When removing my Raspberry Pi 4 from its case, the SD card snagged and the metal SD card slot broke off at the top. I could push the metal back to connect with the board but the card would not read when I powered the Pi on.

Trying a working SD card with an OS on it results in the message "SD card reader not found" or similar during the boot process.

I now have 3 options as I see it. One is to try to repair it, which seems to be hard according to what I found on the net.

Second is to buy a replacement reader. I have looked for a spare SD slot but didn't find the one I think is needed. I have found instruction how to replace a reader but they are all for the original A with the big SD cards.

Third option is to do without the SD card reader at all. I have an SSD with a USB connection that I intend to run Raspian off. But is it possible to boot from USB without an SD card? If it is, this would be the easiest solution. Anyone able to help out? Thanks

  • Fourth option is to bodge a full size SD to microSD adapter onto the solder pads where the SD reader was connected. You only need to boot once to get the latest firmware update that enables USB boot. reddit.com/r/raspberry_pi/comments/dzqgd2/… or raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=175122
    – Dougie
    Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 22:22
  • May we see your SD card slot as it is now? Did the pads and tracks came off the board? Is the metal bit of the slot intact? Depending on the damage this can be relatively simple soldering job.
    – smajli
    Commented Jul 17, 2020 at 13:14
  • I was away for some days but now I'm ready to tackle this. At least if it's a catch 22, it will be easy, just solve one of the parts and the other will follow... as soon as you solve the other ;) Nothing looked bent or broken, the 2 pads were loose, one had the copper still attached and I affixed them with super glue. I managed to boot up a card with LibreElec until I let go. Gonna load an image with Raspian and do an APT UPDATE and I guess I could then attach my SSD with a Raspbian image to the USB port and boot from there? No use for SD card ever again? Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 13:33

1 Answer 1


The third option (USB boot without SD-Card) for a Raspberry Pi 4B is stable since 2020-06-15. You can try to use it. Look at Why does Raspberry Pi 4 do not support USB boot?.

  • what about a network boot?
    – Seamus
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 22:25
  • @Seamus It's also stable but not asked.
    – Ingo
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 23:20
  • I need your help with something - got a minute for the chat room?
    – Seamus
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 0:43

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