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Installing the standard image

How I got the Beagle Board to boot the 'official' (non-Angstrom) Linux image from SD card and did some peripheral tests, including a successful test of audio input and output.

SD card formatting and preparation

Following section 12.3 in the  hardware reference manual, I got the following files from

Not finding any reference to this in the hardware reference manual, I ignored the following file - in spite of its promising name:

Also, I could not find the sample video file HARRY.YUV suggested in the HW reference manual. I then renamed the following files:

  • x-load.bin.ift_for_NAND -> x-load.bin.ift
  • MLO_revb -> MLO
  • u-boot.bin_autoflash -> u-boot.bin
  • uImage_OTG -> uImage
  • rd-ext2-8M.bin -> rd-ext2.bin

Since the HP USB disk formatting tool suggested in the reference manual did not work for me, I first formatted my SD card (a SanDisk 1GB card) using the standard Windows Explorer formatting tool. But it looks like this tool writes some data to the first cylinder, where the MLO file should be, resulting in a non-bootable SD card. So later, I ended up formatting the SD card under Linux using fdisk and mkfs.dos, which did a better job. For this, I pretty much followed this tutorial, except that I only created a single FAT32 partition, with the last cylinder set to 123, which in my case happened to be the total number of cylinders on my card. After having done that, I moved the files onto the card in the following - mandatory - order: MLO, x-load.bin.ift, flash-uboot.bin, u-boot.bin, rd-ext2.bin, uImage.

Booting from SD card

I then booted the Beagle Board first from flash (section 12.5 in the hardware reference manual), and after a reset (section 12.6), the board successfully booted from the SD card. After setting the boot parameters (section 12.8), the kernel booted (section 12.9) without trouble.

Peripheral tests

There is an error at various spots of the hardware reference manual (sections 12.10.2, 12.12, 12.13, 12.14, 12.15). The following line in the manual:

mount -t vfat /dev/mmcblk0p1 /mnt/mmc/cd /mnt/mmc/

should actually read like this:

mount -t vfat /dev/mmcblk0p1 /mnt/mmc/

After having realized that, I was able to complete the tests for connecting the Beagle Board to a host computer through USB (section 12.10; for this I needed to install this driver on the Windows host machine and turn off my Windows firewall) and - heureka! - for audio (section 12.14). I got both audio input and output working like a charm, and from what I heard, the sound quality is actually not too bad. 

However, I ran into trouble in sections 12.11 (EDID test) and 12.12 (DVI-D test). The latter I could not do because of the missing example video file (see above), which wasn't really a problem, since I already had seen some output to my external screen during boot, so I assume it is working just fine. For the EDID test, I followed the manual and got the following printout:

IC2 read: I/O error
Error reading the chip.
timed out in wait_for_pin: IC2_STAT=1000

Not sure what the problem is here, but it doesn't really affect me, so I just left it. I also skipped the S-Video test (section 12.13), since I don't need this port anyway. The OTG test (section 12.15; this is for testing the Beagle Board as a host for a USB keyboard and mouse) was partially successfull: I got my mouse working, but not the keyboard. I am guessing that this is because my USB keyboard includes two USB ports itself (for attaching a mouse to it)?

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Florian Hollerweger. Cite/attribute Resource. admin. (2008, November 04). Installing the standard image. Retrieved April 23, 2017, from Florian Hollerweger Web site: All Rights Reserved.