this is just my guess. Any ideas???

itimpi
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Re: New Pi won't boot with old SD

Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:11 pm

New Pi's come with Micron memory (recognised by having a M on the Ram chip) and you need up-to-date files in the boot partition of the card for this to be recognised. It sounds like that might be your problem?

Note that the updated boot partition files work on both old and new Pi's.

Totalacedude
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 8:36 pm

Re: New Pi won't boot with old SD

Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:40 pm

Thanks for that. I had got to that assumption about it bein a loader problem. Out at a meal but as soon as I get home ill give it a go. What do I do? Just download a new image. Write that to a new sd card. Then copy just the complete boot section to the old card?
Cheers ian

Totalacedude
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 8:36 pm

Re: New Pi won't boot with old SD

Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:16 pm

Right. All I did was change bootcode.bin from a new image to my old boot sector. And hey presto it all worked. Originally I cuanged everything out of the boot area to new file ones. This did work. But I lost active led (went dead) and daft things like it saw my usb wireless keyboard at boot but wouldnt work. Went back to original files and just replacing the 1 file and all ok. Just letting u all know so it may help ;)

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