I've left my Raspberry PI 4 Model B on a shelf for quite a while but now that I finally figured out what I wanted to do with it, I can't get it to work at all. I've used the rpi-imager from my Linux machine to flash the SD card with fresh installation of Raspbian, after inserting the card in and plugging the PI, it immediately shown a red light and after a few milliseconds, the green light quickly flashed once, then it just stayed red and nothing was happening.

Any idea what could be causing this? I assume the PI is dead but I wanted to ask just to make sure,

I was looking for an answer to this problem before asking, but all I could find was a question on this stackexchange with answer to use a newer software >2013 which isn't very helpful, someone also pointed out that it could be because of the power supply didn't have high enough voltage (or because the voltage was too high), however I'm using the official power supply so I'm pretty sure that can't be it.


1 Answer 1


It seems unlikely to me that there is a direct answer to your question, as currently written. It seems likely to me that some trouble-shooting/trial-and-error will be required. Following are some ideas:

AFAICT, a single green LED flash doesn't tell you anything (ref: @CoderMike's URL in his comment). However, the thread does contain some useful information.

Beyond that:

There have been some reports of issues with rpi-imager - for example. You might try a different tool for flashing the image to the SD card; e.g. Etcher.

If that doesn't resolve the issue, it's worth checking the integrity of the SD card. You can mount the card and both of its partitions from your Linux machine, and verify they "look OK". With the SD card un-mounted, you can also run fsck on each of the two partitions (/ and /boot). Alternatively, you should try booting from a spare SD card (if you have one... and you should!).

Assuming you actually started your RPi successfully at some point in time, it seems unlikely that a hardware failure occurred while sitting on the shelf. However, if it's never been started, it may be more likely that it has a defect.

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