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I recently got my first RPi (4 model B 2GB) and a brand new SD card (Goconecto 1TB micro SD XC 3 A2). I'm trying to install Ubuntu Server via the net installer. Up to now I've tried 20.04 64bit, 22.04 32bit and 22.04 64bit. The installation seems to complete fine, but when it reboots I'm invariably greeted with the rainbow screen.

While trying to spot the problem, I tried a much smaller SD card, which didn't get stuck at the rainbow screen, but wasn't big enough and got stuck on the first update.

Nevertheless I've tested the Goconecto SD on other devices and it looks like it works fine as a simple storage device. Have I missed some SD compatibility guidelines?

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  • Welcome. You should place a link to where you are trying to do the net install from; my first guess here is that it is a normative generic image that will never work on a Pi (although you mention a working smaller card, it is not 100% clear how that was created). That said, is it really worth wasting time on this? It didn't work, big deal -- just download an image and create the card normally. At this point, net install is not exactly saving you time or anythiing.
    – goldilocks
    Jan 18, 2023 at 13:30
  • By net install I mean the one built in to RPi when it boots with an empty medium. While in trial-and-error mode, I also manually installed various images to the SD from the internet on another device, but I thought that using the builtin net install would eliminate the chances I did something wrong in the installation process.
    – orfeas
    Jan 18, 2023 at 13:38

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The only method I've ever used to create a Pi SD card is to just dd the image onto the card. It can't really get easier or more bulletproof than that, IMO, and I honestly can't remember it ever failing.

However, I realize that many people somehow get screwed up with that, and/or are skittish of the command line, and hence there is the official GUI installer. People still come here unable to get that to work -- but for every possible install method, you'll find multiple posts here by people for whom it does not work, at least some of which never find a solution or reason.

Although I admit my ignorance of it, I can't see why you would believe the net install is going to decrease "the chances I did something wrong"; I think its primary value would be for use in scenarios where there is no opportunity to create a card before it is inserted into the pi. So if you don't have that constraint, don't bother with it.

There is some chance the card simply won't work at all (there have been reports of a few specific instances of this down the years, although I think they are mostly anecdotal). I would try to use it with the GUI imager, and if that doesn't work, and every other method you've tried didn't work, this may be the issue.

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  • Thanks for your answer. The focus of the question isn't the installation method though, it is whether there is a reason (other than intuition) to believe that this specific SD card is the issue. Is there anyone else that has tried a similar card? Or a list of faulty/certainly working SD cards? Or a (preferably official) guide to checking whether a particular SD card is compatible?
    – orfeas
    Jan 18, 2023 at 14:26
  • There's the list in the second link above. As to an official guide, I doubt there's ever been an official statement such that this and this card are known not to work (I thought there was an issue at a certain point with some models and cards over 32 or 64 gb, but all I can find are random claims to support that). There are standards for these things, and when some particular card fails to live up to them in some particular circumstance there likely is not any easily discernable, definitive explanation for why.
    – goldilocks
    Jan 18, 2023 at 15:21
  • There certainly is at least community level acknowledgement of various issues regarding Pi hardware (they are not of impeccable quality), so at this point, if there were any significant issues with the SD card reader, we'd know about it. In the end, if you have a card that you cannot get to work by any means, that's sort of that -- contra various sources of hysteria, the installation process and image structure is pretty simple and straight-forward. There are no secret tips etc. you need to know in order to make it work. If it doesn't there's not much you can do besides try a different card.
    – goldilocks
    Jan 18, 2023 at 15:21

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