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Circuit Playground Express Bootloader Issues
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Circuit Playground Express Bootloader Issues

by TeacherPerrone on Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:32 pm

We have 8 circuit playground expresses in our classroom. 6 work great. 2 are having some issues.

CPX1 - When you hit the reset button to go into bootloader mode the LEDs turn red, for 1-2 seconds, then blue/aqua for 1 second, then off.
When you hit the reset button twice the LEDs turn blue/aqua for 1-2 seconds, then off.
The CPX will run it's loaded program which appears to be A+B pressed for all blue LEDs
In either case, our chromebooks and my windows 10 laptop does not see cplayboot at all. I also cannot see the device in Arduino IDE (cannot select port)

CPX2 - When you hit the reset button to go into bootloader mode the LEDs turn red and D13 flickers like it's receiving data. This is with multiple different USB cords and multiple chromebooks and my Windows 10 laptop.
When you hit the reset button twice the LEDs turn red for 1 second and then the device goes back to running its program (spiral rainbow leds)
In either case, our chromebooks and my windows 10 laptop does not see cplayboot at all. I also cannot see the device in Arduino IDE (cannot select port)

Any thoughts or suggestions?
Thanks

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Re: Circuit Playground Express Bootloader Issues

by adafruit_support_carter on Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:50 pm

Were the CPX's used by the students at all? Or are they brand new / never been used?

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Re: Circuit Playground Express Bootloader Issues

by TeacherPerrone on Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:03 pm

They are about a year old. One has definitely been used before as it has a custom program on it. The other one may not have been used in the last year, since it has the original neopixel rainbow lights still, but I'm not certain.

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Re: Circuit Playground Express Bootloader Issues

by adafruit_support_carter on Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:17 pm

Unfortunately in these kinds of settings these things can happen. Esp. with that much use. Wires can get crossed or shorted, etc.

You've tried both single and double presses of the reset button. Do you know what was last used to program the CPXs? MakeCode or Aurdino?

Another thing just to be sure - are they actually CPXs?
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-cir ... vs-express

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Re: Circuit Playground Express Bootloader Issues

by TeacherPerrone on Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:04 pm

Yes, they are definitely all express models of the CPs. We primarily use MakeCode, I only use Arduino for testing occasionally.

We haven't used any outside hardware with these devices, only USB into Chromebooks.

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Re: Circuit Playground Express Bootloader Issues

by adafruit_support_carter on Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:13 pm

For the CPX and MakeCode, it should just be a single press of reset. So you're doing the right thing to try and get CPLAYBOOT to show up. And you can use the other ones to also sanity check. With same USB cable/computer/port - do they show up OK? If so, it sounds like maybe these other two have just somehow become zapped somehow? It can happen, even without attaching external hardware.

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Re: Circuit Playground Express Bootloader Issues

by TeacherPerrone on Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:37 pm

Yes, I've double checked with different devices and cables that are verified working with our other 6 playground expresses. They still run their programmed code fine, it seems like just the bootloader is faulty. Any way to reset the devices without USB bootload access?

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Re: Circuit Playground Express Bootloader Issues

by adafruit_support_carter on Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:55 pm

Not easily. If the bootloader stops acting like it should, then you would need special programming hardware and the electrical connection are also tricky. And even then, it may be that they are truly electrically damaged somehow, even though they appear to have some life still in them.

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Re: Circuit Playground Express Bootloader Issues

by epic709 on Sat Jul 31, 2021 5:53 am

Hi,

I've been searching these forums high and low for my issue with a particular CPX board issued to my student. The issue is EXACTLY as described by original poster for CPX2. I've setup and done lessons with 30 CPXs already so I'm pretty familiar with the process of updating both bootloader and CircuitPython firmware. Tested the faulty board with both a new Windows laptop and a Macbook but unable to get CPLAYBOOT to appear no matter what.

I think it is possible to replace the bootloader onboard using a manual Arduino tool such as bossac?
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-circuit-playground-express/adafruit2-uf2-bootloader-details
however I'm unable to locate the required bootloader file in .bin format as everything is officially .uf2 format, which won't work right now.

Hope there's a way to save this one board......

--Adrian

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Re: Circuit Playground Express Bootloader Issues

by adafruit_support_carter on Mon Aug 02, 2021 2:47 pm

If the boards have become damaged to the point you can not get the CPLAYBOOT folder to show up, then it could be many things. If you actually want to attempt to reprogram the bootloader, you'd want to follow this process:
https://learn.adafruit.com/how-to-progr ... -m0-wiring

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