Did you know that ALL Raspberry Pi's are tested before they leave the factory? Therefore, a faulty Raspberry Pi is very rare indeed!
Below are the most common reasons for a Raspberry Pi Zero not to work as expected:
- Operating System (OS) - Only the latest OS release will work on the new Raspberry Pi Zero W. You can either grab a pre-installed MicroSD card from our store or download it from the Raspberry Pi website (it will need to be a clean install, not booted from another model of Raspberry Pi, else it will not work).
- Power Supply - Whilst the Raspberry Pi Zero doesn't need a lot of power, a poor quality power supply or cable can cause endless problems. Avoid using a USB port on your computer/laptop! We recommend the official 5.1V 3A power supply
- Poor Quality SD Card - Unfortunately cheap and 'No name' SD cards are a false economy. The Raspberry Pi forums show many posts with troubled users having issues with their poor quality SD cards. We recommend Panasonic/Sandisk micro-SD cards for the Raspberry Pi - other cards can cause endless issues.
- SD card missing/not fitted properly - If your Pi Zero is showing no activity/LED lights at all, 99% of the time this is because the SD card isn't being recognised. Unlike other Raspberry Pis, the Zero will show no lights when no SD card is installed/detected. Take your SD card out and refit. Still not working? Test with another SD card or try to write a fresh copy of Raspberry Pi OS to the card.
- Corrupted SD Card - Sometimes SD cards corrupt no matter how careful you are. You might spot this if your Pi Zero doesn't boot but you see 8 flashes on the LEDs.
If you have a micro-SD card reader it takes just a few clicks to reflash the card using Raspberry Pi's imager software on a PC/laptop: https://www.raspberrypi.org/software/
- Check the Indication LEDs (no lights?) - the Raspberry Pi indication LEDs can tell you a lot about what is happening with your Raspberry Pi. There's a comprehensive Raspberry Pi forum post on this subject which will assist you, with a Pi Zero specific section here. No lights? This almost always means that the SD card probably isn't being detected (see above bullet).