Bricked my BBB.

Been working fine, haven’t looked at it for a while, I thought I’d upgrade the Angstrom, so I downloaded and flashed a uSD card with the flasher. It started up but I screwed up and interrupted the process. Now it won’t boot from anything. I connected up a Sparkfun FTDI board to see whats happening on serial, not much going on on there either. It just sends ‘CCCCCC’ etc with one ‘C’ about every half a second. Doesn’t make any difference if I put the uSD card in or not pressing the boot or reset buttons has no effect, deprived it of power several times. All the user lights are out and stay out. Just get the power light. I’m powering it from a known solid 5v supply through the DC connector. Sticking the uSD card in my Linux PC convinces me its got a valid filesystem on it.

Clues appreciated.

Just reflash it. You cannot brick the board.


Thats what I was doing when I cooked it. The reflash procedure involves booting from the uSD card with the requsite image blown onto it. The board won’t boot from it. Before I started it would boot from either the eMMC or the sd card. Not a unique experience according to google. The uSD has a convincing looking files system on it. It didn’t give any issues using dd to burn it (I’m well versed in the routine, I have several rpis…). The official line is you can’t brick it, but it must have some form of bootloader in it somewhere, its that appears to be goosed.

I’d double check the SD card…I’m guessing ‘CCC’ is the ARM core’s bootrom trying to query for boot via serial because it’s failing to find a FAT partition with MLO in its search.
You want to make sure the SD card has a FAT16 partition with at least MLO, u-boot.img and uEnv.txt

FYI, I’m sure you know, but you have to power on holding the boot button down (the button can be a little difficult to press).

ps. FYI the reason Gerald says the board can’t be bricked is because indeed it can’t.
The boot process is as follows (another variant at:!category-topic/beagleboard/F8aW_LpEugQ and there’s a lot of good information in the System Reference Manual and TI’s processor documentation):

  • Stage 0: onboard ROM
    in TI’s processor…non writeable, does basic config, finds FAT partition, runs MLO

  • Stage 1: MLO on FAT partition
    x-loader from TI…ARM assembly, searches for u-boot.img and launches

  • Stage 2: u-boot
    U-boot…uses configuration (including uEnv.txt) to launch kernel (note this is a patched uboot)

  • Stage 3: booted to appropriate app/kernel

Media selected is by way of the boot button (only read at power-on…NOT reset button) which searches as follows (devices are searched in order eg button up = eMMC-> SDcard, uart0, USB0):

  • button up (sysBoot[3] = 1): MMC1 (eMMC onboard flash), MMC0 (SD card), UART0, USB0 (note5)

  • button down ( [3] = 0): SPI0 (expansion ‘UART2’), MMC0 (SD card), USB0 (note5), UART0

FYI UART boot will download via Xmodem (ref TI manual p4146: “UART Boot Procedure”) so ‘CCCC’ will be seen on debug port.

There is a section on that page that suggests in some cases it may help to reformat the SD card using the HP Format tool software…


Curse the Windoze centric instructions. On double checking, the SD card has a corrupt FAT partition. I have a new card on order, (I have lots of full size SD cards for my Pis, but only one uSD). I’m on it, thanks for the pointers. I have doubts about the card because it appears to behave differently if I use an adaptor and put it in my PC’s SD slot or plugging it straight into the uSD slot. It could be the PC’s card reader I suppose. It works perfectly doing full size SD cards for Pis.

Thanks again.

I have one in fact in my office now that looks to be acting the same way as yours. One of the guys in the office dropped it by on Friday. I plan to look at it more closely myself.


Reformated the whole card using Linux to NTFS and then FAT and reflashed the card using dd and putting it in an adaptor seems to have done the trick. Its booted and is going through the process of reflashing the eMMC. I’m getting sense out of the serial now.

Thanks for the clues.

OK, I’m convinced - you can’t brick a BBB.

Trust me. Somebody will brick it eventually by doing something abnormal. Like washing it or something!


Hmm mine is looking rather dusty, maybe it is time for the dishwashing machine :wink:

Just put your lips together and blow!!


I have the same problem,I have not deleted any files. I have downloaded image of angstrom kernel and file-system from below link.

and followed the procedure to boot through SD Card given by the following link.

Initially I have been holding the BOOT/USER button and power up the BBB board all 4 LED’s will lid up,
By then I release the BOOT button, there after only 3 LED’s start blinking USR0, USR1 and USR2 nothing happens.
Can you please suggest what has to be done to boot it properly?

Thanks & Regards

I suggest that you go to and follow the instructions there. Holding the boot button that long is a wast of time.


Thank you Gerald for the instruction. I am a new user, not much comfortable with this. I checked the version of BBB eMMC it same as that of the image I downloaded.
CLoud9 GNOME Image 2013.06.20. Do i need to flash it again on BBB?

I would suggest that you reflash it to the latest version.


Follow the steps listed on this website
I had bricked my board completely. Except the power LED nothing else would come on. I followed these steps and it worked.