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White LCD.. I've tried everything!
#1
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Hi there! I am able to boot up to RetroPie using the image that was provided on Google Drive, but I am getting the white LCD issue where it works through HDMI and the buttons are all fully functional, but I'm getting just a blank white screen on the LCD. I've tried a zero that I soldered (poorly), the solderless pins on another zero and also a pre-soldered zero. (I have quite a few zeros at my apartment) I have tried 2 of the LCDs from the website and neither will work when I seat them. I am left thinking that there's got to be something wrong with the Freeplay circuit board itself, but I don't want to blame them.. I've tried inserting it into the brightness controller and without the brightness controller, as pictured. Here's a picture of the connection: 
[Image: nksQADk_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium]
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#2
Hey Lauraadams97!

I hadn't heard of this problem before, but now there is one other person that also has this white screen problem. Since we are on the forum, and other people may come along here, I will be a bit more explicit about this issue.

For anyone that has a "white screen" problem, the first thing to do is head over to http://freeplaytech.com/troubleshooting and read that information carefully. The white screen means that the proper data is not getting from the Raspberry Pi to the LCD. There are many reasons that this may happen, but the #1 reason is that the machine isn't booting up.

Now, Lauraadams97's problem is a bit different, because it is booting up and working fine via HDMI. Then, I might also suspect the brightness controller, because it is in-line with all the LCD data. Lauraadams97 was also on top of that and tried it without the brightness controller without any difference.

With the Freeplay Zero, the solder on the Pi Zero itself can DEFINITELY cause a white screen problem. It sounds like that is not likely the problem here, because multiple Pi Zeros were tested.

Then I might suspect the Freeplay Zero circuit board, but there are some reasons that I'm not jumping to that conclusion just yet. The one other person experiencing this problem is using a Freeplay CM3. Of course, this doesn't mean it's not a problem that both of them have, but these boards have been in production for long enough that this problem would have been seen before, I think.

One thing that has changed recently is the RetroPie software itself. I haven't yet been able to put an exact finger on it yet, but there are things in RetroPie 4.4 that have changed the boot process. We have seen other issues with the LCD driver bootup and with it running file system checks at bootup.

This makes me wonder if there is some odd combination of factors that lead to this white screen situation in certain cases using RetroPie 4.4 (which is on the latest Freeplay SD images).

My suggestion (for a next step) would be to try the "18032101" SD image, which is the last image before upgrading to RetroPie 4.4. You could even try older images, if you'd like. The archive of Freeplay SD images can be found at https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folde...sdtn2R9xJQ

The other thing that would be VERY interesting to try before that would be to try to hook the machine up to a network and then boot it. If you had a wired ethernet USB dongle, that would be perfect. Otherwise, if you had WiFi, it would be awesome to try to connect to the WiFi network (using HDMI, I guess) and then shutdown/restart the machine. See if that helps. I mention this, because the problem with filesystem checks in 4.4 seems related to it not being able to get the date/time from the internet.

Please post back here with any results. Thanks!
Card Fighters' Clash 2 English Translation ( http://cfc2english.blogspot.com/ )
Neo Geo Pocket Flash Cart and Linker Project ( http://www.flashmasta.com/ )
Avatar art thanks to Trev-Mun ( http://trevmun.deviantart.com/ )
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#3
(07-27-2018, 12:15 AM)Flavor Wrote: Hey Lauraadams97!

I hadn't heard of this problem before, but now there is one other person that also has this white screen problem.  Since we are on the forum, and other people may come along here, I will be a bit more explicit about this issue.

For anyone that has a "white screen" problem, the first thing to do is head over to http://freeplaytech.com/troubleshooting and read that information carefully.  The white screen means that the proper data is not getting from the Raspberry Pi to the LCD.  There are many reasons that this may happen, but the #1 reason is that the machine isn't booting up.

Now, Lauraadams97's problem is a bit different, because it is booting up and working fine via HDMI.  Then, I might also suspect the brightness controller, because it is in-line with all the LCD data.  Lauraadams97 was also on top of that and tried it without the brightness controller without any difference.

With the Freeplay Zero, the solder on the Pi Zero itself can DEFINITELY cause a white screen problem.  It sounds like that is not likely the problem here, because multiple Pi Zeros were tested.

Then I might suspect the Freeplay Zero circuit board, but there are some reasons that I'm not jumping to that conclusion just yet.  The one other person experiencing this problem is using a Freeplay CM3.  Of course, this doesn't mean it's not a problem that both of them have, but these boards have been in production for long enough that this problem would have been seen before, I think.

One thing that has changed recently is the RetroPie software itself.  I haven't yet been able to put an exact finger on it yet, but there are things in RetroPie 4.4 that have changed the boot process.  We have seen other issues with the LCD driver bootup and with it running file system checks at bootup.

This makes me wonder if there is some odd combination of factors that lead to this white screen situation in certain cases using RetroPie 4.4 (which is on the latest Freeplay SD images).

My suggestion (for a next step) would be to try the "18032101" SD image, which is the last image before upgrading to RetroPie 4.4.  You could even try older images, if you'd like.  The archive of Freeplay SD images can be found at https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folde...sdtn2R9xJQ

The other thing that would be VERY interesting to try before that would be to try to hook the machine up to a network and then boot it.  If you had a wired ethernet USB dongle, that would be perfect.  Otherwise, if you had WiFi, it would be awesome to try to connect to the WiFi network (using HDMI, I guess) and then shutdown/restart the machine.  See if that helps.  I mention this, because the problem with filesystem checks in 4.4 seems related to it not being able to get the date/time from the internet.

Please post back here with any results.  Thanks!

Thank you SO SO SO much for understanding that I tried everything I could think of! I was able to get it working with the "18032101" image Big Grin You're the best!!
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#4
(07-27-2018, 06:02 PM)Lauraadams97 Wrote: Thank you SO SO SO much for understanding that I tried everything I could think of! I was able to get it working with the "18032101" image Big Grin You're the best!!

Thanks for the update, Lauraadams97!
This is both good and troubling news.
It's great that we now know that this has worked to solve your (and at least one other person's) problem.
It's troubling to know that some people exhibit random problems like this with the latest SD image, and we will definitely need to do some work to figure out the root cause of the issue (which may be rather difficult to track down).
Card Fighters' Clash 2 English Translation ( http://cfc2english.blogspot.com/ )
Neo Geo Pocket Flash Cart and Linker Project ( http://www.flashmasta.com/ )
Avatar art thanks to Trev-Mun ( http://trevmun.deviantart.com/ )
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#5
I made an account to add onto this and say that I had the exact same issue, except with the CM3. The LCD is the one with the backlight controller preinstalled. With the 4.4 image, HDMI and buttons work perfectly, but the screen is white. Switching back to 4.3/the 18032101 image fixed the problem.

Correction: it worked when I was testing it outside of the case, but as soon as I put it back together again I had the same problem. At this point I'm not sure what's wrong or how to fix it.
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#6
(07-30-2018, 01:19 AM)falchionpunch Wrote: I made an account to add onto this and say that I had the exact same issue, except with the CM3. The LCD is the one with the backlight controller preinstalled. With the 4.4 image, HDMI and buttons work perfectly, but the screen is white. Switching back to 4.3/the 18032101 image fixed the problem.

Correction: it worked when I was testing it outside of the case, but as soon as I put it back together again I had the same problem. At this point I'm not sure what's wrong or how to fix it.

I also just ran into this issue.  I have a board with the backlight controller and get the white screen on LCD, with perfect picture through HDMI.  I found bypassing the backlight controller fixes the problem.  Any better solutions to this yet?
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#7
(07-30-2018, 04:04 AM)jazzylean Wrote: I also just ran into this issue.  I have a board with the backlight controller and get the white screen on LCD, with perfect picture through HDMI.  I found bypassing the backlight controller fixes the problem.  Any better solutions to this yet?

Hey jazzylean!  I don't think your issue is the same.  If you only get a white screen using the backlight brightness controller (and it works fine without it), then there is likely a hardware problem with the brightness controller.  Could you please open a SUPPORT inquiry at https://www.freeplaytech.com/contact/ for that?
Card Fighters' Clash 2 English Translation ( http://cfc2english.blogspot.com/ )
Neo Geo Pocket Flash Cart and Linker Project ( http://www.flashmasta.com/ )
Avatar art thanks to Trev-Mun ( http://trevmun.deviantart.com/ )
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