Raspberry pi3+ as a desktop

I am thinking of using a Raspberry pi 3+ as a desktop computer but have read conflicting info about if it will work.
All I want to do is do some basic word processing and powerpoint type drawings plus look at a couple of hobby forums and look at youtube videos.
Will the Raspberry pi 3+ allow me to do that.
I would also like to add 2 x 1TB HDDs that I have a lot of ino on is that possible?

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Hello Graeme,

For what you intending, the answer is yes.

Take a look at this youtube video, Christopher uses one for a week as his sole computer, and it was a Pi 2

I use one in my workshop, it takes very little space and is more than adequate when I need to look up datasheets and various other bits of information.

Christopher also does a lot of other Pi videos which offer a lot of help.



That video was a big help thanks.
I am planning on using mine in a remote workshop so the wifi connection is the big attraction, also I have a wireless keyboard/mouse combo which uses a USB dongle and would like to use them. Am I looking at a big programming job to get both of them to work?
Please bear with me because I am not very computer savvy (windows user).
This is going to replace my old XP machine.


No problems Graeme, happy to share what I have learnt from my time poor access to this board.

Whilst in my workshop case I had been using a leaded keypad and mouse, I also have another Pi 3 which I use as my media player (with LibreELEC) and small 4Tb HDD when I travel and I purchased a small keypad with dongle from Jaycar. Just plugged the dongle into one of the USB sockets and away it went, no additional settings required. I’m guessing you might be going to use a Logitech type? as it seems to be the most popular, it will work the same way. The dongle does the interpreting for you so the Pi will think it has a leaded Keypad and Mouse fitted. Just checked Pi forums, the majority vote it works fine.

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Thank you
Yes a Logitech keyboard/Mouse combo, box ticked.
I have a HDMI to DVI-D cable and converter for video to my monitor, boxed ticked
This is looking good
Next question (sorry for all the questions) Do I have to do anything with my USB HDDs or will Pi detect them as well?

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No problem Graeme,

I would recommend exFAT as the format so the Pi can read/write natively.

But you can get it to read/write other formats but will need to install a module first.

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Now you have me confused (doesn’t take much)

All good. Just plug your external HDD into a USB socket, once it shows up in file explorer, right click on it and bring up the properties. It will give you details about the size, used space and importantly, what format it is. Depending on its history, it maybe either already formatted to NTFS or FAT32. If FAT32, you can leave it at this as the Pi will read/write to it just fine as is, if NTFS, use your PC to format it and select exFAT.

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Righto order inbound.
Can I get some help on how to do this and how to set up the pi if I get stuck?

Sure, happy to help where I can. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Order placed, now let the questions begin :wink:

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OK looked at the 2 drives on XP machine, the one being replaced and both are File system NTFS.
If I format them won’t I loose all my data?
I guess I could move all data from one to the other, format one then move data back to the formatted one then format the other one Yes??

My order arrived today and the SD card that came with it will not fit into the pi.
Looks like I need a micro sd card and I have no way of transferring to OS from the normal size SD card to a micro one.
Any ideas on how I can get around this problem because until I do my pi is of no use to me.

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How embarrassing after asking on the forum I had a closer look and saw that what I thought I saw as an SD was actually an adapter with a micro sd card in it.


All the best with your projects, Graeme.


Watch the forum if you want a giggle as I struggle with this.



I just purchased a case with fan with my pi but do not know which pins on the pi the fan connects to, there were no instructions included with the case.
Could you please supply a diagram showing me where the fan can be plugged in?

Hi Graeme,

This ought to help - pins 4&6 are commonly used for a fan connector

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I would like to run my pi from a powered USB HDD.
Could I please get a step by step monkey see monkey do method of putting the OS on the HDD and booting the pi from there.
At present I am using the micro SD card to run the pi but have read that this is not ideal.
My ideal thing would be to have the OS on the HDD as well as being able to store all my files on it.
I have looked at so many web pages telling me how to do this that I am at information overload because they all are written from an experienced user point of view with an assumption the reader understands all the jargon.
My main concern is if I change the OTP as is suggested that I will not be able to use my SD card on another pi.
I have 2 HDDs one completely empty and one with heaps of files on it happy to start from scratch with the empty one.

Hi Graeme,

That’s not something I have experience with, so you might need to do some DIY or lets see if someone else from the community can pipe in to help.