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1  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Adventures in Sheevaplug modding (eSATA) on: March 10, 2011, 08:25:20 PM
I modified my v1.3 Sheevaplug as shown on Mark's blog (http://mark.ossdl.de/2010/04/howto-extend-the-sheevaplug-by-esata/), and all seemed to go well. I ended up omitting the .1uF caps on the power filter to the eSATA logic in the SoC. Mark seemed to indicate this would be ok.

uBoot 3.4.27 from the KuroPlug (off Mark's blog above) recognizes that I have power to the eSATA logic. To avoid compiling a custom kernel (just for convenience), I set arcNumber to 2678, that of the eSATA Sheevaplug reference board.

A directly-connected SATA drive (using a eSATA->SATA cord and a wall wart feeding 5V to a SATA power connector) works great. uBoot recognizes the drive, and Debian mounts it. hdparm shows about 80MB/s to a 5400 RPM laptop drive, which is pretty awesome.

However, no external enclosure I've tried is recognized by either uBoot or Debian. I've tried the following:

- A cheap Chinese external 2.5" eSATA enclosure. Doesn't respond to SRST commands. Other folks have said they've run into problems here also.
- A Thermaltake dock that takes a combination of 2.5" and 3.5" drives (2 slots). uBoot and Debian both fail reading PMP registers.
- A 4-bay external eSATA enclosure, takes only 3.5" drives (I forget the brand name). Same symptoms as above.

Since both uBoot and Debian fail on port multiplier stuff, I'm leaning toward a hardware issue, like I've screwed up the hardware mod.

My theories:
- Hardware issue. Both uBoot and Debian fail, but a bare drive works great.
- uBoot issue. No "official" eSATA Sheevaplug image, but others have shown uBoot recognizing their port multipliers just fine. Maybe
- Maybe setting arcNumber to 2678 is a no-no. It seems a little weird that there would be two different arcNumbers for the same hardware, give or take a few capacitors.

If interested, I'll harvest a console dump or uBoot output, but it's late, and I'm not in a position to get that stuff at the moment.

Thanks for any help!
2  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / U-Boot stuff / Re: U-Boot can't read USB HDD partition table on: January 05, 2010, 01:34:04 PM
Thanks all for the responses.

U-Boot changed somewhere between 3.4.19 and 3.4.27 to wait
for USB harddrives to settle down before attempting to scan
the partition table. That added delay was enough to cause
my drive to spin down such that no combination of bootcmd resets or
quick plug-ins that I tried allowed the correct detection of the
partition map.

So I downgraded to 3.4.19, and I'm now able to boot off the
drive by plugging it in just before I reset the sheevaplug.

Thanks again for all the help! Sure would be nice to have this quirk fixed.
3  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / U-Boot stuff / U-Boot can't read USB HDD partition table on: January 05, 2010, 09:01:01 AM
I just got my new SheevaPlug, and I'm trying my darndest to get the thing booting off
my new WD Passport 500GB HDD (USB powered).

I can boot out of NAND, partition and format the drive, copy over the kernel and rootfs,
but U-Boot can't read the partition table (it seems).

The fact that I can read and write to the disk when booting from NAND
leads me to believe that it's not a power issue.

Note that, in an attempt to solve this problem, I upgraded U-Boot, but the problem
also existed in the stock version.

I saw one one-post thread with a very similar problem. Anyone ever seen this or
solved a similar problem?

Thanks in advance!

Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x80c3ee49

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1          16      128519+  83  Linux
/dev/sda2              17       60737   487741432+  83  Linux
/dev/sda3           60738       60801      514080   82  Linux swap / Solaris

Here's some console output:

Marvell>> version

U-Boot 1.1.4 (Dec 23 2009 - 13:32:43) Marvell version: 3.4.27
Marvell>> usb start
(Re)start USB...
USB:   scanning bus for devices... 2 USB Device(s) found
Waiting for storage device(s) to settle before scanning...
T 1 Storage Device(s) found
Marvell>> usb storage
  Device 0: Vendor: WD       Prod.: 5000BEV External Rev: 1.75
            Type: Hard Disk
            Capacity: 476940.0 MB = 465.7 GB (976773168 x 512)
Marvell>> usb part
print_part of 0
## Unknown partition table

print_part of 1
## Unknown partition table

print_part of 2
## Unknown partition table

print_part of 3
## Unknown partition table

print_part of 4
## Unknown partition table
Marvell>> ext2ls usb 0:1
** Bad partition - usb 0:1 **

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