Raspberry Pi fails to boot with soft-float image
The latest supported Java version from Oracle for the Rasperry Pi (as of this writing) is Java SE 7 Embedded for Linux/ARM. It requires a license and it supports only the somewhat dated soft-float image. Anyone using it must stick with soft-float for now. Unfortunately recent versions of the Raspberry Pi fail to boot with the soft-float image! We got a batch where some units worked and some failed. Personally I think that a hardware change that breaks compatibility with old software should be branded as a new revision, but with the Raspberry that has not happened.
Fortunately there is a workaround. The newer hard-float images work and the Linux kernel in the soft-float image works as well. Copy the three files bootcode.bin, start.elf and fixup.dat from the boot partition of the latest hard-float image to the old soft-float image and the problem is solved.
Credits to StackOverflow for the solution. Please note that simply copying start.elf is not enough, all three files are needed.