I've bought a Raspberry Pi 3B but at the beginning I used a bad Power Supply Unit that often gave me low voltage warnings.

Now I've a good PSU that never gives me any problems. I've heard that you can get permanent damage like corrupted SD cards from low voltage and I'm wondering: is that true?

If it is, will the damage still last if I change the PSU and reformat my SD card?

  • Welcome to the Raspberry Pi flavoured corner of the Stack Exchange Network - I have taken the liberty of reformatting your question slightly but I hope it is still acceptable to you. I would encourage all newcomers to take the brief tour which is on a link at the bottom of the page - it may help users to create better questions and get better answers on all SE sites (and you get an extra bronze badge as well! 8-) ) as well as giving pointers on avoiding some of the things that are considered bad etiquette here...
    – SlySven
    Dec 30, 2016 at 15:38
  • Filesystem corruption is not physical damage to the card -- although it may be caused by such damage, fs corruption cannot cause it. It is just scrambled data. Power issues on the Pi are unlikely to physically damage a card (but nothing is impossible).
    – goldilocks
    Dec 30, 2016 at 15:51
  • However, as people here will often remind you - don't "pull the plug" without shutting the Operating System down! That is the most common "newbie" mistake and will cause file-system corruption...
    – SlySven
    Jan 2, 2017 at 20:36

1 Answer 1


I cannot envisage a situation where you will have issues after you replace the PSU with a better model unless there was file-system corruption already caused by the previous PSU.

You will probably be fine after performing a fsck of all the file-systems on the SD Card as part of a restart {if you were using the previous init system I'd suggest a command line sudo shutdown -F -r to do a shutdown with an immediate reboot (the -r option) and force a file-systems check (the -F option) but I do not know if that will work the same on a standard Raspbian Jessie installation now with systemd in charge of things...}

  • fsck -y on boot is enabled by default on current versions of Raspbian; see /boot/cmdline.txt and man kernel-command-line (and man systemd-fsck ;)
    – goldilocks
    Dec 30, 2016 at 15:48
  • So just to be clear i shouldn't have any problems?
    – Aheagle
    Dec 30, 2016 at 16:03
  • Try sudo journalctl | grep "systemd-fsck" and/or sudo grep "systemd-fsck" /var/log/syslog; this should show the results of the last check. They may be dated Dec 31 1969 because of the pi's (non-existent) clock but will still appear in chronological order. You can also add fsck.mode=force to /boot/cmdline.txt to force a check, and reboot (then remove that). Make sure cmdline.txt remains all one line with just spaces between the different key/value pairs.
    – goldilocks
    Dec 30, 2016 at 16:17
  • "So just to be clear, I shouldn't have any problems?" We hope not - at least not on PSU issues. Any issues you might of had would probably be cleared up on rebooting... if not, let us know! 8-)
    – SlySven
    Dec 30, 2016 at 16:30

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