How to Set up a Raspberry Pi: Troubleshooting Issues

By Albert Hovingh On May 07, 2020

How to Set up a Raspberry Pi: Troubleshooting Issues
Be sure to check out the whole Raspberry Pi series:
  1. How to Set up a Raspberry Pi: Getting Started
  2. How to Set up a Raspberry Pi: Enabling SSH on Raspberry Pi
  3. How to Set up a Raspberry Pi: Troubleshooting Issues
  4. How to Set up a Raspberry Pi: Creating a .Net Core Website on Your Pi
  5. How to Set up a Raspberry Pi: Set up Build to Raspberry Pi Using Azure DevOps
  6. How to Set up a Raspberry Pi: Set up Release Pipeline to Raspberry Pi
Is your Raspberry Pi not working correctly right after install? It’s ok; things will get better. After you do what I say, that is. Don’t feel bad if your Raspberry Pi doesn’t work right away, I had to troubleshoot about four or five times before I learned my lessons.

I’ve found that it usually boils down to something not loading correctly on the SD card. The problem that I ran into when this happened was that I wasn’t sure if the Pi just didn’t like my monitor, or if it really wasn’t working. It turns out there’s a way to find out!

See the little lights on the side of the Pi?

Raspberry Pi lights

If only one of them is on and the other one never blinks, that means your Raspberry Pi isn’t starting up. Something is probably wrong with your SD card. Here’s how you can fix that.

If you are setting up the Raspberry Pi for the first time, I recommend doing this anyway.

How to Wipe an SD Card for Installing a Raspberry Pi

1. Put the SD card into your computer. When you do this, you’ll probably get this warning. Just dismiss it, and if a dialog box opens, simply exit out of it.

example of SD card warning

2. Hit the Windows key and type in Disk Management. Click on Create and format hard disk partitions. 

Disk Management window

3. Make sure that you look at the disk that’s in your drive. If you get the wrong one, you could erase your own hard drive and anything that’s on your computer. I did this. It was very embarrassing, but mostly because I told everyone.



I’m using an 8 GB chip, so I know that it’s this disk.

disk window

4. For each of the Partitions in that disk, right-click and select Delete Volume... I can’t stress enough to make sure that you are deleting it under the correct disk.

delete volume window

5. After you are done, it should look like this. 

complete screen example

6. Take out the SD card and put it back into your computer. You can try to open it, but it will error out. This is because it’s completely clean, and it doesn’t even know where to store things. That’s good because it’s the right state to run the installer in.

insert disk window

Once this is done, you’ll want to set up your Pi again. To do that, go to my tutorial for setting up the Raspberry Pi.

Let me know in the comments if this helped you, or if this was confusing...or if you accidentally wiped your own hard drive.

Be sure to check out the whole Raspberry Pi series:
  1. How to Set up a Raspberry Pi: Getting Started
  2. How to Set up a Raspberry Pi: Enabling SSH on Raspberry Pi
  3. How to Set up a Raspberry Pi: Troubleshooting Issues
  4. How to Set up a Raspberry Pi: Creating a .Net Core Website on Your Pi
  5. How to Set up a Raspberry Pi: Set up Build to Raspberry Pi Using Azure DevOps
  6. How to Set up a Raspberry Pi: Set up Release Pipeline to Raspberry Pi

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Photo of the author, Albert Hovingh

About the author

A Grand Valley State University graduate, Albert is the guy who takes on new technology and learns it inside and out. At BizStream, he mostly does SharePoint and Kentico development, but you can put him on any project and it will be a success. Albert has four adorable kids, and is a shark when it comes to Foosball and anything XBox-related.

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