I was configuring a ssd on my pi4. All was working until I got a freeze. I powered off and I am not able to get things working again. I tried installing a new sd card, after a few green blinks only the red light stays on together with a black screen. I suspect the pi is still searching for the proper ssd. How can I go back to initial settings where the pi is booting from sd card so I can start all over again? This is in my opinion diiferent from a pi 3 since the pi 4 needs the sd as well as the ssd...

Thanks for your reply.

I did not gracefully power the system down... Took the power of because I had no icons in mys screen to operate the system (they all disappeared).

the new ssd is a wd green sata ssd 120 gb. Powered just buy the usb port. I installed raspbian with desktop. To configure the ssd I used the explanation of Tom's hardware site. https://www.tomshardware.com/news/boot-raspberry-pi-from-usb,39782.html

My thought was that when I just make a new install on a sd card I would be able to power up. This does not work. What lines are now still refering to the ssd? And how can I change these back to sd again? Or is something else the matter?

Also tried with a fresh card but after a few green blinks the green light stays off and only the red light is burning. I could not find helpful info in the sticky... My feeling is that somehow the boot is still redirecting to the non existing ssd...

PROBLEM SOLVED... i redownloaded the software and made a fresh sd, now it is booting.... Maybe the downloaded software was corrupted??? Anyhow thanks for thinking with me!


1 Answer 1


First and foremost, did you shut the pi4 down gracefully? If you didn't power it down from the gui or the cli, then the abrupt power down may have corrupted the sd or the ssd. A corrupted file system will either have to be repaired or rebuilt.

If you have an existing sd card that worked in the past, I'd boot the older working sd card to check if the pi4 is still working. If you can boot on the older card, try mounting the ssd and check the filesystem there.

You didn't mention what you put on the "new" sd card, only that you installed it. The "new" sd card needs to have the same boot information on it as the sd card that was successful - a minimum of the /boot files and a cmdline.txt that points to the SSD. The cmdline.txt will include text that includes something like "root=/dev/sda1 rootfstype=ext4 rootwait". The cmdline.txt will vary by installation. If you've successfully booted to the SSD, you've already got what you need.

You also didn't mention what SSD you are using and more importantly, how it is powered. There are no end shenanigans that will happen if the Pi and its disk do not have proper power.

Let us know a little more so we can help you.

  • But the OP already "tried installing a new sd card" but he got "after a few green blinks only the red light stays on together with a black screen".
    – Ingo
    Sep 8, 2019 at 10:09
  • Yep, that's pretty much what a blank SD card would do. That's why I asked for confirmation of what he had done.
    – John P
    Sep 9, 2019 at 17:55

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