I've got my new Raspberry Pi 2 running OpenElec and Kodi, plugged into my tv.

It's being powered by a USB port on the side of the TV, and so far this is working out great because the port is only being powered when the TV is on. It starts up with the TV and then loses power when the TV's off.

The general advice with any electronics would be 'make sure it shuts down properly before cutting power'. This makes sense with the risk of it being in the middle of writing data and causing corruption.

Is this risk major though? With the entire system existing on an 8GiB SD card, I figured the chance of actually breaking any file writes would be small. Even if I did corrupt something eventually, reinstalling OpenElec wouldn't be a hassle.

Do I run any risk of doing any real, long-term damage to my Pi using it like this? And if so, is there a simple solution?

1 Answer 1


Do I run any risk of doing any real, long-term damage to my Pi using it like this?

No. The risk is to the root filesystem, which may get left in an inconsistent (corrupted) state. If this happens, usually it can be fixed with e2fsck.

Unless you do it at a very inopportune time though, it probably won't happen. Of course, every time you do it is like rolling dice, so if you do it all the time, expect it to happen eventually.

The more certain disadvantage to this is that the OS will detect the filesystem was not unmounted correctly, and force e2fsck at boot. Even if there turns out to be nothing wrong, this will probably add 15-20 seconds to your boot time for the scan on an 8 GB partition.

  • Which, really isn't a big deal because this will happen so rarely that the one or two times it does will outweigh the amount of time it would have taken to write a program to monitor the TV's state and turn off/on based on its power.
    – Jon
    Commented Oct 4, 2015 at 20:13
  • @goldilocks I've been doing this for a few days now, I'm yet to see anything run on startup or startup take a long time, still starts up in just a couple of seconds
    – Gricey
    Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 6:09
  • It actually depends upon the configuration; I mentioned that just in case. As to whether it turns out to be a good or bad thing... Anyway you're not going to harm the hardware, so no big deal in that sense.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 7:55

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