[beagleboard] Problems upgrading the BBB Angstrom OS - some obvious questions

as part of a writeup i did here:


i explain how to examine the downloaded image, so you can verify that
it looks valid before writing it to SD card.


On the crashcourse page it states "WARNING: All the evidence suggests that you can’t reflash your BBB solely on USB power – get a 5VDC power supply."

I can’t seem to leave a message there, but if I am following all the update steps correctly and the upgrade isn’t working via USB power is buying a 5VDC power supply my only option. The BBB boots quickly (most of the time) to the original image and I haven’t had any luck with the upgrade via a powered USB connection. The BBB is rev A5A.

If you read the main support page, it says something similar. http://circuitco.com/support/index.php?title=Updating_The_Software

"It is recommended that a 5 VDC power supply of 1A or a powered USB HUB be used.

Current during the flash process can exceed 500mA in some instances which can cause the USB power to shutdown from a PC or laptop.
You can also use a 5V Wall Wart power adapter with a USB port on it as long as it can deliver 1A.
Do not flash the board with the Ethernet cable attached. The Ethernet connections uses more current."

Some cases, it works fine. Some cases it will not. Sounds like you may be the latter.


I read the main support page… I was using a powered USB hub. It didn’t work. The BBB boot doesn’t seem to respond at all to the microSD and the button held down past the lights starting. I see the logo and then the login on my display. Will it not flash with a display attached?

I’m relatively new to BBB but reasonably tech savvy. I had tried following the instructions at and/or at http://beagleboard.org/Getting%20Started#update to update the software and was not successful (the board would not run properly–there were various issues). When I followed the instructions at http://circuitco.com/support/index.php?title=Updating_The_Software, as recommended by Gerald, it worked perfectly. The only difference was not having usb or ethernet connected (and I left the HDMI off too), and using the wall wart to power the BBB.

I think the complaints about “bricking” the BBB are a bit overdone. However, I do suggest that beagleboard.org update the instructions in the first two links to recommend removing all USB, ethernet, and (possibly) HDMI connections for the flashing.

Thanks for a cool product!

Eric Westphal

Having the display attached should not affect it, but I see now value in having it attached during the process.If the microSD card is not properly made, then it would end up booting from eMMC even if the button was pushed…


I made the microSD card on two different platforms (mac and PC). The card is a new 8GB Sandisk. I also tried reformatting the card FAT32 and then installing again.
The card appears to have the data.