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RPi_Mike
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SOLVED: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Will Not Boot!

Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:10 am

I carefully read the official Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ announcement – and all 450+ comments at the time of this writing. I am fully aware that the 3B+ requires the latest "firmware" and boot code – with a fully updated and current copy of Raspbian Stretch. Otherwise, it will simply not work.

Therefore, in preparation for the arrival of my brand-new 3B+, I updated a completely pristine and unmodified copy of Raspbian Stretch (with Desktop) on my existing 3B. I did that by running the following two commands in Terminal – followed by a reboot:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Yet no matter what, my new 3B+ would not boot from my newly-updated SD card. Instead, it locked up within one second of being turned on – forever stuck at the "rainbow" screen with a yellow lightning bolt in the upper-right corner. Here's an actual picture of what it looked like on my 1080p monitor (red arrow magnification superimposed):
No_Boot.jpg
No_Boot.jpg (225.64 KiB) Viewed 41468 times


TECHNICAL DETAILS: When I say I used an "unmodified" and "pristine" copy of Stretch, I mean that literally – no software of any kind had been installed on the system. It was a completely fresh copy straight from NOOBS – running on a high-end "known good" Samsung 32 GB SD card in the standard internal SD card slot. I'm the author of the Raspberry's gigantic FFmpeg / mpv tutorial, so I have several testing cards on hand.

For reference, my pristine operating system was created by what was, until just 7 days ago, the most recent version of NOOBS – NOOBS v2.4.5 (released on 2017-11-29). A few weeks ago, I had installed this version of NOOBS (2.4.5) onto a blank SD card from the official NOOBS image at raspberrypi.org/downloads/noobs.

The following is "before and after" data on my operating system, Linux kernel, and OS image – just BEFORE I ran "dist-upgrade" and just AFTER I ran "dist-upgrade" (on March 20):


OPERATING SYSTEM VERSION – GENERATED BY: lsb_release -a

BEFORE DIST-UPGRADE:
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Raspbian
Description: Raspbian GNU/Linux 9.3 (stretch)
Release: 9.3
Codename: stretch

AFTER DIST-UPGRADE:
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Raspbian
Description: Raspbian GNU/Linux 9.4 (stretch)
Release: 9.4
Codename: stretch



LINUX KERNEL VERSION – GENERATED BY: uname -a

BEFORE DIST-UPGRADE:
Linux raspberrypi 4.9.59-v7+ #1047 SMP Sun Oct 29 12:19:23 GMT 2017 armv7l GNU/Linux

AFTER DIST-UPGRADE:
Linux raspberrypi 4.9.80-v7+ #1098 SMP Fri Mar 9 19:11:42 GMT 2018 armv7l GNU/Linux



RASPBIAN IMAGE VERSION – GENERATED BY: cat /etc/rpi-issue

BEFORE DIST-UPGRADE:
Raspberry Pi reference 2017-11-29
Generated using pi-gen, https://github.com/RPi-Distro/pi-gen, b71bf3179310aadf9aaf2ffcdf094a88e488dce8, stage5

AFTER DIST-UPGRADE:
Raspberry Pi reference 2017-11-29
Generated using pi-gen, https://github.com/RPi-Distro/pi-gen, b71bf3179310aadf9aaf2ffcdf094a88e488dce8, stage5



TECHNICAL SUMMARY: As you can see, "dist-upgrade" correctly updated my version of Raspbian Stretch from 9.3 to 9.4. It also updated the Linux kernel from October 29, 2017 to March 9, 2018. And, as one would expect, my Raspbian image version did NOT change. At this point, the SD card had a fully updated and current copy of Raspbian Stretch – as of March 20, 2018. But keep in mind that the underlying version of NOOBS was still 2.4.5 – not 2.7.0. In other words, my NOOBS image was still from November 29 – not March 14.

Given the deployed base of several million 3Bs, this would be a very common scenario. Running "dist-upgrade" or "upgrade" only takes a few minutes. But installing a brand-new copy of NOOBS from scratch, from a fresh image, can easily take several hours – especially if you've customized your system and need to get everything back to the way it was. Since there was no mention that I had to install an entirely new image of NOOBS all over again from scratch, it made perfect sense to simply run "dist-upgrade".

Realize also that after fully updating my system (except NOOBS), everything worked perfectly on my existing 3B. It booted normally from the SD card and behaved in a perfectly normal fashion.

So when my 3B+ arrived in the mail a few hours later, I simply put the newly-updated SD card into the internal SD card slot, plugged it in to the official power supply (5V, 2.5A), and attached it to my monitor via an HDMI cable. No other devices, USB or otherwise, were attached to my new Raspberry.

I then turned it on and it almost immediately locked up at the "rainbow" screen with the lightning bolt (see image above).

So there you go: I think I've made it abundantly clear that I did everything in a completely standard fashion on a completely standard set-up – both at the hardware and software level.

Yet my new 3B+ would simply not boot!



HOW DID I SOLVE THIS VEXING PROBLEM? My solution was time-consuming but effective:

I installed the latest version of NOOBS and everything worked!

FINAL NOTE: I saw a few comments that implied success with "dist-upgrade" or "upgrade" – but none of them explicitly mentioned NOOBS! I suspect they had skipped the NOOBS image and were instead running off a "pure" Raspbian image (without NOOBS). Hopefully, the Raspberry Pi Foundation can address this situation – without requiring a complete "NUKE" of the Raspberry!

UPDATE – APRIL 30, 2018: I have now created an entirely new solution that updates NOOBS without re-installing it. That way, your system won't get "nuked". Please see my brand-new tutorial here:

TUTORIAL: Update NOOBS without Re-Installing It (When Your Raspberry Pi 3B+ Won't Boot!)
Last edited by RPi_Mike on Tue May 01, 2018 3:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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rpdom
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Re: SOLVED: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Will Not Boot!

Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:32 am

One problem with NOOBS is that apt doesn't upgrade the NOOBS system as well as Raspbian. You need to do some awkward dance steps to update NOOBS as well. Your Raspbian is most certainly fine, but it needs to boot into NOOBS first, then reboot into Raspbian and it is NOOBS that is failing.

I'm afraid I cant tell you how to update NOOBS, I tried using it once and went back to straight Raspbian images. I think it involves downloading the latest NOOBS Lite and copying some of the files over to your current system.

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RPi_Mike
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Re: SOLVED: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Will Not Boot!

Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:15 am

rpdom wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:32 am
One problem with NOOBS is that apt doesn't upgrade the NOOBS system as well as Raspbian. You need to do some awkward dance steps to update NOOBS as well. Your Raspbian is most certainly fine, but it needs to boot into NOOBS first, then reboot into Raspbian and it is NOOBS that is failing.

I'm afraid I cant tell you how to update NOOBS, I tried using it once and went back to straight Raspbian images. I think it involves downloading the latest NOOBS Lite and copying some of the files over to your current system.

Your observations make perfect sense.

Fortunately, as you saw, I was able to get everything working – but it definitely took a good chunk of time to re-load NOOBS from scratch.

Ultimately, I wanted to thoroughly document this significant issue and put it out there. I also wanted to share my solution with the rest of the community.

My hope is that in the near future, the Raspberry Pi Foundation can resolve this matter. A lot of existing customers will buy a 3B+ – so this one issue could easily result in hundreds of thousands or even millions of frustrated people!

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DougieLawson
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Re: SOLVED: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Will Not Boot!

Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:41 am

The RPF folks have already fixed it. Use NOOBS 2.7 or NOOBS lite 2.7 and it just works.

You may be able to copy stuff from NOOBS Lite 2.7 to the unbootable card. The RPF folks won't do that for you.

There's instructions out on t'internets for doing that from last time when NOOBS needed an upgrade.
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RPi_Mike
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Re: SOLVED: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Will Not Boot!

Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:15 am

DougieLawson wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:41 am
The RPF folks have already fixed it. Use NOOBS 2.7 or NOOBS lite 2.7 and it just works.

You may be able to copy stuff from NOOBS Lite 2.7 to the unbootable card. The RPF folks won't do that for you.

Where do I even begin Dougie?

As I clearly explained in my original post, there was no mention of any need for a complete "nuke and reload" of NOOBS in the official Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ announcement.

That's a multi-hour project and it's not trivial – it's also a very unfortunate "first experience" for any existing NOOBS user who doesn't just happen to have the very latest version of NOOBS just laying around on an SD card.

The latest version of NOOBS was only published 7 days ago! What percent of existing Raspberry users would meet that requirement? Very few.

Yet you make it sound like "duhhh – the RPF already has a fix for that!"

In fact, all that's been said by the RPF is that you need to update the "firmware" (which occurs automatically during a standard upgrade of Raspbian) – without any mention that a complete overhaul of NOOBS may also be required. Just to make it clear I know what I'm talking about, here's what a leading RPF engineer said just 2 days ago in a posting to the official announcement page:
Boot_Requirements.png
Boot_Requirements.png (35.66 KiB) Viewed 41207 times


The full reality, of course, is a bit more complicated: A simple Raspbian upgrade is necessary but NOT sufficient to get a 3B+ to boot IF YOU'RE USING NOOBS AND IT'S MORE THAN 7 DAYS OLD!

Now back to your claim that it's been "fixed". It ain't a "fix" if the so-called "fix" has never been published and the customers have not been informed of this show-stopping issue. That was the significant contribution of my post, however much you wish to dismiss it.

Of course, having to completely re-load NOOBS from a new image is far from a "fix" – instead, it's a complete re-creation of the entire SD card from scratch. That takes hours. It's the equivalent of eviscerating an entire car and then re-building a new one in order to "fix" a broken muffler. Will that "fix" the problem? Yes it will. But a true "fix" would mean just replacing the muffler. Ideally, a downloadable patch or some other simple method would make existing recent copies of NOOBS "3B+ ready". Keep in mind, my existing NOOBS was far from old – it was, in fact, the very latest version until just 8 days ago! And thanks to "dist-upgrade", my version of Raspbian was 0 days old! Yet that was still not enough for my 3B+ to boot.

Don't get me wrong – there may be perfectly valid technical reasons why NOOBS can't be easily updated. So the RPF may have a very good rationale for not addressing this in a simple way. Like many things in life, it may just be an unfortunate reality. It may just be that the only "official" way this can be resolved is by installing the latest version of NOOBS from scratch. And that indeed is what I explained in my posting. It's what I did and it worked!

But at a minimum, this critical information should be included in the official announcement and marketing materials for the 3B+.

Otherwise, there will be a TON of frustrated customers who will wonder why their brand-new Raspberry won't even boot!

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HawaiianPi
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Re: SOLVED: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Will Not Boot!

Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:14 am

This is exactly why NOOBS should be done away with. In the early days of the Pi it did have its place, but now it just causes more problems than it solves. Stop using NOOBS and start using Raspbian images. They are actually easier to install than NOOBS now (using Etcher), and they can be easily updated for newer systems (provided you are using a current release version, which is Stretch at the time of this post).
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RPi_Mike
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Re: SOLVED: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Will Not Boot!

Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:13 am

HawaiianPi wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:14 am
This is exactly why NOOBS should be done away with. In the early days of the Pi it did have its place, but now it just causes more problems than it solves. Stop using NOOBS and start using Raspbian images. They are actually easier to install than NOOBS now (using Etcher), and they can be easily updated for newer systems (provided you are using a current release version, which is Stretch at the time of this post).

Perhaps you're right – perhaps NOOBS should be done away with! Or improved to make it easily updatable.

There is one nice thing about NOOBS, however – the ability to "nuke and reload" the operating system is completely self-contained within the SD card.

In other words, if things go completely haywire with your OS, NOOBS by itself can usually reconstitute everything and give the user a clean, brand-new OS without requiring any external resources. I realize that one can also reconstitute things if they have access to another computer – or a separate, cloned SD card with a working OS. But not everyone has those luxuries.

Nonetheless, rightly or wrongly, the RPF continues to present NOOBS as "an easy operating system installer for beginners" – and beginners are clearly encouraged to use it. So the NOOBS user base would tend to be less technically sophisticated than those who install "pure" Raspbian without NOOBS.

That only makes the complications I identified even more concerning!

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HawaiianPi
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Re: SOLVED: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Will Not Boot!

Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:56 am

RPi_Mike wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:13 am
There is one nice thing about NOOBS, however – the ability to "nuke and reload" the operating system is completely self-contained within the SD card.
That's true, but NOOBS also reduces the capacity of your SD card by more than a gig (something like 1.3GB) for that functionality. And how many people don't have another computer, or at least a spare SD card and card reader? You can even write Raspberry Pi SD cards with a smartphone now (there's an app for that).
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RPi_Mike
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Re: SOLVED: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Will Not Boot!

Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:32 am

HawaiianPi wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:56 am
And how many people don't have another computer

Spoken like a true First Worlder! :-)

Although I have multiple computers, NOOBS has been a handy testing vehicle for my giant FFmpeg / mpv tutorial – because it allows me to quickly start from a fresh OS anytime I make a minor tweak to my instructions. That way, I can absolutely verify that I'm not making any false assumptions. In other words, it lets me know that my tutorial didn't "accidentally" work because of some other package or alteration I made to an existing system.

I realize I could keep a pristine OS copy sitting around on a separate cloned SD card, but then I'd have to "waste" another card by devoting it to that one purpose.

With NOOBS, I've got a self-contained testing card that will "reset" itself from scratch – giving me a brand-new testing OS in minutes. My whole philosophy is to replicate what a total beginner would start from.

Nonetheless, if an easy NOOBS updater can't be created, I would agree with you – the RPF should probably consider abandoning NOOBS.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: SOLVED: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Will Not Boot!

Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:38 am

RPi_Mike wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:32 am
HawaiianPi wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:56 am
And how many people don't have another computer

Spoken like a true First Worlder! :-)

Although I have multiple computers, NOOBS has been a handy testing vehicle for my giant FFmpeg / mpv tutorial – because it allows me to quickly start from a fresh OS anytime I make a minor tweak to my instructions. That way, I can absolutely verify that I'm not making any false assumptions. In other words, it lets me know that my tutorial didn't "accidentally" work because of some other package or alteration I made to an existing system.

I realize I could keep a pristine OS copy sitting around on a separate cloned SD card, but then I'd have to "waste" another card by devoting it to that one purpose.

With NOOBS, I've got a self-contained testing card that will "reset" itself from scratch – giving me a brand-new testing OS in minutes. My whole philosophy is to replicate what a total beginner would start from.

Nonetheless, if an easy NOOBS updater can't be created, I would agree with you – the RPF should probably consider abandoning NOOBS.

PiNN should replace NoobS if we have / need / want something like this:

viewtopic.php?t=142574


Though Raspbian and Etcher should be touted as best fit for newcomers.....
Adieu

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DougieLawson
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Re: SOLVED: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Will Not Boot!

Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:16 pm

RPi_Mike wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:15 am
DougieLawson wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:41 am
The RPF folks have already fixed it. Use NOOBS 2.7 or NOOBS lite 2.7 and it just works.

You may be able to copy stuff from NOOBS Lite 2.7 to the unbootable card. The RPF folks won't do that for you.

Where do I even begin Dougie?
Just for completeness (so I can easily find the URL next time)
https://thepihut.com/blogs/raspberry-pi ... berry-pi-2
Same process for getting old NOOBS working for RPi3B+ and it is a pain in the tail.

The most important piece of that is
Copy everything from the extracted ZIP EXCEPT for 'recovery.cmdline' to the top directory of your microSD card.
If you copy recovery.cmdline you will completely break your existing NOOBS installation.
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jigneshkerai89
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Re: SOLVED: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Will Not Boot!

Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:01 am

Had the same issue - I was not going to spend hours to reconfigure all the repos and libs. Tried

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
on old pi but the kernel was still v4.9 17th July 2017 and the latest raspbian is v4.9 18th March 2018. Looks like the kernel is not updating to latest.

So instead tried

Code: Select all

sudo rpi-update
. Got the latest kernel (v4.14) . Removed this sd card from the old RPI 3 to the RPi 3 B+. All is working now :geek:

Note: if rpi-update method is not installed then you will need to do

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install rpi-update

tkaiser
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Re: SOLVED: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Will Not Boot!

Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:11 am

jigneshkerai89 wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:01 am
All is working now :geek:
Which is more or less the result of an updated ThreadX contained in the raspberrypi-bootloader package and not the raspberrypi-kernel package (the latter is important too of course since otherwise network won't function)

ThreadX is just a bunch of files on the FAT partition...

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RPi_Mike
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Re: SOLVED: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Will Not Boot!

Tue May 01, 2018 3:16 am

Note to DougieLawson: I give you quarter-credit for your answer on how to update NOOBS. The "instructions" you recommend at The Pi Hut might point an advanced user in the right direction, but it's woefully incomplete and just plain wrong in several critical ways. Here's why:

1: Raspbian, by default, does NOT mount partition #1 – whether the SD card is in an external USB adapter or in the internal SD card slot. For an advanced user like you, that of course is no big deal – you live and breath this stuff 24/7. For all but the most advanced users, however, the entire partition is completely INVISIBLE and UNTOUCHABLE. Neither you nor The Pi Hut makes any mention of this critical fact.

2: The Pi Hut directions you reference claim that you MUST update NOOBS on a separate computer – "a PC or Mac, I'm afraid." They apparently think that some of the files on partition #1 are "locked" or somehow inaccessible on a live system. This is not true.

3: The Pi Hut also says to copy all the new NOOBS files to "the top directory of your microSD card". To almost everyone – including advanced users – "top directory" means the "/" directory. Unfortunately, that would cause them to destroy the core of their system which resides on partition #7. What The Pi Hut probably meant to say is "the top directory of partition #1". But remember – partition #1, by default, DOES NOT EXIST in the eyes of Raspbian! Without issuing explicit commands to mount the partition, it's invisible to the user – and to Terminal and File Manager as well.

4: The Pi Hut makes no distinction between those with full NOOBS and NOOBS Lite.

5: There's yet another problem with your advice. That's because the content of partition #6 – the /boot partition – looks almost IDENTICAL to the content of partition #1. Making things even worse, Raspbian DOES mount partition #6 by default – making it even more likely that a beginner or intermediate-level user will destroy their entire system by damaging their critical boot files. To borrow a term you've personally used on this forum in the past, some would say your advice is "irresponsible".

Fortunately, I have now published a new tutorial that addresses all these issues – and much, much more (see link below).


Note to jigneshkerai89: Although you didn't fully describe your system configuration, your boot problem appears to be due to your use of an old operating system – not NOOBS itself. In fact, I suspect you were not even using NOOBS. So although you had the "same issue" superficially, you probably didn't have the same issue!

Running sudo rpi-update, as you did, will probably get Raspbian Jessie – the old and no-longer-supported Raspberry operating system – to successfully boot on the new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ – WITH ONE GIANT EXCEPTION (which I'll explain in a moment). I have not personally tested your method – simply because I'm not interested in old operating systems – but other reports suggest that your approach will probably work by updating the essential boot code that the 3B+ needs. However, that won't do anything to help people with NOOBS. Although it will update Raspbian's boot code, it will not update the "boot code" used by NOOBS. It's probably no coincidence that you didn't mention anything about NOOBS – so almost certainly, you have a "pure" copy of Raspbian Jessie (or Wheezy) without NOOBS! If someone has Raspbian Jessie with NOOBS, your method will not work – because it will do nothing to update the critical NOOBS files that are specific to partition #1. As a result, those people will still have an unbootable Raspberry.

As a separate matter, I personally don't have any issue with people using rpi-update – just as long as they back up their operating system and data. But it should be pointed out to less experienced users that the rpi-update command places EXPERIMENTAL Linux kernel and boot code on their system. The developers generally do a good job at testing this developmental code, but the potential still exists that it could cause a system to become unbootable – at least until the user can get their hands on a new, bootable SD card.

BOTTOM LINE: For people that want to get the new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ to boot from a "pure", non-NOOBS copy of Raspbian Jessie – an old operating system – running rpi-update is basically the only option available. But if they have Raspbian Jessie with NOOBS – they'll either have to completely "nuke" their system and install Raspbian Stretch with NOOBS from scratch – or, if they don't want to lose their existing system – they could theoretically try a whole bunch of complicated stuff that may or may not work (again, as I mentioned, I'm simply not interested in old operating systems – so that's territory I won't bother to explore). Finally, if they already have Raspbian Stretch with NOOBS – and they don't want to completely re-install NOOBS from scratch and lose everything on their existing SD card – they're in luck! Why? Because my brand-new tutorial explains exactly how to "non-destructively" update NOOBS without losing anything on your existing system!


HERE'S THE LINK TO MY BRAND-NEW TUTORIAL:

TUTORIAL: Update NOOBS without Re-Installing It (When Your Raspberry Pi 3B+ Won't Boot!)

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HawaiianPi
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Re: SOLVED: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Will Not Boot!

Tue May 01, 2018 5:49 pm

jigneshkerai89 wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:01 am
Had the same issue - I was not going to spend hours to reconfigure all the repos and libs. Tried

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
on old pi but the kernel was still v4.9 17th July 2017 and the latest raspbian is v4.9 18th March 2018. Looks like the kernel is not updating to latest.
Which means you are probably running Raspbian Jessie (not recommended for the new 3B+).

Using rpi-update will seem to fix Jessie, but do note that rpi-update installs testing firmware that may have bugs and stability issues.
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RPi_Mike
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Re: SOLVED: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Will Not Boot!

Tue May 01, 2018 10:15 pm

HawaiianPi wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 5:49 pm
Which means you [jigneshkerai89] are probably running Raspbian Jessie (not recommended for the new 3B+). Using rpi-update will seem to fix Jessie, but do note that rpi-update installs testing firmware that may have bugs and stability issues.

My thoughts exactly. I wanted to point out, however, that I already went into great detail about jigneshkerai89's situation in the post right above yours. Please see the part that starts with Note to jigneshkerai89.

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