Ordered a Pi Zero w, arrived, but I did not check it before I soldered the 40 pin GPIO onto it. Now it does not seem to be starting at all.

I visually inspected the solders, they are not touching each other, then I checked for short circuit with multimeter, does not seem to have any short circuits.

Then I tried plugging everything I plugged into a working Pi 3B onto it (including the SD card, power, touch screen with HDMI and GPIO connection), no respond at all. no lights.

Then I tried to only plug in the power and SD card, no respond at all, no lights.

Is there anything else I can do to check the board? Could the soldering process have destroyed it with heat (I am not that good with solder)?

I don't want to return to seller, as it crossed continents to arrive in Asia, its not cost efficient to return.

  • I would say you should put noobs onto the SD from scratch, don't use one that was built for a Pi3. Have you tried this already? – Quintin Balsdon Aug 15 '17 at 7:24
  • Did you by any chance plug the power into the wrong USB? the one for power should be the one near the camera connector. – hcheung Aug 15 '17 at 11:26
  • @hcheung you mean the one away from the Mini HDMI plug? that was the one I used. – Jimmy Chi Kin Chau Aug 15 '17 at 14:03
  • @QuintinBalsdon I tried a clean Jessie Lite version, but not even the LED is blinking when plugged into power. – Jimmy Chi Kin Chau Aug 15 '17 at 14:04
  • The power port is the one closest to the corner – Quintin Balsdon Aug 15 '17 at 14:09

The most basic check is to leave out any mSD card, and then to power up your Pi Zero W. It doesn't matter if your power through the power-only micro USB socket or backpower through the OTG/slave USB micro socket: both will be fine for such tests. If on power on you don't see the green ACT LED lighting up and shortly blinking, your Pi Zero W is pretty much dead.

Check your soldering for any unwanted solder bridges or solder blobs that went to places where they should not be.

As every Pi gets fully factory tested, there is a very low chance that your Pi arrived dead. There have been few cases of wrongly programmed OTP fuses, but that's not the case here.

Please note that with the Pi Zero W the meaning of the ACT LED has been reversed from it's meaning on the 3B: this allows the single ACT LED to also, erm, act as a PWR LED. So normally it should be lit. Only when there are mSD card read/write, ACT starts to blink or going dark if there are extensive read/writes; but usually only for two or three seconds at most.

  • "If on power on you don't see the green ACT LED lighting up and shortly blinking, your Pi Zero W is pretty much dead" - Are you sure about this? That is how my rpi0w behaves, but if i plug to Windows usb port it is detected. – eigenfield Jan 11 '19 at 14:02

This reference is subtly different from @TheDiveO's answer:

  • Take your Zero, with nothing in any slot or socket (yes, no SD-card is needed or wanted to do this test!).
  • Take a normal micro-USB to USB-A DATA SYNC cable (not a charge-only cable! make sure its a true data sync cable!)
  • Connect the USB cable to your PC, plugging the micro-USB into the Pi's USB, (not the PWR_IN).
  • If the Zero is alive, your Windows PC will go ding for the presence of new hardware & you should see "BCM2708 Boot" in Device Manager.
  • Or on linux, run sudo lsusb or run dmesg and look for a ID 0a5c:2763 Broadcom Corp message. If you see that,so far so good, you know the Zero's not dead.
  • thanks for this reference Peter, anyways has left the company and the project should be long dead by now, not even sure where that zero-w board is now XD – Jimmy Chi Kin Chau May 9 '20 at 4:06

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