I finally started putting an auto-plant-watering system together, trying to develop the entire system using Win10 IoT, VS 2015, and c#. I'm at the very beginning stages of development but I did get the moisture sensor reading and LEDs lighting up successfully.


Last night I planned on continuing development but when I got home the Pi was off. Weird. I had left it on the previous night with only Win10 IoT running. The Broadcom chip on the Pi was extremely hot. Like, burn your finger hot. I immediately unplugged the unit and let it cool down for a few hours. When I tried to power it back up the first time, the power LED came on but not the ACT. Subsequent power cycles eventually led to a fainter power LED, and then eventually no LEDs on the board coming on at all. The Pi now looks to be completely dead.

I tried another power supply that is known to be working (from a different Pi running Raspbian) with no luck. I also moved the SD card from my Pi to a working Pi and it booted right up (so it's not the SD card).

More info:

  • There is nothing but the Win10 IoT image installed on the SD Card
  • I am using Visual Studio 2015 to develop and debug
  • The code above worked perfectly fine the night before the Pi died
  • I left the board sitting on a chair in my office with just the power supply plugged in. The chair has a cloth seat so the bottom of the board was sitting on the cloth (is that bad?)
  • The Pi was connected to my breadboard that had the working circuit (moisture sensor and LEDs) connected to it
  • The Pi also had a USB WiFi dongle attached prior to the issues
  • the HDMI cable was NOT connected
  • All the power cycling described above was done after removing all connected items (nothing attached) to the board.
  • I also tried removing the SD Card and powering it on...no luck there either
  • Testing with a DMM on my original power supply I get 4.5V on the PP2 pin
  • Testing with a DMM on the second power supply I get 5.1V ont he PP2 pin

Is there anything I can do or is this thing hosed?

  • When switched on but idle my Pi2B is barely noticeable as over finger temperature. A very hot chip indicates an failed or failing Pi. I don't see how leaving it on a cloth would cause a problem unless your office falls beneath the dew point overnight.
    – joan
    Feb 23, 2016 at 16:57
  • Generally it's not good to put boards onto soft materials such as cloth chairs or bed covers because it restricts airflow and insulates the device from being able to get rid of heat. However I wonder whether this might have been caused by a short circuit on the breadboard connections. Feb 23, 2016 at 18:08
  • I assume you have tried booting it with a display attached? See anything on the screen? Try installing raspbian on a new/different SD card and try booting with a screen and report back.
    – medbot
    Feb 24, 2016 at 0:31
  • I'd avoid putting your Pi on anything flammable like an office chair - imagine if the Pi got really hot and sparked a flame? Less of an issue to do with airflow, more to do with minimizing risk.
    – Deleuze
    Sep 7, 2016 at 11:02

1 Answer 1


Your Pi is most probably dead. Specifically, either the SoC or the power supply died, but the SoC has the higher chance of failing.

  • Grab your multimeter and stick your negative probe to ground. Then, test GPIO pins 1 and 2 if they give 3.3V and 5V respectively (be careful not to short pins out).

  • Alternatively, you can test PP7, PP8, and PP9 on the bottom side for 5V, 3.3V, and 1.8V respectively. If PP7 does not give out about 5V, cross your fingers and hope that only the polyfuse blew. I'm not sure if the Pi B+ and Pi 2B test pads are the same.

If they all look good, your SoC is officially dead.

  • What you can do in this case is get a new one or ask the store you got it from for a warranty replacement because of "factory defects" or maybe "damage during transit". Make it sound convincing. "My Pi stopped working while I was playing Minecraft" will not do. Source: experience
  • Next time, double check your Pi+Breadboard circuit before leaving it for long periods of time.
    • Make sure pins that are connected to input GPIOs do NOT exceed 3.3V.
  • Also, place it on a non-cloth surface (but it shouldn't be necessary, at least in my case).
  • 1
    I would also strongly suggest you double check the LEDs you used, to ensure that you didn't accidentally pull more power than the pi can supply. They do all have suitable resistor values? Feb 26, 2016 at 8:31

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