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PogoPlug v4 Soft Brick Recovery / Restoring MTDs

Posted by the_wondersmith 
PogoPlug v4 Soft Brick Recovery / Restoring MTDs
October 11, 2019 08:04PM
I PM'd bodhi for advice about restoring the MTDs on my PogoPlug v4. He requested that I make a new thread here, I'd imagine in the interest of helping anyone else that's gotten themselves in the same situation I have.

To recap --

I (naturally) messed up my PogoPlug by not reading carefully enough when flashing and by also not keeping a better record or any kind of backup of what I had / hadn't done to it over the course of messing with it. The short version is that I used one of the earliest versions of bodhi's guide to convert it to Debian years ago, briefly used it for something that now eludes my memory, lost it in the back of a closet for a while, recently rediscovered it and would like to use it as a network ad blocker via PiHole.

When I went to update everything to the latest versions of bodhi's uBoot and Debian image, I obviously did something wrong, though I'm not sure what. I suspect that I've managed to mess up the envvars, but again I'm not 100% sure.

Typically when I get myself into situations like this, I'll wipe everything back to the way it was when I started (back to known-good) and simply try again. In this instance, 1) I'm not sure that's the best solution, and 2) not sure how to go about doing it if it is. I did try to grab bodhi's MTDs archive from here, but it looks like the link is dead. Reading through the thread, it seemed like the better option to simply send bodhi a message rather than continue to possibly make things worse by messing with it on my own. I guess the pertinent details of my specific issue are:

[*] My PogoPlug v4 will no longer boot correctly, or identify itself to the network
[*] I do still have serial console access though, and can in fact interrupt the boot process and get to the "PogoPlug v4>" prompt
[*] When all is said and done, I'd ideally like to have your latest uBoot and Debian Buster image be the only things on the Plug and running smoothly

So if I've not already taken up too much of your time, and if it's not asking too much, what do I do?

Bodhi asked that I post the output of the `printvars` command, which I have done below:

U-Boot 2017.07-tld-1 (Sep 05 2017 - 00:34:01 -0700)
Pogoplug V4

SoC:   Kirkwood 88F6192_A1
DRAM:  128 MiB
WARNING: Caches not enabled
NAND:  128 MiB
In:    serial
Out:   serial
Err:   serial
Net:   egiga0
Hit any key to stop autoboot: 10


Pogov4> printenv

bootargs=console=ttyS0,115200 root=LABEL=rootfs rootdelay=10 mtdparts=orion_nand:2M(u-boot),3M(uImage),3M(uImage2),8M(failsafe),112M(root) init=/bin/systemd
bootcmd=run bootcmd_uenv; run scan_disk; run set_bootargs; run bootcmd_exec
bootcmd_exec=run load_uimage; if run load_initrd; then if run load_dtb; then bootm $load_uimage_addr $load_initrd_addr $load_dtb_addr; else bootm $load_uimage_addr $load_initrd_addr; fi; else if run load_dtb; then bootm $load_uimage_addr - $load_dtb_addr; else bootm $load_uimage_addr; fi; fi
bootcmd_uenv=run uenv_load; if test $uenv_loaded -eq 1; then run uenv_import; fi
devices=usb ide mmc
disks=0 1 2 3
if_netconsole=ping $serverip
init_ide=ide reset
init_mmc=mmc rescan
init_usb=usb start
led_error=orange blinking
led_exit=green off
led_init=green blinking
load_dtb=echo loading DTB $dtb_file ...; load $bootdev $device $load_dtb_addr $dtb_file
load_initrd=echo loading uInitrd ...; load $bootdev $device $load_initrd_addr /boot/uInitrd
load_uimage=echo loading uImage ...; load $bootdev $device $load_uimage_addr /boot/uImage
preboot_nc=run if_netconsole start_netconsole
scan_disk=echo running scan_disk ...; scan_done=0; setenv scan_usb "usb start";  setenv scan_ide "ide reset";  setenv scan_mmc "mmc rescan"; for dev in $devices; do if test $scan_done -eq 0; then echo Scan device $dev; run scan_$dev; for disknum in $disks; do if test $scan_done -eq 0; then echo device $dev $disknum:1; if load $dev $disknum:1 $load_uimage_addr /boot/uImage 1; then scan_done=1; echo Found bootable drive on $dev $disknum; setenv device $disknum:1; setenv bootdev $dev; fi; fi; done; fi; done
scan_ide=ide reset
scan_mmc=mmc rescan
scan_usb=usb start
set_bootargs=setenv bootargs console=ttyS0,115200 root=LABEL=rootfs rootdelay=10 mtdparts=orion_nand:2M(u-boot),3M(uImage),3M(uImage2),8M(failsafe),112M(root) init=/bin/systemd
start_netconsole=setenv ncip $serverip; setenv bootdelay 10; setenv stdin nc; setenv stdout nc; setenv stderr nc; version;
uenv_import=echo importing envs ...; env import -t $uenv_addr $filesize
uenv_init_devices=echo Initializing devices...; setenv init_usb "usb start";  setenv init_ide "ide reset";  setenv init_mmc "mmc rescan"; for devtype in $devices; do run init_$devtype; done
uenv_load=run uenv_init_devices; setenv uenv_loaded 0; for devtype in $devices; do for disknum in $disks; do if test $uenv_loaded -eq 0; then setenv device_type $devtype; setenv disk_number $disknum; run uenv_read; fi; done; done;
uenv_read=echo Loading envs from $device_type $disk_number...; if load $device_type  $disk_number:1 $uenv_addr /boot/uEnv.txt; then setenv uenv_loaded 1; echo ... envs loaded; fi

Environment size: 3275/131068 bytes


Bodhi explained that the steps to fix whatever I've done should be easy enough, he described them as:

- Recreate the Buster image to make sure I have a good rootfs.
- Power up, interrupt serial console and load a default set of envs, adjust a few envs for Pogo V4 and my network.
- Boot

Three steps certainly does seem simple enough, hopefully Bodhi will be along shortly with a few more details.
Re: PogoPlug v4 Soft Brick Recovery / Restoring MTDs
October 11, 2019 09:39PM

Your u-boot installation was fine, the envs look OK, too. So I think your rootfs must have had some problem.

- Recreate the Buster image to make sure you have a good rootfs. Using Debian-5.2.9-kirkwood-tld-1-rootfs-bodhi.tar.bz2

Scroll down to


Updated 25 Aug 2019:

Basic Debian buster Kirkwood rootfs for most Kirwood plugs:

And make sure you skip Step 4


4. Create uImage with embedded DTB for booting with older u-boots (2012 or earlier). Skip this step if you have installed the latest U-Boot for Kirkwood (or are installing this u-boot at the same time).

- Connect serial console, attach the new USB rootfs. Power up and let it boot autimatically. Watch serial console to see if it will boot all the ways to Debian prompt. If it stops somewhere before, then post the entire serial console log here.

Forum Wiki
bodhi's corner
Re: PogoPlug v4 Soft Brick Recovery / Restoring MTDs
October 12, 2019 12:17PM
That worked a treat!

In case it's helpful for anyone else, it looks like the point I screwed up at was thinking that the "skip this" warning on step 4 was more-or-less optional.

Also, the only point I deviated from bodhi's instructions above was in editing the fstab to reflect the fact that I couldn't seem to get Ubuntu to let me format the card I used in ext3, so I had to use ext4.
Re: PogoPlug v4 Soft Brick Recovery / Restoring MTDs
October 12, 2019 05:58PM

> That worked a treat!
> In case it's helpful for anyone else, it looks
> like the point I screwed up at was thinking that
> the "skip this" warning on step 4 was more-or-less
> optional.


I think I need to make that instruction more prominent to avoid mis-interpretation. Thanks!

Forum Wiki
bodhi's corner

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