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Pogoplug E02, newer Debian, kernel panic and the solution

Posted by normc 
Pogoplug E02, newer Debian, kernel panic and the solution
October 08, 2021 11:46AM
I recently found my old pink Pogoplug E02 (very old version of Debian) and I decided to play with it to see if I could bring it up to a more recent Debian. I followed the instructions in this forum from a number of new and older posts.
Unfortunately, because of a report of a bad block on my device, I decided not to upgrade the u-boot as per the warning.
## If you have bad blocks on mtd0, you should not try to install uBoot.
I tried different suggested releases but decided to debug my issue with the "Debian 5.13.6-kirkwood-tld-1" code.
The boot process started well but always hit a kernel panic with this error:
Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(8,1)
A few lines above this was this clue:
VFS: Cannot open root device "sda1" or unknown-block(8,1): error -19
I tried rootfs, sda1 and other changes but it made no difference.
Anyway, after a few days of googling the error and searching this forum, I found this post from bodhi
Boot Kirkwood rootfs with stock u-boot
It turns out that old stock u-boot code was the cause of my issue. The suggested changes did the trick.
Boot Kirkwood rootfs with stock u-boot

setenv usb_set_bootargs 'setenv bootargs console=ttyS0,115200 root=LABEL=rootfs rootdelay=10 earlyprintk=serial'
setenv load_uimage 'ext2load usb 0:1 0x800000 /boot/uImage'
setenv load_uinitrd 'ext2load usb 0:1 0x2100000 /boot/uInitrd'
setenv usb_boot 'mw 0x800000 0 1; run load_uimage; run load_uinitrd; bootm 0x800000 0x2100000'
setenv usb_bootcmd 'run usb_set_bootargs; run usb_boot'
setenv bootcmd 'usb reset; run usb_bootcmd; usb stop; reset'

And then,

printenv
boot
My Pogo E02 now boots fine with 5.13.6-kirkwood-tld-1 and I will probably upgrade it again (5.14.9?) but I don't expect this issue to stop me.
The reason for this post is first to help anyone who is experiencing a similar issue and second to express my appreciation to bodhi and everyone else who contributed their time to create the code, answer questions and documenting everything so that people like me can enjoy the previously loved hardware with the latest Debian.
Thanks to all, your work is appreciated!
Re: Pogoplug E02, newer Debian, kernel panic and the solution
October 08, 2021 04:03PM
normc,

Fantastic!

Quote

My Pogo E02 now boots fine with 5.13.6-kirkwood-tld-1 and I will probably upgrade it again (5.14.9?) but I don't expect this issue to stop me.

It'll be easy, a walk in the park!

Regarding flashing u-boot with the bad blocks, you can check to see if it in the gaps (unused blocks).

It is my catchall warning to make sure users ask the question before considering flashing u-boot to mtd0 (block 0 to 7).

u-boot image: block 0 to 3
u-boot envs: block 5

However, if stock u-boot is OK for you to use, then there is no need to upgrade u-boot. With Pogo E02 it is a bit risikier, because you cannot run kwboot to rescue it

-bodhi
===========================
Forum Wiki
bodhi's corner
Re: Pogoplug E02, newer Debian, kernel panic and the solution
October 09, 2021 02:27PM
Quote
bodhi
Regarding flashing u-boot with the bad blocks, you can check to see if it in the gaps (unused blocks).

Hey bodhi,
You got me thinking with your comment. If I understand correctly, you think that there is a possibility that I could still flash a new u-boot successfully?
I know it is risky but based on the report below and the address of the bad eraseblock, can you easily identify if it would work in my case? If the probability of success is on my side, I might give it a shot.
Thanks a bunch, again!

Here is the scanning report for my device:
[   10.012579] Scanning device for bad blocks
[   10.055604] Bad eraseblock 326 at 0x0000028c0000
[   10.142673] 4 fixed-partitions partitions found on MTD device orion_nand
[   10.150116] Creating 4 MTD partitions on "orion_nand":
[   10.156012] 0x000000000000-0x000000100000 : "u-boot"
[   10.163361] 0x000000100000-0x000000600000 : "uImage"
[   10.170607] 0x000000500000-0x000002a00000 : "pogoplug"
[   10.178192] 0x000002500000-0x000009100000 : "root"



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/09/2021 03:27PM by normc.
Re: Pogoplug E02, newer Debian, kernel panic and the solution
October 09, 2021 03:55PM
normc,

> Hey bodhi,
> You got me thinking with your comment. If I
> understand correctly, you think that there is a
> possibility that I could still flash a new u-boot
> successfully?

Yes, indeed it is possible even with bad block, but it will depend where it is. Block 326 is way out of mtd0, so you can flash u-boot.

> I know it is risky but based on the report below
> and the address of the bad eraseblock, can you
> easily identify if it would work in my case? If
> the probability of success is on my side, I might
> give it a shot.

Please get these info, to be sure that you are ready:
dmesg | grep -i bad
cat /proc/mtd

-bodhi
===========================
Forum Wiki
bodhi's corner



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/09/2021 03:59PM by bodhi.
Re: Pogoplug E02, newer Debian, kernel panic and the solution
October 09, 2021 07:47PM
> Please get these info, to be sure that you are ready:

bodhi,
The same bad block is reported in dmesg:
root@pogoplug:~# dmesg | grep -i bad
[   10.012571] Scanning device for bad blocks
[   10.055596] Bad eraseblock 326 at 0x0000028c0000
root@pogoplug:~# cat /proc/mtd
dev:    size   erasesize  name
mtd0: 00100000 00020000 "u-boot"
mtd1: 00500000 00020000 "uImage"
mtd2: 02500000 00020000 "pogoplug"
mtd3: 05b00000 00020000 "root"
root@pogoplug:~#

Thank you for taking the time to check this out and confirming it should be safe to flash the u-boot.
If I don't add to this thread, it means that everything worked as planned :)
Re: Pogoplug E02, newer Debian, kernel panic and the solution
October 09, 2021 09:07PM
Well, oK, one more to this thread.
The instructions that you wrote for upgrading u-boot and Debian on the Pogo E02 are 100% perfect and this exercise was a total success.
root@pogoplug:~# uname -a
Linux pogoplug.home.arpa 5.14.9-kirkwood-tld-1 #1.0 PREEMPT Sat Oct 2 17:41:27 PDT 2021 armv5tel GNU/Linux

Another satisfied customer....

:)
Re: Pogoplug E02, newer Debian, kernel panic and the solution
October 09, 2021 09:38PM
> Well, oK, one more to this thread.
> The instructions that you wrote for upgrading
> u-boot and Debian on the Pogo E02 are 100% perfect
> and this exercise was a total success.

Cool :)

-bodhi
===========================
Forum Wiki
bodhi's corner
Re: Pogoplug E02, newer Debian, kernel panic and the solution
October 11, 2021 11:30AM
bodhi,
I decided to check bodhi's corner and I like the 'buy a virtual beer' idea.
I just made a donation to MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders).
You do so much here(sharing knowledge), this is the least we can do.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/2021 08:40PM by normc.
Re: Pogoplug E02, newer Debian, kernel panic and the solution
October 11, 2021 03:11PM
Thanks normc!

-bodhi
===========================
Forum Wiki
bodhi's corner
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