I recently received a raspberry pi 2 from my neighbor. I already have a rasperry pi 3 in use myself for my HomeAssistant. For HomeAssistant I use a 16GB usb. On the raspberry pi 2 i want to install raspbian. I wanted to use a 16GB usb for this too, but it doesn't work. I used the official installation of raspbian. I have tried all USB ports, but none of them work for a boot of raspian (Ubuntu does not work to boot either). I have also used an sd card and that works. Whilst in raspbian I checked all the usb ports and all of them seems to be working. But because the sd card got corrupted it was stuck in a boot loop. Therefore I want to use a USB.

My question is: why doesn't the Bootable USB work and how can I get it working?

  • 2
    Because Pi2 doesn't support USB boot.
    – Milliways
    Nov 16, 2021 at 11:59
  • Even if that question would be answered easily by reading the documentation and googling this still remains a valid question IMO he also described his efforts. I cannot see why this is being downvoted
    – Phong
    Nov 16, 2021 at 13:20
  • By the way, the Pi 2 v1.2 can boot from USB - so, saying the Pi2 doesn't support USB boot is almost correct - you just need to enable it - so, check what revision the Pi2 is before blindly accepting that it won't work, you may be lucky and have one that will
    – Bravo
    Nov 16, 2021 at 21:24
  • You can only boot an original RPi 2 from an SDCard. You can have the root filesystem stored on a USB stick. There aren't any that will boot from a USB only, that started with the RPi 3 (and the early RPi 3s needed the OTP flag set to allow USB booting).
    – Dougie
    Apr 11, 2023 at 6:40
  • @Dougie Your flag got declined without me being able to add a comment (sorry whoops). Anyway, it does seem that the "2B v1.2" can boot from USB according to the official docs; it follows the process you describe for the Pi 3 (first you need to set the OTP flag...).
    – goldilocks
    Apr 11, 2023 at 16:04

1 Answer 1


As @Milliways already stated PI2 doesn't support USB boot. BUT you also asked for a additional solution.

You could use a SD Card instead here are my following steps which worked for me with Windows:

  1. Download a Bootloader https://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware the bootloader contains a file named


  1. Format your SD-Card with FAT32 Important the filessystem must be FAT(Standard)

  2. Copy your bootcode.bin into your freshly formatted SD-Card

  3. Stick your SD-Card into your Raspberry PI2 and you are Ready to Go

  • 3
    It may be useful to add that some Pi 2, i.e v1.2, can boot from USB, you just need to enable it (like you do with the Pi 3)
    – Bravo
    Nov 16, 2021 at 21:25
  • Very helpful infromation i wil keep that in mind
    – Phong
    Nov 17, 2021 at 8:06
  • WRT to this, to figure out if you have a Pi 2 v1.2, check the last line of output from /proc/cpuinfo.
    – goldilocks
    Apr 17, 2023 at 17:40
  • Thank you! I also had to remove other USB devices than the USB stick. I had a wireless keyboard receiver that caused problems. I realized later that if I changed in which USB ports the drive and the receiver were plugged in, it worked.
    – Erfa
    Oct 27, 2023 at 22:10

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