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raspberry pi problems I’ve been living with the Raspberry Pi for several months now, and have found this astonishing little computer to be even more amazing than expected. Despite its diminutive dimensions, the Raspberry Pi is as fruity and satisfying as its name suggests.

You’ve probably seen the various Raspberry Pi articles on MakeUseOf explaining how to turn the Pi into a media centre How To Make Your Raspberry Pi Into a Home Theater System How To Make Your Raspberry Pi Into a Home Theater System Four weeks on and I’ve been playing with my Raspberry Pi in various ways, from using it to browse the web and standard day-to-day computing tasks to playing around with the various configurations that are... Read More , (remembering to choose the right equipment) or you might have had a look at our recent Raspberry Pi user guide.

However, there are users out there who have had less than successful experiences with the Raspberry Pi. There might well be varying reasons for this, but it’s safe to say that one of the main causes of dissatisfaction is an impression that the little computer that can, well, can’t…

What’s Wrong With My Raspberry Pi?

Let’s get to the nub of the issue. The only thing wrong with your Raspberry Pi is you. Unless you have been extremely unlucky and been sent a dud, the issues you’re experiencing are more than likely due to power supply, problems with the SD card or incorrect cabling.

I’ve come across all of these problems myself, and while it is tempting to make shortcuts on a cheap computer it really isn’t wise if you’re expecting good results.

The following common issues can be resolved very easily by simply reseating, replacing or starting over. It might seem surprising that they can cause such problems, but given the size of the Raspberry Pi and its requirement for peripherals, it really shouldn’t be unexpected.

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Avoiding a Corrupted SD Card

Arguably the most common problem for anyone using a Raspberry Pi is the effect of a corrupted SD card. Now, this shouldn’t be an issue if you have used an SD card that is designed to be written to regularly, but older SD Cards can become corrupted quite easily, leading to the operating system being unable to boot.

raspberry pi problems

For a Raspberry Pi, you should be using a high-rated SDHC card, at least 2 GB. The Raspberry Pi uses the storage much like a high-end tablet PC or ultrabook (such as the MacBook Air) uses an SSD, and the SDHC format is particularly resilient.

However, regardless of which SD card format How To Choose The Right SD Card For The Job How To Choose The Right SD Card For The Job SD cards aren't all about storage! In fact, there are several other factors to consider, and when purchasing your cards, you should make yourself aware of them. That said, SD cards aren't all created equal,... Read More you choose, there are others way in which you can easily end up with corrupted data. The first is to remove the SD card while the Raspberry Pi is running. As with USB storage devices on a Windows PC, this should only be done if the storage device can be safely removed – when the Raspberry Pi is switched off.

Similarly, switching off the Raspberry Pi in the incorrect manner often corrupts the operating system. To shutdown safely you should open a command line and enter the following command:

sudo shutdown -h now

Alternatively, use the shutdown option from the desktop GUI.

Rely Only On The Mains Power

The fact that the Raspberry Pi uses a USB mains adaptor for power can lead you into a false sense of security when it comes to sending power to the device.

raspberry pi issues

After all, USB ports can be found on PCs and some desktop monitors, so why not use one of these connectors to power the mini-computer?

Unfortunately it isn’t as simple as that. While the Raspberry Pi might receive enough power from a USB 2.0 port to boot up and run, running processor-intensive tasks or powering a keyboard, mouse, USB storage or USB network connection will probably prove too much. If the Pi shuts down straight after booting, you can be sure that the computer has insufficient power.

As a result, you should only power your Raspberry Pi using a suitable mains power adaptor.

Check Your Cables!

Keeping an eye on your cabling is important with the Raspberry Pi, particularly if you are using one of the many custom cases that are available. Manufacturing problems with cases and cables alike can lead to incorrect seating of power, Ethernet and HDMI cables Why You Should Never Spend More Than $10 On An HDMI Cable Why You Should Never Spend More Than $10 On An HDMI Cable To get the best out of your HD equipment, be it a nice widescreen television, a Blu-ray player, a PS3, or an HD streaming set-top box, you need at least one HDMI cable. Or more... Read More , and these can all lead to problems.

raspberry pi problems

Similarly, be aware that various adapters that are cheaply available from eBay and other online retailers can lead to issues. HDMI to VGA adapters  for instance, might claim to be usable but faults can easily arise, putting both your Raspberry Pi and your monitor or HDTV at risk.

Also be aware that USB cables designed for charging smartphones may not be suitable for powering the Raspberry Pi, even if a mains adapter is connected.

Conclusion: Make Sure Everything Is Connected and Setup Correctly!

If you’re using a Raspberry Pi, you should be certain that as with a typical desktop computer, everything is connected correctly. Before booting for the first time, even, you should confirm that you have the necessary cables, peripherals and storage media to hand.

Being aware of how to correctly shutdown the Raspberry Pi is absolutely crucial, and can save a lot of time re-imaging your SD card in the event of data corruption.

For more information about setting up the Raspberry Pi and its many uses, see our Unofficial Raspberry Pi Manual.

  1. Pedro
    August 19, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Hello my raspbery pi is using piaware from flightaware its on 24/24 my usb ports wont have power i connect usb dongle and wont work i try with a keyboard and nothing. The rasp have power but not in the usb ports.any solutions? Thanks

    • nicolas
      September 1, 2016 at 8:28 pm

      have a similar issue:my raspberry with openelec worked perfectly, i went for a three weekd holiday and when i came back and turned it on, usb devices (mouse, hdd, soundcard) were not seen anymore. i tried a new sdcard with a fresh install but still doesnot work. except usb everything seems ok : it boots, network is on, hdmi is ok.
      so strange...
      any idea og what's going on ?

    • nicolas
      September 1, 2016 at 8:34 pm

      similar issue: my rasp with openelec wormed perfectly but i went on three weeks holidays and when i came back and tuened it on. usb devices were not sen anymore, even just a mouse. except for udb, everything is ok: hdmi, network, boot, browse....
      so strange. any idea?

  2. robert
    August 4, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Hi
    I'm using a raspberry pi B+, First time boot is correctly done and I got the user interface. when I shut down the raspberry pi and turn off the power supply and then turn it on, my raspberry pi doesn't boot.

    • Christian Cawley
      August 4, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      Are you shutting down with sudo shutdown -h/sudo shutdown, or sudo shutdown -h now? Or are you shutting down from the desktop?

      What happens if you reboot?

      • robert
        August 4, 2016 at 8:00 pm

        I'm shutting down from the desktop and when I reboot I can't see nothing on the monitor.

        • Christian Cawley
          August 4, 2016 at 8:50 pm

          What if you try it from the command line, what happens then?

          To be honest I would suspect the SD card in the first instance.

  3. Jake Kettleberh
    August 3, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    I honestly have no clue what's wrong with the pi. When I connected it to an HDMI monitor (no i didn't use an adaptor) it showed a black screen. All I saw was a red light. Then i reinstalled the os on a 16 gb card and connected the pi to my router with an ethernet cable so I could control it with my laptop, advanced ip scanner couldn't find the pi. I tried to run raspbian jessie. What's wrong with it?

    • Christian Cawley
      August 3, 2016 at 6:15 pm

      What model Pi is it, Jake?

      What you describe certainly doesn't sound good. My Model B Pi is sat beside me right now (the device pictured above) and it is very difficult to get anything going on it these days.

  4. Jake Nolan
    July 27, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Iv connected everything up and all apart from ethernet and my pi 3 B+ is just giving me a red led light. any idea's.

    • Christian Cawley
      July 27, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      What are you using for power?

      I had this recently and it was because i was using my laptop's USB for power (too lazy to reach across the room for the dedicated power adaptor!)

  5. RpiAspirant
    July 4, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Yeah,, listen to my woes about Rpi 2 mod b ,, everything is alright ,, only boot up problem,, even though i ve updated filesof noobs in sd card

  6. Frengki
    June 24, 2016 at 2:36 am

    i want ask, i have install Nagios3 on Raspberry Pi then reboot the Raspberry.
    after that when finished Booting i have my Raspberry Black screen .
    why like that?
    Thanks

    • Christian Cawley
      June 24, 2016 at 7:54 am

      Sounds as though something has gone awry. I'd recommend starting from scratch and reinstalling Nagios

  7. Suhanya
    April 29, 2016 at 8:56 am

    yes i have an upgraded image in my sd card but dont know you my is not booting up

  8. suhanya
    April 29, 2016 at 5:35 am

    i am using raspberry pi 2 model. my sd card works well with other raspberry pi but my raspberry pi is not booting up.how can i fix my pi

    • Christian Cawley
      April 29, 2016 at 7:01 am

      Have you upgraded the Raspbian version so it runs on your Raspberry Pi 2?

      • Suhanya
        April 29, 2016 at 9:01 am

        yeah i have a upgraded version only but my pi does not getting booted the PWR and ACT leds are not at all blinking

        • Christian Cawley
          April 29, 2016 at 9:04 am

          If the device is connected to a suitable power supply, the PWR LED should light up regardless. Sounds like a defective unit.

      • Suhanya
        April 29, 2016 at 9:09 am

        no i am using the same power supply for my another pi 2 board and its working properly

  9. Gulo Gulo
    April 25, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Pi is quite sensible to power supply. I don't know the approved power supply. I bought mine on a yard sale; 5V 2.5A. I checked it and it was good to 2A and start to drop after. I changed wires for 14AWG duplex, less the very end 4cm cable, maybe 20AWG, with micro usb connector. I did check the noise with a DSO and power was quite noisy. I added two inductors, one each line and two low ESR 100µF capacitors plus one ceramic 100nF, all three in parallel. Now power is clean and noise down from 100mVpp to 2mVpp. Never used Noobs or installed any OS directly, but I use Berryboot. Almost two years and so far so good. Never corrupted my only one 8Gb sd card. I do not know the brand or type (is it a way to know? Nothing printed on it!).
    Installed Raspbian, on which I run Kicad, OpenElec, Snowshoe and Kali. OpenElec crashes sometimes, but works most of the time.
    I wait until "No Signal" is displayed on my TV to cut off power.
    Maybe a future project could be a self controlled switch using a low R MOSFET.
    But things like these are not on the reach of my motivated 14y/o son, less for a preschooler.

  10. Bogce
    April 24, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Guys if u cannot find enough powerful adapter just buy one voltage controller from alixpress / amazon for 2 dollars hook any adapter up to 48 volts and u will have enough power to power up 5 pi at a time..

    im using more than 15 pi round my company and they work amazing, and they have some serious amount of relays connected ( 21 relay per PI ) to them ( im using them for automation ) and i never got problem with rebooting..

    the only mayor issue im facing that if ii don't clear the log by hand ( or crontab ) once month they get overfilled with data and cannot login into.

  11. Markuz Zericci
    March 15, 2016 at 7:03 am

    Sorry, but ALL version of the RPi have serious storage issues. even with a high class SD/TF card, you are GOING to have corruption. There's no way around it, it's mainly due to the fact that the pi has a tendency to "guess" when the card is being written/read from, and sometimes attempts to do both at the same time, on the same block..

    This is especially true when running apt-get update, upgrade or dist-upgrade.

    The fact that the dev of RPi still haven't addressed this issue is shocking to me. Instead of fixing known issues, they are instead expanding upon a weak platform. Namely, if your storage solution doesn't function properly, or at minimal, consistently, than your entire project is at the whims of whatever nonsense is going on.

    If it's a power stability issue, simply add on a circuit to clean up the current, or not power on if insufficient current is available.

    If it's the so called "cheap cards" that are at fault, replacing them with a small on-board NAND, or other such storage solution would solve everyone's problem, as you now have a situation where quality is controlled during manufacture, not by the cheapness / gullibility of the end user.

    i've seen quite a few excuses made over the years for RPi's storage woes, but not once have i seen the issue addressed at the manufacturing, or development level, an area that should in theory have stricter control over quality, and consistencies.

  12. Mangraviti
    February 20, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    I gotta say it's a piece of crap. I am an experienced Linux user and yet I can't get Ubuntu core to work flawlessly. It is supposed to run as a printer server and it constantly shuts down. I don't have the shutdown button and I need to unplug and plug it back on, wait till it boots, then print. It's a pain every time. I'll get an Intel compute stick and get it to work.

  13. Sammy
    December 21, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    This article pretty much passes the blame to the users with 0 chance of it being the hardware.... Read the forums, they must be making bad batches

    • Christian Cawley
      December 21, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      "pretty much" as in "not."

      This post isn't about bad hardware, it's about user error.

  14. Burn
    November 14, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Why is every body on here trying to be nice I but the Raspberry Pi 2??? It is a piece of shit, I order case, I order heat sinks, I order 32Gb SanDisk micro sd card , power supply and key board formatted card 5 different times and reloaded software and it still does not work. And I keep hearing this crap about there is a chance that you might have a bad 1 is 1 out of a 1000 crap!!!! I have never seen any piece of electronic equipment have so many issues right out of the box, I mean really the damn thing does not even turn on, And that Video pisses me off even more, that little Animation about Now that you have you raspberry pi it is so easy to hook up Well I have been reading forum fixes for days trying out type of hocus pocus remedies and I have had it!!!!! You need to take that video down about how easy it is to hook up Raspberry PI that is FALSE ADVERTISEMENT!!!!!

    • Christian Cawley
      November 15, 2015 at 7:29 am

      There's nothing false advertising about it. My 4 year old can set up a Pi.

      Perhaps consider contacting the vendor and arranging a return and replace if your unit is defectiive.

      • Burn
        November 15, 2015 at 3:46 pm

        Yeah I am going to call BS on that comment most 4 yr olds can barely tie their shoes and you want me to believe a 4 yr old can insert a micro sd card in adapter format the card to the right specs download the zip file, extract it and loaded it to the micro sd and eject it from the computer properly and remove it from the adapter and load the tiny micro sd into Raspberry pi????? Yeah once again no freaking way. And if the kid really can do all this you need to take your super baby and put it on tv so all the World can worship and admire The mini miracle Buddha incarnate Baby!!!

    • Christian Cawley
      November 15, 2015 at 3:50 pm

      http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/kano-diy-computer-kids-code-learn-review-competition/

      Photo evidence. Setting up a Kano with no need to flash to SD as it is pre-installed.

      You're on dangerous ground, friend. Please modify your tone.

      • Burn
        November 15, 2015 at 4:13 pm

        I know everybody loves their kids so I don't want to make this personal but in the video the 9 year old kid did not know where to put the Preloaded Noob Sd card. But I digress I am not here to cause trouble I just got pissed off with all the problems I was having from my newly purchased Raspberry PI 2.

  15. Otto
    May 4, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Oh I misunderstood you. Erm I've tried a different home, a different extension cord, no extension cord, but I got all the same problems.

    • Christian Cawley
      May 7, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Ah well, it was worth the try :)

  16. Otto
    May 4, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Nah I've got an adapter that all other Pi users that live around here (can't get the official adapter here) and ditto for the cable. Still replaced the cable, then the adapter, then another cable, then another cable, then the Pi and now it works sorta.
    I think it's a specific brand of SD card that's (even though it's on the supported list) just doesn't get read properly every single time.
    Pi is so nitpicky when it comes to power supply and SD cards...

    I appreciate the help, but I've went through all the usual tips like checking power, checking sd and that didn't solve it after 20 hours of messing with it. Now it's almost reliable though and that's as good as it's gonna get.

  17. Otto
    May 3, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Yea I've replaced the SD card with a new supported (identical) one, they don't sell official adapters in the Netherlands so I had to go with the next best thing. A velleman adapter that is popular amongst dutch Pi users. I also switched out the cable 4 times (while the second cable I got works for all other local Pi users) and replaced the adapter because the store told me it must be defective considering the problems.
    At the end I replaced the Pi because it was faulty. The SD card reader was put on at an angle and it didn't read the cards properly.
    The current Pi isn't the most reliable one on the planet either, but usually it boots 88% of the time. So it's good enough

    Thanks for the info :)

    • Christian Cawley
      May 3, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Any chance the problem could be with your power source, rather than the cable/adaptor? Perhaps an intermittent issue with an extension cable or wall socket?

  18. Otto
    April 29, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Hi. I got my Pi some days ago and I'm having a lot of trouble.

    I checked my power supply (5V 3.1A) my SD card (supported integral 16gb class 10) and reinstalled the image at least 5 times now on more then 1 card but it keeps booting inconsistently. It boots maybe 60% out of times and the other times it has trouble reading data, but when it boots it works fine and I can write to SD card.
    So I'm looking for all info I can find and I find this topic and you state

    "Manufacturing problems with cases and cables alike can lead to incorrect seating of power, Ethernet and HDMI cables, and these can all lead to problems."

    What do you mean with seating of power?
    Can my HDMI cable and Network cable have anything to do with my problems?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated, in the official forums I havn't gotten a reply to my very extensive problem report yet and there doesn't seem to be another topic on ány forum about the exact problems I'm having.

    Otto

    • Christian Cawley
      May 2, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      "seating of power... cable" is what is implied here, specifically how well it is connected, if the connector is a good fit, etc.

      Is the power supply an approved Rpi adaptor? Also, have you checked the cards for problems?

  19. mick
    December 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    i would gladly donate if i knew which one is my problem

  20. rannick
    August 7, 2013 at 2:44 am

    If you don't mind that 1 out of 1000 chance for SD card corruption, there is an easier way to handle the whole "SD Card Stability thing" than just saying "always shutdown the pi correctly", which, let's face it, makes the pi a lot less fun: tweak the filesystem settings:

    (Shamelss plug: http://www.ideaheap.com/2013/07/stopping-sd-card-corruption-on-a-raspberry-pi/)

    • Christian Cawley
      August 7, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Great suggestion, rannick, thanks for sharing - I'll give it a try!

  21. Chris Marcoe
    March 13, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I've had 2 problems with my Pi so far. One resolved and one that isn't. the resolved one is that I was powering my Pi through a hub and the mouse and KB didn't work right. I still have a hub on my Pi but the power is from the Mini-USB now, not through the hub. the second problem is, I don't know Python to get my sensors running and reading. And, being in college right now, I don't really have the brain processing power to learn it.

  22. ryandigweed0
    March 9, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I Often face this issue with my raspberry Pi, that the Red light remains on, and the green light doesn't blink or come on entirely. I think it's got to do something with the boot process. :S

    I don't know why that happens.

    • Michael Horne
      March 9, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      Make sure your SD card is seated properly and pushed in all the way. The green light blinks when the SD is detected and the OS is loading.

      • ryandigweed0
        March 10, 2013 at 8:48 pm

        I have done that. I don't know why I get the feeling that the power supply im using isn't compatible or something.

        I took it out of the acrylic case i had because I feared some bolts would have been shorting the components. And when i would remove it from the case, it would boot up with the green lights. And then i Put it into a foldable case, and it wouldn't boot at first. but then it finally booted.

        I often get the error "System Halted" with OpenELEC, at that point I remove the SD card and re-write an updated image to the card.

  23. dragonmouth
    March 8, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    "older SD Cards can become corrupted quite easily"
    Please define older.

    Your discourage use of "cheaply available" cables from certain suppliers. Which suppliers do you recommend?

    • Austin Beatty
      March 9, 2013 at 2:00 am

      I can recommend cables from monoprice.com. They are very low priced, and almost always good quality

    • Chris Marcoe
      March 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      "and the SDHC format is particularly resilient." I think he means a non-HCSD. I use a class-10 and also have a Class 4. Both SDHC. The difference between them is amazing. But I have also corrupted both of them at one time or another. Turning the pi off when its writing will do that, though...

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