I recently got my hands on a couple Raspberry Pi computers. If you don’t know what these are let me explain. The Raspberry Pi is a tiny, fully functional computer.
The Raspberry Pi 2 I worked with comes standard with the following configuration:
- A 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU
- 1GB RAM
- 4 USB ports
- 40 GPIO pins
- Full HDMI port
- Ethernet port
- Combined 3.5mm audio jack and composite video
- Camera interface (CSI)
- Display interface (DSI)
- Micro SD card slot
- VideoCore IV 3D graphics core
Configuration courtesy of RaspberryPi.org
These tiny computers are great if you need to build tiny functional presentations or prototypes. They have enough computing power to run most presentations including HTML mock-ups and even play nice with Node JS.
Installing NOOBS on Your Raspberry Pi 2 Can Be Tricky
(Image courtesy of InformationWeek)
These microcomputers are great for building whatever your geek heart desires. They are, however, not so friendly to get up and running. I toyed with 2 different Raspberry Pi 2’s and 5 different SD cards trying to get a working version of the OS Running. In the following post, I plan to outline the issues I ran into getting 1 machine up and running.
I guess the Pis are particularly finicky when it comes to connecting to displays. At least, that’s the scenario I ran into. I also have a couple 3.5″ touch screens which I haven’t got running yet.
I used these instructions to install NOOBS V 1.9.0 on a Raspberry Pi 2 with a 7″ Raspberry touch screen. NOOBS is a version of Raspbian designed for Noobs to Raspberry Pi’s to install.
Step by Step Directions for Installing NOOBS on Your Raspberry Pi
It took me a day and a half and 4 different Raspberry Pi disc images before I successfully got a version of this running. It’s my hopes that this will help others in the same boat. For the record, I downloaded Raspbian Wheezy, IOT Core, Raspbian Unattended and Raspbian.
In the end, I ended up installing NOOBS Master from the official RaspberryPi.org downloads page. I was initially blocked by my company’s incessant firewall. If this is the same case for and you don’t have access to an unblocked wifi connection wait until you get somewhere you can download this OS as it works.
Ok, let’s get started.
- Download the latest stable version of NOOBS here. This is the same link as above.
- Download SD Card Formatter 4 here. This is the recommended format program when preparing your SD card. Make sure to set the “Format Type” to FULL(Erase) and make sure “Format Size Adjustment” is turned on. This program will format your SD card in FAT32 which is what you want for this install.
- Now your SD card is formatted and ready for your NOOBS 1.9.0.
- Extract NOOBS_v1_9_0.zip to your desktop.
- Drag all unzipped files onto your SD Card. It’s important to leave the files in the structure they were in when you unzipped the files.
- Slide the SD card into your Raspberry Pi. This is the machines hard drive. I used an 8 gig San Disk card though I read this could be installed on a 4 gig card as well. If you try a larger SD card than 8 gigs and run into issues you can use a larger one. Just make sure it’s formatted to FAT 32. SD Card Formatter 4 will do this for you.
NOOBS Installed on Raspberry Pi
I know it looks pretty straight forward above. That’s what I thought yesterday when I spent the entire day trying to install this mini OS. At any rate, if you need to get your own Raspberry Pi running I hope this tutorial was useful. If so please share it on your favorite social networks and or leave a comment below. I’d be curious to hear how your installation went.
Handy Raspberry Pi Resources
NOOBS Setup: Follow these instructions and download NOOBS from this same page. If you run into problems with this page it’s a good idea to try a different SD card to make sure yours isn’t defective.
This reference helps explain what the LED sequences mean when you’re initially setting your Pi up. It tells you what it means when the LEDs both stay fully lit and what the different flash sequences mean if you run into problems. Is your Pi not booting? (The Boot Problems Sticky)
Raspberry Pi Set Up for NOOBS Click To Tweet