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Custom Pi w/ ES - no access to RetroPie Setup, freezes on shutdown

  • Gentlemen, good evening.
    My wife bought me one of those PIs which already comes with a preloaded SD full of games and a pre-configured ES.
    I read a lot about adding new stuff to the system, downloading new content and even adding a 8bitdo controller through bluetooth...

    ...but the fact is that the system, as it was set up, won't let me access the RetroPie setup, nor the Command Line (or Terminal, not sure if both are the same or do the same). This way I can't activate bluetooth, download new packages or anything else.

    My system:

    • Raspberry Pi 3
    • Emulationstation V2.0.1A
    • Kodi 15.2 (accessible from ES)
    • Microsoft USB Keyboard and Mouse combo available
    • Shanwan USB Joypad, working w/ proprietary USB dongle
    • 8BitDo SN30 Pro joypad, not working (as I can't pair it)
    • Windows PCs (no Linux, sorry)

    What have I tried:

    • there's no "retropie setup" option inside ES. Looked everywhere.
    • hitting F4 in ES will send me to a "Please wait" screen... And nowhere else. Hitting keys won't give me a command line to use.
    • Ctrl+C won't get me any command line or terminal, nor any similar combinations (Ctrl+Shift+F1 through F6, same with Alt+Shift+F's).
    • exiting ES by choosing regular shutdown doesn't shutdown the system, but freezes it to a "please wait" screen. If I wait for 5 minutes on this, the splash screen (from boot) is shown again, but nothing happens.
    • fast shutdown shuts the system down directly.
    • managed to reach NOOBS recovery mode (holding Shift during startup), but found no option to get to retropie setup from there.

    Although I'm not exactly a newbie, I have absolutely NO experience w/ Linux codes.
    However, what can I add:

    • by reading "/boot/cmdline.txt" when in Recovery, I found the commands "fastboot noswap ro", which seems to refer to a Read-Only system.
    • WiFi is working on ES, but I did not try to update the system.
    • as the system crashes whenever I try to leave ES, it looks like the command line has been somehow locked, and the setup removed (and this I know that can be done)

    The SD, overall, is very good and with a good set of stuff to see and play. I didn't want to lose that.
    Is there a way to access/reenable the RetroPie Setup menu?

    Tnx in advance.
    And I hope that I did not post anything in duplicate, as I've spent the last couple of hours looking for this answer, with no success.

  • Global Moderator

    @arthur_felipe Sorry, we don't support 3rd party images. Selling RetroPie preloaded with a system - not to mention ROMs and games - is illegal and against the RetroPie license.
    If you'd like to get support, then please use the RetroPie provided image from and report back if you still have problems/questions.

  • Right. No problem.
    I never meant ROMs or games, as I'm aware of its copyright. I just wanted to enjoy the pre-made GUI and configuration, adding apps available from the repository, like the OpenTyrian.
    Anyhow, it really seems that building my own system will not only provide better results, but will also be fun. Tnx for the tip.

  • Just keep the hardware you have, and create an image on a clean SD as @mitu suggests, and you will have a proper retropie system, which will as you point out, will probably be more fun and reliable. Make sure your power supply is good enough though. Lots of people have issues with poor or under-powered ones. If you start getting a lightening flash on screen, you definitely have a power supply issue.

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