DHCOM How to use the Update Mechanism

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This guide describes how to properly update the built-in flash or eMMC memory on DHCOM devices with a provided update zip file.

Required hard- and software

  • DHCOM Update files mostly provided as zip file (If you don't have the needed update files, please ask DH electronics)
  • Windows / Linux computer or virtual machine with a administrative account
  • Empty USB stick with at least 1 GB capacity
  • DHCOM i.MX6 / i.MX25 / AM335x / AM35xx
  • Baseboard with USB port like PDK2 / picoITX2 / DRC02

Prepare a USB stick for the Update Mechanism

The bootloader update mechanism expects a single FAT32 partition on a removable storage device such as a USB stick or SD card.

Make the removable device available in your system by connecting it to your computer. If you work with a virtual machine, then connect the newly connected device to your virtual machine.

Linux

This step by step guide has been developed and tested with the Virtual Machine for Application Development from DH electronics and should also work with gparted on other linux distros.

Open GParted and select device

  • Open the disk utility GParted.
Note: You will be asked for your user password to gain super user right through sudo.
  • Choose your device in the drop down menu right at the top of the user interface.
Gparted select device.JPG
Warning: Be sure that you have selected the correct device for the following steps.

Check current partition table and partition format

  • Verify that you already have a DOS partition table and that the first partition is formatted as FAT32 by selecting Device Information in the View menu
Gparted show device info.JPG

Create DOS partition table

Warning: The following steps will cause data loss on the selected device!

  • Create a empty dos partition table with Create Partition Table in the Device menu and ensure you select msdos as type.
Gparted create partition table.JPG

Create FAT32 formatted partition

Warning: The following steps will cause data loss on the selected device!

  • Remove any existing partition by selecting them and choosing Delete in Partition menu.
  • Create a FAT32 formatted partition with New in the Partition menu and ensure you select File system: fat32.
Gparted create partition.JPG
  • Apply all operations to write changes to disk.
Gparted apply operations.JPG

Windows

This step by step guide has been developed and tested with Windows 10 Professional Version 1809 and should also work with Windows 7/8 and similar.

Open Disk Management

  • Press the Windows button, type compmgmt.msc and start the Microsoft Service Console as administrator by Run as administrator in the right-click menu.
Windows launch computer management.JPG
  • In the tree view on the left side of the window, select Disk Management in the section Storage.
Windows disk mgmt.JPG

Check current partition table and partition format

  • Open the dialog Properties with a right-click on the device.
Windows disk mgmt check properties.JPG
  • Check for Partition style: Master Boot Record (MBR) in the Volumes tab.
Windows disk mgmt check partition type.JPG
If you don´t see Partition style: Master Boot Record (MBR) follow Convert to MBR using a command line and continue with #Create FAT32 partition afterwards.
  • Check for File system: FAT32 in the General tab of the Properties windows of the Volume.
Windows disk mgmt partition properties.JPG
Windows disk mgmt check format type.JPG
If you don´t see File system: FAT32 continue at #Remove existing partitions.

Remove existing partitions

Warning: The following steps will cause data loss on the selected device!

  • Select Delete Volume in the right-click menu to delete the existing partition on the device.
Windows disk mgmt delete partition.JPG

Create FAT32 partition

Warning: The following steps will cause data loss on the selected device!

  • Create a new partition with New Simple Partition in the right-click menu of the unallocated space.
Windows disk mgmt new partition.JPG
  • Use all defaults in the wizard, except in the Format Partition step, choose File system: FAT32.
Windows disk mgmt fat32 partition.JPG

Place Update Files on the USB stick

Linux

  • Open the Extract to dialog by right-clicking on the downloaded update zip file.
How to update mechanism-linux extract files 1.JPG
  • Select the the prepared USB flash drive as the destination.
How to update mechanism-linux extract files 2.JPG
  • Make sure that the update files are located in the root directory of your prepared USB stick.
How to update mechanism-linux extract files 3.JPG

Windows

  • Open the Extract All dialog by right-clicking on the downloaded update zip file.
How to update mechanism-windows extract files 1.JPG
  • Select the root directory of the prepared USB flash drive as the destination.
How to update mechanism-windows extract files 2.JPG
  • Make sure that the update files are located in the root directory of your prepared USB stick.
How to update mechanism-windows extract files 3.JPG

Update target system

  1. Insert the prepared USB stick into a USB port of the baseboard
  2. Switch on or restart the device to start the update from USB stick automatically from the bootloader
    Note: If the update doesn´t start automatically, execute update auto from the bootloader shell
  3. Wait until the update has been applied successfully

If the update was started successfully, the serial console output should look like:

U-Boot 2015.10 (Jun 27 2017 - 10:01:06 +0200)

DH version 1.1.0.6

CPU:   Freescale i.MX6SOLO rev1.1 at 792 MHz
Reset cause: POR
Board: DHCOM i.MX6
DRAM:  512 MiB
I2C:   ready
MMC:   FSL_SDHC: 0, FSL_SDHC: 1, FSL_SDHC: 2
Load DH settings...
44 bytes read in 81 ms (0 Bytes/s)
Info: Can't load DH settings file from eeprom
1152054 bytes read in 240 ms (4.6 MiB/s)
Unable to allocate framebuffer memory
In:    serial
Out:   serial
Err:   serial
Net:   FEC [PRIME]
Press DEL to abort autoboot in 0 seconds

--> Update INFO: No MMC/SD - Card detected!
--> Update: Try to initialize USB Stick on Host Port:starting USB...
USB0:   Port not available.
USB1:   USB EHCI 1.00
scanning bus 1 for devices... 3 USB Device(s) found
       scanning usb for storage devices... 1 Storage Device(s) found
       scanning usb for ethernet devices... 0 Ethernet Device(s) found
reading DHupdate.ini
180 bytes read in 18 ms (9.8 KiB/s)

--> Update: found DHupdate.ini (180 bytes)

==> Update: Start to Load Update Kernel
reading zImage_imx6s-dhcom4.update
8975788 bytes read in 288 ms (29.7 MiB/s)
Kernel image @ 0x12000000 [ 0x000000 - 0x886b50 ]

Starting kernel ...
...

If the update was successful, the output should look like:

...
==> Update executed successful ...
==> It is safe to turn off the system!!
~ #

Troubleshooting

TODO: Add common errors and mistakes