When you use a Raspberry Pi, the OS runs off of an SD card. Is anything being saved on the actual raspberry pi hardware when you remove the card?

Said differently, say I create a password on a my RP and then remove the SD card. Can a hacker (in principle) be able to recover that password if she is allowed to interact with my Raspberry Pi itself but not with the SD card?

1 Answer 1


No, nothing is stored on the Pi hardware itself. Everything is saved on the SD card, and as a result SD cards are interchangeable between different Pis. No one could recover any information off the Pi (sans SD card) as it simply isn't there.

  • IIRC There's a Serial Number in BIOS somewhere, which should make the only difference between RPis of the same version. Of course, in reality now two chips have the same performance (in sense of heating, memory/bus latency, ...) so there is a very small difference between two RPis, however, probably impossible to detect from the system.
    – yo'
    Commented Mar 24, 2014 at 13:14
  • The serial number and a number of flags is actually on the CPU itself. There is no BIOS on the Pi.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Mar 24, 2014 at 14:02
  • 1
    There's also the MAC address of the Ethernet in Model B Pis. There's almost nothing (other than some hardware video decoding features) that takes advantage of them. Their presence still would not let you pull personal information off of them, although you could potentially infer that someone owned a specific Pi at some point in time.
    – Fred
    Commented Mar 24, 2014 at 14:09

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