0

I have a Raspberry Pi 4 about 2 years old. I'm on my second SD card. I spent the time to make sure I got a good one that would not worn out this time. I mostly used it for running a plex server. All scenarios I'm about to describe all show the red and green light to be continuously on and not blinking at all. Which according to this they should be ok.

Now my question:

All of the sudden, it became unresponsive. I first noticed it when I wanted to add a new movie to it and went to ssh in. It said No route to host. Ok, so I rebooted, that usually does the trick. Same thing. Ok, sometimes it's something to do with it can't find the external HDD's. So I went to connect an HDMI external monitor. The same monitor I always use. Nope, just blue. I tried both ports. Neither work. I also made sure that plugging them in and turning them on and the Raspberry Pi on in the right order because it's not setup to handle hot plugging. And that can cause issues sometimes.

Ok, so maybe I have the config.txt hdmi settings off. The SD card mounts on my other linux machine, so I don't think the SD card is worn out. Is it? Anyways, I mounted it and uncommented hdmi_safe=1. Nope, still blue. So then I tried a different HDMI cable. A known good one which works with other monitors. Nope, still blue. I also tried to uncomment hdmi_force_hotplug=1 and config_hdmi_boost=4 all one at a time, then all together. All resulted in the same blue screen, also trying each with different hdmi ports and cables. I tried a total of 5 different HDMI cables, all which work on other monitors.

Ok, so put it in headless mode. Or at least what I think is. I've actually never done it before. I basically followed this. I put a blank ssh file on the mounted SD card next to the config.txt and added a wpa_supplicant.conf file next to it as well, with my WiFi's ssid and psk. All the files are the same user/group and permissions as the rest. I still can't ssh into it.

What else can I tell you to help answer my question? Is there anything else you can think of to help me troubleshoot and diagnose what is going on with my pi? I'd really rather not reflash the OS and have to set everything back up. Or buy another external monitor just to find out it's not the monitor.

If I do have to reflash the OS, can you guys give me any advice on backing up and transferring any critical Plex files? Is it going to retain my friends list/users which I invited to my plex? Or do I have to re-add them all over again?

1
  • The first thing I would check is the power supply. Phone chargers seem to go bad after a while. You can verify this if the system log has has power warnings in it.
    – NomadMaker
    Jan 1, 2023 at 17:37

2 Answers 2

0

The SD card mounts on my other linux machine, so I don't think the SD card is burnt out. Is it?

I'm not sure what you mean by "burnt out", but a common problem on the Pi is data corruption caused by unclean shutdowns; this is not unique to SD cards (it can happen on any medium) nor does it mean the card is physically damaged.

You may want to try running fsck on the filesystems on the card from your other linux machine, this will mitigate or at least indicate symptoms of corruption.

SD cards can eventually wear out (like other storage media), unfortunately there is not a standard way to recognise this, but I would say a major clue would be if fsck cannot do a repair -- or it can, but an immediate mount, unmount, and fsck shows problems and repairs going on again.

I mounted it and uncommented a few of those hdmi settings in the config.txt. Nope, still blue.

Always helpful when asking a question of this sort to be explicit about exactly which of those settings you are referring to. In this situation, use hdmi_safe=1 and leave the others commented out. If after this it otherwise appears to be booting normally because the green ACT led flashes rapidly and irregularly for 15-20+ seconds, then calms down, the HDMI jack is likely defunct (or you have a bad cable).

If the green led does something else, such as nothing or flashing in a regular pattern, it is not booting properly.

I put a blank ssh file on the mounted SD card next to the config.txt and added a wpa_supplicant.conf file next to it as well

I'm not positive, but I think on recent versions of the OS this feature was dropped in favour of a more complex system involving the official imager -- but I can't a reference for that after a quick look round.

If you do get it working with the screen and a keyboard but still can't get it online, have a look around at the rfkill problem, that one can be a bit pernicious (but should be easy to diagnose and solve if you are aware of it).

can you guys give me any advice on backing up and transferring any critical Plex files? Is it going to retain my friends list/users which I invited to my plex?

I'd presume some of your Plex account settings are stored somewhere in their cloud-o-sphere, but probably not actual content (movies etc). However, questions about Plex usage are better off on a Plex forum or Super User.

1
  • Thanks for your response. I updated my question to address several things you called out. I hope that helps. I did have a chance to run fsck and it came back clean. I've tried a few more hdmi cables and still nothing. I'm still poking at it though. Nov 2, 2022 at 0:15
0

I believe my issue is the entire board may have died. I re-flashed the same SD and same issue. I flashed a new SD, same issue. Then I ordered a new rpi 4 and with both SD cards, fired right up. Best I can tell, it's not the monitor, it's not the SD card, it's not the HDMI cables, it was just the board.

I am still curious though, how can I tell this in the future instead of poking around with other issues such as SD cards and what not. Because as called out in the original question, according to the red and green lights I saw on the board, all "should" have been ok.

I still have the board and can try any number of tests if anyone has any ideas. I just want to limit my troubleshooting time in the future if this were to occur again.

1
  • Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Jan 1, 2023 at 21:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.