Rainbow screen on every reboot


20 posts
by linux_noob » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:30 pm
Hey guys,

I'm running the official Raspbian release. Any time I sudo reboot the reboot process starts and then I get to a rainbow screen and it stops. If I unplug the device and plug it back in it'll start to boot, get the rainbow screen for a very short time( ~ a second or so) and then boot normally.

I've flashed the image on two different SD cards and I have the same problem. I've redownloaded the file to rule out a corrupted image with no luck.

The original Debian release never had this problem.

Any ideas? Thanks!
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by dom » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:17 pm
Can you try a different sdcard?
Could you try adding:
boot_delay=1
to config.txt?
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by linux_noob » Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:12 pm
Just picked up a Lexar 16gb Class 10. I'll download a fresh image later and post an update.

I really hope it's just the SD card but the fact the same problem happened on two different cards has me slightly concerned.
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by linux_noob » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:26 am
So I flashed Raspbian onto a new Lexar SD card. Still the same problems. I set up the keyboard layout, locales, and time zone in the raspi-config. Then try a sudo reboot and it goes to the Rainbow screen.

I then added the boot_delay=1 line to the config.txt and still the same thing. If I manually unplug the Pi and plug it back in, the rainbow screen will pop up for a quick second and then start booting as normal. A software reboot freezes at the rainbow screen.

Any ideas???

3 different SD cards, same problem.

I've used multiple power supply's as well. Am currently using a powered (5v 2.0A) usb hub for power.
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by NickBurns2000 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:35 am
I was running an earlier version, all it said was debian. I had that same problem where it would take sometimes three unplugs to get it going. Since the latest Raspbian version I don't see the problems booting but I do see the rainbow screen. I'm not sure if it's everytime.
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by linux_noob » Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:44 am
NickBurns2000 wrote:I was running an earlier version, all it said was debian. I had that same problem where it would take sometimes three unplugs to get it going. Since the latest Raspbian version I don't see the problems booting but I do see the rainbow screen. I'm not sure if it's everytime.


It's so frustrating. I tried OpenELEC & RaspBMC and they both do the same thing.

Could this somehow be a hardware flaw? Maybe my laptop's SD card port is causing the problem? I will try it on my Mac Mini and see what happens later on I guess.

I've also booted w/o anything hooked up besides power during a reboot to see if that would matter, which it doesn't.
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by dom » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:01 am
linux_noob wrote:Could this somehow be a hardware flaw? Maybe my laptop's SD card port is causing the problem? I will try it on my Mac Mini and see what happens later on I guess.

I've also booted w/o anything hooked up besides power during a reboot to see if that would matter, which it doesn't.


Do you know anyone with a Raspberry Pi?
Ideally you would try swapping their board with yours and see if the problem goes away.
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by linux_noob » Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:29 pm
My cousin has one. I'll try to meet up with him soon and see.

Other than that, no one else has any ideas?
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by liamJGC » Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:34 pm
I have the same 'problem' - I didn't know it was a problem until this thread :( It doesn't affect me that much though, as it only lasts a short amount of time.
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by itimpi » Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:33 pm
liamJGC wrote:I have the same 'problem' - I didn't know it was a problem until this thread :( It doesn't affect me that much though, as it only lasts a short amount of time.

It is not a problem as long it is only displayed temporarily. It indicates that the first file in the boot sequence has been loaded and initiated.
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by gazmandev » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:37 am
I first noticed this after I updated the firmware using the rpi-update utility found on Github. It appears for a second, the boot continues. Luckily, mine hasn't (thus far) frozen at this stage.

Possibly a firmware update is required?

Link: https://github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-update/
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by CCitizenTO » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:40 am
I think the 'Rainbow Square' is basically like a test pattern. It's there to troubleshoot graphics problems because if you dont see it then you have a problem with your graphics. Probably just a different way the raspbian group have of doing things compared to the debian group.
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by gazmandev » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:45 am
Well, after just saying I didn't have problems guess what just happened? Yep, rainbow screen until hard reset (ie pull power and plug back in). Oh well, I'm not planning to remotely manage the Pi anyway.
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by mnbf9rca » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:13 pm
I can successfully reproduce this:
    1. Using 4GB SDHC Class 4 Ultra II, flash with the archlinuxarm-13-06-2012.img image
    2. Pi boots successfully
    3. Replace elf with smaller one to free up some memory as i dont want a GUI
      3.1. cd /boot
      3.2. mv start.elf orig-start.elf
      3.3. cp arm224_start.elf start.elf
    4. Run pacman -Suy and wait for it to finish. Note that it recognises that a different ELF is in use:
    (55/58) upgrading raspberrypi-firmware [######################] 100%
    >>>Replacing /boot/start.elf with /boot/arm224_start.elf

    5. When i reboot it doesn't work i.e. i get colour pallet only. Reimaging the card and it works again.
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by guiambros » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:15 am
Just for future reference (for people getting here from search engines), this is not a bug; it's a feature ;)

It was implemented with the new firmware (that's why maybe you didn't see the first time you used your Pi), and it's officially called "coloured splash screen". If it goes away quickly, it means your OS is there and control is being passed from the bootloader to kernel.img and the boot process continues normally. If you're getting stuck in the rainbow screen for more than a second, you have either a bad SD card or a bad OS.

http://elinux.org/R-Pi_Troubleshooting#Coloured_splash_screen

Coloured splash screen

With recent firmware, a coloured splash screen is displayed after firmware (start.elf) is loaded. This should be replaced by linux console a second later. However if the coloured screen remains, it suggests the kernel.img file is failing to boot. Try replacing it with a known good one.

Immediately after displaying the splash screen, the PI starts consuming a little more current, if the PI resets at that moment its an indication that your PSU isn't able to deliver the full current your PI requires, but dips its output voltage below a minimum when loaded with the full current the PI needs.
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by toxibunny » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:27 am
Not being able to soft-reboot isn't a feature, though...
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...
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by guiambros » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:49 am
toxibunny wrote:Not being able to soft-reboot isn't a feature, though...

You're correct. I should have finished by saying that the Pi should definitely soft reboot - regardless the colorful splash screen.

The best option to isolate the cause is to test the same power supply and SD card with another Pi board and see if it works. I have three boards here, and all soft reboot just fine. I'm using adafruit's ubuntu (Occidentalis v0.2), but latest wheezy also works fine.
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by toxibunny » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:09 am
10$ says it's the power supply...
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...
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by jackson42 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:46 am
Just a fyi for anyone getting experiencing a hanging rainbow screen after a fresh install, make sure you properly unmount your SD after installing the image.
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by josepedrodiaz » Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:20 am
In my case was my power supply. Change the power supply solve my problem. Thanks.
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