I have a raspberry pi 3 that I have used successfully for several years now. A few months ago, I left it in the attic (often very hot here in Florida). I took it out recently and tried to start it up again, and it won't boot. I see the red light come on; the green activity light flashes twice, then flickers weakly and dies. The TV (hdmi connection) shows a rainbow screen. I've read the entire 'STICKY' article (long and short versions), and all I have been able to glean from it is that for some reason the pi is trying to boot from the card, and failing. I haven't re-imaged the SD card, but I have made sure that it wasn't corrupted using a Macbook with disk utility.

I haven't changed the configuration of the pi, except for the fact that I'm using a new TV. The SD card and everything else was unaltered from the way I was using it pre-attic. I'm worried that the attic may have killed it, though I've read other posts from people operating a pi in an attic saying that it should withstand operating temperatures up to 85C (185F), and I doubt that my attic was ever that hot. It was in a case (always has been), and didn't even have much dust.

Things I have tried:

Verifying that the SD card wasn't corrupted using a Macbook with disk utility

Checking that the power supply (came with the pi) was good

Checking the 3V3 port for adequate voltage

Making sure 'start.elf' was present on the SD card

and a few others that I can't remember

Any ideas? Could the attic have killed it? Could it have killed the SD card--even though I checked for corruption? Am I missing something (possibly even from the STICKY article)?

  • 1
    Disk Utility will only check the FAT partition and not the EXT4 partition (unless you have EXT support installed). It also does not check if the file is valid only the file system. If you do not need the card, build another as you get a check on the card and the latest OS as well.
    – user115418
    Dec 22, 2020 at 21:30
  • 2
    As Androo has said you can't check on a Mac. Your problem is more likely related to humidity; clean the contacts. I suggest you get a new SD Card and do a fresh install of Raspberry Pi OS.
    – Milliways
    Dec 22, 2020 at 22:51

1 Answer 1


Start by flashing a new SD card and trying to boot off that, to check for hardware problems. Unplug/replug every connector you use (power, HDMI, SD card) several times to have a chance to get through the eventual oxidation layer.

If a hardware problem is confirmed, I wouldn't spend too much time trying to revive the Pi.

Note that powered electronics are naturally hot (even if by a few degrees), so they are the last target to be hit by dew. That's how some devices survive in humid environments for years, while an unpowered device is more easily damaged.

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