I have an SD card which works fine on a Pi 3B, with network config on it (it runs a wireless AP and has DHCP setup on the wired port).

I move it to a new 3B+, and I see that it doesn't come up on the network (no wireless AP appears and no ethernet lights come on on the wired port).

I'm guessing this is probably expected given that the 3B+ changed out all the network hardware.

But is it possible to make the migration work by (say) installing all the drivers for the 3B+ hardware while the card is in the 3B?


1 Answer 1


"In normal circumstances there is NEVER a need to run rpi-update as it always gets you to the leading edge firmware and kernel and because that may be a testing version it could leave your RPi unbootable". https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=916911#p916911 Even the rpi-update documentation now warns "Even on Raspbian you should only use this with a good reason. This gets you the latest bleeding edge kernel/firmware." sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get install --reinstall raspberrypi-bootloader raspberrypi-kernel will put it back to the latest supported kernel/bootcode.

To answer our last question, yes. As well running apt-get update and apt-get dist-upgrade, make sure you also run rpi-update which will download the latest firmware for all Raspberry PI models. Make sure the following file exists after updating:


Other things to consider when moving SD cards is that the MAC address of your ethernet port will be different which will result in a different IP address being handed out by the router than the one you might expect. However the firmware code (ie. what's in /boot) is designed to be as interchangable as possible between the different PI versions unless of course you have some custom parameters defined in config.txt such as overclocking.

Hope that helps.

  • The wired ethernet works following these instructions, the wireless AP does not. But I can now get in and diagnose :)
    – lwr20
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 15:34

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