CHIP cannot boot
Some of our backers have reported that their C.H.I.Ps do not boot or cannot be rebooted reliably. We are taking these reports very seriously and have identified the issue.
These C.H.I.P.s cannot boot due to data corruption in the U-Boot partition on C.H.I.P’s NAND flash storage. It’s important to note that there is no physical damage. Basically this means this booting/rebooting problem can be fixed permanently by rewriting the U-Boot partition.
This can be achieved by reflashing the C.H.I.P entirely (see http://docs.getchip.com/chip.html#flash-chip-firmware). Make sure to pull latest version of the CHIP-tools from github.
NOTE: Flashing our Debian-GUI image is only proven possible on a native Linux computer (sorry, we’re working on this as well).
We have repaired many units using this fix and stress tested them by continually rebooting them over several days.
Flashing the GUI from Mac OS or Windows is not currently supported as C.H.I.P is not recognized as a fast boot device by these operating systems.
We are working on a user-friendly NAND repair tool that runs on Linux, Windows and Mac OS so all users can easily recover their C.H.I.P. We are aiming to have this completed and available this time next week.
This software solution has also been implemented in our factory flashing process, so future C.H.I.Ps produced will not have this issue.
There are reports about C.H.I.Ps that suddenly stop working and shut off.
We tried to reproduce this at NTC HQ and have succeeded in the following ways:
- Operating C.H.I.P on a weak USB power supply (less than 1000mA) and run a task that requires very high CPU power.
- Operating C.H.I.P with a 2A power supply and plug in a gaming keyboard with a lot of LEDs.
- Plugging a keyboard, a mouse and USB thumb drive into C.H.I.P using an unpowered USB-hub.
- Putting C.H.I.P in a reflow oven and increase the temperature up to roughly 80 degree Celsisus (~180 Fahrenheit).
Based on our testing, cases 1-3 are not related to temperature but operating C.H.I.P outside of its specified power capabilities. Concerning case 4, C.H.I.P was working reliably even outside of its recommended environmental temperature, up to 75.5 °C.
Some users have report it is necessary to led C.H.I.P cool down to be able to reboot it after
a shutdown. This can be explained with the temperature dependency of bitflips in the NAND and will no longer be necessary once C.H.I.P has been repaired using the solution described above.
DO NOT PUT YOUR C.H.I.P INTO THE FRIDGE OR FREEZER.
We apologize to the users who received a C.H.I.P that cannot boot reliably and recommend reflashing using the latest CHIP-tools. We understand this is a complicated progress and are working on a more user-friendly solution.
If you cannot get your C.H.I.P recovered by reflashing, please contact our customer support at email@example.com and we’ll make sure to get you a working C.H.I.P.
So far we cannot confirm any overheating problem with C.H.I.P, but we keep looking into this.