I have been doing some prototyping on a Raspberry Pi 2 to make a gameboy with retropie. After soldering the 3.5 inch screen to 5v Pin 2 and GND Pin 6 I may have shorted the pins because I saw a spark fly between the wires. Now the Pi only works without the GPIO connected. As soon as the ribbon cable is connected to the Pi it turns off. I had not yet set the pins to any specifications.

Did I kill my GPIO? As it says here I probably did

If so, is it possible to salvage my Pi's GPIO?

Also, the pi's GPIO died when the power and ground wires were touched because of the soldering job ( I am not very good) This sparked and killed the GPIO.

  • Did you solder with the Pi or Screen on or connected to power? If not, I'd say it is unlikely that just soldering would have broken your GPIO. If you did, shame on you :)
    – Phil B.
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 2:34
  • I'd check the GPIOs with nothing connected to them, see elinux.org/R-Pi_Troubleshooting#Testing
    – joan
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 6:10
  • @joan I am having trouble getting the script to run on my pi. Should I try with a fresh install of Raspian? I am currently running Retropie. Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 15:36

2 Answers 2


If connecting the cable stops it working I think it makes sense to check the cable and whatever is connected to the cable. Possible problems:

  1. cable shorted.
  2. Power being fed to GPIO from something connected to cable.
  3. Wiring on whatever is connected to cable shorted.
  4. too much power being drawn from GPIO by what is connected to cable.
  5. Something else I haven't thought of

Oh gosh... please don't plug that in again. Use a multi-meter on continuity-test (a.k.a. "buzzer") mode and check to make sure none of the connections are crossed/shorted. This will take about 10 minutes, depending on how many connections there are, but will be helpful.

You probably didn't kill your GPIO, and you may have a chance. Wait about 12-24 hours for any polyfuses to reset, then try using the GPIO again.

  • 1
    I there any way I could do this without a multimeter? I do not own one, but if need be I could get one. Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 10:20
  • 1
    I have always used "buzz-out" with other engineers... But I like "beepy mode", and anyone who has used it before would know what you meant.
    – Brian
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 12:08
  • @SeanMcMaster yeah, you can connect and led on one side, a power supply of some sort on the other, and connect the ground of the PSU to the shorter pin of the LED. However, a multimeter is a very god tool to have and I'd recommend one.
    – Kachamenus
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 14:08
  • The Pi is working with an led on 5v pin 2 and GND pin 6 but still turns of when the ribbon cable is connected. Next I will try the GPIO test in terminal. Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 19:13
  • Shojan - made the edit you requested in your answer, but the suggestion to use an LED is not a good idea as presented - an LED is polarity sensitive as you say (shorter pin to ground is only the case for a fresh LED that no one has cut the ends off of) but also needs a series resistor to limit the current and that current also has to go around the circuit under test which can be damaging if it is large enough to illuminate the LED.
    – SlySven
    Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 4:25

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