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Tinker S - Cannot activate U-Boot sequence
#1
Hello, my first Tinker experience and first post, so greetings!

I received a Tinker S this morning. I followed the installation instructions, but I have tried my PC, and 2 laptops and various USB cables. I do get the normal ding dong USB connecting sound. However, in device manager, I see Unknown Device. Whatever I do I am unable to see the Tinker S eMMc flash drive. It is exactly the same problem on all three computers.

I actually thought the Tinker 3 was delivered with a working operating OS. But not in my case.

I then decided to download the latest Tinker OS and to program it using an SD card. This went fine and it works great, even when powering the Tinker using my PC or laptop USB as the power source. So I think my PC USB power supply and cables are fine.

So it seems that my only problem is that I cannot program my eMMC storage. I have been reading through the Tinker forum for an hour or more. It seems that all I have to do is to flash a new u-boot.img using a working Debian OS - which I already have working. Is this true?

I see that there is a guide to build u-boot.img. BUT I do not have a working Linux in order to perform this task, and worse still, little Linux experience. I did try the Tinker Debian OS itself to do it. But on the third section or so, I got an error and it would not complete.

So my questions.
 
1). Is there someplace that I can get a pre-compiled u-boot.img? Perhaps someone let me have a copy?

2). Am I over complicating things, am I missing something, is it really this hard?

Other than this, it seems a really nice piece of hardware.

I hope that some kind person can guide me, thank you!

Hi, after I posted the first message I continued to search the Forum. I found this post by Im4Tinker - thank you!. 

https: // tinkerboarding.co.uk/forum/thread-1659-page-2.html (modified with two added spaces, sorry I cannot supply a clickable link)_

 appears to include u-boots.zip!

But I am frightened to actually try it without some more guidance.

I understand that I should be able to program the U-Boot from within a working Debian OS - which I have. But I see that the u-boots.zip contains three files.

tos.img
rk3288_boot.bin
u-boot-rockchip-with-spl.bin

Question1. Why are there 3 files? I read the text in the post, but don't understand the differences. In my case, I simply want to get the Tinker back to factory fresh. With a working u-boot. I am guessing that I should only use the tos.img file?

Question2. Which command line should I use, is this one correct? $ sudo dd if=tOS.img of=/dev/tos.img bs=512 seek=64

Thanks for any help, I am just nervous and dont want to brick my Tinker that I have only had for 5 hours Smile
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#2
(01-10-2019, 08:27 PM)GrahamGo Wrote: Hello, my first Tinker experience and first post, so greetings!
Welcome!
GrahamGo Wrote:appears to include u-boots.zip!
That is the TinkerOS boot loader, which acts as BIOS too.
Anyway I wonder why such worries, the hardware is shipped to work out of the box. Just plug HDMI, kebord and mouse. So what problem have you encountered ?

For more details you might see further at post No 18, That I wrote a longer document.
GrahamGo Wrote:But I am frightened to actually try it without some more guidance.

The best way to experiment on a Tinker Board S, at the beginning, is to use a SD card. Try your attempts over there until you get better know-how.
I would add one more discussion which might be of your interest. All of these informations will clarify the way to act on the case you'll lose the option to read/write eMMC from a PC.
Light blue words might be a link. Have you try to click on them? Big Grin
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#3
Hi you can take a check with following steps:
https://tinkerboarding.co.uk/wiki/index....om_SD_card
UMS from SD card
or
Without UMS mode (dd image via SD card's OS)
Reply
#4
(01-11-2019, 04:45 AM)Tinker Board Wrote: Hi you can take a check with following steps:
https: // tinkerboarding.co.uk/wiki/index.php/Setup#UMS_from_SD_card
UMS from SD card
or
Without UMS mode (dd image via SD card's OS)

Hello, thank you. Yes, I read this article several times. But the following line isn't specific. 


  1. Flash the Image (with UMS’s U-Boot) to SD card.   (specifically, is this a special image? where do I find it?)
I ask because I have installed Latest version v2.0.8 - Debian stretch based. 2018/10/23   Does this version include U-Boot, how do I know? 

I followed the rest of the instructions but the USB never appears to work.

ie. at 4. Connect Tinker Board S to PC via Micro-USB, then there will become as USB mass storage on your computer

Thanks!

(01-11-2019, 01:16 AM)Im4Tinker Wrote: [quote="GrahamGo" pid='9578' dateline='1547152054']
Hello, my first Tinker experience and first post, so greetings!
Welcome!

"Anyway I wonder why such worries, the hardware is shipped to work out of the box."

Yes, I agree. This is what I thought. so this is the first thing that I did (ie. plug in HDMI,keyboard etc.).  But it did not work, In the manual the "Getting started" part specifically states to download the Tinker OS and so on. So this is what I did. But was never able to get the USB working.

"The best way to experiment on a Tinker Board S, at the beginning, is to use a SD card"

Yes, I have done that. I am writing this using the Tinker. But all I want to do is to get the eMMC working. I will read your other pointers, thanks for that. It seems that I am not alone in having the eMMC problems. It is so frustrating...... aagh
Reply
#5
Hi,

Yes, any image that can support Tinker board s from ASUS, they all have built-in uboot with UMS. 
So you can use the current SD card you have directly.

What is your PC OS? windows? mac? linux?
Reply
#6
[quote="Tinker Board" pid='9591' dateline='1547203152']
Hi,

Yes, any image that can support Tinker board s from ASUS, they all have built-in uboot with UMS. 
So you can use the current SD card you have directly.

What is your PC OS? windows? mac? linux?
[/quote]

Hello, Ok, knowing the above I have tried it again. But the results are the same. I boot up the Tinker, and just wait, but the PC never sees the USB. I also tried the same thing by plugging the Tinker+USB into my NAS server. This is Linux based, but it's the same, no external drive shows up.

So this leaves the last method "Without UMS mode"

Recovery from SD’s image system & without the PC mode (ready on TinkerOS v2.0.4 or above)
steps 1 - 4 ok. I find the English strange, but still.

5. It would booting to the RootFS.
6. Then dd or other ways to flash new image file to eMMC(mmcblk1).

Item 6. what is the correct dd command to perform flashing of the image file? I'm nervous about getting it wrong and think this should be documented in the guide which is quite vague.

Thank you for the hints.

[quote="Tinker Board" pid='9586' dateline='1547181949']

I have now read through the PDF and also the other thread of someone in Germany with the same problem. I see that he gave up. I am of the same opinion. 

Your PDF is good, concise etc. But it is far too complicated for me and probably time consuming as I do not feel like taking the time to setup a Linux machine just to restore the Tinker S.

What I expected from Asus was a simple step by step procedure to restore the Tinker S to a factory fresh condition. 

Like. 
1. Program an SD chip with program XYZ.img
2. Insert the SD card into Tinker. Move the link to position XXX
3. Download u-boot.img copy it to a USB drive, plug the drive into Tinker
4. Power up Tinker
5. Use Terminal mode and program the EMMc with the following command dd.........
6. The EMMc is now programmed. and the Tinker is restored to factory fresh.
7. Consult the manual and follow the getting started section to install the OS to the EMMc

Job done....  A simple concise method of getting restoring the unit to factory fresh from ASUS. This is what I was hoping for. I mean how hard can it be? But I do really appreciate the help. Its just far more complicated than I think that it should be.
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#7
In few steps.
  1. Write tinkerOS (aka linaro) to SD card. So it should be necessary to use Etcher for the purpose.
  2. Plug TBS to PC with the jumper on MASKROM position and SD card inserted. Windows will recognize an non formatted media, don't care. Do the next step.
  3. Use Etcher to write the tinkerOS on the eMMC.
    That's it.
When you solved it, trow TBS away, because has no chances to install windows on it and you'll get mad to understand how linux works Big Grin
Light blue words might be a link. Have you try to click on them? Big Grin
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#8
Hi, thank you for the guide, that's nice and simple. I have tried it many times without success. I have since called the supplier and he believes that my Tinker board is faulty. Why? Because I get the ding dong USB connection sound. But if I press down ever so slightly on the PCB I can get multiple USB connections/Disconnections. So we think that there is a manufacturing problem. They will send me a new Tinker when the old one is received from me.

As a side note. I did find that when using an old (10) rated MicroSD chip that I already had, I found that the performance was quite sluggish. Anyway, I bought a Samsung Evo plus micro SIM. What a tremendous difference, nice and snappy now. I still have not decided on the best OS to use, they all have their own features. Anyway, thanks for the help, I await the replacement board Smile
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#9
My awards are for Armbian. But perhaps you might use several SD card with a different installation each, which may gives a chance to swap every now and then Big Grin
Light blue words might be a link. Have you try to click on them? Big Grin
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