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I had one of the rf24 transceivers connected directly to the pi using jumper cables and everything worked fine. then I bought a case and was forced to use a ribbon cable. With out the transceiver connected, it booted fine, with it connected, the above boot error was given. I checked the wiring and it appeared to be ok. But it wouldn't boot. What could be causing this? I was thinking to add "avoid_safe_mode=1" to config.txt but A) I want to be absolutely sure there is no damage to the pi by doing so. and B) I can't find the config.txt file.

wired up as per: wiring diagram

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Yes, it is usually safe to add avoid_safe_mode=1 to config.txt. An exception might be if you are overclocking but other than that, just go ahead and try. You can read more about it here
http://elinux.org/RPI_safe_mode
The config.txt file is in /boot

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