SD Card Copier - Copy of NOOBS/Raspbian + Pi-hole + Unbound, Won't Boot?


Expected Behaviour:

SD Card Copier tool creates functional copy of my live Pi 3B+, NOOBS/Raspbian, Pi-hole and unbound, that will boot on a second Pi 3B+ to confirm a good copy.

Actual Behaviour:

SD Card Copier reports a successful copy of all partitions. I eject the USB microSD adapter, remove the adapter, pull the microSD card, insert it into a second Pi 3B+ (with monitor, mouse, and keyboard attached) power up … Boot begins, a lot of stuff scrolls by, and it ends with all CPUs stopping, and a: “end Kernel panic … No working init found. Try passing init …” message.

Debug Token:

I’m at work and my Pi-hole system is at home, so I cannot supply now. Assuming I can update this topic later, I’ll add one this evening.

Additional detail - All microSD cards are Samsung EVO Select 32GB that seem genuine (none of the described telltales of counterfits), both Pis are CanaKit 3B+ with the CanaKit power supplies.

When a copy didn’t work the first time, I realized I should test to confirm I had a functional microSD and functional second Pi 3B+. So I deleted all the partitions on the failed copy, reformatted as a single FAT32, dropped NOOBS files into place, and ran my 2nd Pi 3B+ through the Raspbian install, updates, and enough web surfing to confirm that the Pi and the microSD card were solid.

My second attempt used another brand new microSD card. On this attempt I took enough time to recreate a single FAT32 partition on the new card and do a fast surface wipe pass (using a windows machine, success reported), mode the card+USB adapter to the live Pi-hole and ran SD Card Copier (success reported), ejected USB adapter, removed microSD card, and inserted into my 2nd Pi. Same results, boot is failing with the Kernel panic message.

I am a newbie at this, I’m open to any/all of:

  • Even though your operational Pi-hole is working, it has file system damage you need to check for and fix before making copy (it has been on UPS with scheduled shutdowns for its entire life, but I realize “microSD stuff happens”)
  • You need to quiesce the system, stopping Pi-hole and unbound, before making the copy
  • SD Card Copier doesn’t work correctly for a NOOBS install
  • Any of 32,767 other reasons

Any suggestions or pointers appreciated!




You got this one right …

Everything else is irrelevant after that.

You should try using win32img to make a 1:1 copy of the SD.
Then use Etcher to write it.

This is a theoretical process that works on Stretch.
In real life, this failed more than it worked and it is the ONLY reason i switched from noobs to stretch.

I highly recommend installing stretch from scratch, unbound and Pi-hole on a fresh system.

THEN, you should use this script that automatically will image your running OS and save it to a designated location (I strongly recommend NOT saving it on the same SD but maybe a mounted USB or a network drive)

It also strips (if you want to) the free space from the saved file so that the size is smaller than a full 1:1 image.


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