Boot issues

I bought two VisionFive 2 SBC and one of them boots nicely with the debian image, but I have not been able to get the other one to boot. I have tried two different SD-cards, both of which works fine with the card that boots. I am using the same power source (100 W USB C).

What else can I do to troubleshoot the card that does not boot?

In the name of troubleshooting, do the two boards have the DIP switches (they’re near the 40-pin header) set the same?

Does the second board show any signs of life at all? Do you get the red light by the USB-C power connector?

I have no answers…just troubleshooting steps.


Do you have usb2uart adapter available?

I think its a must have with SBCs of RPi form factor hardware.

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The advantage of having two boards, as long as both have 3.3 volt TTL GPIO pins - which will be the case if they are the same make and model, is you can use one with 3 wires to connect to the other

                  GND<->GND (pin 6/9/14/20/25/30/39)
UART RX(pin 10 GPIO6)<->UART TX (pin 8 GPIO5)
 UART TX(pin 8 GPIO5)<->UART RX (pin 10 GPIO6)

And then use a program like cu/screen/minicom/ckermit/dterm/picocom/putty/cutecom… for interactive access. Or just tail -f the serial device if you only need the output.


Ah, yeah. Good point. Be careful tho, the pins are weak enough. I had troubles connecting usb2uart and it got destroyed, but I bought a pack of them. Better safe than sorry.

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Thanks, yes dip-switches are the same and I get the red led.

I’ll try this until I get the uart.

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How did this happen? They look and feel like standard male dip headers.

Did you use something else than dupont females to connect them?

Nope, I just connected VF2’s one of signal wire to GND of pl2303’s and vice versa. pl2303 fried probably because VF2 forced current into it’s crystal like a dead short of a diode I dunno how lol. Damaged pl2303 was able to receive, but never was able to transmit and ran hot. No 3V3 of both were ever connected (I don’t install 3V3 wire at all in my setups)


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I attached an UART and got this:

dwmci_s: Response Timeout.
dwmci_s: Response Timeout.
BOOT fail,Error is 0xffffffff

The next step is that I will try to flash a new bootloader, if possible.

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I am guessing the sd card support in the SoC’s built-in rom (which isn’t upgradable) does not like these sd cards.

Support within the firmware/bootloader in SPI should be significantly better.

Now that you have UART access, you’re able to use this method to flash newer boot code to SPI:

edit: I just re-read the OP and realized you’ve got two boards.

I’m suspecting there’s some sort of issue with the bad board’s RAM.

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Could well be that one board has an old/unhappy SPI . Yes, I got that message on one of my boards and switching to sdio boot via dip switch (see Detailed Boot Mode Settings on VisionFive 2) and booting the sdcard.img, flashing spi and then switching back to SPI/flash did the trick for me.
Flashing via uart will do the same.

Did any of the suggestions, solve the original issue and let you boot the ‘second’ board?

If not, I was wondering if both boards were the same version. It should be (barely) readable on the top of the VisionFive2 board, to the right of the “StarFive” printed in large letters. The ones I got in the Kickstarter are 1.3B. One I just got from WaveShare is 1.2A. Both boot.

Both boards are 1.3B.

Yes, I got it resolved, but now I have a little hard time to remember how. I could never update the SPI flash using the serial port as described here. And I could never get one of them to boot from the SD-card, but booting from QSPI worked and that is the way I am doing it now and hoping that the SPI-flash never needs update.

Good enough. If you ever need to update the SPI flash I believe you could using the UART and another computer now that you’ve got that connection worked out, but I fully understand-agree with ‘why bother?’.

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How about this method?

No GND connection? If so you were lucky, you should always use one to guard against GND level differences and loops between devices.


I’m also lucky I decided against stripping an old RS232 cable back and throwing 12+ volts at those pins. The VF2 is my first SBC and this was the first time I’ve ever connected a console with anything other than a terminated group of wires in a standardized plug of some sort.


That sure was a close call. It would have damaged the board in all likeliness. These I/O pins are at LVCMOS aka TTL i.e. 3.3v.

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