I've got a brand new Raspberry Pi Wireless Zero, a Samsung 16gb EVO UHS-I card prepared with Raspbian Jessie Lite (4-10-2017) that simply refuses to even start. No lights, no activity, no display on the TV even after 2 minutes. It is connected to a TV through a HDMI cable.The board version is 1.1.

The same micro SD card works alright with an RPi3.

The power supply is a 1.8A 5v. I have run out of ideas on how to debug this problem. Could anyone suggest what i can try to get this working?

  • What about the green power/act LED? Does it flicker or is it dark? Then your Zero W doesn't even start, maybe a power supply problem? – TheDiveO Aug 3 '17 at 19:26
  • I've been using the same power supply a long time. Works well with an RPi3. No LED's light up. Strangely, the board starts with a another micro SD card flashed with Ubuntu Mate 16.04 but ends up Kernel panic soon. So the hardware does not appear to be the problem. – user36965 Aug 3 '17 at 19:31
  • I also have a weird problem with SD cards. My Pi 3 will only work with Samsung cards. I can use other cards, but it involves using tape. I have found that the socket is to blame (loose or something). Just try moving the SD card around, or get another card from a different manufacturer. – Gene Dela Rosa Aug 4 '17 at 8:59

I wanted to check if a card set up in a Raspberry Pi 3 would work in a Raspberry Pi Zero W, so I followed this: https://www.raspberrypi.org/learning/software-guide/quickstart/

I put the prepared NOOBS Lite card into a Raspberry Pi B3: Network Access required... entered password. Chose: "Raspbian Lite A port of Debian jessie for the Raspberry Pi (minimal version)"

Set Language & keyboard Install Yes.

Progress... 100% OS(es) installed Successfully Ok.

It boots.

Logged in. sudo raspi-config ... Finish

sudo shutdown -h now

I unplugged power, moved the card, the USB hub with keyboard & mouse still attached, and the monitor cable (to a mini-HDMI adapter) to the Raspberry Pi Zero W.

It started up and the activity LED blinked. I was able to log in on the command line and enter a few commands. Then I shut it down.

I was a little surprised because I thought that a card set up on a model Pi 3B model (CPU BCM2837) might not work in a second Pi with an earlier type CPU (BCM2835).

Troubleshooting page: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=58151

I read through this troubleshooting page. The polyfuse info caught my attention. Maybe static electricity or a surge caused the problem? Note: applying power may delay polyfuse recovery.

The page also has a special trick to try. I did it on a Zero W:

I used a microUSB-USB cable to connect the middle (data) port of the Zero W with a Windows PC. The PC detected and sounded for the new device. (My keyboard stopped working, so I removed the Zero W and reseated the PS/2-USB adapter. The keyboard worked again.)

If the special trick works, then maybe it narrows down the problem to the card reader circuit. Whether it works or not, it might be good to set the board aside 'a few days' for polyfuse recovery.

  • 2
    The polyfuse on a Pi Zero will NEVER recover, because it doesn't have one. – Milliways Aug 4 '17 at 5:24
  • @Milliways might be correct. – Gene Dela Rosa Aug 4 '17 at 9:00
  • Haven't had any luck so far. I went to the store and exchanged the old board for a new one. No difference from the earlier symptom,doesn't go past the colorful rainbow. Elsewhere on the web, i see boards with Ver 1.2. The only reason i went the Raspberry Pi Zero W,way, was it is very compact and suited my requirements. With a GPS module attached to the UART pins and a NOIR camera it would have been perfect. – user36965 Aug 4 '17 at 23:47

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