Can't boot - Raspbian/NOOBS rainbow screen of death?


8 posts
by patternfall » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:02 pm
I've been trying for over a day now to get either of my two Raspberry Pis to work. Yesterday, I decided to do a fresh install of NOOBS on them both. Formatted both cards, downloaded the newest NOOBS, copied the files over to the cards, and... stuck on rainbow screen. Everything I've tried has failed, including a straight Rasbian install.

My setup:
- 1 Raspberry Pi Model B v.1
- 1 Raspberry Pi Model B v.2
- 2 Transcend 8GB SDHC Class 10 cards (specific model IS listed on compatibility page) connected via Targus USB SD card reader
- 10 different USB chargers and cables. The one I use most is a 5V/1A Samsung charger
- HDMI connection to computer monitor

For the sake of simplicity, understand I've tried everything on both Pis, both cards, and multiple charging cables. The results have been exactly identical regardless which combination of items I use.

Step-by-step of what I've tried:

NOOBS Installation:
1. Download newest version of NOOBS from foundation website. Verify SHA1 checksum matches
2. Extract .zip file onto desktop
3. Format SD card in my DSLR camera in order to remove linux partitions
4. Format SD card on my Windows 7 computer with the SD Formatter Utility - Full (Erase) - Volume Size Adjustment On
5. Copy files from extracted NOOBS directory onto the SD card
6. Safely remove card and place into Pi, then start it up

Result: Stuck on rainbow screen. PWR light on, ACT light blinks once then stays off.

Rasbian Installation:
1. Download newest version of Rasbian from foundation website. Verify SHA1 checksum matches
2. Extract .zip file onto desktop (end up with .img file)
3. Same card formatting steps as above
4. Run Win32DiskImager, write downloaded .img to SD card. Verify card contents and partition size
- Also tried adding the boot_delay=1 line into config.txt, and changing the hdmi hotplug setting to on
5. Safely remove card and place into Pi, then start it up

Result: Black screen. No signal detected by monitor. PWR light on, ACT light blinks once then stays off.

So what am I doing wrong? The cards should be formatted correctly, but I end up with either the rainbow or black screen every time. The formatting steps I've taken are exactly the same as the steps I took the first time I installed NOOBS. Only difference is the older versions worked.

If anyone can give me other steps to try, I'd be extremely grateful.
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by mahjongg » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:53 pm
Unusual, but read, http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=58151 if you have not already.
Besides that I suspect a broken card holder, or maybe a triggered polyfuse. measure the 5V as received by the PI, that is between TP1 and TP2. Other than that I only can think of using a different card.

p.s staying at the rainbow screen means the ARM code doesn't start, The "four blown up pixel screen" is the final GPU code to run before the ARM takes over. could be a bad partition. so you could take a look at it with a partition manager, like gparted, and give the results here.
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by patternfall » Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:43 am
My understanding is that NOOBS (my preference on what to get working here) re-partitions the card at first boot. I still ran gparted live off a usb drive in order to verify, and it's still sitting on the full fat32 partition (http://i.imgur.com/NxFSqGQ.jpg)

I'll have to dig out my voltmeter to get the numbers, but remember this is on TWO different Pis and TWO different SD cards. I can't imagine them both having identical hardware issues.

In the meantime I'm going to try booting into Debian and installing NOOBS/Raspbian from that environment. Not sure why it would make a difference, but I'll try anything at this point.
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by wuppi » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:19 am
Hi,

I have exactly the same issue.

I have an older Pi revB with Samsung chip which works really nice. Now I got a 2nd one which seems to have the Micron 31A78 chip.

I tried 3 SD cards with different Raspberry images in the latest version, which should work with the Micron chip: NOOBS, Raspbian, XBIAN, Raspbmc. None of them works in the new Pi, the old one likes them all. The power supply is the same as for my first Pi and a new PSU shipped with the new Pi.

From my conclusion, everything works with my first Pi and not the new one...
So what now? I am close to sending it back...
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by jamesh » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:50 am
That does sound like a broken device if none of the latest SW works.
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by mahjongg » Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:24 am
patternfall wrote:My understanding is that NOOBS (my preference on what to get working here) re-partitions the card at first boot. I still ran gparted live off a usb drive in order to verify, and it's still sitting on the full fat32 partition (http://i.imgur.com/NxFSqGQ.jpg)

I'll have to dig out my voltmeter to get the numbers, but remember this is on TWO different Pis and TWO different SD cards. I can't imagine them both having identical hardware issues.

In the meantime I'm going to try booting into Debian and installing NOOBS/Raspbian from that environment. Not sure why it would make a difference, but I'll try anything at this point.

I assume that different OS use different partitioning setups, so I expect that NOOBS re-partitions only when you choose to install the OS, not directly when it boots.
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by DeeJay » Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:02 pm
mahjongg wrote:I assume that different OS use different partitioning setups, so I expect that NOOBS re-partitions only when you choose to install the OS, not directly when it boots.


Wrong. It resizes and repartitions (and renames the card) the first time it is (successfully) booted, irrespective of whether the user subsequently chooses to install an OS or not.

Installing an OS will initiate additional partitioning activity within the free space that has been reserved in the previous step.
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by mahjongg » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:39 pm
ah, thanks for the clear-up! I assumed that because RiscOS probably uses a completely different partitioning scheme than Linux this would not be possible.
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