Raspberry pi: Rote LED und keine boot

The raspberry pi does not boot anymore. (DE: Der Raspberry pi bootet nicht mehr – statt dessen ist nur die rote LED zu sehen)


Raspberry pi red LED no boot

Hi everyone!
Since there is no answer until now for many people… I have one answer for the red led problem with the raspberry pi: I had the same problem and in the end I solved it with pure logic and a simple mechanical repair.

Raspberry pi problem and situation:

1. the raspberry stopped working suddenly for no special reasion after months of work in perfect condition
2. after trying to reboot: only the red power LED was on, no blinking, no boot, no nothing nada. The device seems to be completely out of order. I did the formatting and rewriting the Image back onto the SD card with no effect. It did not play any role if I powered the device with or without a card inserted – still only the red pwr LED. The problem may get more serious the longer a sd card is in the slot and the more heat the card is confronted with. Depending on the material of the sd card you may experience other mechanical problems. Some cards are hard and torsion proof – others may have no material resistance so you can easily bend the card. As the card is disposed to several failures due to its machanical standing over the housing it is no wonder to fall into problems.

2 relevant questions:

a) is it a electricial problem?
b) is it a mechanical problem?

Answer to a) is a clear No!

because…after measuring (with connected PSU) the power at points TP2 and TP1 (or TP2 and F1) it showed up 5.1 Volts on the multimeter. Seems OK to me. I always connected an old Samsung phone power supply which always worked fine (somewhat under 1000 mA or so).

Answer on question b) is YES!

because as I discovered… the SD card housing itself was deformed due to a mechanical force coming from the metal contacts (work like small springs with a small but permanent force) on the PCB in combination with heat coming from the processor. As we know polymere deforms easier under the influence of heat and/or mechanical force you don’t have to be a genius to understand.

See the picture at the top of the page! I made the illustration (DrawPlus by the way) and a scheme to understand the cause of the „red LED raspberry pi problem“ in my case.


As the SD card is permanently inserted into the raspberry slot for several month, there a two factors to be identified: First of all there is that small mechanical force coming from the 9 spring like contact tounges on the pcb while at the same time the sd card is held in position at the edges. Second there is heat from the processor that warms up the pcb and the sc card holder. So the sc card warms up and in the same time it is under pressure of the contact’s…the result is a deformation of the sc card housing and so the contacts can probably not fit in place.

Conclusion: No contact – no signal flow – no boot – no nothing. It was that easy.

Solution ################
Just bend the sd card slightly back into a flat shape. That may hopefully work for some time. May be a thin metal plate glued onto the sc card could prevent it from beeing deformed again… I’ll see.

GOOD LUCK for everything.
Raspberry red LED no boot