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My Pi was running happily for a few months, then it died (kernel panic, hang) and wouldn't reboot. It seemed the card was corrupted.

I put in a new SD card installed raspbian from scratch and got it up and running again, but after less than 24 hours it's pretty much died again, and everything seems corrupted (e.g. can't run many commands, syslog has binary junk in etc.).

The first kernel messages that indicate a problem are:

Feb 26 11:37:28 raspberrypi kernel: [60767.540746] mmc0: Timeout waiting for hardware interrupt.
Feb 26 11:37:28 raspberrypi kernel: [60767.540938] mmcblk0: error -110 transferring data, sector 3466352, nr 8, cmd response 0x900, card status 0x200b00
Feb 26 11:37:28 raspberrypi kernel: [60767.540961] mmcblk0: retrying using single block read
Feb 26 11:37:31 raspberrypi kernel: [60770.762385] mmcblk0: error -110 transferring data, sector 3466352, nr 8, cmd response 0x900, card status 0x0
Feb 26 11:37:31 raspberrypi kernel: [60770.762429] blk_update_request: I/O error, dev mmcblk0, sector 3466352
Feb 26 11:37:34 raspberrypi kernel: [60773.983861] mmcblk0: error -110 transferring data, sector 3466353, nr 7, cmd response 0x900, card status 0x0

Is it likely that the controller is broken and I need a new Pi?

The device has a couple of w1 thermometers and a pimote controller attached, but those devices were functioning fine until the crash.

(I'm aware there is a similar question but that focuses more on whether pulling the power cable out would have damaged the card - I have not had a power cut, nor pulled the power cable out.)

Edit

I've been asked about the specifics of the sd card in use. The first one was unbranded and I have no idea where I got it. When I plugged it in my computer it caused hangs trying to mount partitions and some partitions had lost their type. I didn't think much about it at the time assuming it to be at fault, so I binned it and set up again on the 2nd card.

The second one is Kingston sdhc 16gb. other markings inlcude 1246PW1358P and it has a 4 in a circle. Putting it into my ubuntu machine shows the boot partition is intact but the main partition is of type "unknown" now and is unmountable. It also seems to have broken the card because deleting all partitions and trying to format gives an error:

mkfs.fat 3.0.26 (2014-03-07)
stderr: `mkfs.vfat: failed whilst writing FAT
(udisks-error-quark, 0)
  • Could you check the power supply voltage at the Pi? Power supplies can deteriorate and might lead to SD card corruption. – joan Feb 26 '16 at 19:53
  • will try to measure that. using official rpi psu. – artfulrobot Feb 27 '16 at 10:48
  • It's unlikely to be the problem, but it's best to rule it out just in case. – joan Feb 27 '16 at 10:53
  • Yeah, showing 5.03V. Off to buy another Pi. – artfulrobot Feb 28 '16 at 8:33
  • Another remote possibility worth checking is that the SD card contacts have lost their springiness and are no longer making good contact. Not so likely unless you often remove and insert the SD card. – joan Feb 28 '16 at 9:05
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It's certainly possible that the SD card reader is broken, but it's difficult for someone in our position to give you a definite answer. A few thoughts on the matter:

  1. Your device ran fine for a few months, and then died. The second time it ran for less than a day. This implies, in my mind, that something has recently broken.

  2. This kind of behavior can be caused by crappy SD cards. You don't mention what brand or model of card you're buying, but if it's an unsupported card, they can be a bit of a time bomb. This is usually less of a problem with the B+ and later models, but you never know with some of the stuff you get in the bargain sections.

  3. You also don't mention if the cards themselves work after the system's death. What happens if you put them in your computer? If two cards have literally shit a brick and died, I'd say that's a really good indicator of either the RPi's reader dying, or a factor of crappy cards. If they're not the same card (brand/model) it's definitely more likely to be the former option.

  4. Another possibility is that you're doing something to the RPi that's killing it yourself. Have you installed any kernel modifications? If so, they could cause these types of problems.

  • 1: agree. 2,3. see edit. 4. no kernel mods. – artfulrobot Feb 27 '16 at 8:25
  • @artfulrobot: If it isn't the power supply as Joan mentions (I doubt it is), it definitely sounds like your RPi is eating cards. I'd suggest recycling it. – Jacobm001 Feb 27 '16 at 17:05

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