[Gta04-owner] Rebuilding SD card filesystems

Neil Jerram neil at ossau.homelinux.net
Fri Feb 10 23:53:31 CET 2012

I had an interesting problem this evening, which may be worth sharing.

In the last few days I've done quite a bit of work on my phone,
including rebooting frequently and with no problem.  But this evening it
wouldn't boot up into my Debian system.  The process got stuck with the
red LED on and a yellow screen.  I believe that means that u-boot was
running, and that the normal next steps would be (1) loading and
displaying the penguin splash image, and (2) loading the Linux kernel.
But apparently the splash image couldn't be loaded, or displayed.

I had another SD card with QtMoko on, and that stil booted fine - so not
a hardware or battery problem.

I solved the problem by using my laptop to copy everything off the
Debian SD card, then remaking the two filesystems (mkfs.vfat and
mkfs.ext3), and then copying everything back onto the SD card again
(with special care to copy MLO first onto the vfat partition).  Then it
booted up correctly again, exactly as before.

I guess this points to some form of corruption within the SD card (such
as a bad block, if those are possible in SD), which happens to be
cleared by the process above.

For the record, this SD card is a Transcend 2Gb; I've understood
recently that SD cards can vary a lot in how reliable they are, so it
could well be the SD card at fault here, rather than the GTA04.

Anyway, if you ever see a similar symptom to mine, you may also want to
try a similar process to recover from that.


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