Using ext4 usb drive to go to 13.1.0

James Cameron quozl at
Sun Sep 23 21:28:07 EDT 2012

On Sun, Sep 23, 2012 at 07:55:28PM -0500, Bruno Wolff III wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 09:28:12 +1000, James Cameron
> <quozl at> wrote:
> > G'day Bruno,
> >
> > Thank you for your problem report.  It is interesting.
> I updated the trac ticket with most of what was requested.

Thanks.  I'll use the ticket for summary only.

> > The install method hasn't changed.  Our development builds are
> > installed using fs-update rather than the zsp file and holding
> > four game keys down.  Once 13.1.0 is released, the method will be
> > the same as before.
> When going to 12.1.0 I held down the four buttons above the power
> switch while booting. When going to 13.1.0 I used fs-update. I was
> going by the instructions on the wiki for doing the updates.

Yes, the instructions are different, but they will be the same as
before ... once 13.1.0 is released.  13.1.0 is not yet released; you
were using a development build which requires special use of

> > When you upgraded your XO-1.75 to 12.1.0 an old version of Open
> > Firmware might have been present.  After the upgrade, the next
> > time you had two sources of power, Open Firmware would have been
> > upgraded.
> I also didn't have two sources of power when I did the fs-update to
> 13.1.0, so maybe that's why the open firmware is still at Q4D17.


There is a separate command to upgrade Open Firmware, but the
operating system boot does this automatically if two sources of power
are available ... normally at the first boot after upgrade.  With only
one source of power, it will be delayed until a boot with two sources
of power.

Holding down the four buttons doesn't upgrade both the operating
system and the firmware at once, but it does upgrade the operating
system, and then the operating system upgrades the firmware at the
first available opportunity.

(In the release notes we ask for two sources of power before using the
four game keys method. ... but for
development builds we expect users may manage their systems

Using fs-update to upgrade the operating system should eventually
cause the firmware to upgrade.  If this isn't happening with two
sources of power, it is a separate problem we should investigate.

> > a.  what version of Open Firmware was on the XO-1.75 before the
> > upgrade to 12.1.0?  I cannot guess what this was.
> I don't know, but probably whatever you were shipping with the
> devices a few weeks ago. Mine shipped shortly before 12.1.0 was
> released.

Thanks.  I acknowledge you don't know what version worked with your
USB drive before the upgrade.

Please provide the serial number, so that I can take a guess at a
minimum firmware version.  Please also use the .mfg-data command at
the ok prompt and look for the BV tag, which should list the base
firmware version used.  .mfg-data also displays the SN or serial
number tag.

> > b.  what version of Open Firmware was on the XO-1.75 at the time
> > of the problem in ticket #12123?  I expect it was Q4D17 as this
> > was 12.1.0 build 21 contained.
> I can reproduce the issue on Q4D17.

Good, thanks.

> > c.  what version of Open Firmware is on the XO-1.75 after the
> > upgrade to 13.1.0?  I expect it will be Q4D21.
> It is still Q4D17.
> > d.  if you downgrade to the version of Open Firmware you had
> > before the upgrade to 12.1.0, and then try the fs-update for
> > 13.1.0, does the problem in ticket #12123 occur?
> I can't refer to u: successfully if I don't plug in the drive after
> booting.
> > e.  on Q4D21 please attach the USB drive, turn on the laptop, get
> > to the ok prompt, type p2, and tell me what is printed.
> I haven't got Q4D21 yet, so I can't do these tests just yet.
> > f.  on Q4D21 please detach the USB drive, turn on the laptop, get
> > to the ok prompt, type p2, and tell me what is printed.
> >
> > g.  on Q4D21 please attach the USB drive, turn on the laptop, get
> > to the ok prompt, type
> There were differences for the p2 command under Q4D17 depending on
> whether the drive was plugged in before or after boot.

Your p2 and scan-subtree output shows that the device does not respond
to probes if it was already plugged in when the laptop powered on.
This seems like a power on or reset problem for the drive.

Please test if this is a new behaviour of your USB drive, or a new
behaviour of Open Firmware.  Downgrade to Q4D03, or if a later version
is listed in the BV tag downgrade to that, and test again with the USB
drive.  You can find download links and instructions to downgrade at

Please test if we have already fixed this problem.  Upgrade to Q4D21
and test again with the USB drive.

Please test the other two USB ports on the laptop, in case there is an
electrical problem with the port you usually use.

> > 2. the drive must spin up and become ready (if it is a mechanical
> > drive this can take some seconds),
> In my case it's a flash drive. (I reformtted it to ext4.)

Thanks.  I have tested with a USB flash drive and a USB powered desk
lamp.  The power is briefly turned on, then off for a few seconds,
then on just before the probe.

It seems unlikely, but it is possible, that your USB flash drive does
not like the brief power pulse.

Please test with a powered hub.  Connect the hub to the laptop.
Connect power to the hub.  Connect the flash drive to the hub.  Power
up the laptop.  Use p2 command.

The filesystem format of the USB flash drive should have no bearing on
the success or failure of a USB probe.  But thanks for letting me know.

James Cameron

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