The big Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W Troubleshooting guide

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 showing blank or rainbow screen and no LED 

If you’ve ensured that your Raspberry Pi has power but are not seeing anything on the screen and/or you don’t see the green LED, it means that there’s something wrong with your SD card.

It could be that it isn’t inserted, it could be that the operating system’s image is corrupted or not compatible. It could also be that the microSD card is broken.

If you’re using an older Raspberry Pi OS image, that could cause problems too, even if it worked on another Raspberry Pi.

Finally, sometimes you need to switch on your monitor first before your Pi Zero 2. 

Why am I getting 640×480 resolution?

If the operating system cannot determine what resolution your display is capable of, it will go into failsafe mode. Either change it in the OS, or turn on your screen before starting your Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W.

Chrome hangs frequently

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do because the bottleneck is the Pi Zero 2 W’s 512MB RAM.

That said, I managed to get it just a bit faster by disabling JavaScript and images.

Here’s how:

In Chrome, go to your Settings menu by entering chrome://settings/ into the address bar.

Then, go to Privacy and security on the left sidebar.

Click on Site Settings

Then, scroll to the Content section. You will see JavaScript and Images. Click on those and disable them.

Camera problems on the Pi Zero 2

The Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W has a few things that you have to take note if you are using a camera.

Workaround needed to enable camera on Raspberry Pi OS Bullseye

When I first installed the camera, I was eager to try out the camera, but unfortunately, libcamera just showed a black screen as if the camera wasn’t connected. 

Libcamera also threw an error: “failed to import fd”. As of Nov. 2021, this issue is known to Raspberry Pi engineers, who issued a workaround,

“A workaround is to open a terminal, run “sudo raspi-config”, navigate to “Advanced Options” and enable “Glamor” graphic acceleration. Then reboot your Pi.”

Smaller camera connector

The larger Pi Zero 2 W uses a slightly smaller cable than the larger Pis.

So, if you are buying a camera module, make sure your kit includes the ribbon for the Raspberry Pi Zero.

If your camera is missing the smaller cable for the Raspberry Pi Zero, then buy one here.

No raspistill or raspivideo, use libcamera instead

Some older guides will point you to use raspistill or raspivideo to interact with the camera.

In Bullseye, both have been deprecated and are no longer included by default.

The replacement is libcamera. You can test libcamera by running libcamera-hello.

You can see more commands in the official Raspberry Pi Documentation.

Got a problem?

If you have a problem with your Raspberry Pi Zero 2, feel free to ask away in the comments, and I’ll try to find a fix.

2 Comments

  1. Verhoest on January 8, 2022 at 5:39 pm

    Bjr, j’ai un raspberry 2zero w. j’ai installer recalbox8 sur une autre carte sd.mon problème et que au bout de 5 voir 10 min le raspberry plante.jai mie aussi un petit ventilo pour pas qu’il ne chauffe.je ne sais pas si c’est ricalbox ou le raspberry qui plante?
    Qui pour m’aider svp.merci

    • raspi berry on January 8, 2022 at 7:53 pm

      Hi Verhoest,

      I don’t think this is due to recalbox8. Possibly the Pi is defective?
      It should usually throttle down instead of crashing ( I hope I understand “plante” correctly as “crashing”

      Cheers
      Max

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