SkrillCreed
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Cannot find the drive with the NOOBS file

Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:15 am

I just plugged in my new Raspberry Pi Zero W and was greeted with this message: Cannot find drive with the NOOBS files. I did everything it told me to in the official NOOBS setup video. Please help me fix this.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Cannot find the drive with the NOOBS file

Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:33 pm

SkrillCreed wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:15 am
I just plugged in my new Raspberry Pi Zero W and was greeted with this message: Cannot find drive with the NOOBS files. I did everything it told me to in the official NOOBS setup video. Please help me fix this.
IMO use standalone "Raspbian Jessie with Desktop" instead.

Use Etcher ehich will both unpack the zipped download and 'burn' the image to a SD Card in a SDHC compliant SD Card Reader:

https://etcher.io/

https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian/
Retired disgracefully.....

drgeoff
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Re: Cannot find the drive with the NOOBS file

Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:06 pm

The most probable explanation is that you did not properly put the NOOBS files on the card.

Start again. If sticking with NOOBS, when you use the formatting program be sure to have the 'Size Adjustment' option set to on.

gkaiseril
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Re: Cannot find the drive with the NOOBS file

Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:21 pm

Creating bootable SD or other media can be very tricky. I have found that the first time one may need to read and reread the procedures and make a check list of things to do and what the double check before performing the task.

You should not see only a folder in the root directory. This is an indication one did not copy the field correctly. You should see a "config.txt" file and other files.

Noobs is a good approach if you need to install more than one OS or plan to edit some root files on a Windows system. If you are only running one OS then use etcher to install Raspberian or Raspberian Lite.
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Martin Frezman
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Re: Cannot find the drive with the NOOBS file

Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:04 pm

Noobs is a good approach.
Yes. Very true. Much easier (especially for newbies, but even for an experienced hand such as myself) than any sort of dd/Win32DiskImager/Etcher/etc "image" based approach.

Don't ever forget that NOOBS *IS* the "RPF approved/best supported" method. The old "image" stuff is considered obsoleted by NOOBS. To the best of my knowledge, this policy has not (and AFAICT won't ever be) rescinded.
If this post appears in the wrong forums category, my apologies.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Cannot find the drive with the NOOBS file

Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:14 pm

Martin Frezman wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:04 pm
Noobs is a good approach.
Yes. Very true. Much easier (especially for newbies, but even for an experienced hand such as myself) than any sort of dd/Win32DiskImager/Etcher/etc "image" based approach.

Don't ever forget that NOOBS *IS* the "RPF approved/best supported" method. The old "image" stuff is considered obsoleted by NOOBS. To the best of my knowledge, this policy has not (and AFAICT won't ever be) rescinded.
ETCHER is so easy to use (and does not eat 1GB SD Card space) no using unzippers, no formatting SD Cards in correct format etal......
Retired disgracefully.....

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mahjongg
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Re: Cannot find the drive with the NOOBS file

Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:02 pm

Although NOOBS is recommended for uhmm... noobs! There is no valid reason to say its the only official method, in fact there are many reasons why using a direct imaging method is better, especially if its unclear whether NOOBS chooses the wrong video output format. When Raspbian is directly imaged it doesn't have pre-defined video settings, and when not detecting it's connected to HDMI it will switch over to NTSC video, if you are using PAL that will probably mean an unstable black and white screen, but it will be enough so that you can edit config.txt to solve that.
Now with newer imaging software imaging has become much easier, and safer.

P.S. never before heard about the "Cannot find the drive with the NOOBS file", but it certainly seems to imply the card wasn't written correctly, or the card might be fake or very corrupted.

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Re: Cannot find the drive with the NOOBS file

Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:53 am

mahjongg wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:02 pm
P.S. never before heard about the "Cannot find the drive with the NOOBS file", but it certainly seems to imply the card wasn't written correctly, or the card might be fake or very corrupted.
It's in here: https://github.com/raspberrypi/noobs/bl ... y/main.cpp it means part of the NOOBS filesystem has failed to mount when the Linux kernel running the NOOBS installer starts.
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CobaltStargazer
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Re: Cannot find the drive with the NOOBS file

Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:33 pm

Experiencing the same problem. Is their any advice?

I've got a similar message with both PINN and NOOBS, each time they start and then display this "cannot find..." message.

Is it likely to be down to a problem formatting the SD Card? I was assuming that part must be correct or it wouldn't have got as fas as it did.

In both cases, I tried both extraction zip folders straight to the card and unzipping NOOBS+PINN on my linux machine and then manually copying the files over.

For reference, I managed to flash the drive yesterday and run Lakka absolutely fine. The problems only started when I tried to use PINN/NOOBS.

If it is likely to be a problem formatting the SDCARD, would it be possible to ask for a recommended link on how to do that stage on Linux?

Thank you to anyone who can advise!

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Cannot find the drive with the NOOBS file

Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:33 am

Martin Frezman wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:04 pm
Noobs is a good approach.
Yes. Very true. Much easier (especially for newbies, but even for an experienced hand such as myself) than any sort of dd/Win32DiskImager/Etcher/etc "image" based approach.

Don't ever forget that NOOBS *IS* the "RPF approved/best supported" method. The old "image" stuff is considered obsoleted by NOOBS. To the best of my knowledge, this policy has not (and AFAICT won't ever be) rescinded.
That's simply not true. We frequently gets posts from people having problems with NOOBS, and then even more problems with trying to reformat the card properly to start over with NOOBS. In the end the simple solution that many adopt is just to go with the Raspbian image and Etcher.

As fruitoftheloom said, Etcher is ridiculously easy. It pretty much walks you through the imaging process, extracts the image from the archive for you, and verifies the write when it's done. There is also no need to reformat before imaging. If you think Etcher is difficult, you obviously have never even tried it. The only way they could make Etcher easier is if it downloaded Raspbian for you.

Also NOOBS may be the recommended method, but it is not the only approved method. And if it's so well supported, why do so many people have trouble with it? Also, RPF still produces and supports images, so how is that obsolete? You are just pulling nonsense out of your butt.

NOOBS does have the advantage of the "safe" boot and reinstall option, and the ability of easily installing multiple OS, so if you need any of that, by all means use NOOBS. However, if all you want is Raspbian, NOOBS is just a time and data consuming middle-man installer.
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HawaiianPi
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Re: Cannot find the drive with the NOOBS file

Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:19 am

CobaltStargazer wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:33 pm
If it is likely to be a problem formatting the SDCARD, would it be possible to ask for a recommended link on how to do that stage on Linux?

Thank you to anyone who can advise!
Formatting in Linux is normally done in the CLI, but if you want a graphical solution (assuming you are running Linux with a GUI/desktop), install GParted.

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install gparted
It is a graphical disk partitioning and formatting program that is pretty simple to use. You can use it to remove all prior partitions from your SD card, then create a new partition table and a new full size partition with a wide variety of file systems (you will want the FAT32 file system for NOOBS install).

Launch gparted from the menu, or with gksudo gparted from the command line, then use the drop down list on the upper-right to choose your SD card device. If you are using an SD card reader connected to a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian that will typically be /dev/sda, but if you are unsure about that, ask for more help because you don't want to choose the wrong device! If you are running Linux on a normal desktop or laptop, then it's more likely to be /dev/sdb or something higher (/dev/sda is the boot device in most versions of Linux).

Once you have chosen your SD card, go to the Device menu and click on Create Partition Table...
The default partition type should be msdos (if it's not, select that). Hit apply and the new table will wipe all previous partitions from the card and give you a nice, blank unallocated card ready for a new file system.

Next go to the Partition menu and choose New and set File system to FAT32. Leave the rest alone and click on Add. Finally, Apply All Operations and when it's done you will have a card ready for NOOBS.
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

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procount
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Re: Cannot find the drive with the NOOBS file

Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:52 am

SkrillCreed wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:15 am
"Cannot find drive with the NOOBS files."
This is a method that NOOBS uses to detect whether it was booted from the SD card or from a USB stick (in the case of a BCM 2837) by searching for the recovery.rfs file.
If this message is displayed, then I would assume the SD card is formatted correctly as NOOBS has already loaded.
More likely to be a timing or mounting error.
When this happens, do you have any other USB memory devices attached? If so try again with them removed.
If this persists, you could raise an issue on the NOOBS github - https://github.com/raspberrypi/noobs/issues
PINN - NOOBS with the extras... https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=142574

respawn
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Re: Cannot find the drive with the NOOBS file

Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:49 am

Had the same problem today, sadly no answers to the issue here but well meant workarounds.
The following fixed it for me:
  • Format the sd card with a boot-sector
  • Create a partition, I used 1GB fat for noobs-lite on a 4GB card which might already be too much.
  • Copy the noobs files from the archive to the mounted partition
  • Sync, unmount and boot with raspberry pi
Hope that works for for all of you with the same issue.

Respawn

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procount
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Re: Cannot find the drive with the NOOBS file

Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:37 am

This is quite an old thread.
The cause of this issue was subsequently documented as an issue on NOOBS github: https://github.com/raspberrypi/noobs/issues/498

tl;dr - Make sure your SD card has an MBR and you copy the noobs/pinn files to partition#1.

Alternatively, if you use PINN, I created an image that can be flashed with Etcher, thus avoiding all of these formatting problems.
PINN - NOOBS with the extras... https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=142574

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