I got bought a new Raspberry Pi B as a present that came with an SD card, power and case etc but no instruction manual, and since it is meant to be about "teaching" I thought I'd just plug it all in, power up and see what happens. What could go possibly wrong?

I was presented with a window title NOOB v2. something I think, and a long list of what I figured were operating systems I could install. For some reason the RaspBMC sounded like fun, so I clicked that one, and after confirming I was sure it started installing. After about 4% it suddenly stopped with an error about the file system, and then went to blank screen.

Nothing seemed to respond at this point, so I cut the power and turned it back on again. This time it gave me the rainbow screen, and then a grey screen saying "For recovery mode hold shift", then the screen goes black.

At first (when the grey screen is up) PWR, FDX, LNK and 100 LEDs are lit. After the screen goes black, only PWR and ACT are lit, and then ACT goes out.

Holding down shift does nothing.

What have I done, and how can I undo it?

  • Is your shift key on a regular, wired (USB) keyboard, or on some kind of wireless keyboard? Holding shift during boot should rerun the noobs installer and give you chance to reinstall raspbmc and/or something else. Borrow a USB keyboard if necessary and retry. Also, how big is your SD card?
    – francis
    Jan 25, 2014 at 9:17

2 Answers 2


It looks like your install got corrupted somehow. I'd recommend going to this link


downloading NOOBS again and using a program such as Win32DiskImager to put the installation image on the card.

  • 1
    Unless of course you feel super confident that you could fix the problem manually...but I'd definitely recommend just a plain reinstall.
    – codedude
    Jan 25, 2014 at 0:52
  • Since it is brand new, should I do the reinstall, or just ask for a replacement SD card? I.e. is it something I did, or a corrupted SD?
    – Corvus
    Jan 25, 2014 at 8:57
  • 1
    The card could of course be corrupted from the time you received it in which you could contact support. They may be willing to send you a replacement. But to be honest, it's not that hard to reinstall your operating system of choice manually. (Providing your card is not messed up.) If you need some help I could point you to some good resources.
    – codedude
    Jan 25, 2014 at 21:07

For me happened the same, I bought also the sd card with the rpi . There is a problem with some boards with the "M" logo chip aboard, and you must update to the last version of NOOBS for work (or the classic raspbian alternative, my favorite for "experts"). I can't blame them after all, the boards had some changes and the sd cards comes with some months of difference, that's all, and now is fixed.

You can use the SD Association's Formatting tool from https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/eula_windows/ with "FORMAT SIZE ADJUSTMENT" to ON, this point is important, adjust the SD for more performance using the best setup for it, the normal format tools not had that option.

More info here:


And my favorite solution, raspbian like netinstall (you must work at first with only command line, via ssh):

Search for "hifi/raspbian-ua-netinst · GitHub" on google.

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