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tldr: I'm trying to re-flash a previously working Adafruit Huzzah ESP8266 breakout module to use the latest AT firmware. The re-flash doesn't seem to be working and I'm getting rather confused. This is the first time I've re-flashed one of these modules.

What I did:

I installed the latest version of esptool.py using pip, and downloaded the latest Espressif AT firmware from github. With the Huzzah on a breadboard I grounded GPIO0 and connected the serial port header to my PC using a FTDI cable. VC on the cable is 5v. The red power light lit. I then ran the following commands:

esptool.py --port COM4 --baud 115200 write_flash -fm dio -fs 32m 0x00000 boot_v1.1.bin

esptool.py --port COM4 --baud 115200 write_flash -fm dio -fs 32m 0x01000 user1.bin

esptool.py --port COM4 --baud 115200 write_flash -fm dio -fs 32m 0x7C000 esp_init_data_default.bin

esptool.py --port COM4 --baud 115200 write_flash -fm dio -fs 32m 0x7E000 blank.bin

Each upload seemed to complete ok, but I found that I couldn't upload the next until I pressed the reset button on the module first, otherwise I got the error:

A fatal error occurred: Failed to connect to Espressif device: Timed out waiting for packet header

This doesn't seem right to me.

After uploading all 4 components as above I disconnected GPIO0 and cycled the power on the module. I then tried connecting using putty at 115200 baud but I get no echo back from the module, and it doesn't respond to commands.

Observations:

  • The module previously worked and I could connect to it with putty.
  • If I reset it while connected to putty at 115200, I get a consistent pattern of garbage characters, so my guess is its alive but confused somehow.
  • I've tried connecting at various baud rates: 9600, 14400, 19200, 38400, 57600, as well as 115200. Same result.
  • I've found walkthroughs that show firmware like node.mcu being uploaded as a single binary. Should I be somehow merging the four bin files into one before uploading the the Huzzah?

What am I doing wrong here?

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I'm confident that I've resolved this now. I'll leave the question here in case it is useful to anyone in the future.

The problem was they way I was downloading the individual bin files from the github repo, using right click -> Save As in Chrome. This downloads a file with the correct name, but it is actually the content of the file's html page, not the binary itself. Downloading the repo as a zip file, extracting the bin files, and then uploading them to the Huzzah using a single command gave me a properly flashed device.

What happened was I noticed that esptool can upload multiple files in one go so, with the original bin files, I tried the command:

esptool.py --port COM4 --baud 115200 write_flash -fm dio -fs 32m 0x00000 boot_v1.1.bin 0x01000 user1.bin 0x7C000 esp_init_data_default.bin 0x7E000 blank.bin

and got the following error

esptool write_flash: error: argument : Detected overlap at address: 0x1000 for file: user1.bin

Thats when I noticed that boot_v1.1.bin was way to big to fit in the space between 0x00000 and 0x01000. Examining it in notepad++ revealed that it was html.

A learning experience...

  • this just happened to me.. so annoying, never would have thought to open the file contents – Alex G Oct 3 at 14:36

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