First-time user of Pi 3B+ here; just bought from Amazon. I used a new HDMI-to-VGA adapter cable and followed the instructions enclosed in the box, applying power last of all from the official mains unit (nominal 2.5A, 5.1V). The little red light (only) came on but there was no visible activity on the network socket and the monitor stayed on standby. The official microSD card (NOOBS) showed lots of suitable-looking files when I looked into it on my Linux Mint laptop. Power supply issue ? Next actions ?

  • DOA, contact seller and do a RMA
    – MatsK
    Feb 16, 2020 at 19:08
  • You might try re-seating the SD card before returning the unit. Pull it out and re-insert it. Note that the pins on the SD card face the circuit board, i.e. facing "up." You might also look at the Boot Problems Sticky in the Raspberry Pi forum.
    – Bob Brown
    Feb 16, 2020 at 20:04
  • 3
    "HDMI-to-VGA adapter cable" -> Has historically caused people grief, I think, because they require more power than the Pi jack delivers. However, if everything is otherwise find there should be some activity from the green LED when you first power up (5-10 seconds of irregular flashes). You should check that w/ the HDMI cable unplugged -- but first run fsck on the second partition with Mint.
    – goldilocks
    Feb 16, 2020 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


Did you buy the SD card with NOOBS, or build your own? I got burned a few weeks ago trying to build my first RaspberryPi. Turns out the NOOBS / Raspbian SD card must be formatted as FAT32, which means that card cannot be bigger than 64GB. A larger card will look fine on a PC, but show no activity when plugged into the Raspberry Pi (one steady led on most Pi boards, and no lights at all on a Raspberry Zero computer).

I went thru several SD cards I had laying around (all 128GB or larger) before breaking down and buying a pre-made one. I then bought a smaller card and made a NOOBS installer, and sure enough it worked fine. I then found an obscure article talking about ways to format the 128GB as FAT32 to work with RaspberryPi and put 2 & 2 together!

  • Original poster here. I got the thing to work by discarding the already-loaded NOOBS card (corrupted?) and flashing an old empty 8GB card with a fresh download, having read 'Boot Problems Sticky'. Ta for all comments and answer. Off and rolling now.
    – jlee27
    Feb 17, 2020 at 16:49
  • @jlee27 Please make your comment an answer and accept it after two days with a click on the tick on its left side. Only this will finish the question and it will not pop up again year for year.
    – Ingo
    Feb 17, 2020 at 17:48
  • @Ingo today it was, other question: even no response. Nov 9, 2021 at 8:31

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