I had an 8 GB SD card with Arch ARM installed. I couldn't get the WiFi to work, so I wanted to reinstall via NOOBS. Since then, I've deleted all of the Arch files and extracted the NOOBS ones in their place, which didn't work. I've also messed around with gparted (formatting everything to FAT32), and cleared every partition using sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdbN for every N.

Every time I plug in the power cable, all I see is the red PWR LED turning on. Any idea why it's not booting, and how I can fix that?


it's not booting because you've cleared up the partitions and messed around with parted.

you may fix this by downloading a NOOBS installation image and following the instruction about how to copy it to your SD card.

  • I've done that (formatting everything to FAT32 again), but it didn't work. I notice that there's a very small partition at the start (< 100 MiB), which seems fixed in place. Could that be causing problems? – James Wood Mar 25 '14 at 8:16
  • @JamesWood if you do everything correctly, you don't have to format anything and it does not matter, if there's a formatted partition or not or two or more. – lenik Mar 25 '14 at 10:11
  • I don't understand. Step 2 of the NOOBS installation is to format the SD card, so doing the installation right implies having formatted something. – James Wood Mar 25 '14 at 17:47
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    @JamesWood oh, they must have changed something since the last time I've read, nowadays you're supposed to delete all partitions, then create one single large FAT partition and unzip the contents of the archive there. Or use raspbian image, that does not care about previous formattings and existing partitions. – lenik Mar 25 '14 at 23:52
  • Okay, no worries. I've fixed it now by just copying over an image I had on another card via dd. It's not strictly an answer to my original question, but I'll add it anyway. – James Wood Mar 26 '14 at 8:00

I had another Pi SD card lying around, so I copied the image from there onto my computer (sudo dd if=/dev/sdb of=img.img), unmounted the SD card (sudo umount /dev/sdb?*), inserted the broken SD card and copied the saved image to it (sudo dd of=/dev/sdb if=img.img).

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