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[ SOLVED ] Installer Not Recognizing eMMC Storage

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Installer Not Recognizing eMMC Storage
« on: November 09, 2020, 07:59:29 AM »
 

a_necronaut

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Hello,

I've got an Acer Cloodbook 14 (A01-431-C8G8) that I've used to run several Linux distros over the years - Peppermint, Solus, Xubuntu, Lubuntu - and haven't run into this issue before, but I've never made this mistake before either.

Before burning the latest LL 5.2 distro to my flash drive using Startup Disk Creator, I was going to put Peppermint on it again via Unetbootin. The issue, however, is that I made the mistake of writing the ISO to mmcblk0p1 - the boot sector. Perhaps that's what's affecting the bigger problem. After the fact, there were some other steps, but ultimately I ended up with LL 5.2 on my flash drive, written using Startup Disk Creator, as mentioned before.

Trying to install LL 5.2 has had its own issues. I have tried several paths and will try to detail them as well as possible below.

1 - UEFI Enabled, SecureBoot Disabled

a) Normal install process triggers an ACPI BIOS Error and dumps to initramfs. This also happens when trying LL. The installation software never boots under this option.

Note: When dumped to BusyBox/initramfs, running the command "cat /proc/partitions" show the eMMC drive as mmcblk0, ~0p1, ~0p2, so the drive is operational. It also shows in the BIOS.

b) Edited GRUB install command with e to add various combinations of: noapic, nolapic, acpi=off. Using any one of these is enough to bypass the ACPI issue in a). The install software runs a MD5SUM check and then proceeds. Upon arriving at the step to install the boot sector, the only option given is /dev/sda, which is the flash drive. Any option other than exit crashes the installation, though crash or exit both eventually allow the "try" version of LL to boot, which can't occur normally.

Note: While in Try LL, none of Disks, GParted, or various Terminal commands show any signs of the existence of mmblkX. With the exception of nolapic, which disables the touchpad, everything seems to work.

c) Compatibility mode gets further than a) but hangs on an audio codec issue. Compatibility mode with arguments hangs at an ISO issue.

I've also tried UEFI Enabled+SecureBoot Enabled, Legacy Mode instead of UEFI, various Legacy Mode options, with and without arguments, all of which fall completely. Only b) above results in the installation software actually running.

Any idea why the system recognizes the eMMC storage drive, but LL does not? Is there a way to force a resume in a)?

A couple of things of note - I cannot boot into Lubuntu anymore due to the Peppermint snafu, I do not have another computer to test and play with, and I don't (at the moment) have another flash drive to write a known-working OS to (can you write a live USB from a live USB state?).

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 08:15:51 PM by firenice03
 


Re: Installer Not Recognizing eMMC Storage
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2020, 06:28:16 AM »
 

WytWun

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When you say something like GParted doesn't recognise the MMC drive, what exactly do you mean?

My suspicion is that because you've managed to write an ISO image to the drive that all the installers and the higher level parts of OS builds like Gparted are seeing this as a CDROM and so aren't going to let you do anything with it.

If that is the case I suspect that you will have to do some fairly low level surgery such as using dd to write data to the drive to wipe enough of the ISO image to allow other tools to recognise the drive as usable - something like
Code: [Select]
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/mmcblk0 bs=1M count=16
The above should be enough to wipe any space otherwise used by boot blocks and partitioning tables on the drive and avoid the drive appearing as a CDROM. Before trying this however:
  • make sure you understand what that command is doing! (you may have to increase the count to make sure of wiping GPT, so google something like "wipe GPT" as part of your research)
  • use the mount command to see if the OS has automounted the MMC device or any of it's partitions as filesystems and if so umount those filesystems first

I'd be doing this from a shell on Clonezilla or GParted - most GUI tools don't really allow you to do this...  you may find it necessary to reboot your rescue OS after the wipe to get it to look at the MMC drive afresh.

Good luck!
 

Re: Installer Not Recognizing eMMC Storage
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2020, 11:24:08 AM »
 

a_necronaut

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Thank you for the detailed response. When I get some time this evening, I'll try your suggestion and let you know.

Strangely enough, I can now boot into Lubuntu again, though I didn't make any changes to the system from before. I forgot to mention in the OP that attempting to boot without the LL USB would take me to a GRUB screen to install Peppermint OS. Now, however, it's booting into Lubuntu as before.

As for GParted, in the top right corner, you're typically able to select a drive to view and format. Whereas normally I can see the primary drive (eMMC) and any USBs mounted, the only drive showing was /dev/sda, which was the USB drive I was installing from.

Thank you again! I'll let you know how things go this evening.
 

Re: Installer Not Recognizing eMMC Storage
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2020, 06:58:05 PM »
 

a_necronaut

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Turns out I'm guilty of buying a crappy flash drive. New flashdrive, no problems.
 

Re: Installer Not Recognizing eMMC Storage
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2020, 06:27:00 AM »
 

WytWun

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New flashdrive, no problems.
Glad to hear that low level surgery wasn't required!
 


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