I've bought Raspberry Pi 3 B+ yesterday and it was working fine for... an hour. After that I accidentally touched the GPIO pins with the heatsink (it wasn't glued so... I accidentally moved it to the pins). What happened then? RPi shutted down completely - there was no signal on TV and PWR led light was off.

When I took the heatsink away from GPIO the PWR light was again on (red still light) but nothing else was happening. I was trying to boot it but nothing was happening except the red led on.

I read that I should leave it for a few hours so I did. After 5 hours I tried to turn it on and nothing happened again. Everything was cold (nothing warm like somebody's RPi was), PWR red led still on, ACT green led off. Nothing that would suggest that something is at least ok except this power's red light.

I try also connecting ethernet wire into RPi but... No green light showed up. I've tried many times flashing IMG to SD card - Raspbian Stretch Lite, Desktop, NOOBS, NOOBS Lite - formating SD card (partition table I've made was ms-dos and I've tried file systems - EXT 4 and FAT 32). SD card works perfect (on PC, Android).

Is my Pi broken, or can I recover this?

  • 5
    It may be damaged beyond repair. For instance you may have connected a 5V pin to a GPIO pin. If you have a meter try the following. With the Pi turned off attach jumper wires to pin 1 (3V3) pin 2 (5V) and pin 6 (ground), Keep the wires separate and power the Pi. Do you measure 3V3 between pin 1 and pin 6? Do you measure 5V between pin 2 and pin 6? Power off and remove the jumper wires.
    – joan
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 9:24
  • @joan, but should then the power led be off, yes? Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 11:17
  • 3
    The power LED doesn't signify if the Pi is operational or not.
    – joan
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 11:26
  • 3
    Joan's point is: With the power off, connect jumpers to the pins so you can measure their voltage without having to stick multimeter probes into the closely spaced breakout. Be careful to keep all the jumpers separate. Then turn the power on and measure the voltage across the 3.3V pin and ground, and the 5V pin and ground. Those should measure ~3.3 and 5 volts. If they do not, the pi is trash.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 12:04

1 Answer 1


Just a thought.

When you incidentally touched the GPIO pins with a heatsink and caused your device to shutdown, there's a possibility it did not shutdown properly and caused some damages to either and/or both of its boot and/or root partitions. To make it worst, there is a possibility the device fails to run a partition check to clean up the corrupted partitions during the boot and system hangs there. So, it may not be a bad idea to check the integrity of the rootfs and/or boot partitions from the non-working Raspberry Pi 3 B+ on another computer.

Failing the above, if you had another working Raspberry Pi 3 B+, try to swap their rootfs to see if the working Raspberry Pi 3 B+ will boot from the rootfs on a non-working Raspberry Pi 3 B+. This will rule out if the incident incurred did a number on the rootfs of a non-working Raspberry Pi 3 B+.

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