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My question is different to How can I reset to the factory settings? hence why I have posted.

The problem I am facing is that I have a Raspberry B+ which I have had for about 2 years. I didn't use it for a year and recently just did an upgrade from Jessie to the latest OS and things are working fine. I did, however, previously use it to try out different things and installed things such as OSSEC, Hadoop and other chunky software which I no longer have use for. I have uninstalled said stuff, did a purge etc, but I feel like a clean start would be the best going forward.

Is there a way to reset the Pi without flashing the SD card. The Pi is currently running headless and operated via SSH but I am able to hook it up to a mouse, keyboard and TV if needed. What I can't however do is format an SD card or flash a new OS as the SD card slot on my Mac is currently occupied with a memory card that is very difficult to remove and usually causes issues when I remove. I am trying to very much avoid this option.

I have looked at buying a USB SD card reader but as I only need it for this one job, not really looking to fork out that £.

Is there a way I can 'wipe' or reset the Pi into a clean install? I have researched around the topic, but I can't see an answer where someone says specifically that this is possible or isn't possible.

So again, how do I 'reset' to factory settings and start again without flashing the SD card. The Pi and current OS works fine and there is no issues with the hardware or SD card.

  • I don't quite see how one wants to work with embedded devices without obtaining the proper tools, an SD card reader of some kind is fairly critical. – crasic Nov 10 '17 at 1:31
  • I do have an SD card reader but it requires being slotted into my laptop, which at this moment in time, I cant do. But as my last resort, I had said in my question that I would most likely buy a USB one. The reason I asked the question was also to find out if the Pi can be reset to default without the need of flashing as it's something I had been curious about but couldnt find the answer too. – BantuTech Nov 10 '17 at 7:15
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The Pi does not have factory settings in that sense. Everything is held on the SD card. You will have to burn a new image to a SD card.

  • Thank you for the answer, will flash the SD card and probably try out a new OS in the process! – BantuTech Nov 10 '17 at 7:23
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You might be able to boot to a USB device, and from there format the SD card.

https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/hardware/raspberrypi/bootmodes/msd.md

I'll advice you to find another option to write to the SD card, as that is by far the easiest way to go. You might be able to find a cheap SD card reader on ebay.

  • Thanks for this, looked at what you suggested and just flashing it seems like the easier option. Will get an SD card reader! – BantuTech Nov 10 '17 at 7:22

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