I am having a very basic problem with my raspberry PI: It can't get it boot when I flash Images with dd on Linux nor with Win32 Image Writer on Windows.

I tried several *.img-images, such a as Arch, Debain Wheezy, several card readers, two different SD cards, and also several tools (dd on Linux, dd.exe on Windows, Win32 Image Writer v0.5/v0.6). With all these tools I get a nicely partitioned SD card with about 50 MB boot partion (FAT32), and about 3GB ext4 partion with root FS and a swap partion. But when I put the card into the PI I get the same result like powering it on without any SD card: nothing - No (ACT, LNK) LEDs are flashing, no HDMI output - just the PWR LED is on.

But, if I extract the files from the BerryBoot bootloader to the boot partition or if I use Raspbmc Windows UI Installer which does the partioning the PI is booting.

I don't get what I am doing in the wrong way? Are there any mandatory files the PI needs on the boot partition?

I didn't find any hints while googleing about this issue for hours.

EDIT: I also checked the troubleshooting article. I don't have the fixup.dat on the boot partition. May this be a problem?


3 Answers 3


What's your dd command look like? What size is your SD card? I've created bootable 8Gb SD cards from all 3 packages on the RasPi site with no trouble using dd on a Ubuntu VM. I use the Copying an image to the SD card in Linux (command line) procedure outlined here. My dd command is (for example)

dd bs=4M if=~/2012-10-28-wheezy-raspbian.img of=/dev/sdd


On the first start I had a very similar problem. It turned out to be 2 problems - with non-supported SD card and a poor power adapter. AFAIK both of them are very common, so I would suggest to check them first, and move further to check software issues only if everything is fine with the hardware. Probably you already read about that in FAQ, but anyway - you need to use one of supported SD cards and a power adapter that provides voltage between 4.75V and 5.25V and enough current. There is an instruction how to check power issues in the same troubleshooting article by the link you provided.

  • But how would you explain the fact, that it does boot with BerryBoot bootloader or the Raspbmc image created by the windows intaller? That is why I am puzzled...
    – oggi
    Mar 22, 2013 at 11:15

I burned four 2GB SD cards. Generic cheap Chinese cards. Each card had different OS. None booted. My command was as follows:

dd if=/home/prattjeffrey/Downloads/ro519-rc6-1876M.img of=/dev/sdb1

I tried adding bs=4M. I got error. The PI site on using dd did not use bs=4M in their example. I solved the problem. Read the following:

Do not use a partition device node (for example: use /dev/sdc or /dev/mmcblk0, not /dev/sdc1 or /dev/mmcblk0p1).

Using DD to burn card. From the Pi Site. My SD cards would not boot! Just got the red light only. Finally read the directions again. Drop that 1!

The Directions:


  • Download the image - see the Downloads page on the Raspberry Pi site.
  • Insert your SD/SDHC card into the card reader, and attach to the computer if necessary.
  • Identify the device node of the SD card (this will be something like /dev/sdc or /dev/mmcblk0).
  • Do not use a partition device node (for example: use /dev/sdc or /dev/mmcblk0, not /dev/sdc1 or /dev/mmcblk0p1).
  • An easy way to identify the card is to list the device nodes (ls -l /dev/sd* /dev/mmcblk*) before and after inserting the SD card. Device nodes that that appear when the card is inserted correspond to the
  • Ensure that the device is unmounted.
  • Copy the image file to the card: dd if=/dev/NameOfImageFile of=/dev/DeviceNode
  • Ensure that the image is fully written onto the card: sync
  • Remove the card.
  • 1
    As you note the mistake here is copying to a partition (/dev/sda1) instead of the physical disk (/dev/sda).
    – goldilocks
    Mar 25, 2013 at 13:04

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