A possessed Photon 😱


#1

I’ve got a possessed Photon. My student put some firmware on it that displays interesting colors with the RGB LED, but we can’t replace it with anything else. I put it into dfu-util mode and then used

particle flash --usb photon_firmware_1567703188561.bin

It says Flash success! and I see the RGB go white, flashing green, and then … back to my student’s firmware.

I don’t know if this is related, but I tried doing particle update (figuring I’d update to the latest deviceOS), and get

! An error occurred while attempting to update the system firmware of your device:

dfu-util:
File too short for DFU suffix
dfu-util: A valid DFU suffix will be required in a future dfu-util release!!!
dfu-util: Error during download get_status

Please visit our community forums for help with this error:
https://community.particle.io/
Cannot read property ‘code’ of undefined

particle device doctor also errors out, with the Cannot read property ‘code’ of undefined error.

Help!


#2

@mprogers, which version of the Particle CLI are you running (check with particle --version)?

The student’s firmware may be “choking” the DeviceOS so you could simply flash Tinker back onto the device using DFU mode and particle flash --usb tinker. If Tinker runs as expected, then put the device back into DFU mode and try particle update again.


#3

Thanks for your reply, peekay123! I’m running version 1.45.0.

I tried to flash tinker as I was thrashing about trying to solve this, but I get a light display that I believe is still my student’s code – a variety of colors, that ends up in a slow and infinitely repeating transition between blue/cyan and green.


#4

@mprogers, the only “Particle” pattern that is similar is the “signal” pattern. However, what happens when you do particle update while in DFU mode?


#5

OK, so it’s not flashing Tinker. When I run particle update, I get this:

particle update

Your device is ready for a system update.
This process should take about 30 seconds. Here it goes!
! An error occurred while attempting to update the system firmware of your device:
dfu-util: File too short for DFU suffix
dfu-util: A valid DFU suffix will be required in a future dfu-util release!!!
dfu-util: Error during download get_status
Please visit our community forums for help with this error:
https://community.particle.io/
Cannot read property ‘code’ of undefined


#6

@mprogers, are you on Windows or Linux? If Windows, did you install CLI using the Windows installer? Are you running particle from a system directory (ie no write permissions)?


#7

I’m on macOS Catalina, and I was running it from /Users/me/Desktop/aFolder, so I’m pretty sure I have write permissions there.


#8

Hey @mprogers, can you confirm whether or not the Photon is currently in a product? If the device is in a product–whenever it reconnects to the cloud, the cloud will instruct it to download the latest firmware in its product–which is likely your student’s firmware.

Removing it from a Product should allow USB flashed firmware to persist.


#9

I reclaimed it from my student, and I don’t have it in a product – so I guess the answer’s no.


#10

Have you tried putting it into safe mode then flashing tinker OTA?


#11

Hi @mprogers

Would you be able to direct message me the device ID so that I may look into it a bit further? Thanks.


#12

I did. And this AM when I got back to work, it’s flashing red, which is a change.


#13

Did you check and see if the signal Is turned on …Safe mode should disable anything your students have done