I have a Pi 3 Model B Rev 1.2 which has been running fine for 2 months. It was accidentally knocked off its shelf yesterday (about 1foot drop) It booted back up fine, but now it only stays on for 20 minutes before abruptly disconnecting. The red power light is on steady, but ethernet is off, and it seems all other power is off.

Is a 1 foot drop (plastic case) enough to damage the hardware? Is there a process I can implement to help me figure out if this is a hardware error within the 20 minutes it stays accessible?

I have Debian 10 installed on the system.

  • 3
    try a newly imaged sd and see if issues persist.
    – Abel
    Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 7:39
  • The red light indicates power. When the SD card is accessed, the green light will flicker. As there is no green light flickering, it seems you have a problem with the SD card. That may be the card (replace it to test), but if the drop was just wrong, it may also be the contacts on the Pi that are bent/broken. Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 13:52
  • Thanks. For the feedback. I tried the same card in a different Pi and had the same results. Good chance that you are correct. The SDCard may have been damaged. A friend suggested that maybe a cold solder could be cracked. Not sure how to check that other than visual inspection of the board.
    – Ken Ingram
    Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 22:13

2 Answers 2


You stated in a comment that you have the same problem with the same SD Card in other hardware. So it is very likely that the SD Card is broken. Just use a new SD Card and reflash it with the operating system. You should use a new installation and not a clone from the old SD Card because it can not be sure that programs have not become defective.

  • Yep. That's the plan.
    – Ken Ingram
    Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 17:47

Springboarding off of @Ingo's answer, you might also try fscking your SD card to potentially discover and correct any errors in the filesystems on your SD card (no - fsck won't correct hardware errors).

If you want to try this, there's another answer here with a procedure for running fsck (actually both e2fsck and fsck.vfat) on your card.

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