Raspberry Pi Lab

Tag: SD

RPi Keeps Crashing

by on Apr.12, 2014, under Troubleshooting

I have been having issues with the RPi staying online.

My setup is a RPi Model B with a WiFi antanea attached and powered by a 1A wall wort.  There is no keyboard, mouse, or video attached.  All access to the RPi is done over SSH.

The RPi will stay online for aprox. one to three hours then disappear from the network.  Powering off for a hard re-boot would bring it back.  However, one to three hours and we’d have to repeat.  Not acceptable.  Eventually, the constant crashing did corrupt the image on the SD card.

After speaking with some geek friends and consulting Google, I believe the issue is the WiFi adpater.  I believe the WiFi adapter is drawing just enough off the USB to cause power related stability issues.

For now, I have disconnected the WiFi and attached the RPi directly to the network via RJ-45.  After flashing an SD card with a new Raspbian image, the RPi is up and has beed stable for the best part of 24 hours.

When I get ready to do some more testing, I’m going to attach the WiFi via an external, powered USB hub.  This should allow the WiFi adapter to draw sufficient power without having to depend on the RPi for its power source.

More to come…


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Create A Baseline Image

by on Dec.30, 2013, under Installation

sd-cardNow that you have installed the stock image, configured the video, set-up the WiFi, and updated the system, it it time to do a baseline image of your new, working system.

By making your own image, you will be able to re-flash your SD card back to this current state at some point in the future.  Like, for example, if your file systems gets corrupted.

To do this you need to…

  • Properly shutdown your Rpi.  Run ‘sudo shutdown now -h‘.  The ‘h’ means halt.
  • Remove the SD card from the RPi and mount it on your Linux PC.
  • Determine the device id of the SD card.  ‘sudo fdisk -l‘.   NOT the mounted partition.  For example.  My device is /dev/mmcbkl0 but mounted partitions are /dev/mmcblk0p1 and /dev/mmcblk0p2.  You want ONLY the device.
  • Now we’ll make an image of the card… sudo dd bs=1M if=/dev/mmcblk0 of=/home/myhomedir/imagename.img
  • sudo sync
  • Remove the card, replace it in the RPi and boot up.

NOTE:  This will take quite some time to complete.  The dd command displays absolutely no indication that it is working and may appear frozen.  Be patient.

NOTE II:  The stock Occidentalis image is only 2.6Gb.  But your image, if you followed all the steps I have outlined in my previous articles, will be the full size of your SD card.  In my case, that is 8Gb.


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Troubleshooting My First Install

by on Dec.26, 2013, under Installation, Troubleshooting

debugging-computer-transparent-tightWell, the instructions I detailed in my previous post were correct and worked as intended.  The procedure I followed was NOT the problem.

To trouble shoot, I first verified the image was flashed to the SD card correctly by re-flashing the same card.  But when that didn’t produce a different result, I decided to test the micro-SD card adpater by trying the flashed mico-SD with all four of my adapters.  But no luck there either.

Next I decided to try a different micro-SD card.  I have a couple of 8Gb micro-SDs to I grabbed one of them and flashed it with the same procedure I detailed in my previous post.  When I tested that SD on the RPi, I could see a different result on the board.  In addition to the solid red LED that was there in the previous tests, I could now see a flashing green LED.  I’ve been around computers long enough to recognize the flashing of the green LED as boot up activity.

However, there was still no result on the monitor.  The next step was to test the monitor.  The monitor and VGA cable tested ok by connecting to my iPad.  So I took the RPi over to the TV and pulled the composite video from the VHS.  With the composite video connected to the RPi it booted into Occidentalis.

Conclusion…  My initial install had a bad 4Gb micro-SD card AND a bad HDMI to VGA converter.   How’s that for bad luck?  Hmmm?

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