Last night I finally received my Raspberry Pi Zero.

I quickly loaded in an SD card with the Raspbian Jessie image from November 2015. This is the same image that I just used for an RPi2 which is working so I know the images integrity is fine. I plugged in my monitor, keyboard, and power and the pi did nothing, not even a single LED turned on The screen did remove its "No Signal" message and left a full black screen although that is all!

Is it possible that my pi is defective or maybe the image is too old for the zero specifically?

2 Answers 2


The PI Zero does not have a power LED, only an activity LED which becomes active when the PI Zero boots and is able to read the SD Card. This can be misleading.

Other users have reported problems getting previously used SD Cards from other Pi systems to work in the Zero. Following this thread, the solution was to use a fresh install on a fresh SD Card.

  • 1
    Ah, I wasn't aware that there have been reported issues with previously used SD cards for Pis. I'll do a format with a full overwrite format so I zero out the entire card before I image it again.
    – Funkyguy
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 16:00
  • I've edited the wording again as I believe the Pi Zero LED will indicate disk activity during booting, not just after booting which was the wording after edits that I couldn't moderate.
    – BartmanEH
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 18:17

I realize this is an older post, but for posterity... I just got this working.

The problem stems from the fact that pwnpi hasn't been updated (it seems) since the Zero came out. This means that the boot files that are in the distribution don't work with the Zero.


Make a new SD image from the Jessie-Lite (or later) image available on the main Raspberry Pi's site. Then Copy ALL the files in the FAT partition to a folder on your computer. Next make a pwnpi SD and DELETE all the files on that FAT partition, and replace them with the ones you copied.

Tada!!!! Working PwnPi on a Raspberry Pi Zero.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.