Unable to flash TX1

I had a fully functional TX1 running Ubuntu 14. I upgraded the OS to Ubuntu 18 however I lost all USB port functionality, so I didn’t have a functioning mouse or keyboard.

After reading the forums I build a VBox running Ubuntu 16.04 and downloaded Jetpack 3.3. After putting the TX1 into recovery mode I was able to download and install Jetpack3.3 modules and go through the creation of an image. Everything seems to work fine and the flashing process begins, but it never successfully completes.

The flashing hangs at random points, anywhere from [0.7???] ish to a tantalising close [0.97??] , assuming that [1.0000] is the completion of the flash.

I’ve made around 20 attempts, with different USB and Cat5 cables but all fail.

Any suggestions on how to resolve? I was thinking of copying an image onto a SD Card and seeing if there was a way of booting the TX1 from that?

Flash does take some time. However, VMs usually don’t work. Some people get lucky, or have a configuration which doesn’t lose USB when the Jetson re-enumerates. Someone may have information on making a VM work (which probably requires binding the specific device to the VM even when it re-enumerates), but a native Ubuntu is the only recommended way to use JetPack. You can use any x86_64 Linux if you flash on command line (the JetPack GUI is for Ubuntu and is a front end to the driver package plus sample rootfs used in flash…plus JetPack offers some package installs…you can flash on command line and then later do package installs without flashing again).

FYI, the Ubuntu distributed with a Jetson is purely Ubuntu except for adding some drivers on top of this for direct hardware access (e.g., CUDA or hardware accelerated video requires the correct NVIDIA driver and the Nouveau driver won’t work for this). Using a non-NVIDIA update mechanism will imply no understanding of those drivers and will basically make the Jetson useless until flashing again. Always use the NVIDIA mechanism for major version updates.

Another place where other update mechanisms fail is that although a PC has a standardized boot system with a BIOS or UEFI the Jetson does not. The boot system is entirely custom in all embedded systems and the bootloader itself takes over for a missing BIOS/UEFI. Ubuntu has no mechanism to correctly configure this, this too must be customized for the Jetson (the NVIDIA flash tools understand Jetson booting).