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I have a Pico W that was working connected to my computer, but suddenly turned off while running and not turning on anymore.

I've tried to:

  • Change the cables
  • Change the port
  • Connect it to Pi Model B instead of my computer
  • Turning on holding BOOTSEL
  • Do reset connecting RUN and GND pins

No reaction at all — it's not connecting as a flash drive, no /dev/cu.usbmodem* appears, not blinking LED.

There should be no short circuits. The only thing that was connected to it was HX711.

Any ideas what happened, how to prevent it in the future and what else to try?

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  • 3
    only you know what you did
    – jsotola
    Commented Jan 30 at 22:14
  • @jsotola thanks for the incredibly helpful comment, that's what Q&A websites are for.
    – artem
    Commented Jan 31 at 8:14

1 Answer 1

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It seems quite likely from the tests that you have done that your Pico is dead. This could be caused by static while handling (though less likely if it happenend while connected to a computer), or by overloading or overheating (unlikely because you haven't said that it was doing anything very strenuous). It could also be caused by overvoltage from the USB port (5.5v is the maximum recommended). Otherwise it is likely to be component failure, which, although the chances are low on the Pico can never be zero.

Other checks that you could perform: In Thonny click bottom right to see if the Pico is present. If it is then maybe it isn't fried after all. You could also look at the Device Manager if you are on a PC, and check under Ports that its COM port is present.

You could also check voltage and current draw. There are small very inexpensive USB current and voltage meters. My Pico W draws around 30mA when idle. Before you plug another Pico into the device where the previous one stopped working, it would be prudent to check that the voltage does not exceed 5.5. My PC shows 5.08, and my Raspberry Pi 4, 5.10 volts.

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  • Funny thing is that it started to work again few days later :)
    – artem
    Commented Feb 27 at 17:35
  • Very weird :) but a good result!
    – Lee-xp
    Commented Feb 27 at 18:41

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