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JDO

Rock64 randomly hangs when booting from USB (via SPI flash)

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Hi everybody,

 

I recently set up a small server with the Rock64 booting armbian stretch 5.59 stable directly from a 120 GB SSD attached via USB3. Booting is handled with U-Boot from ayufan on the SPI flash. The Rock64 is board revision 2.0, the power supply is the original Pine64 one for the Rock. Besides the SSD, there are no other peripherals connected.

 

The board often (3 out of 4 times) hangs when booting. In this case, all LEDs are lit, the orange network LED will flash and the board is not reachable by SSH and not pingable. My impression is, that it is stuck because the SSD either powered up too late or the USB connection is delayed. However, I cannot confirm my suspicion, because the board also does not output any HDMI signal to my monitor (even if it boots up correctly). If I cut power, re-power and give it another try, it will boot at some point and everything (except the HDMI) will work perfectly.

 

My issue seems to identical to the one described here for the ayufan build. It is noted in that thread, that an external power supply for the SSD might mitigate the problem. I did not have a chance to test this, yet. But I also hope that you guys have a better insight into this and might catch a bug in the armbian image.

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Hi again,

 

I just wanted to report that the problem persists with the most recent kernel (4.4.156-rockchip64). An external power supply for the SSD did not solve it either. Would be nice if anybody could look into this.

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I have the same issue and i "solved" it using a usb3 hub between the drive and the rock64, its more like a workaround than a fix but maybe it can help you too, in my case said hub can be powered but its not relevant since the issue goes away no matter if i power it or not...and its a noname hub, if you need any extra information tell me how...also i dont have a serial interface yet, gonna get one in a week or two when i have some extra time...

 

I commented about this on the same post you reference on the ayufan github...

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I can report that the USB 3 hub did not solve the problem for me. Made no difference at all. The hub was not powered, but since I already tried to power the SSD externally via a Y-cable, I can't imagine that a powered hub would make any difference. The problem persists.

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USB3.0 boot is problematic for me with 6x Rock64's, 3 SATA->USB, Y cables and powered hub or not. 
Using USB2 is reliable for booting from USB with Ayufan's bionic image.
I seem to get constant kernel crashes on boot with Armbian 4.4.162 though. 

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Just wanted to report that this has never been fixed or even acknowledged. Not happy :mellow:

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Add me to the list.

 

Currently I've reluctantly solved by moving the SSD to the USB2 port, which nulls one of the main reasons for having chosen the Rock64. However, I have this idea that the problem is not the kernel, but u-boot which does not properly initialize the USB3 port. It is a fact that sometime you are able to boot from USB3, as long as you have no other current-dragging devices connected (included the HDMI cable). It is still a shot in the dark, i.e. will mostly fail, but if you have other devices connected, in my own experience, there is 0% possibility that the boot from USB3 succeeds.

 

And no, using an USB3 hub does not make any difference, I agree.

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