How to Discern if a BBB is Dead


I’m trying to learn how to use beaglebones for future projects. My job supplied my with 7 previously used ones (1 beaglebone black and 6 beaglebone whites) in order to get started working on them. However when I tried to plug the bbb into a computer via micro USB cable only the power LED lit up and it only flashed a single time. The board also wasn’t recognized by my computer (after having installed the drivers). I then tried with the other 6 beaglebone whites and they did the exact same thing as the black.

I have heard of these being very fragile when it comes to being powered and being shut down but I still can’t think of anything that I did wrong. I also tried plugging them into a nearby desktop’s USB ports and then an adafruit 5v power supply but they did they same thing each time.

What I need to know now is, are these boards all dead? Is there something from what I just described that would break these devices? And is there some sort of diagnostics that I can run to determine if they’re still functioning?

Well, at first thought, as you say, they were used. So, you may want to talk to the previous owners. The flashing LED on the BBB typically indicates an issue with some component on the board…


Sorry if this is too obvious, but the BBW won’t do anything without a micro SD card plugged in, do you have an SD card with a fresh image loaded and plugged it before powering up?

The BBB has an eMMC “flash” preloaded, so its likely dead if the previous owner didn’t break the boot by messing with uEnv.txt or something else. Still I’d try a fresh SD card on it too before giving up.

I’ve not found them to be particularly fragile with respect to just pulling the plug when things have frozen – no keyboard/mouse response, no SSH login. They are pretty fragile to probe slips when measuring the GPIO pins if things short to power or ground.