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White Screen of Failure - Printable Version

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White Screen of Failure - Jackalhunter - 06-24-2018

I recently put my CM3 build together and have been unable to get past that infamous white screen issue. I'll hold down the switch (for around 5 seconds) till I get the green light but the white screen never changes. When I attempt to shut down by holding the switch again there is no change on the screen no matter how long the switch is held. I can only power down by removing the power source. I've got through just about all of the troubleshooting tips including:

-Using an older image
-Multiple different programs to flash the image
-2 different micro SD cards
-Using only battery power, using only micro USB power
-Double (and triple) checked the ribbon cable is seated, as well as the CM3

When I connect to a monitor using the HDMI output I get an error  [1.4405131 ---[end Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block (179,2)]

This is my first time using a raspberry pi and it's got me stuck at this point.

RE: White Screen of Failure - Flavor - 06-24-2018

I think the HDMI is going to be your key to the troubleshooting here. It seems like your SD card isn’t booting up at all.

What image file are you using? It’s the Freeplay CM3 image, right?

Make sure that the computer module itself is fully seated in to the Freeplay CM3. It should’ve come that way, but it could become dislodged, I guess.

It seems like there’s a problem with the SD card. My suggestion is to start with a brand new image onto the SD card. Plug in HDMI, and watch what comes out on that screen when you boot up for the very first time. It should re-size file system and then shut down the machine. After that you should be able to boot normally. Let me know what it looks like when you do that. You could even take a video of your monitor or TV or whatever.

RE: White Screen of Failure - Jackalhunter - 06-24-2018

I've tried a couple of different images, all of them straight from the Freeplay Google Drive. CM3-18062101 was the last one I attempted. Each time I try again I format the SD card with SDFormatter V4.0 and try flashing again with Etcher or Win32DiskImager. The CM3 is seated well, I've taking it out to inspect it multiple times. When I put it back it clicks in perfectly with none of the contacts visible. Both of the SD cards I've used before in other devices so I'll probably go out and buy a brand new one tomorrow just as a last ditch effort.

I think my biggest problem is that I have no clue to do with the information displayed when I use the HDMI out. Is there a specific script I need to modify or do I just keep getting bad .img files?

RE: White Screen of Failure - Jackalhunter - 06-25-2018

I just used a brand new 16 gb micro SD card, redownloaded the image on a different computer, used a totally different adapter to read/write on the micro SD card, and I still came up with the same issue when trying to boot for the first time. It always ends with the same failure:
end Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block (179,2). The only reason I can even see this failure is by using the HDMI output.

All of the blog posts I've found dealing with the issue are using different cmdline.txt command files when viewed on a PC. Most recommend changing a script while booting the pi, however I'm not even getting any power to the USB port to use a keyboard to get to the config. Most of the posts where someone gets past the error aren't from any real changes to their process and appear to be almost random.

Could there be something wrong with the source file? I'm losing my mind on this one!

RE: White Screen of Failure - Flavor - 06-26-2018

Hey Jackalhunter!

I'm sorry that I was unresponsive over the weekend. I was camping with very poor reception.

We talked this over, and it seems like you've really tested the permutations here. I will try to do a couple things here to reproduce your error, but I'm guessing that I won't be able to. We test each unit before we ship them out, but I just wonder if yours was damaged somehow. It seems like the compute module itself (or maybe the connection from it to the SD card) is malfunctioning. Both of those scenarios are pretty unlikely, but we do see some weird things sometimes.

Could you post some photos of the unit? Maybe show the Pi, the SD card, and the HDMI output. Also, could you go to and open a support ticket there. I'm sure that we can get this fixed, but we just need to track down what to fix.