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Upgrading Pi-2 SD card for use with the Pi-3

Several people have asked if it’s possible to upgrade an existing Pi-2 SD card to run the on the new Pi-3. It can be done, though some of the downloads seem to take quite a long time. To achieve the upgrade you have to update both the OS and the firmware. The following process has been tested for upgrading one of my FLDIGI SD cards to work on the Pi-3. Of course, if you’re buying new I have ready formatted Pi-3 cards in stock.

Here is the step-by-step upgrade process:

  1. Put the card to be upgraded in a Pi-2 and make sure it’s connected to the Internet.
  2. Go to the Menu – Preferences – Raspberry Pi Configuration and select Expand Filesystem. This is required to make enough space for the upgrade process. I’m assuming you’re using an 8GB or larger SD card.
  3. Click OK and reboot the Pi.
  4. When it reboots, open a terminal session.
  5. Type: sudo apt-get update
  6. Type: sudo apt-get upgrade
  7. If you have messages complaining about missing files, type: sudo apt-get upgrade –fix-missing (NB: it should be two hyphens without a space before ‘fix-missing’ – some browsers convert this to a long dash!)
  8. The last two operations will take a while to complete – the source of the Wolfram update seems to be very slow and it took me all morning to download!
  9. Next, you need to upgrade the Pi firmware:
  10. Type: sudo apt-get install rpi-update. NB: You may find that you already have the latest version.
  11. Now run the update by typing: sudo rpi-update
  12. Type: sudo reboot This will reboot the Pi with the new firmware

If all is well, you can shut the system down and move the SD card to your Pi-3 and all should run ok. If you have one of the cards I supplied and you get in a pickle, just post it back and I’ll send you an updated version.

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