Is My Board Booting?

Hardware related problems and workarounds

Is My Board Booting?

Postby gceline » Mon May 05, 2014 7:29 pm

Assuming the rest of the troubleshooting guide has been reviewed, some people are still unable to identify if the board is indeed booting if the HDMI does not wake up the monitor.
This will help diagnose that.

The boot process is as follows
a) The board boots the Zynq uboot and searches for the FPGA image file on the SD card.
b) If it finds the parallella.bit.bin file on the BOOT partition of the SD card, then it continues with the boot and loads the uImage and devicetree files and then boots up the Ubuntu operating system on the /rootfs partition of the SD card.
c) Once the operating system begins to load, the drivers for the peripherals (Ethernet, HDMI, and USB) will load.

To find out if the board is booting, use a serial cable or try these steps below.
1) If the Image on the SD card is not good, then the board will not load the OS and the Ethernet, HDMI and USB will not operate (USB may get power, but this is not an indication of operation)
2) If the Ethernet is working, then it will activate DHCP and look for an IP Address – this is a good sign that the board has passed the boot phase and has started to load the OS.
3) Check your router’s DHCP allocation tables or use an IP Scanning tool to see if the board has an IP address.
Example of an IP Scanning tool:
What it looks like when Parallella has not yet booted
p1.png (80.7 KiB) Viewed 20098 times

What it looks like when Parallella has booted
p2.png (74.3 KiB) Viewed 20098 times

If you are on a large network with many users, the Parallela can be identified by the MAC address which starts with 04:4F:8B:xx:xx:xx and is printed on the label on the board.

Now you have the IP address of the board, you should be able to ping the Parallella board at this address
Using a terminal emulation software like putty.exe or from a linux terminal you can also remotely access the board using SSH
p3.png (59.2 KiB) Viewed 20098 times

Login using the username: linaro and password: linaro
p4.png (50.51 KiB) Viewed 20098 times

If you get to this point, your system is working fine – you may have a cable or resolution issue with your HDMI or some other problem. Go to the forums for more help.

If you cannot ping or SSH into the board, it is probably not booting and the problem may be your SD card. Try re-imaging your SD card.
You can use a serial cable to access the board and see the boot messages and try and identify the problem. Instructions are available on the forums.
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Re: Is My Board Booting?

Postby Gravis » Wed May 14, 2014 3:47 pm

If you can login, it absolutely is booting. Chances are that the HDMI is also functioning fine. Ensure you are selecting the correct input on your monitor for the hdmi. if you suspect the cable or if it's not new, buy a new one on amazon for a few bucks. I also suggest getting a serial monitoring cable so that you can see everything that happens during boot. I wrote up everything you need to know about it HERE.
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Re: Is My Board Booting?

Postby pilloutche » Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:00 pm


How long does the parallella board takes to boot after powering up the board ?
Howmany times to wait before vewing something on screen ?

Thank you for this tutorial.
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Re: Is My Board Booting?

Postby FoxT » Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:57 pm

I always wait until the network port starts blinking orange. Then it's booted up and I can ssh into it without any problems.

@pilloutche From turning on power to establishing a connection over ssh it takes about 25secs for me. Not too bad a time, I think.
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Re: Is My Board Booting?

Postby zmc » Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:48 pm

I have been messing around with the FPGA bitstreams and when I first booted the board I had some power issues and it didn't boot reliably. I edited the /etc/rc.local script to include 2 lines that run e-toggle-led on, then off. rc.local runs pretty much last in the boot, and e-toggle-led uses the epiphany chip. So if I get a red-led blink I know the board booted fine. If it takes more than about 30 secconds, I know something is up.
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Re: Is My Board Booting?

Postby dsouth » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:26 pm

This has been posted in other conversations, but I think it should be repeated here. The Parallella writes useful information into the log files in /var/log as it boots, where you can often find the errors that are preventing the board from booting or USB peripherals from working.

Useful files in /var/log include boot.log, dmesg, and syslog
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