Is there a way to corrupt the firmware in the Raspberry Pi ARM?
I cannot understand what has happened to my 2 RPIs and I was never expecting software or the operating system being able to disable the display output at the hardware / firmware level.
This is what has happened:
- I downloaded and burned an 8GB SD microSD card with the last Kali Linux for RPI called: kali-2017.01-rpi2.img
- Booted normally on it to XFCE display manager. Then, I've ran apt-get update and after that apt-get upgrade. After above process, the screen went black. I've rebooted and same issue the screen always black. So I put another working microSD with the 2017-04-10-raspbian-jessie.img . To my surprise , same issue, all black. At this point, my big mistake was that after more than 2 years using RPIs , I've ( wrongly) assumed it could be this particular RPI was having a failure in the hardware, like just occurring independently of what I was doing. As I have 5 or 6 RPIs ( some of them unopened) I've just got an unused RPI and verify it was working OK with the jessie img but not with the the kali (black screen). As because of not having screen I was removing power randomly I thought the kali image might be corrupted because of that. I've remade the Kali image , booted with no issues again did another apt-get update and then (the real cause of these issues) apt-get upgrade. Now this RPI is not black; during and after booting it is giving a full red screen for about a second, then a full green screen for same time, then full blue screen , then full white screen and again and again for ever. No characters; nothing.
Does anybody has a clue what the heck is this ???? I have no idea on the RPI hardware , but I imagine either the chip handling the video is ruined or the firmware of the ARM. In any case this is something happening in the RPI hardware and now both are rendered useless regardless of which image is being booted on them.
This is really dangerous that a bad kernel or OS can make this disaster and anyone planning to use kali be careful.
I will appreciate any comment also to know if the RPIs can be fixed or are they lost. Thanks a bunch in advance!
UPDATE: I've made a new SD card with above mentioned jessie image. Then I've got a 3rd RPI and it boots OK and opens pixel at the end of boot. If I've put the same SD card on any of the other "bad" RPI , same situation as above , completely black , or the coloring screens. I've opened config.txt and verified that nothing is uncommented. I uncommented hdmi_group = 1 and edited hdmi_mode= 16 ( 1080p) . Now with these comments the "bad" RPIs boot and shows Pixel desktop , however the aspect ratio and the definition of the screen does not look nice as when booting in the good RPI without any single uncommented line (I 've mean the lines related to display or HDMI).
In summary, something in the hardware of these two RPI has changed for bad. Yes, above is a workaround and the RPIs seems to be working normal, however as mentioned, the screen is not crispy and well proportioned as before.
I would like to understand what has changed and whether it is irreversible or not. Thanks !