I need your helpful insights.

I have a problem whit my SD card and I cannot make it work with Retropie.

-I am using a microSDXC Samsung card with 32GB of capacity.

-I am trying to install retropie for raspberry pie 0.

I am formating the card (with either SDFormater v4.0) and the space is ok.

Nonetheless when I install the retropie image (either with win32 diskimager or Etcher ) the card is not working.

I get something like that:

enter image description here

When I am plugging it to the pie it does n't load... Any ideas why??

  • How long are you waiting for the first boot to happen? Some OS's require significant amount of time on first boot, I've had to wait upwards of 30 minutes before I saw anything of value on the display. When you say it fails to load, does it give any error messages? The unallocated space may just require you to expand the partition, I wouldn't worry about that until you get the boot to happen.
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 4:14

1 Answer 1


That is a perfectly normal SD card allocation when an image is first flashed. The reason behind the unallocated space is because it would be impractical to have an image for every size of SD card out there, so the image only contains the needed data to get an OS, and you can then expand the partition to fill the card. the OS contained on the image usually has a tool to resize the partition on first boot, or when the user tells it to.

As for the pi0 retropie not displaying anything, Adafruit's RetroPie image is configured to work with the piTFT or compatible display and not with the HDMI or PAL/NTSC output. The firmware on the SD card could also need to be updated to support the pi0, as it uses a different device tree than the older pis. The ACT (green) LED should indicate what it's doing.

from http://elinux.org/R-Pi_Troubleshooting:

Firmware since 20th October 2012 no longer requires loader.bin, and the flashes mean:

3 flashes: start.elf not found
4 flashes: start.elf not launched
7 flashes: kernel.img not found
8 flashes: SDRAM not recognised. You need newer bootcode.bin/start.elf firmware.

If start.elf won't launch, it may be corrupt.

Note that 4-flashes may point to a defective SD-card holder, if one or more of the data contacts is intermittent it can lead to this problem.

  • I got the image from here: retropie.org.uk/download and I chose the Raspberry Pi 0/1 option. The thing is that the same process with the same image, installed in a 16GB sd card (probably older generation) works in my pie... The led doesn't light at all.. (with the other card it does) Thanks for the reply!
    – Pontios
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 21:20

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