I have a batch of 9 Raspberry Pi's bought together within the last week. I created a custom image on one with whatever software I required installed.

I used dd in Linux to copy the custom .img file to SD cards for the remaining Pi's.

The problem is 3 of the Pi's are failing to boot up. The SD cards came with the Pi's from a reputable vendor. I have tested each SD card individually and they are all booting on various Pi's except the 3 in question.

I never tried to use the NOOBS installer supplied with the SD cards and the first time I booted these devices was with the custom image.

I have tried using various power supplies but this fails to resolve the issue either.

When I power up both red and green LED's come on solid. The green LED fails to flash at any point during the process.

  • It is possible that what you bought is Rpi 2 and custom image is old and doesn't support Rpi 2. I suggest boot one of the card onto Rpi 1, run sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade and try rebooting again with newer Rpis. Hope it helps. Nov 18, 2015 at 9:00
  • Thanks. Tried to install the newest version with NOOBS but still fails to load. I deleted all partitions, created a new primary partition and format to F32. Copied noobs files over and no luck.
    – sir_t
    Nov 18, 2015 at 11:29
  • Since it's working on other pis, it is less likely to be a problem with the sd card. May be you can try latest Raspbian just to see if it works. Nov 18, 2015 at 11:35
  • You might have a look at this article and (regardless of particular model) see if you can find any subtle differences between the pis. This is not to imply they are fake, but they are made under license by a number of companies whose practices can change over time so long as they remain within a certain set of specifications. It might be best to find that those three are of slightly different origin, because at least then there is feasible explanation that leads to a feasible solution.
    – goldilocks
    Nov 18, 2015 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


If those pis won't work with any of the cards you have, and all of the cards you have work on the other six pis -- or more or less, I would not expect you to test all 54 combinations -- I think you should simply return the three unworking pis to the distributor with an explanation and possibly one of the cards. Short of shopping around for other brands of SD card to try, I do not see what else you can do (although I have seen one person here refer to blowing compressed air into the card reader as fix, as in, the kind of air you get in a can for cleaning computer components).

Whatever the issue is, it is hardware related, and even if it is just a dirty reader, that is ultimately not your responsibility. I think there were some micro SD card models that were recognized as not working with +/2 Pis, at least until a firmware update (?), and, if this is the case, to me it is a legitimate reason to return the device if you want. The manufacturer or distributor could clearly indicate on the specs "May not work with some SD cards". If they don't want to do that, then they should be fair and provide refunds when people get burned.

Of course this puts you in a sour spot, and you have to decide whether you want a replacement or to ask for a refund (and arguably, for all nine pis). At this rate, if you decide on replacements, one of the three won't work! Someone has made a poor decision at some point and I don't think you should be left holding the bag.

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