Pioneer no longer booting after a couple of days of use

I’ve been actively using my recently arrived pioneer box for the last few days. I’ve been successfully running Fedora 38 from both SD card and NVME. Most recently I have been running a copy of fedora 39 (from Wei Fu) from SD card. However, after a recent SD card swap the machine is no longer booting. Even the LEDs are failing to light when the power switch is pressed.

I’ve reimaged the SD card with a clean Fedora38 image from the link provided by Crowdsupply and still no LEDs upon power on. Any ideas on what might have gone wrong?

It’s not clear to me all of the pieces that get involved in booting Linux.

2 Likes

It’s not clear what happened. I removed the power supply from the case, snugged up the power connector and replaced it in the case. The machine booted once again. It’s not clear that anything I did intentionally fixed this, perhaps I have a flakey power harness on the supply, and flexing things around corrected my issue. Back up and running again and hoping this doesn’t reoccur with any great frequency.

1 Like

That’s interesting, I’ve been having similar issues after the first few days too. I doubt the issue is with your power supply or connector. What I have found is, I need to unplug the AC power from the power supply, wait for all the LEDs on the motherboard to go out, and leave the AC unplugged for at least another 30 seconds. When I plug it back in, the board powers on automatically and boots.

I have seen some interesting output on the debug (risc-v) serial port during a failed boot. I am working on capturing that along with the mcu serial port output at the same time. Maybe I can figure out what’s going on.

I ordered just the motherboard (no case). I have not been able to find any pinout diagrams for the headers. Would you be so kind as to let me know where the power switch is connected? (2 pin header). Also, are there connections for things like a reset switch, power LED, etc? Thanks!

1 Like

They seem to be not fully compliant to the ATX power specs. This is (unfortunately) quite common for embedded boards.

1 Like

Here is the front panel connections I found via trial and error:

MILK-V_PIONEER_V1.3

CPU Fan

Case Fan

Front panel connector

x 9
8 7
6 5
4 3
2 1

Power switch: 8 - 6
Reset switch: 7 - 5 (hold to reset)
Power LED: 4 (-) - 2 (+)

I did not try the HDD LED yet, as I don’t get my board to boot at all - probably due to incompatible memory, other memory on its way ^^

3 Likes

It follows the pinout that Intel (or whoever) pushed through a few years ago and is common now on a bunch of boards.

2 Likes

So, similar issue, trouble booting up reliably after several days of use.

What I have found is this: If I remove the SD card, it will start booting every time via SPI Flash (boot doesn’t seem to continue successfully to NVMe, but that’s a separate, unimportant issue). With the SD card inserted, 80% of the time, boot never starts; the output from the risc-v serial debug port is completely blank.

When the SD card is inserted, it will boot maybe 10% of the time. Another 20% of the time I will get a SD interface timeout message on risc-v serial debug port and boot halts. The other 80% of the time the boot never starts and the output from the risc-v serial debug port is completely blank.

I would suspect the SD card, but I have formatted and refreshed it several times, and it works just fine in other machines. It’s a genuine Samsung 32 GB Class 10 SDHC as far as I can tell. Strange how it seemed to work reliably in the beginning but this problem is getting worse over time.

1 Like

I had to take an unplanned trip out of town, so I’m away from my machine. One of the pictures of the motherboard in the manual shows the connection of the power button to the motherboard. You’ll probably need to download the image from the PDF and magnify the picture to see how it is connected. Sorry I can’t be of more help. That is one of the things I double checked myself while my machine was in a non-booting state.

1 Like

I have shelved SD card boot woes for the time being, and switched over to boot from onboard SPI flash, which seems to work 100% reliably on my v1.3 board. I was able to create a boot partition at the end of my nVME, copy the /boot files there, and edit an appropriate extlinux.conf. openSBI sees it and will boot from it automatically with no SD card installed.

The presence of the SD card seems to be the culprit (for me) preventing the boot process from even starting 80% of the time. If I do install an SD card, and am lucky enough for the board to actually boot, it will preferentially use the extlinux.conf from there, which is nice.

3 Likes