Troubleshoot a Raspberry Pi is not clairvoyance! [Full Guide]

voyante_02_250px when I read the comments of some readers tell me they must believe me with paranormal gifts.
Like many scientists I get pimples when I hear of paranormal. Besides I have never demonstrated special powers for divination.
Yet I get regularly to troubleshooting applications that fall under the divination as the technical explanation.

in general I answer with a bit of delay to these requests, because hot my answers might be hurtful, upsetting… But by dint of individually respond to these messages, I opted for the writing of this article, to which I refer readers to try to explain to them that computer troubleshooting… is not clairvoyance 🙂


all questions asked by readers and appearing in this article are transcribed as what. Authors are of course not mentioned and be forgiving because often they did not imagine that we cannot solve their problem simply by reading their question 🙂

get out your Crystal Ball

Une voyahnte tenant une boule de cristal contenant un Pinguoin TUX. Elle dit : Je vois... Je vois... the most common messages are of the type: “it doesn’t!

first example:

I have the installation of the Rapbian with the VNC Viewer and it walked well not bad times, but suddenly the GUI and all gray and I can’t do anything in it!
help me please

Une voyante en train de lire les lignes de la main

good then to resolve this issue which another solution to pull out my crystal ball and try to see something?

it is unclear:

  • what type of Raspberry Pi it is

  • what Raspbian about

  • what VNC server is installed on the Raspberry Pi

  • if moving the mouse has an action? A black cross?

  • which could be changed eventually to that it “doesn’t work anymore”

  • if there are error messages somewhere (in a newspaper?)

  • if it still works if we plug in terminal etc… etc…

what do answer you this question? Help me is it you please !

a proverb does not say “ help yourself and heaven will help you ‘? Well, I can assure you I’m not – yet – for God but if the user gives no info how can I advance in the research of the failure?

there right to my usual response in this case:

F314: Sorry, but if you call your doctor telling him I have the belly do you think he’ll know what you have?
or you call your mechanic telling my car won’t start not . do troubleshoot you think there are enough elements for you?
well for me it’s the same
I get a bunch of requests of this kind and REALLY CAN’T answer ! It is not that I don’t want TO but I don’t have the 🙁 elements
I want to help but need more details
interface is all gray, but do you have a black cross that moves with the mouse?
have you installed new app, modified the system? What does it change if something has changed…
have you error messages?
If you have a grey screen may that the X server is not started
said the log?


deuxieme example:

always the same shit with linux, too complicated to do not much! To provide more precision, I wanted to make sure that tightvnc is started all alone in the ignition, and following your procedure, when saves the file vncboot in the directory init.d, that this register in, so subsequently no longer works.
And as you know nothing about linux, you’re lost…

voyante_tutoriel what do you think, you?

here’s my response:

F314: bin… already I think you’re under Raspbian Jessie and it is stated at the beginning of this article which dates back a year and a half that he works with Wheezy (previous generation): well check this
then if the file registers itself with the extension .save it’s the nano text editor that has saved its buffer in emergency… ( ) but without knowing the context I can’t tell you why. A sudden stop? out of memory? Be able to answer your question to a number of news you don’t give. We don’t know even not on what Raspberry Pi the problem happens? A Pi 2, a Pi 3, a Pi zero? with what OS? Raspbian Wheezy, Jessie, RISCOS, UBUNTU, Windows 10?
it’s a bit as if you called your mechanic by saying “my car won’t start!” without specifying the brand, if it is a diesel, a gas, an electric… think he can tell you where you the failure?
it’s a good opportunity to dig a little and learn a little more about Linux 🙂
If Linux was so complicated to do not much thing, one might wonder why NASA has outfitted the international space station ISS in Debian? (all computers including the EVA support humanoid robot). Also why all these companies or schools chose Debian also…
it is true that when you come from the Windows world as user and you know that a simple mouse click produces quick effects, we think we’re doing computer…
actually for a computer technician (and I shaped dozens annually) computing under windows is so complex that the 😉 Linux properly configure a workstation under Windows 8 or Windows 10 in a business context is not improvised, especially when there is an AD in the company… several months of training are necessary to make it work. Nothing to do with the post personally used to go on the internet see a youtube video or typing a piece of letter with word
the last Core of Windows servers have no graphics mode and we do everything by hand… as in Linux
I think if we give evil look and learn Linux is as usable as Windows. Probably less rapid to implement, I grant you, but free, modifiable, redistributable without asking too many questions.

come on Let’s get back and you’ll see that the more you advance Linux easier to use. It’s a bit like when you start the bike: with Windows you have small wheels on the rear wheel, you can’t fall, but you don’t really learn to ride a bike! You lurches with Linux at the beginning and you break the figure from time to time, after you are able to make the road, mountain BIKING…
you have to choose 🙂

it’s not just the ball! The pendulum

tournesol Oh no, it’s not just the ball!

you say you put the ill will… Maybe could you try to use a pendulum?

ah well Yes, there’s an idea that it is good!

and it has to be scientific if teachers like sunflower use it, right?

OK, let’s try the pendulum: I submit a request for a screen you can find the failure! And don’t cheat, huh?

I recently bought a raspberry pi. After doing all the connections (I follow the quick start guide), I therefore. But… the screen stays white and this may take several hours!
I read on one of your articles it might be due to a bad sd card (yet to be provided with the rpi), it is a SanDisk Ultra 16 gb class 10. Should I reformat or simply complain to the manufacturer?

pendule well, my pendulum remains completely still… The single pendulum that moves it is one that is hanging on the wall… and yet, there is only the second hand that moves a little 🙂

once again: lack of information and the response:

F314: there is not enough info in your message:
what is the model of the Raspberry Pi?
the screen is black or white…? There is nothing that appears?
logged in HDMI?
make the LED? ignition, blinking etc…
If you bring it has daily life imagine you call your mechanic telling him “my car won’t start!
think you it has enough info to know if it’s the battery, starter, anti-theft or a fuse or… something else?

you’re going to tell me that I ramble, but I love it, me, the history of the garage 😉

Tarot cards?

the pendulum having shown my uselessness, so I opt for Tarot…

voyante_03_468px come on new question:

Hello beginner on raspberry FT2 I can’t install noobs, I dezippe the file, send all on my Sd format beforehand my the raspberry do nothing, green and Red led turn on and nothing not happening thanks

good… my psychic with her Tarot smiles but she doesn’t tell me much…

still missing info:

F314: you formatting the card with SDformatter4 or something else?
what kind of SD card? What size?

is that I use sdformater, my card is a Samsung evo if 64Giga memories its good red and gray
I just try a boot after reformat and inserted the IMG file as stipulated and nothing to do that answers not

Ah yes, my fortune teller had not guessed it was a 64 MB SD card… You no more?

F314: Hey, you get
in fact when you say it doesn’t really need to provide information about what has been done so that we can help you. Imagine: you call a mechanic and tell him: “my car won’t start. Think you that he’ll know if it’s the battery, the immobilizer, the starter, the lack of petrol or… something else?
well in computing it is the same if you don’t give details how do you found what won’t?
then a 64 GB SD card is formatted automatically by extFAT (extended FAT) by SDformatter4 at the time the Raspberry Pi who doesn’t know that FAT 32 cannot read… See my response here
and take a look at
it should improve things

no, finally (Tarot cards) cards do not help to troubleshoot (Raspberry Pi) cards. Try to find something else…


I followed the tutorial but the raspberry stops at the color screen and then more nothing…?
do you have an idea?

numerologie 314, one is in 2016, it is 9:59 pm… Let’s see what we can do with this…

thing not big pfff!

here again I draw my mechanic…

F314: sorry with as little info we can deduct nothing
in fact when you say it doesn’t really need to provide information about what has been done so that we can help you. Imagine: you call a mechanic and tell him: “my car won’t start. Think you that he’ll know if it’s the battery, the immobilizer, the starter, the lack of petrol or… something else?
well in computing it is the same if you don’t give details how do you found that’s wrong?
resume step by step, test another key (other brand) the tutorial was followed by many people and work so…

voyance-traditionnelle1 finally Numerology didn’t work either… What’s left?

the cat!

the last is this one:

Hello, I have a 5″ hdmi screen, but cannot install the driver to operate the tactil, you know what to do

it’s at that point that the cat passed… I am reminded of the empyromancie this ancient technique of divination which is to read the future in the guts of animals.

driver_chat I assure you, the cat also had to know this technique and I couldn’t catch it 🙂 and then I like cats and I would have done him no harm.

nevertheless had the mark of the screen, without knowing what driver it is impossible to install or on what operating system it happens… You will understand that I’m not far from draw once again the mechanic 😉

voyante_firmware here’s this article ends. Its purpose is to try to understand that when you ask a question, one who reads is not a psychic

boule-de-cristal-2 devin_02

is often not a soothsayer.

sometimes I want to respond that these are sprites, trolls or other leprechaun who are originally setbacks of the user, and advise him to drop a bowl of milk, the evening next to the Raspberry Pi for they are nicer the next day…

I didn’t go up there… There are some who would maybe do it 😀

free clairvoyance doesn’t exist, let alone computer. If you want to get information, give information. Whether on blogs, forums, facebook pages, or other, people who take their time to try to help others need to have a minimum of information to start troubleshooting. It is better to give too much information than not at all! Finally, it is my opinion.


do not take the bloggers for beings with superpowers supernatural. Do not hesitate to give a minimum of details:

  • Type of card used (Pi2, Pi3…)

  • OS (Wheezy, Jessie, PIXEL, ArchLinux, Fedora…)

  • that you have installed (version, command)

  • (s) (s) error message

  • a copy of the log

in fact it depends a bit of the problem you are experiencing. But without a minimum of information ON DO CAN NOTHING INFERRED!

and then there are cases where can not do much 🙄

windows10 and then…

vois-rien unless…


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