TheWhaleys
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:39 pm

Brand new Pi Zero W seems to boot but blank screen

Mon May 01, 2017 9:45 pm

This is a brand new Pi Zero W.

I am powering from a known good phone charger, with a mini-SD with recent version NOOBS and connected to a known good LG screen via mini-HDMI adapter and HDMI cable. The HDMI cable is known good, the mini-HDMI I do not know.

On power-up the PZW AC LED flashes a few time, blinks then settles quickly into a steady green. Nothing appears on the screen at all - it seems to indicate that it is not connected to anything

Troubleshooting so far :
    Took SD Card and plugged into older Pi, used same HDMI cable and screen and phone charger. It worked fine - display on screen as expected.
      Removed SD Card and mini-HDMI card. Plugged mini-USB into data-port and other end into PC. Got the message about 'new device' and then the expected one about "BCM2708 Boot"

      All the above leads me to conclude :

      - something wrong with the mini-HDMI adaptor ? (Any way to test this without a known good mini-HDMI output ?)
      - Something wrong with the mini-HDMI output of the PZW
      - Something in the NOOBS software image that works well on the older Pi but not on the PZW

      Pi Hut, who supplied the device and accessories have offered to do a return. But I am just interested to know of any other trouble-shooting ideas that can be done quickly, saving the hassle of return (e.g. if it is just the mini-HDMI adaptor then that is easier to send back than the PZW).

      Ongelma
      Posts: 113
      Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:46 am

      Re: Brand new Pi Zero W seems to boot but blank screen

      Tue May 02, 2017 10:09 am

      Hey man.

      Read this when using the new pi zero w :)

      Is your pi not booting?
      viewtopic.php?t=58151

      hOPE THIS HELPS. cHEERS

      TheWhaleys
      Posts: 9
      Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:39 pm

      Re: Brand new Pi Zero W seems to boot but blank screen

      Tue May 02, 2017 11:00 am

      Dear Ongelma,

      thanks for taking time to post a reply.

      Yes I was familiar with the content of the thread you post.

      As you can see from my first post, I've already taken steps to check the SD Card with the NOOBS distro (works on another Pi, albeit a model A, not a PZW), and used the 'connnect to a PC' technique to confirm the PZW device itself is not dead.

      As I noted, I believe the PZW is actually booting, but does not seem to produce any output on the screen.

      Any suggestions on further troubleshooting, or should I better just return it and exchange ?

      Eoin

      linux_author
      Posts: 248
      Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:04 pm
      Location: Gulf of Mexico
      Contact: Website

      Re: Brand new Pi Zero W seems to boot but blank screen

      Tue May 02, 2017 11:32 am

      - you don't mention how 'recent' the version of Noobs? you must use the very latest Raspbian for the pi0w

      - if you hook up your good, working HDMI adapter and cable pair to your pi0w and you don't see the 'rainbow box' upon powerup, there's a chance your pi0w is not working (note that my only experience is with a cheap Dell monitor w/VGA<->HDMI adapter and my Visio TVs)

      willie
      on the warming Gulf of Mexico

      fruitoftheloom
      Posts: 21039
      Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm
      Location: Delightful Dorset

      Re: Brand new Pi Zero W seems to boot but blank screen

      Tue May 02, 2017 11:40 am

      TheWhaleys wrote:Dear Ongelma,

      thanks for taking time to post a reply.

      Yes I was familiar with the content of the thread you post.

      As you can see from my first post, I've already taken steps to check the SD Card with the NOOBS distro (works on another Pi, albeit a model A, not a PZW), and used the 'connnect to a PC' technique to confirm the PZW device itself is not dead.

      As I noted, I believe the PZW is actually booting, but does not seem to produce any output on the screen.

      Any suggestions on further troubleshooting, or should I better just return it and exchange ?

      Eoin
      The way to find out if the HDMi adaptor is ok is to buy a 'miniHDMi to HDMi Cable'

      Several posters have found that adaptors of varying types can cause issues..
      Retired disgracefully.....
      This at present is my daily "computer" https://www.asus.com/us/Chrome-Devices/Chromebit-CS10/

      gregeric
      Posts: 1509
      Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:08 am

      Re: Brand new Pi Zero W seems to boot but blank screen

      Tue May 02, 2017 1:17 pm

      Is your ZeroW inside the offical case? The bundled HDMI adapter is too short to connect properly when the Pi is in that case. If so, try again without the case.

      TheWhaleys
      Posts: 9
      Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:39 pm

      Re: Brand new Pi Zero W seems to boot but blank screen

      Tue May 02, 2017 1:43 pm

      HI Gregeric, FotL, Linux,

      thanks for those further inputs :

      - I'm not very hot on different OS version, the NOOBS is on a mini-SD card provided by Pi Hut with the PZW, so I (hope ) is the latest one. As I say it boots to the rainbow screen with a Pi A (I guess I should double-check it is > v 1.5 ? by re-doing that).
      - It is in a wooden case which is open at the side, so the mini-HDMI port is fully accessible.
      - I agree with FotL about trying a different mini-HDMI cable, but it is starting to look like the easiest way to test this is by sending everything back to Pi Hut and starting over.
      I'll start that process once I've double-checked the NOOBS issue by booting the older Pi with the SD card.

      Thanks guys !

      Ongelma
      Posts: 113
      Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:46 am

      Re: Brand new Pi Zero W seems to boot but blank screen

      Wed May 03, 2017 5:52 am

      Im pretty sure the noobs is outdated. There was some rattling from one user who blamed thepihut for shipping the outdated noobs with the pizerow bundle.

      TheWhaleys
      Posts: 9
      Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:39 pm

      Re: Brand new Pi Zero W seems to boot but blank screen

      Wed May 03, 2017 8:43 am

      Hi,

      made some more investigaitons last night, and the SD card was an interesting line of inquiry.

      It is a recent version (2.3 with a build date of Mar 2017), however the card itself is not the OS, but loads to a splash screen where one can build out the Raspbian and/or some KOBI installation).

      So I built that out (using the older Raspberry Pi A) - it actually looks great -- bear in mind I have a 4 year old version of Raspbian previously, so it has come a long way.

      But.... even with the built-out OS on the SD card I get same result on PZW.

      Increasingly I think either the mini-HDMI adaptor or the physical port on the PZW are at issue. Going to see if I can track down a spare adaptor for £0.01s when in London over the next few days.

      Thanks for the help

      User avatar
      B.Goode
      Posts: 8987
      Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:03 pm
      Location: UK

      Re: Brand new Pi Zero W seems to boot but blank screen

      Wed May 03, 2017 9:52 am

      Some observations that might help you move forward -

      1. As already stated, you don't just need a 'recent' version of the Installer and OS, you need the latest.

      At the time of writing that's NOOBS v.2.4.0 and Raspbian dated 10th April 2017.

      The up-to-date NOOBS Installer should give you a gui recovery console from a working PiZero with a working hdmi adaptor, just as it does with the Model A.


      2. The 'Wilko' chain of hardware stores in the UK sell HDMI adaptors relatively cheaply, but not for pennies.

      3. If you think hardware is the problem, take up the offer from The PiHut of a replacement. (But my hunch is that the latest installer/os might be the solution.)

      fruitoftheloom
      Posts: 21039
      Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm
      Location: Delightful Dorset

      Re: Brand new Pi Zero W seems to boot but blank screen

      Wed May 03, 2017 10:06 am

      TheWhaleys wrote:Increasingly I think either the mini-HDMI adaptor or the physical port on the PZW are at issue. Going to see if I can track down a spare adaptor for £0.01s when in London over the next few days.
      Buy a cable, a lot more robust: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wired-up-HDMI- ... B00104UO88
      Retired disgracefully.....
      This at present is my daily "computer" https://www.asus.com/us/Chrome-Devices/Chromebit-CS10/

      TheWhaleys
      Posts: 9
      Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:39 pm

      Re: Brand new Pi Zero W seems to boot but blank screen

      Wed May 03, 2017 12:34 pm

      Thanks B. Goode & FotL

      £2.02 seems acceptable; and I will be near Tottenham Court Road in the next day or so, I might see how the prices there compare.

      drgeoff
      Posts: 9912
      Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:39 pm

      Re: Brand new Pi Zero W seems to boot but blank screen

      Wed May 03, 2017 2:35 pm

      TheWhaleys wrote:Thanks B. Goode & FotL

      £2.02 seems acceptable; and I will be near Tottenham Court Road in the next day or so, I might see how the prices there compare.
      There has been nothing worth buying in TCR for years. :(

      The nearby Morgan Computers shop was always worth a look in but that business went mail-order only when the current owner bought it.

      TheWhaleys
      Posts: 9
      Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:39 pm

      Re: Brand new Pi Zero W seems to boot but blank screen

      Thu May 25, 2017 10:40 pm

      There has been a hiatus,

      - after trying another HDMI adaptor with no success, I returned the PZW and another one was sent, arriving today.

      - Sadly I got the same result.

      To confirm :

      - I am using NOOBS 2.4 built on 17/Mar 2017.
      - This SD card works in an old (rev B ? original ) RaspPi,
      - The older machine successfully writes to same screen and HDMI cable (without adaptor)

      Any other ideas -- I am finding this baffling and rather frustrating

      patrickjm69
      Posts: 1
      Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:26 pm

      Re: Brand new Pi Zero W seems to boot but blank screen

      Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:34 pm

      I am having the same problem with my 0 W. I've tried deleting and reinstalling NOOBS, the power light bumps then stays straight. Sometimes when I unplug and re-plug the power cable a black screen with just lines and lines of text come up and I can't make anything out of it. I am using a 32GB micro SD and using a regular micro-USB phone charger, I don't think there is a problem with those. If you have found a fix please reply and explain this is the only forum I found on this problem. Thanks!

      User avatar
      B.Goode
      Posts: 8987
      Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:03 pm
      Location: UK

      Re: Brand new Pi Zero W seems to boot but blank screen

      Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:27 pm

      Welcome to the Raspberry Pi forums.
      patrickjm69 wrote:
      Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:34 pm
      I am having the same problem with my 0 W. I've tried deleting and reinstalling NOOBS, the power light bumps then stays straight. Sometimes when I unplug and re-plug the power cable a black screen with just lines and lines of text come up and I can't make anything out of it. I am using a 32GB micro SD and using a regular micro-USB phone charger, I don't think there is a problem with those. If you have found a fix please reply and explain this is the only forum I found on this problem. Thanks!


      Lots of Getting Started information here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/help/

      There is a summary of all the knowledge accumulated from these forums during the past 7 years about difficulties getting an RPi to boot, see - STICKY: Is your Pi not booting? (The Boot Problems Sticky) - https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... 28&t=58151



      Do you get the same result if you download the current version of the NOOBS Installer containing the Raspbian Buster Operating System?


      Even a low-power RPi device like an RPi Zero requires a reliable 5v Power Supply. A device marketed as a Charger may not meet that requirement.


      Maybe the board is booting but a faulty connection on the little hdmi adapter is preventing the display from working?

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