HDMI not working. OSMC on Raspberry Pi 3B is suddenly dead

Hi. I had OSMC running on my Raspberry Pi 3b for a couple years, and everything was fine. Then recently I picked it up and moved it to a new house down the street. I plugged in the HDMI cable to the same old TV it worked with before and… nothing. No signal.

I plugged in the SD card into a fresh Raspberry Pi, and the same thing happened. No signal.

The only thing that changed was that I moved the Raspberry Pi and the TV to a new house, and that can’t be the cause of this right?

I checked the HDMI cable and it does work with other devices.

I popped out the SD card and plugged it in to my laptop just to see if it had filled up somehow… but nope. 18% of my 32GB is used.

I’m really stumped. No video output at all suddenly and for no reason. I have no idea where to even start diagnosing this. Should I just reinstall OSMC on this SD card?

Did you maybe not use the same power supply you used before? What are the lights doing when you power it on? If there is no lights are you sure there is no a fault in where your plugging the wall wart into. Is there another input on the TV that you could try?

Thanks for asking. The lights on the Raspberry Pi motherboard light up. I also tried an alternate power supply and same thing…

I have tried the other HDMI input, and have tried this HDMi input with another device, so it’s not that. I get the same results when I put the same SD card in a fresh Raspberry Pi, which tells me the problem is on the SD card somewhere…

There is plenty of things that can happen when moving but a SD card installed during transport getting damaged or corrupted seems unlikely. You could try a fresh install. If you want to retain the option of going back to your previous setup you could image the card first with Win32 Disk Imager or similar software. What is the content of your config.txt currently?

Interesting question. FYI I am hardly new to linux but I have not tinkered much with the guts of OSMC in particular before.

In /boot/ I see two files named config-5.4.0-33-lowlatency and config-5.4.0-37-lowlatency but I see no file named config.txt

Wait. This is all wrong. I was looking in my local boot/. It’s been a long 2020!

On my SD card, the /boot/ folder is empty. This strikes me as… a bit of a problem?

Indeed. If you have a Linux box then I would just copy your .kodi folder over using that to preserve your settings and load up from scratch then move the .kodi folder back over.

Interesting again! I have found folders named kodi deep within /media/ but… there is no /kodi/ in the root filesystem. Is this also a problem? I am thinking my system is borked somehow…

Oh, and now I notice the dot. There is also no .kodi directory in the root filesystem…

The SD card should have two partitions. The boot partition (fat) that is only used for booting the RPi and a ext partition that contains everything else. Kodi is split into the program and the userdata which is what you would probably want to preserve. This would be found at /home/osmc/.kodi

Aaah! Yes, it’s there. (and also a couple empty folders used to map to an external media drive). I’m guessing I should just save the entire home folder and reinstall the rest?

Unless you had actually copied some media there, or did something custom in the OS the only folder that should contain anything useful is the .kodi folder. As something seems to have gone really sideways with your install it is probably best to just grab as little as possible as you don’t really know if something else is damaged. After you install from scratch and then copy over your old .kodi folder and something doesn’t go right then you can just delete it and it will be recreated with defaults, no harm no foul. If nothing else you should be able to use the .kodi/userdata/*.xml files as you can open them and it should be rather apparent if they are intact or not. If nothing else that may save you some work on getting setup again. Just keep in mind if you do this on the RPi itself with it live you will need to sudo systemctl stop mediacenter before swapping files out in that folder.

Okay. I’m gonna do that. I wonder how this got borked?

In the end I just reinstalled OSMC on the same old SD card and it worked. I decided to not copy over the old home/.kodi folder and instead start completely fresh, which did eat up an hour or so of configuring, but I feel like it was probably worth it, especially because I’m not sure what went wrong in the first place, and so I might have copied over something that made it go wrong.

I do wonder what made my config.txt file completely disappear. But it all works again!

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