Pi Zero First Boot/Troubleshooting

So, after having quite a few emails come in about setting up a Pi Zero/W for the first time, I thought I’d make a quick ‘Getting Started’ post with some simple steps for creating a NOOBS SD card (if you don’t already have one), and some pointers to look for if you think something might be wrong.

First up, the best thing to do with your fancy new Pi Zero W before you start creating your next project is to just power it on with a basic setup, and make sure it works. To do this, you’ll need a basic NOOBS card, which you can either buy a pre-made one from us or make your own, so here’s how to make one:

  1. You’ll need a micro SD card. We recommend a class 10 Sandisk card (they’re our go-to, but other high-quality cards will work too) with a capacity of at least 8GB. Ensure it is formatted as FAT.

  2. Download the NOOBS image. Be sure to download the full version not ‘Lite’ as it comes with Raspbian pre-downloaded.

  3. Extract the files from the downloaded .ZIP folder, and copy them onto your micro SD card.

So that’s how to make a NOOBS card, now here’s the run-down for connecting your Pi Zero up and getting it running for the first time.

  1. Insert your NOOBS card into the micro SD card slot on your Pi.

  2. Connect a HDMI cable to a HDMI capable display via a HDMI-mini to HDMI adaptor.

  3. Connect your micro USB power supply (at least 1A capable, we recommend this one).

Your Pi should now power on, with a red LED indicating power, and a green LED indicating SD card activity. It will boot to the NOOBS manager screen where you can select operating systems to download, or boot into one.

Congrats! Your Pi is up and running, and working correctly, you can no use it for all of your wonderful Pi projects!