So I come home and the power strip in which I left the RaspberryPi has tripped and it was off. I restart it, but I notice that the RaspberryPi wasn't giving any output when I plugged the monitor in. I unplugged it, plugged it back in, and nothing seems to work. Note that the RaspberryPi turned on, but it was just a solid red light. My last resort is to wipe the memory card clean, but I have a lot of programs that I do not want to loose. I've looked everywhere, but nobody seems to be having the same problem. Help?

Edit - additionally, is there a way to get information off of the sd card? If I were to wipe the card, would there a way to keep files? I am running a Windows OS, and it does not recognize the file system in the regular file manager (duh).

  • SD Cards are cheap - buy a new one. Then you can use the Pi to recover your files.
    – Milliways
    Sep 18, 2019 at 22:33

3 Answers 3


The filesystem on the SD card is FAT on the /boot/partition that windows can read and the rest is ext4 that Windows cant read without a filesystem driver.

There are several ext filesystem driver and filesystem readers out there:

  1. Ext2Fsd http://www.ext2fsd.com/

    Is a Windows file system driver for the Ext2, Ext3, and Ext4 file systems. It support both read and write.

  2. DiskInternals Linux Reader http://www.diskinternals.com/linux-reader/

    Is a freeware application from DiskInternals. In addition to the Ext file systems, Linux Reader also supports ReiserFS and Apple’s HFS and HFS+ file systems. It’s read-only.

  3. Ext2explore http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2read/

    It’s an open-source application that can can read Ext4, Ext3, and Ext2 partitions. It’s read-only.


I figured this out after doing some more research, but if anyone has the same problem, download Disk Internals Linux Reader. It is a really useful tool to see inside the RaspberryPi files and save your files. Afterwards, you can format it and re-image.

  • 1
    The recommended strategy is to make backups before something happens. This can be done using the RPi itself and an external HDD / thumb drive. Sep 19, 2019 at 7:10

1) Backup your SD

To backup the SD, I suggest taking an image of the SD card. This can be done using Win32 Disk Imager on Windows, diskutils on OSX or dd on linux machines.

The process is explained in detail on this PiHut blog post.

Once you have a backup, you can flash a clean image back to the SD card and fingers crossed the Pi will boot.

2) Recovering your Data

To recover your data from the image, you can use 7-Zip on windows to open the image on Windows. Right click on the image file, select 7-Zip menu and the Open Archive option. this should bring up all files recovered from the SD card.

For Linux you can just mount the image natively as described in this question.

For OSX there is a guide to mounting your image here.

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