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I know that running a shutdown script it best. I know that unplugging the RPi runs the risk of corrupting the SD card. Does using the "run" pad also run the risk of corrupting the SD card?
Second when the "run" pad is held low I measured only 7mA drawn by the RPi, maybe only to power the LED. Can I use the "run" pad as an on/off switch?

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    How is this a programming question? – Ken White Dec 31 '16 at 4:14
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    Shorting the run pad is just as bad as unplugging it. – thesonyman101 Jan 1 '17 at 7:39
  • Neither you should ALWAYS shutdown properly with sudo poweroff (or equivalent). The Run pad is ACTUALLY a reset button. – Milliways Jan 2 '17 at 5:53
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The danger of any method of shutdown is that the system might be writing, or reading from memory, or disk, and not complete, making partial changes to the system that corrupt the disk, or system eeproms, if not properly completed.

Electrical instability is also a concern, but assuming pressing the run pin button or physically removing the power doesn't create arching, or damaging voltage spikes, then neither should be particularly damaging to system hardware. Yanking the power is less preferable, in a practical sense. The raspberry pi lacks advanced noise filters, and protective circuits, but at least the run pin has a resistor, and regulated voltage. See this picture:

enter image description here

The way modern PCs shutdown is to start a series of events when "The power button" is pressed, that in turn initiates a soft shutdown, initiated by the kernel. pressing the run key does not do this, any reading and or writing, of eeproms, or disks, is halted, without closing, or completion, any may cause problems there after.

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