I got this old Raspberry Pi B+. One day, suddenly the HDMI stopped working completely. I know it boots up because I can still ssh into it. The thing is, I have no AV cables for alternate input. I tried forcehdmi but it still doesn't work. I have my suspicions that the port is completely burnt out. But there are no coloration or burn marks that you'd normally see. I tried it on my other TVs and it still doesn't work. Tried multiple distros, still doesn't work.

I have this old monitor lying around that I would like to repurpose. It's a VGA monitor, but I got a VGA to HDMI adapter. What are my options to get a display output? (something with GPIO or something? is that even possible?)

My pi looks like this, I know it's not hi-res but if there are some kinda physical problems, may be you may catch it, who knows! https://i.sstatic.net/n4Tg9.jpg

  • How about a display through the display port on the left of the pi?
    – SkyPlayX
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 6:39
  • @JaromandaX sorry, it's actually hdmi_force_hotplug=1 hdmi_drive=2. this solution is quoted on a number of places. Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 14:05
  • @PradhyumnaNarain Actually, I don't have something that can go in there! Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 14:06
  • Are you fine with a headless setup or do you need it to be connected to monitor?
    – SkyPlayX
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 14:15
  • @PradhyumnaNarain I wanted it connect it to a monitor lying around and maybe use it to as a bedside something Commented Mar 28, 2020 at 15:04

3 Answers 3


If it's definitely not a cable issue, you can either install a remote desktop (if you are using ssh from another computer anyways) sudo apt-get remove xrdpand then use for example the standard windows remote desktop or use X11 forwarding how to use remote connections (stackexchange)


Get a fresh install of a known good OS for your hardware.

Test with that, if issue persists, check cabling. Check on different monitor as well to rule out your display.

Also check that the solder points on the video component are sound... Sometimes it will look like it's soldered, but the old solder can lose its bind to the board, lot of times due to excessive physical strain on that port.

You may need to reflow that solder... If you are skilled with a soldering iron small enough to get those points resoldered, that tends to help. Some cases a heat gun focused precisely on those connections will resolder the points of contacts, from the video connector component to the main board.

If all those fail, I'd suspect a failed circuit or maybe your SoC has it's embedded video components failed.


As for the analog A/V cable - it's always a good idea to have them at hand when all else fails. And such as in this case, at least for diagnostic purposes.

If you can solder, you could always make an A/V cable by yourself with a TRRS 3.5mm mini-plug cable and RCA connectors on the other end. The pinouts: https://i.sstatic.net/QTkwY.jpg

Also, a simple video tutorial on how to make the A/V breakout cable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1yY9XGtvaE

Pre-made cables can be found online from a lot of online retailers, starting from Amazon etc. They're available for at around 5 USD from i.e. https://thepihut.com/products/a-v-and-rca-composite-video-audio-cable-for-raspberry-pi

Also, once again, keep in mind that not all HDMI to VGA adapters are created equal and some simply might refuse to work on your RPi altogether. I actually had to shuffle through multiple HDMI->VGA adapter cables until I found a passive adapter that actually worked.

See this thread:

Is it safe to use an unpowered HDMI to VGA converter on Raspberry Pi 3?

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