Pi 3 Model B+ has steady red PWR LED but no green ACT LED with 2018-03-13-raspbian-stretch.img. See screenshot below. I'm not sure if the side of the ACT light is red and if so if that's also a problem?

After some web research I was told to use the specific stretch image, which DOES work fine on the same SD card on my Pi 3 Model B V1.2 (2015).

I am using this power adapter shown below.

I guess let's start with an answer to this question: What is a known working Raspbian image (or I guess ANY distro/flavor with minimum dropping of other files into the image, etc..) that works with my model?

Background: I bought this for the purposes of the 5GHZ wifi and it will be (hopefully) powering my 7 inch Pi Display V1.1 which I had working with other Pi models.

UPDATE: 1. New microSD card flashed with: 2019-04-08-raspbian-stretch-full.img 2. updated firmwareupdatedfirmware 3. went through troubleshooting steps again from suggestion in comment no dice

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  • does the ACT led flash at all? – Jaromanda X Jun 29 '19 at 3:14
  • If the red is never flashing on occasions, then I suggest you take another SD card and prepare another system / boot. Usually when there is nothing green - it simply can not find the boot. this can happen for a variety of reasons. none of them is the specific image – Obmerk Kronen Jun 29 '19 at 3:20
  • No the ACT led does not flash at all. Now - on the FIRST (not this one) Pi 3 Model B+ the ACT led flashed twice - which IIRC means it could not read the SD card? I am returning the old one once I get the new one working - and the new one again has no activity on the ACT led. @JaromandaX – JohnZaj Jun 29 '19 at 3:31
  • @ObmerkKronen I thought that the steady red PWR LED is normal, on this model at least, no? – JohnZaj Jun 29 '19 at 3:32
  • @JohnZaj Yes, it is. Hence if it is not flashing, probably not power problem. see also my answer. – Obmerk Kronen Jun 29 '19 at 3:34

Your power supply should be enough, assuming it is operating in the rated written current. you can always verify it with a multimeter, or checking that the red LED is never blinking.

That being said - make sure the plug is secured tightly. The LED is not 100% fail-proof indicator.

As for the other issue - if the Green LED never on / blinks, then probably it can not find a valid img / boot on the SD card.

This can happen for several reasons, like wrong writing permissions when card was written, faulty card, faulty single sector / file ( like bootcode.bin for example ) and many other causes.

I would suggest taking a new SD card if possible and make a new system/boot as in most occasions I encountered - the SD / img was the fault. second is power. Don't forget that an img can be corrupted for many reasons while prepared, downloaded, transferred.

Also pass over the steps / verification on this list

As for the distro / img - any image that specifically support your hardware will do - not necessarily raspbian, but if you want to verify hardware - you can find many listed here.

Also, if problem persist, try to turn on without nay connections except the PWR usb. Take out HDMI, USB, LAN etc. and look at the green LED.

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  • "suggest taking a new SD card" despite that the same image on the same SD card works fine on other Pi's?. No change with HDMI / all other peripherals out. Power is 'good' according to my multimeter, but I'll get a better one that checks average and test on that for dips and blips I guess. – JohnZaj Jun 29 '19 at 15:13
  • @JohnZaj - if you have another image / sd card than try it on the problematic one. Also, try some other system from the list... just to verify hardware functioning. and yes. I suggested it despite that. It is just a sensible first debugging verification. – Obmerk Kronen Jun 30 '19 at 0:57

All Raspbian images work on all models (except models newer than the image).

If you update/upgrade an older image (to ensure the firmware is updated) it would work (the Pi4 needs Buster and the 3B+ Stretch).

The Pi3B+ was released on 14 March 2018 (Pi day) so I would expect that should work.

NOTE the Red LED is not a reliable power indicator on the Pi3B+ as it controlled by software and needs up to date firmware to work.

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  • before I panic, I'll take your suggestion and let you know :). Thanks for the info, already helpful – JohnZaj Jun 29 '19 at 3:33
  • So if the form factor of the Pi4 is compatible with my 7" pi display V1.1 (2015) I should really just get that. I overlooked this. – JohnZaj Jun 29 '19 at 16:47

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