Piper won't start PLEASE HELP


Hi. My son (8) was working on Piper and he got carried away and didn’t notice the battery going down. So, Piper turned off on its own while he was playing… I know you’re supposed to properly shut it down but I was hoping it would be ok. I tried not to panic initially. We charged the power source for a few hours and tried turning on Piper again. It starts loading and then a black screen comes up with a white cursor blinking at the top left corner… And does not do anything after that… We’ve waited for 15 minutes but it’s still stuck… On Raspberry Pi there is a red light and a blinking green light.



First off take a deep breath and let it out.

Try turning the battery off - or unplugging the Pi and plugging it back in. I don’t expect it to go any further than is does now, but it might clean itself up (one can hope).

I expect that the SD card has become corrupted :anguished: but all is not lost, you now have a chance to provide your son (how old is he?) with a learning experience (after all that is what Piper is all about right?)

You can try to re-image the SD card and/or get a new SD card and reimage it (I reimage SD cards on a regular basis). Before I tell you how to, let me ask you a couple questions.

  1. When did you get Piper?
  2. What type of desktop computer do you have?
  3. How are you/your son at following directions?
  4. Do you have an SD card reader?

Once you give me that info, it will tell me how best to proceed with you.



Hi! Thank you for taking the time to reply! I contacted Piper Support and they will send us a microSD card replacement. :slight_smile:

I have been looking around the forum and have found this link for re-imaging the microSD card myself:

using the image from this thread: HOW TO: download/install the Piper SD card image

My son is only 8 years old so this might be a bit over his head, so I’m going to attempt to do it for him. Mainly as a learning experience for me ( lol ). At least I’ll give it a shot and if I fail there is a replacement that will arrive in the mail shortly.

Thanks again for taking the time to help us out!


Unfortunately the microSD card is read-only. I have tried multiple ways to try and unlock it but to no avail. I guess I’ll just wait for the replacement to arrive :slight_smile:


Even though the microSD card was read-only using a standard SD card adapter, I used a Kingston card reader (that connects via USB) and was successful and formatted the microSD card. I am re-imaging it as I type… Fingers crossed…!


And DONE :slight_smile:


Good work, and to think I thought I might need to hold your hand :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: