Trouble booting ROCK 4B+ from cloned SD cards

Creating a bug report/issue

Required Information

Running DietPi_ROCKPi4-ARMv8-Bullseye.7z, latest available from
Linux DietPi 5.15.48-rockchip64 #22.05.3 SMP PREEMPT Wed Jun 22 07:27:54 UTC 2022 aarch64 GNU/Linux
Samsung EVO+ 32GB

I’m new to the ROCK devices and DietPi, but I’ve been using Raspberry Pi and Pi OS for a long time. I set up DietPi, booted, all is well… went through setup, configured wifi, got everything in a good place. Then I halted, cloned the SD card to 4 new SD cards, and put them in 4x ROCK 4s. Now, only 1 of them boots. The SD cards in the rest don’t boot. I swapped all SD cards, and still only the one that originally booted is booting. Swapped the SD cards again, and same deal.

I plugged in one of the ones that is not working to HDMI to see what’s going on; the outcome differs. Sometimes, I see “UBOOT” logo. Sometimes, “Loading, please wait…”. Sometimes, black.

What could be causing this issue? I have quite a few hardware units I’d love to deploy DietPi to, but not being able to clone SD cards to mass provision is a dealbreaker. I’m sure I’m doing something wrong, just not sure what.

Help please :slight_smile:

Going to try going the dietpi.txt, dietpi-wifi.txt,, and route instead of setting up manually then cloning. Not sure if I made a mistake or if some things in the /boot/ folder were erased/reverted, but the state of the image is wonky after first boot. Will report back with findings. Still would appreciate some direction if I’m doing something wrong.


Hi, welcome to our community.

Let me ping our developer @MichaIng . Maybe he could assist on your challange.

BTW, how is the automated install running?

Currently I have no idea why cloning the SD card wouldn’t work:

  • You use DHCP so the IP addresses of the Pis are individual, right? However, it wouldn’t explain the missing HDMI output/U-Boot logo.
  • How did you clone the SD card? It’s important to not only clone the partition, but the whole device with partition table and U-Boot at boot sector.

We clone using a 1:50 something duplicator. I believe it copies down to the bit, but can check on that. We use it for Pi OS images and it works fine, and they have multiple partitions.

Yeah, we’re using DHCP, nothing unusual there. I do still have a feeling it is network related, though I’m not sure why they wouldn’t be able to connect. Something to do with the SD cards having the same hostname? That shouldn’t affect DHCP though.

The really strange part is that the same Pi will work even after swapping the SD cards. I’ll take one from a Pi that isn’t working, and put it in the working one, and it works. This is why I suspect it’s network related, though I’m not sure why that would prevent boot or anything from coming up on the screen.

I’ll have the devices in front of me again tomorrow and will try to get to the bottom of it.

I feel stupid for not checking this first, but we believe now it was a power issue. Apparently the ROCK Pi PoE HATs have some issues supplying enough power to boot the SBC. When booting with USB-C PD all works as expected. Sorry for the wasted time.

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No problem, great that you found the issue.

Yes, of course hostname duplication should neither prevent boot nor network access via IP address.