Unbricking Dockstar
September 11, 2022 01:22PM
Hi,

I recently dug up an old Dockstar device, still in original packaging.
Unfortunately, it does not boot any more. The device gets stuck in U-boot and using a serial cable, I could see that the kernel it tries to load from flash has a checksum error.

I tried several ways to get into a Linux environment to be able to flash a newer U-boot, but none has worked, yet.
I tried:
- Downloading a newer U-boot to chain load (uboot.2017.07-tld-1.dockstar.mtd0.kwb)
-> fails with no output after 'go 800200'

- Downloading kernel and ramdisk created from 5.19.2-kirkwood-tld-1-bodhi, using original /dev/mtdblock2 as rootfs
-> Kernel starts, but rootfs can't be mounted (no driver)

- Downloading kernel and ramdisk created from 5.19.2-kirkwood-tld-1-bodhi, using original /dev/sda1 (USB) as rootfs
-> Kernel starts, but rootfs can't be mounted (device not found)

I'm hesitating to just flash the above U-boot to mtd0, as it doesn't start when chain loading.

Any ideas how to bring my Dockstar back from zombie land?

Thanks
Tom
Re: Unbricking Dockstar
September 11, 2022 03:38PM
lunde,

> I'm hesitating to just flash the above U-boot to
> mtd0, as it doesn't start when chain loading.

Chainload from stock u-boot does not work for any new u-boot built from the mainline tree about and after 2012, due to some architectural change in u-boot. And chainloading was not really supported by u-boot mainline before that, it was just a hack that works. OTOH, you can chainload a really old u-boot from the latest u-boot.

You don't need to flash new u-boot to rescue this semi-bricked Dockstar. Create a new USB rootfs using Debian-5.13.6-kirkwood-tld-1-rootfs-bodhi.tar.bz2 (26 Sept 2021)

And then see here for how to boot it with stock u-boot.

https://forum.doozan.com/read.php?2,102054,105374#msg-105374

Note: don't save the envs until you can boot the USB rootfs a few times.

-bodhi
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