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I have four pis, all rev 2b running Raspbian, all connected to the same PSU. They're each plugged into ethernet, power, and HDMI, and nothing else (no GPIO, USB, etc.). I always run a soft shutdown. When booting them, by plugging the four-port USB PSU into an outlet, one of them stopped booting. The ACT LED does not blink, the power LED is bright and solid.

I've gone through the boot problems sticky, but none of it seems to apply. I've swapped all the cables, tried the SD from one of the working pis (it didn't work), and tried booting it without the other pis connected. I swapped in a fifth pi, using the SD from the non-booting pi, and the new pi works fine. I also left it for over a week without power, in case it was the polyfuse, but it did not come back up.

Is there anything else I can check in this case, or should I just presume the pi is bricked? Secondarily, what might have been the cause so I can try to avoid it in the future?

UPDATE: The new, fifth, pi is now in the same state as the non-booting pi. So there is definitely something going on with my setup. Could it be something on the SD, that wouldn't exhibit any other issues when plugged into another pi?

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Try the sdcard of one of the broken Pis in the working ones, if that works then the problem is in the hardware. Otherwise no idea what the problem could be.

  • yeah, tried that, and it worked in the other pi. – Ian Sep 8 '15 at 22:01
  • Chances are it either isn't getting enough power, or your Pi is doomed. Most likely it just isn't getting enough power. – Triforcey Sep 8 '15 at 22:07
  • Just thought of something, there could be a brake in the USB cord, although unlikely it might be the problem. Try the broken Pi with the other USB cords. – Triforcey Sep 8 '15 at 22:10
  • Wasn't the USB cord, but this led me to some clues. It appears to be a bad HDMI cable?!?! Without an HDMI cable, it boots fine. With a certain HDMI cable, it exhibits the above symptoms, not even starting to boot. Any ideas how or why an HDMI cable could keep it from even booting? – Ian Sep 9 '15 at 16:33
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    Maybe it is slightly oddly shaped, and short circuiting it. Now that think about it, these are symptoms of a short circuit. – Triforcey Sep 9 '15 at 20:59
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Maybe your PSU isn't supplying enough power. What is the amp rating for the power supply? Try measuring one of the USB ports with a volt meter and a amp meter and see if it's high enough.

  • Don't the rev2 pis have a "brownout detector" that would change the red light if they weren't getting enough current? It's a 40-watt (8A) 4 port USB charger, which should be plenty, no? – Ian Sep 8 '15 at 22:05
  • @Ian 8 amps should be plenty, mine only uses around 300-500mA, so it should be your Raspberry Pi's problem or your power supply fluctuating? I am just guessing here :D – jdtech Sep 17 '15 at 4:00

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