Stuck on the Rainbow Screen


25 posts
by Kerhisto » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:05 pm
So after reading a couple threads and trying what others have, I'm still having no luck. Simply put: when i plug my Pi in (Power/HDMI) I get to see a pretty picture of a rainbow and that's about it.
Pi Info: It's the hynix Model B 512MB (The one with the big CE and FC on the left side)
Just got it about 3 days ago from Alliedelec
What I've tried:
Different Distros: Minepeon :Rainbow screen, Raspbian: Rainbow screen, NOOBS: Rainbow screen, Occidental v.2: Nothing, just a black screen (not sure why it's different)
Different SD cards: 4Gb Lexar and 4GB Danelec: same problem rainbow screen
Holding in the SD card into the pi while it boots: Nope
Checking to make sure the SD card slot is good: As far as I can tell it is.
Using SDFormatter to format, Using Win32Diskimager to write files onto SD
Using different Power supplies and Cables

I'm at a total loss. The only thing left I can think of trying is to use a different SD Card reader for my PC and try writing it there (The one i'm using is pretty old) and I plan on doing that tonight with the SD slot on a friends laptop/
I've read that the rainbow screen is what happens when the kernel fails to boot but I don't know the first thing about fixing it and i would assume that the kernel on 3 different Distros wouldn't be corrupted would it?

Any help would be appreciated.
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by jbeale » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:16 pm
If you only see the rainbow colors: http://elinux.org/R-Pi_Troubleshooting# ... ash_screen
then the system is not booting kernel.img from the SD card. I believe that is stored on the FAT partition of the card, meaning it should also be visible to a Windows machine, so you can check on a laptop to see if there's at least that file present on the card.

What comes to mind offhand is: bad SD card, corrupt file on the card, bad physical SD card connector on R-Pi, severely inadequate power supply (starting boot should need less than 500 mA).

Sounds like you've already considered all those cases. The hardware could simply be broken, although RPi boards are supposed to be 100% tested at the factory. Do you know anyone with a working Pi, so you could swap in a known-good SD card?

When I unboxed my very first computer (Christmas day, a long time ago) basically the same thing happened. Although it was random blinking characters instead of a rainbow. In that case, the 6502 CPU chip had worked its way out of the socket during shipping. Pressed it back in, and it worked. Ok, so the Pi is not an Apple II, but probably connectors are still the mostly likely hardware thing to fail. One of the six R-Pis I have now did arrive with a bent pin on the SD connector. It was only *slightly* bent down, but that was enough. I had to gently pluck it up and reshape it with tweezers before it would work reliably.
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by Kerhisto » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:52 am
Thanks for your input jbeale.
Ok so in order:
I just checked and yes i see the Kernel.img.
I checked the list of approved sd cards and the Lexar one is supposed to be compatable, Danelec not so much
And sadly I don't know anyone in my area who has a Pi, I'm sorta the guinea pig in my group of nerds haha

I'm about to use a different computer to write the files onto the sd card just in case it's the old sd card reader that's been writing the files wrong. If that doesn't work I'm going to seriously consider requesting a new Pi.
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by Kerhisto » Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:21 pm
Tried using a different card reader to write the .img file and it didn't work either.
I just sent my RMA request to Alliedelec. I'll re-post when I get the new one and if it works or not.
If it still doesn't work then my next step is:
To get a pre-installed SD card with Raspbian
and/or a new power supply (thinking that maybe the 3 I've used aren't good enough, which i really doubt)
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by stefaanbolle » Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:26 pm
try to put boot_delay=1 in /boot/config.txt
worked for me
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by jbeale » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:55 pm
Some/all of the regular R-Pi vendors are currently offering a R-Pi plus 8GB SD card preinstalled with the NOOBS distribution, for only $5 extra. For example, for those in the USA:
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/83-15499
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/83-15500

I got a Model A with 8GB SD card preloaded from the above vendor (second link), and it worked fine.
If you have any doubt about your power supply, use a voltmeter to measure between TP1 and TP2 during power-up. If it stays above 4.8 V or so, then your power is fine and the issue must be something else. See also: http://elinux.org/R-Pi_Troubleshooting# ... r_problems
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by Kerhisto » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:02 pm
stefaanbolle wrote:try to put boot_delay=1 in /boot/config.txt
worked for me

I'm not sure where this file is "Boot config.txt", Which Distro are you talking about with this fix?
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by Kerhisto » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:14 pm
jbeale wrote:Some/all of the regular R-Pi vendors are currently offering a R-Pi plus 8GB SD card preinstalled with the NOOBS distribution, for only $5 extra. For example, for those in the USA:
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/83-15499
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/83-15500

I got a Model A with 8GB SD card preloaded from the above vendor (second link), and it worked fine.
If you have any doubt about your power supply, use a voltmeter to measure between TP1 and TP2 during power-up. If it stays above 4.8 V or so, then your power is fine and the issue must be something else. See also: http://elinux.org/R-Pi_Troubleshooting# ... r_problems

I'm not sure if I want to buy a whole new R-Pi just yet, I'd rather see if I can just return the one I have first.
I think I have a voltmeter lying around somewhere I have to try that out real quick, thanks for the links.

EDIT: I went and tried to use a Voltmeter however for some reason mine does not have a 20V setting, it goes from 10v, 50v, 250v. I'll post pictures of what shows up when I do the 10 and 50V
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by Kerhisto » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:47 pm
Pictures of my Voltmeter test:
Attachments
IMG_20130914_133906+1.jpg
@ 5V setting
IMG_20130914_133906+1.jpg (56.42 KiB) Viewed 8421 times
IMG_20130914_133925+1.jpg
@50V setting
IMG_20130914_133925+1.jpg (59.25 KiB) Viewed 8421 times
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by stefaanbolle » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:39 pm
config.txt is situated in /boot
thus:
sudo nano /boot/config.txt
add
boot_delay=1
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by Kerhisto » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:02 pm
stefaanbolle wrote:config.txt is situated in /boot
thus:
sudo nano /boot/config.txt
add
boot_delay=1

So when you say sudo nano I'm assuming that you are assuming that i'm using a linux-based OS. And i currently am not. Is there a windows 7 version for that?
Worst comes to worst I can make a linux partition on my computer
(I'm not very linux smart, nor RPi smart which is why I honestly don't know what you mean)
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by Burngate » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:10 am
Point 1: The voltages look ok - on the 10v setting it's showing just above 5.2v, and assuming the meter is accurate and has been zeroed, that's good enough.

Point2: The instruction "sudo nano /boot/config.txt" assumes you are doing it on your Pi, having successfully booted it. So ignore that.

NOOBS, while being a brilliant system, is sufficiently different that I've not got my head round it yet.
But if you are using Raspbian from the download page, and Win32diskimager on Windows, then:

You're getting the rainbow screen, so at least part of the SDcard is readable.
Put the card in your reader. Under windows, you should see several files - bootcode.bin, kernel.img ...
config.txt should be one of them. You can open it in wordpad. Just add "boot_delay=1" and save the file.
Don't forget to 'eject' the card before removing it
Wyszkowski's Second Law: Anything can be made to work if you fiddle with it long enough.
Brain surgery is easier than psychoanalysis
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by Kerhisto » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:39 pm
Burngate wrote:Point 1: The voltages look ok - on the 10v setting it's showing just above 5.2v, and assuming the meter is accurate and has been zeroed, that's good enough.

Point2: The instruction "sudo nano /boot/config.txt" assumes you are doing it on your Pi, having successfully booted it. So ignore that.

NOOBS, while being a brilliant system, is sufficiently different that I've not got my head round it yet.
But if you are using Raspbian from the download page, and Win32diskimager on Windows, then:

You're getting the rainbow screen, so at least part of the SDcard is readable.
Put the card in your reader. Under windows, you should see several files - bootcode.bin, kernel.img ...
config.txt should be one of them. You can open it in wordpad. Just add "boot_delay=1" and save the file.
Don't forget to 'eject' the card before removing it

IT WORKED!, Oh man I could kiss you right now. My only question is why is this not on the troubleshooting page under the splash screen errors. Because I literally searched everywhere possible and this is the first i've heard of it.
Thank you so much. And Jbeale and stefaanbolle too your help was great.
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by Burngate » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:51 pm
Kerhisto wrote:IT WORKED!, Oh man I could kiss you right now..
Are you sure? I need a shave at the moment ...
Wyszkowski's Second Law: Anything can be made to work if you fiddle with it long enough.
Brain surgery is easier than psychoanalysis
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by Kerhisto » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:15 pm
And it worked on the other SD card as well so now I have two. Don't know what i'll do with the second one though.
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by jbeale » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:15 pm
I have added this fix to the elinux wiki "Troubleshooting" page. http://elinux.org/R-Pi_Troubleshooting# ... ash_screen

I still don't know exactly what this does (delay boot by 1 second?) or why that should fix anything (power supply stability? SD card access times?). Searching for "boot_delay" site:raspberrypi.org I see that some other people have needed this also, looks like one person used "boot_delay = 32" to wait for a hard drive to spin up, viewtopic.php?f=28&t=42227
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by stefaanbolle » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:22 pm
with pleasure, glad we could help!
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by skynet_rb » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:07 am
I have the same problem !!!!!!

I will test it tomorrow and see how it goes, if it works... you'll save my life :')
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by javahaxxor » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:50 am
boot_delay=1 worked for me too.
What puzzles me is that first time I booted the Pi, it worked flawlessly. Then I made some changes through the config, rebooted from console, and it was dead (rainbow screen). First the SD was flashed in Windoze, and it worked.
I dd:d the image in OSX (took me all night, dd is stupidly slow) but still rainbow screen.
Reformatted at work today, in Windows, reflashed, still rainbow.
After adding the boot delay it suddenly works again.

Could someone try to explain this behavior ? Isn't it supposed to "just work" ?
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by IIvIIuppetier » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:33 pm
Folks, this did it for me though my case was different. I could not find the config.txt on my SD as I purchased the 8GB preinstalled SD with the Model B board. It has Noob installed and as I couldn't get it to boot even once there was no file to modify. The solution: 1) format using the SD card formatting tool
2) install Raspbmc
3) modify config.txt

et voila!

Perfect, thanks for your help.
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by sajogrozni » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:20 pm
As far as occidentals 0.2 black screen, here is some additional info ( from adafruit web site).

"This distribution is not compatible with Raspberry Pi's that have 'HYNIX' RAM Chips! We are working on a new distro that will be better than ever and also support HYNIX, no ETA at this time."
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by ashobe » Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:31 pm
Burngate wrote:Point 1: The voltages look ok - on the 10v setting it's showing just above 5.2v, and assuming the meter is accurate and has been zeroed, that's good enough.

Point2: The instruction "sudo nano /boot/config.txt" assumes you are doing it on your Pi, having successfully booted it. So ignore that.

NOOBS, while being a brilliant system, is sufficiently different that I've not got my head round it yet.
But if you are using Raspbian from the download page, and Win32diskimager on Windows, then:

You're getting the rainbow screen, so at least part of the SDcard is readable.
Put the card in your reader. Under windows, you should see several files - bootcode.bin, kernel.img ...
config.txt should be one of them. You can open it in wordpad. Just add "boot_delay=1" and save the file.
Don't forget to 'eject' the card before removing it


I had the same problem on a new pi. I could never get it to boot from NOOBS. After reading your post, I did checks on the voltage pinout (5.02v) and tried to determine if it was a hardware issue. Since there was not any /boot/config.txt file in NOOBS maybe there is another file that can be modified??

After the frustration and searching, i decide to reformat my SD card and just put straight up Raspbian on it instead of NOOBS. Voila, there was the config.txt file. added the boot_delay=1 and it immediately booted up and has now been up and down several times without error. I am glad this worked but I am to wondering why this worked and exactly how this was discovered/tried to fix this issue. (when I ask why, it helps me learn)
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by AndrewS » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:10 pm
With a bit of luck, all these problems should be fixed with the latest NOOBS 1.3.4 http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads which contains updated firmware to fix the 'stuck on rainbow screen' problem - no more need to edit config.txt 8-)
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by Richard-TX » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:21 pm
I did a bunch of testing and only the recent UK made Rpis (I got mine from Allied - Dec 2013) exhibit the stuck rainbow problem. Earlier Rpi's made in China or by Sony are better (red plastic shipping box) and do not require editing config.txt.

I did all my tests using Raspian 12-20-2013 release.

If anyone from the foundation is listening, the version with the red plastic shipping box (Sony made?) are very nice. Even if you have to raise the price by $1, that packaging is great. Please use that board maker and packaging in the future.
Richard
Doing Unix since 1985.
The 9-25-2013 image of Wheezy can be found at:
http://downloads.raspberrypi.org/raspbian/images/raspbian-2013-09-27/2013-09-25-wheezy-raspbian.zip
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by AndrewS » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:40 pm
NOOBS 1.3.4 includes Raspbian 2014-01-07 which includes the same updated firmware files :)
If you can verify that the updated NOOBS or Raspbian fixes all your problems too, that would be really great!
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