Beaglebone black bricked... May be???

Hello All,

I am learning Linux using Beaglebone black and was following Free electrons tutorial.
At one stage I got my setup so that I have an SD Card with Uboot and the configuration was loading Kernel via network.

I was happy with the result and then I decided to run the debain version from eMMc and followed instructions present at

Once I removed the SD card after the whole processs, I was not able to get anything.
Below is the trace from picocom:

U-Boot SPL 2014.04-00014-g47880f5 (Apr 22 2014 - 13:23:54)
reading args
spl_load_image_fat_os: error reading image args, err - -1
reading u-boot.img
reading u-boot.img

U-Boot 2014.04-00014-g47880f5 (Apr 22 2014 - 13:23:54)

I2C: ready
DRAM: 512 MiB
*** Warning - readenv() failed, using default environment

Net: not set. Validating first E-fuse MAC
cpsw, usb_ether
Hit any key to stop autoboot: 0
gpio: pin 53 (gpio 53) value is 1
Card did not respond to voltage select!
mmc0(part 0) is current device
Card did not respond to voltage select!
gpio: pin 56 (gpio 56) value is 0
gpio: pin 55 (gpio 55) value is 0
gpio: pin 54 (gpio 54) value is 0
mmc1(part 0) is current device
gpio: pin 54 (gpio 54) value is 1
SD/MMC found on device 1
reading uEnv.txt
** Unable to read file uEnv.txt **
Checking if uenvcmd is set …

uenvcmd was not defined in uEnv.txt …
Booting from nand …

no devices available

no devices available
Bad Linux ARM zImage magic!

Any ideas what I am doing wrong.

First. it’s impossible to brick the beaglebone in this manner. Even assuming you’d had written to the emmc millions of times, and rendered the emmc unworkable. Since the board can also boot from sdcard, as well as serial.

Second, why are you flashing a new image onto the beaglebone ? Meaning what features are you hoping to gain from this procedure ? This is an important question to answer, otherwise no one will really know how to help you out of your situation. At least not correctly.

Lastly, no idea where you got the flasher image from. But where ever it came from. Apparently it did not write the uboot environment file to the boot partition. This is what uEnv.txt is, and it’s important to uboot, so uboot knows how to configure your board at boot.

By the way that boot loader is ancient. It’s around 2 years, and 8 months old. Which also means the image you’re trying to flash is also dated, and likely not much in the way for support with it any more.

First of all thanks for the quick response.

The main reason I want to flash the new image is so that I can run debain image stright from emmc so that I can follow free electron tutorial on Linux System Development (

Because of different things I have tried I am unable to Boot and run debian from eMMC.

Can you please point me to the direction where I can get the latest image to SD card which will inturn update the uboot and a new image to emmc.


That free electrons course does not seem to revolve around the same hardware. At least at a glance it seems to revolve around an Atmel dev board. So right off, that course won’t work for this board.

As far as the latest debian images for the beaglebone boards they can be had here:

Make sure you read everything carefully before downloading an image and attempting to flash it. As if you’re using an older A5A, or Revision B board. You’ll have to use a 2G image.


I will try the option you suggested this evening and let you know the result.

OK. Be aware, that it should be possible to adapt that course, somewhat to work with the beaglebone hardware. But you’ll need to understand Llinux, and several other things very well before making that leap. But anything pertaining to the beaglebone hardware, and the boot process will be different. At least.

Setting up crosstools-ng, and all that. Should work fine, if you’re setting up a cross toolchain. But trust me when I say: If all you want to do is to write source, and compile the typical user space applications to work with your system. Compiling form the cmdline, on the board it’s self. This will make your life much easier. Now if you’re concerned about compiling directly on the emmc, or sdcard. This is understandable. But can be mitigated by compiling in a tmpfs directory( ram disk ), or on an NFS share.

Hello William,

Thanks for all the help and guidance.
I did manage to flash the eMMc.

I got the image from

There was a specific instruction for flashing it:
To turn these images into eMMC flasher images, edit the /boot/uEnv.txt file on the Linux partition on the microSD card and remove the ‘#’ on the line with ‘cmdline=init=/opt/scripts/tools/eMMC/’. Enabling this will cause booting the microSD card to flash the eMMC. Images are no longer provided here for this to avoid people accidentally overwriting their eMMC flash.

Which I didn’t read the last time.

I agree with your comments regarding the course. I will try to follow the course and if I am stuck then will post it in this forum.

Thanks again.