Get Power light but no disk activity on new pi


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by jpezz » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:30 pm
I connected my brand new pi. Connected all the cables, loaded an OS on an 8GB SD card and powered it up. The red PWR lights but no ACT lights up. I tried disconnecting the connections one by one until everything was removed (HDMI, ethernet, USB keyboard and mouse). So I tried a 1GB card (no OS but the light should go on as it tries to access the SD) and still no ACT light.

The USB power comes from an LG cellphone charger rated at 700ma. I also tried plugging into a USB port on my computer with the same result. I don't have any other supplies to check.

Other than buying a power supply strictly to test my pi, does anyone have any suggestions to help me?

Thanks.
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by pluggy » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:52 pm
Check the voltage across TP1 and TP2 with a volt meter / DMM. How exactly did you load an OS onto the card and what OS ? When you've 'loaded' it what can your PC see on it ?, What is the OS on your PC ?.

You can't 'load' a standard Raspdian OS onto a 1 GB card, it needs at least a 2 GB card.
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by drgeoff » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:52 pm
Are you absolutely certain there isn't even a single momentary flash of the ACT LED as you apply power?

Which OS (name and date) have you flashed?

Which of 'Samsung or 'Hynix' is written on the square chip in the middle of the board?
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by drgeoff » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:54 pm
pluggy wrote:You can't 'load' a standard Raspdian OS onto a 1 GB card, it needs at least a 2 GB card.

He did say the 1 Gbyte card is blank.
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by jpezz » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:08 pm
drgeoff wrote:Are you absolutely certain there isn't even a single momentary flash of the ACT LED as you apply power?

Which OS (name and date) have you flashed?

Which of 'Samsung or 'Hynix' is written on the square chip in the middle of the board?


Absolutely certain tried many times.

I downloaded 2013-02-09-wheezy-raspbian via this site and installed via win32diskimager-v0.7-binary. That was after downloading rpi_installer_08-19-12 from http://www.raspbian.org/RaspbianInstaller and following their instructions and trying that configuration.

It is a Hynix chip.

pluggy wrote:Check the voltage across TP1 and TP2 with a volt meter / DMM. How exactly did you load an OS onto the card and what OS ? When you've 'loaded' it what can your PC see on it ?, What is the OS on your PC ?.

You can't 'load' a standard Raspdian OS onto a 1 GB card, it needs at least a 2 GB card.


I found TP2 but can't find TP1 (getting old). Can you tell me where it is on the board?

I know you can't use 1GB card. THat was a test just to see if the ACT light would attempt to read the card. The OS was loaded on the first card, 8GB.

FYI, although retired, I do have an MS in EE and many years of UNIX experience (although I haven't done much in the last 10 years since retirement).
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by FTrevorGowen » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:16 pm
jpezz wrote:...
It is a Hynix chip.
...
I found TP2 but can't find TP1 (getting old). Can you tell me where it is on the board?
...

There is an issue with Hynix chips needing "appropriate settings" (there was a "front page post" some time ago) however, IIRC, Feb. 2013's "Wheezy" should be O.K. (No doubt others will correct me if my memory's failed me :) )
TP1's near the capacitor in front of the micro-usb power socket (see also in the wiki at http://elinux.org/R-Pi_Troubleshooting# ... r_problems).

W.r.t. your 5V 700mA PSU whilst that would be probably O.K. for a Model A Pi, for Model B's 5V 1000mA is the "recommended spec." although I've run Model B's "headless" with Sony Ericsson 5V 850mA chargers. Another potential issue is the connecting cable - some have quite a high resistance (the worst I've come across had a [core] resistance of 1.6ohms). (FWIW I've posted mesurements of PSU behaviours etc. within my website - follow the link on the right, if you wish).
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Mainly running "Wheezy Raspbian" on six Pi's (an A, B1, 2xB2 & 2 x B+). Notes about them begin at http://www.cpmspectrepi.webspace.virginmedia.com/raspberry_pi/raspiidx.htm
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by jpezz » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:43 pm
FTrevorGowen wrote:
jpezz wrote:...
It is a Hynix chip.
...
I found TP2 but can't find TP1 (getting old). Can you tell me where it is on the board?
...

There is an issue with Hynix chips needing "appropriate settings" (there was a "front page post" some time ago) however, IIRC, Feb. 2013's "Wheezy" should be O.K. (No doubt others will correct me if my memory's failed me :) )
TP1's near the capacitor in front of the micro-usb power socket (see also in the wiki at http://elinux.org/R-Pi_Troubleshooting# ... r_problems).

W.r.t. your 5V 700mA PSU whilst that would be probably O.K. for a Model A Pi, for Model B's 5V 1000mA is the "recommended spec." although I've run Model B's "headless" with Sony Ericsson 5V 850mA chargers. Another potential issue is the connecting cable - some have quite a high resistance (the worst I've come across had a [core] resistance of 1.6ohms). (FWIW I've posted mesurements of PSU behaviours etc. within my website - follow the link on the right, if you wish).
Trev. (Physicist, also retired [last year])


I never would have found TP1 w/o your help. Thanks.
Naked (nothing connected but power), I get 4.95V. I plugged in an SD and it went to 4.97. With keyboard and mouse, 4.96V.

I would think that w/o the network or USB connections to drain power, that board should have sufficient power to at least access the card.

I read the Wiki and measured the voltage on both sides of the F3 fuse and got 4.99 and 4.95.

I am curious. IF I stick a Windows-formatted FAT32 SSD in, should I see at least some activity on the lights as it at least tries to read the SSD?

Thanks so much for everyone's help.
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by bprats99 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:48 pm
Had the same problem, the SD socket has to be very tight into the RPi else no boot, just the red power light..
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by jpezz » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:51 pm
bprats99 wrote:Had the same problem, the SD socket has to be very tight into the RPi else no boot, just the red power light..
I noticed that the connection brass tabs have little distance but I had checked that first and they are definitely making contact when the card is in. Thanks.
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by drgeoff » Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:04 pm
Follow http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/2233 to the schematic of the RPi. Check the voltages from the regulators.

Given the voltages you are quoting for TP1 to TP2 and your certainty that there isn't even a single very brief flash of the ACT LED when applying power it would appear that you have a faulty board from the factory. There have been very few, if any, of those found on this forum. (I assume your RPi is a new one from a reputable source and isn't a damaged one that someone has got shot of.)
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by drgeoff » Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:09 pm
FTrevorGowen wrote:There is an issue with Hynix chips needing "appropriate settings" (there was a "front page post" some time ago) however, IIRC, Feb. 2013's "Wheezy" should be O.K.

The Hynix chip needs more than "appropriate settings". It needs some newer files. The 2013-02-09 version of Raspbian wheezy does have those. The not very well publicised public service announcement is at www.raspberrypi.org/archives/3534.
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by jpezz » Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:51 pm
drgeoff wrote:Follow http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/2233 to the schematic of the RPi. Check the voltages from the regulators.
Given the voltages you are quoting for TP1 to TP2 and your certainty that there isn't even a single very brief flash of the ACT LED when applying power it would appear that you have a faulty board from the factory. There have been very few, if any, of those found on this forum. (I assume your RPi is a new one from a reputable source and isn't a damaged one that someone has got shot of.)
Wow! You actually expect me to find the chips? Even with a magnifier, I could not read them. However, I did find the capacitors and measured 3.3V, 2.5V and 1.79V.

Yes, I bought it from the Rasberry-listed vendor Allied and it was delivered yesterday. I believe, however, it is a Revision 1 board as it has a sticker: E1113RS2V13B1.0. As to whether they are a reliable vendor, I am beginning to have my doubts! They have a 20 day return policy (that sucks!). I leave this weekend for a month-long trip via ship to the UK. With no way to get a hold of them over the weekend to get an extension of the warranty, I may have bought a pig in a poke.

There is no way there was even the slightest of a flash as I even tried pushing in the SD card into the slot in the dark.
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by drgeoff » Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:18 am
jpezz wrote:[I believe, however, it is a Revision 1 board as it has a sticker: E1113RS2V13B1.0.

You said earlier that it has a Hynix RAM chip. Those were not used until around the beginning of 2013. You do not have a Revision 1 board.
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by Burngate » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:59 am
Is it worth starting at the other end of the problem - are you sure you have a valid image on the SD card?

You don't say how you loaded the OS on your card - I assume using another computer.
That being so, if you put the card back in that computer, you should see a small (fifty-somethimg MB) FAT partition with about a dozen files

No Bootcode.bin will give you no ACT led activity (though some say they see it very dim)
Bootcode.bin but no Start.elf will give three flashes - pause - three flashes - pause - ...
Both of those but no kernel.img should give a four-colour splash screen

If your 1G card is formatted as FAT, then you could put those three files onto it and it should attempt to boot
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by drgeoff » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:21 am
Yes, worth looking at that. I have just tried booting a RPi with no SD card. The green LED does not flash even momentarily. It is illuminated very dimly.
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by jpezz » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:23 pm
OK everybody, how is this for a stupid mistake?

Not having used Win32DiskImager and unable to find instructions (after all there are only a few choices), I made the elementary error that the Read/Write buttons meant "Read the Image file/Write to the SD card". Since I was distracted doing other things simultaneously, I did not pay close attention to how long it was taking. The end result was that I read 8GB from the SD and overwrote the Image file, then simply read what I had written and put it back on the SD card. When I woke up this morning, I realized that could be the case. I booted my system and checked the image file size. Sure enough, it was 8G. Restoring the image and doing it properly wrote 2GB to the SD card. Duh!

What caused me to not recognize the problem was that in trying both the Image SD and a smaller FAT32-formatted 1GB SD, I expected to see what one sees when a CD is inserted into windows - the system flashes the CD light as it tries to read it, then if the CD contents are not compatible, it stops. Not seeing the initial flash made me think Mr. Pi was not even trying to read the SD.

I just tried the SD and power with nothing connected and I can see numerous accesses (ACT flashing repeatedly). Yeah! Only one day wasted.

I did learn something. Given that the card is not good, one will not see any ACT flashes.

Now to actually try a boot.
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by jpezz » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:24 pm
Thanks to everyone who helped.
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by drgeoff » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:34 pm
You got there in the end. Welcome to the world of Raspberry Pi.
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