I've used a number of Pi Zeros and some seem to need to run slow. The symptom is they freeze after a number of hours or a day or so. I'm using the Zero not the Zero W. I'm running the camera. I've read posts on problems booting Pi Zeros, and cases where they were inadvertently clocked at less than the default 1 GHz, but this is different.

In my case, when I look at syslog after a crash, all is fine until, for no apparent reason, nothing is recorded for a while and the next thing you know, the system reboots. (I have a hardware watchdog that resets the system after about 30 minutes of inactivity.) Such a crash usually indicates a hardware problem with the cpu, so the question is, do I need to underclock it ? If so, what parameters should I use ? The cpu temperature is at the upper end of the normal operating range. I have plenty of power.

I'm going nuts over this. Can anyone shed some light on it ?

Thank you in advance.

  • 1
    I'm not doing anything special, but I use a few Raspberry Pi Zero W's. They have uptimes of several days.
    – NomadMaker
    Aug 22, 2018 at 14:05
  • What operating system you are usIng? Install the latest Raspbian Lite on a RPi0 that freezes with nothing connected and look if it also freeze.
    – Ingo
    Aug 22, 2018 at 16:13
  • Mine use Raspian Lite from end of June 2018. I had a Pi Zero-W that had great uptime, and a Pi 3 which also did. I've never had the problem of Pi's constantly crashing that some people seem to experience.
    – NomadMaker
    Aug 22, 2018 at 17:58
  • check voltages, use a 5.25V supply, kill all useless processes (there are many) and disable swap permanently. use high quality industrial microSD cards, they cost about the same as high quality camcorder microSDs. log to remote syslogd, send all process states to another machine at short intervals. try tinycore instead of raspbian, it is stable.
    – user2497
    Feb 10, 2019 at 2:28

1 Answer 1


Your question (or something like it) is asked frequently here :) That said, please don't take this to mean that all or most RPis freeze up frequently!

Unfortunately, there isn't a pat answer for the issue. Think about other computers you've owned... no doubt you've seen them freeze also (hopefully not as frequently as you've described). Temperature is sometimes a cause, but it could be that the temperature has affected performance of your SD card, or another component. And SD cards themselves seem prone to cause problems. Power supplies are also on the list of "usual suspects". If there were one (or a few) reasons that explained freezes, there wouldn't be so many hits for that search term! :)

You've done the right thing by inspecting the logs, but I've not seen much to suggest that the log files are typically reliable informants for what causes freezes.

Given that there are multiple causes for "freezes", the "scientific method" may lead you toward a solution: Consider devising some tests that attempt to isolate the variables. For example, is it always the same Pis that freeze? If so, have you tried changing SD cards? If you find no correlation for these variables, what about temperature? Do the Pis that freeze (most frequently) run hotter than those that don't? Checking temperature periodically with a cron script may provide useful data. The software that you're using may be a variable of interest... do the Pis that freeze most often run software that's different from the ones that don't?

Once you feel you've isolated a variable (potential cause), specific questions here will yield greater benefit. For example, "Is there a 'rule of thumb' for underclocking my RPi to reduce temperature?" Or if you want to try that (underclocking) yourself, this earlier Q&A might help

Hope that helps.

  • 1
    I am not sure how to conform to "be nice " directive on this forum.
    – Jan Hus
    Aug 22, 2018 at 16:46
  • 1
    I am not sure how to conform to "be nice " directive on this forum.I am not impressed why a consumer is being asked to identify "frequently asked " not a question , but a problem. This should be of interest to vendor's QA department.
    – Jan Hus
    Aug 22, 2018 at 16:54
  • 1
    This 5 minute edit timer is very helpful, saves lots of time.
    – Jan Hus
    Aug 22, 2018 at 16:55
  • 1
    @JanHus: Re "be nice"... is there a reason you're expressing that question here - as a comment to this answer?
    – Seamus
    Aug 22, 2018 at 17:16

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