shochatd
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Do I need to format when using etcher?

Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:44 am

I set up my SD card using the second approach, namely downloading the latest raspbian image and using etcher to put it onto the SD card. On the first boot attempt, I got some green LED activity, but now I get only red. The instructions for the NOOBS method clearly said to format the SD card first using SD Formatter. This seems to have only PC and Mac versions, so I tried the 2nd method which did not say I had to do the format step. I have Linux (latest Ubuntu) so the formatting step presents me with a problem. But reading the troubleshooting guides, I'm beginning to think I was supposed to format first even using the 2nd option. Is that my problem? That I needed to format before using etcher? If so, is there a Linux procedure for doing the correct formatting process?

klricks
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Re: Do I need to format when using etcher?

Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:27 am

Normally format is not needed when using Etcher or Win32diskimager.

FYI - You should be able to format the card using gparted on the Linux machine. Note that dosfstools needs to be installed in order to format to FAT32 which is required for NOOBS installations.
Formatting in a digital camera is another option.
Unless specified otherwise my response is based on the latest and fully updated Raspbian Buster w/ Desktop OS.

shochatd
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Re: Do I need to format when using etcher?

Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:14 am

Ok, I reformatted the SD card (in gparted, deleted the partition and then made a new fat32 partition) and then tried the NOOBS method. When I unzip, I get 17 top-level files and 3 directories (defaults, os, and overlays). I assumed that I should copy the 17 files and the 3 directories as directories (with their contents) onto the newly-formatted SD card, so the file and directory structure at the top level of the SD card is now the same as what resulted from unzipping. When I put the SD card into my raspberry pi (3 Model B) and try to boot, I still just get a red LED. Same as when I tried the other method (raspbian image and etcher). Not sure what to try next.

klricks
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Re: Do I need to format when using etcher?

Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:33 am

The red LED is normal an means that the power supply is good. The red LED should be on at all times and not flicker.
Follow the boot problem sticky: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=58151
Unless specified otherwise my response is based on the latest and fully updated Raspbian Buster w/ Desktop OS.

shochatd
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Re: Do I need to format when using etcher?

Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:45 pm

I have read the boot problems sticky. It talks about something called the ACT LED. Is that the green one? I have the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and as far as I can tell it has only 2 LEDs: A red one (indicating power) and a green one. The sticky says that during booting, the ACT LED should blink, and that if power is applied with no SD card inserted is should not blink. My situation is that with no SD card inserted, the green LED does blink, and with the SD card (now containing NOOBS files) installed, it does not come on at all -- just totally dark the whole time. When I said that I got the red LED, I meant that I got the red LED and nothing else. I do not see that situation addressed in the sticky. Also, nothing ever appears on the monitor. What does this mean?
Thanks
-- David

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B.Goode
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Re: Do I need to format when using etcher?

Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:28 pm

The original question was: "Do I need to format when using etcher? "

To which the answer is: No.

But the discussion has drifted to questions about the NOOBS Installer.

The NOOBS Installer does require the microSD card to be pre-formatted with a single FAT16 or FAT32 partition prior to copying across the unzipped contents of the downloaded archive.

Note that exFAT which is the default applied by some utilities to cards of 64Gbytes or greater is not an acceptable substitute.

Two other possible explanations:

Your microSD card is faulty, failing or fake.

The card-reader/writer slot in the machine you are using to prepare the microSD card is not capable of SDHC operations, but only SD (up to 2Gb).

shochatd
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Re: Do I need to format when using etcher?

Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:40 pm

Ok, I decided to try the raspbian image method (using etcher) again, with a brand new 16Gb micro SD and a newer image (dated 2017-06-21). Before running etcher, I confirmed that the SHA-1 of the downloaded zip file was correct. Also, I pointed etcher to the zip file instead of unzipping it myself (I hadn't realized that was an option). Since I wrote my original post, I've found statements in several places saying it is NOT necessary to format the SD card when using this method. Now when I apply power, I do get some blinking of the green light. But nothing at all ever shows up on the monitor and in fact the monitor reports that it is getting "no signal". I have tested the HDMI cable with my desktop computer, so it's not a cable problem. [question: How long should it take from applying power to the raspberry pi before something shows up on the screen? How long to be fully booted?].

I suppose I can try NOOBS again. (I discovered detailed Linux instructions for the formatting step here: http://qdosmsq.dunbar-it.co.uk/blog/201 ... pberry-pi/ including a fascinating remark about telling it to make the partition bootable). Finally, I have ordered an SD card with NOOBS pre-installed. If that still doesn't work, it will be very hard to continue holding the actual raspberry pi blameless. My power supply is explicitly supposed to support the 3 Model B -- says 2.5A on the label.

itimpi
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Re: Do I need to format when using etcher?

Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:00 pm

If you are getting the green LED flashing then the Pi is probably booting and then most likely issue is a compatibility problem with the monitor. Have you tried using it with a TV rather than a monitor? What monitor do you have - others may be able to comment on whether they have used that monitor with a Pi. Does the monitor have HDMI input or are you trying to use something else?

drgeoff
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Re: Do I need to format when using etcher?

Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:02 pm

shochatd wrote: including a fascinating remark about telling it to make the partition bootable
Whether it is 'fascinating' is debatable. That it is pure fiction is not.

Revert to the Raspbian image flashed with Etcher. Ensure the HDMI cable is plugged in at both ends and the monitor powered up and the HDMI input selected before applying power to the RPi.

If still nothing on the monitor see http://elinux.org/R-Pi_Troubleshooting# ... put_at_all. (Ignore the reference to Wheezy as that page predates Jessie.)

shochatd
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Re: Do I need to format when using etcher?

Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:38 pm

I am posting this from the chromium browser in my raspbian OS install. That's right, I'm up and running. That article you sent me to about HDMI issues made me try something I had never suspected, namely bypassing my 2-port HDMI switch. I wonder if there are any HDMI switches that actually work with the R Pi. Anyway, the system came up almost immediately when I did that. Kind of a pain to have to plug and unplug all the time, but that's a whole new problem. Thank you for all the help. This thread is about done.
-- David

runboy93
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Re: Do I need to format when using etcher?

Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:53 pm

I would recommend to format your SD card.

[Mod edit : NO. When using Etcher or Win32diskimager you DO NOT NEED TO FORMAT THE CARD]

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B.Goode
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Re: Do I need to format when using etcher?

Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:27 am

runboy93 wrote:I would recommend to format your SD card.

Why?

Your contribution came 20 mins after the guy said he was up and running - let's not break it again...

itimpi
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Re: Do I need to format when using etcher?

Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:51 am

shochatd wrote:I am posting this from the chromium browser in my raspbian OS install. That's right, I'm up and running. That article you sent me to about HDMI issues made me try something I had never suspected, namely bypassing my 2-port HDMI switch. I wonder if there are any HDMI switches that actually work with the R Pi. Anyway, the system came up almost immediately when I did that. Kind of a pain to have to plug and unplug all the time, but that's a whole new problem. Thank you for all the help. This thread is about done.
-- David
I have several HDMI switches and that work fine with my Pi's. I have cheap 5-way HDMI switches that I connect all my Pi's into. I then feed the output of one of these to a manual bi-directional HDMI switch that I use to select the screen I want output sent to (Monitor, HDMIPi, TV).

I also have a 6x2 Matrix switch but I have not managed to get the Pi to work through that which is unfortunate as it would provide maximum flexibility. I have, however, succeeded in connecting a Pi to my AV Receiver which then routes through the matrix switch.

It is probably worth mentioning that I have enabled the 'force_hdmi_hotplug=1' option in the /boot/config.txt file to stop the Pi ever trying to use the RCA output.

jahboater
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Re: Do I need to format when using etcher?

Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:59 am

runboy93 wrote:I would recommend to format your SD card.
Thats nonsense.
The ONLY thing formatting does is to wear out the SD card (they have a limited life), and it is immediately lost.

When the .img file is written to the SD card with etcher, dd, or win32diskimager, it OVERWRITES EVERYTHING including the partition table so any prior formatting you have done is LOST!.

What happens is not an install as such - thats been done beforehand by the RPF engineers on their computer. They then take an exact copy of the raw disk and publish it as the image file. That exact copy includes all the partitions and formatting info, absolutely everything in fact.

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