I've tried searching several times and always get "How-to's" on setting up headless. That is not what I need.

My problem is that the NIC on my R-Pi B seems to stop when HDMI is not plugged in. As soon as I plug in my monitor, all the network lights kick on and it is seen by my router. When I unplug it, they all kick off and the router doesn't see it anymore. It doesn't seem to matter if I reboot the pi with or without HDMI plugged in either.

I installed raspbian through NOOBS before and I didn't have this problem but yesterday I decided to just reformat with just raspbian and now I cannot get the network to connect unless I have HDMI plugged in. Svideo doesn't seem to matter.

Update: I was just attempting to plug the HDMI back in and I only touched the port with my cable and the nic lights turned on. I mean, I literally set the HDMI male part on top of the R-Pi port (Just touching metal to metal) and it kicked in. Is something just goofy with my Pi?

Update 2 - I decided to upload a video showing the behavior. Pay attention to the network leds when I touch the HDMI to the HDMI port. I thought maybe some solderings were loose so I touched it with my finger and it didn't come on so it has to do with the metal, I think.


  • flaky ground somewhere in the system? Remember there is a small bit of power coming back in thru the HDMI port from your video screen. I realized this when I was monitoring pin #4 and I had my pi power unplugged. I was seeing voltage there.... coming from the HDMI connection.
    – zipzit
    Dec 23, 2016 at 5:31
  • I have a similar issue with my Raspberry Pi 3. If the HDMI plug is in use, I can reach the command line with PuTTY or the GUI via VNC. When the HDMI is unplugged, neither PuTTY nor VNC can see the Pi, but my router still does and reports it as active on the network. This makes me think it might not be a hardware issue. Feb 24, 2017 at 0:36

1 Answer 1


Is something just goofy with my Pi?

Absolutely. Sadly, they can't all be perfect. I would say you certainly have a warranty claim here; if the pi is brand new I would hope the distributor will exchange it.

  • Yeah unfortunately it was one of the first b's that came out years ago so I wouldnt imagine I could put I could put in a claim. been thinking of getting a pi 2 anyway :-)
    – Mungoid
    Mar 29, 2015 at 18:27

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