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  1. #1
    Senior Member mortslim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    469

    How to "unbrick" a SheevaPlug

    Before I tell you how to "unbrick" a SheevaPlug, first I'll explain how I "bricked" it:

    I flashed another U-Boot version to the SheevaPlug from here:
    http://www.cyrius.com/debian/kirkwoo...t-upgrade.html

    But that webpage's U-Boot doesn't work with my SheevaPlug from GlobalScale Technologies. Apparently, the U-Boot version that you can use must be compatible with not only where you bought your SheevaPlug but also WHEN you bought it. I add "when" because several webpages about the GlobalScale SheevaPlug mention that it has Ubuntu as its OS. However mine had Debian as its OS instead. (But the U-Boot was the older 3.4.16). So you can't assume that one U-Boot works on all SheevaPlugs (they don't).

    So what happened when I flashed the U-Boot from the above-mentioned webpage? Instead of two lights on my SheevaPlug, I only had one solid green light. The other light was off. I started searching on the internet and came upon comments that when a light is off it means the SheevaPlug power supply is fried ! I didn't want to believe this. Also, the putty terminal screen was blank, even after I hit enter several times. So I searched some more. I also did a little troubleshooting.

    This is what convinced me that there was nothing wrong hardware-wise with my SheevaPlug: My Windows Device Manager found the plug when I connected it via a usb cable. And putty didn't give me a popup error message. And ESIA saw a MAC address.

    So I searched some more and found this webpage:

    http://mikelev.in/2010/09/unbrick-sheevaplug/

    That webpage has a long article with one sentence buried in it with the soluiton: "First try to use ESIA to reflash the U-Boot, but when it doesn’t complete, but if you just let it sit for like 5 minutes, you can quit out of ESIA and go back into PuTTY, connect, and hit Enter on your keyboard… and voila! There you have it, the unbricked SheevaPlug."

    That advice might sound like hopping up and down on one leg while patting your head with your hand, i.e. kind of superstitious, but it does work. Oh, you don't even have to wait 5 minutes as suggested above. Just use ESIA to attempt a flash (without even a U-Boot file to point to), and after 5% effort the ESIA will say it didn't work. Then quit ESIA, go back to Putty, connect, hit enter on the terminal and you will get a Marvell U-Boot prompt. And both lights are now on again. So you have unbricked your SheevaPlug and can now try a different U-Boot file.

    This was certainly a relief to find this advice. I was previously told by GlobalScale that if I attempted to change the stock U-Boot I would void my warranty. However the advice on the Logitech webpage says that in order to install the squeezebox server, you need to update your U-Boot. So now that I know how to recover from a bad U-Boot flash, it was easy to keep trying till I found a U-Boot file that works (as I posted on anther thread in this forum).
    Last edited by mortslim; 2012-09-07 at 11:41.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2

    did you find any new u-boot that good for the new device

    I had the same issue as you and after using ESIA, got bad magic number error. Did you have that experience?Also, did you find any new way to upgrade the u-boot?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    352
    with a running uboot its the default to tftp the image, nand erase and flash it. Without a running uboot (bad flash) you would need to flash via jtag.

    uboot contains the platform dependent hardware initialization information (flattened device tree, ftd, blob). So nearly every device has its own version of uboot.
    sent from a computer using a keyboard

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2
    I think esia is using jtag to flash my uboot

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